You Must Heal Before You’re Able to Forgive

bullying healing

I understand because I’ve been there. It took me several years to forgive my classmates. It was why I didn’t go to the ten or twenty-year class reunion. I had no desire to see their faces. I was just damn glad they were out of my life and had forgotten about ninety-nine percent of them.

As long as I stayed away from my former schoolmates and they stayed away from me, I was happy. But when I’d see one of them on the street, I’d turn and walk away without giving them so much as a “hi” or “kiss my ass.”

During the first twenty years after leaving Oakley High School, I only had something to do with maybe one or two of my classmates. The rest of them, I could’ve cared less if they dropped off the face of the earth.

When you’ve been a target of bullies, it’s only natural to feel anger, resentment, and disgust toward the bullies for a while. To heal, we must allow ourselves to feel the pain and raw emotions.

Never bury the pain. Never keep it stuffed down inside because you’re afraid to make anyone angry or uncomfortable. Because it will only fester if you do. You will internalize everything you’ve been through, which is the worst thing you can do because it will come out sooner or later in either very destructive rage or physical illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Take your time and feel your emotions as long as you need to. Just don’t stay in that dark place for long. Don’t set up your tent and live there!

Be open about your anger and talk to a friend, family member, or therapist. Tell them you’re pissed. Speak out about the abuse. But get it out! And realize there will be people who won’t like it.

Understand that, in this world, there are people who won’t mind wiping their feet all over you but will be greatly offended when you become angry about it and talk about it, or worse, tell them a thing or two!

bullying healing

There will be people who expect you to be okay with something they know good and well they wouldn’t be okay with if it were done to them. But tell those people to get lost because they don’t matter. What matters is that you care for yourself and put yourself first.

Why should you give a ticker’s damn about their feelings? They never gave a damn about yours. So, never let those ignoramuses make you feel guilty for speaking out and responding in kind!

Tell them how you feel and let it out. But do it constructively. Put some bass in your voice. Be firm, but don’t yell. A certain amount of cursing is expected when you’re pushed too far.

But don’t drop any F-bombs. Raise your voice if you need to, but don’t scream and yell. Screaming and yelling will only incite toxic people to push your buttons to see you react, then tell anyone who’ll listen that you’re “mentally unstable.”

Go somewhere private and cry if you need to. Crying doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re a human being with feelings.

Do whatever you must do to get it off your chest because the sooner you can process those bad feelings, the sooner you can forgive and move on to a better life.

I’m glad to say that I eventually healed and forgave them. And when I did, I found a peace I hadn’t known in years. I was able to forgive them through reading, researching, and writing about bullying.

During something constructive gave me closure and I couldn’t be more grateful!

But first, I had to heal!

How I Knew I Had Healed from Bullying

When I could talk about and better yet, write about the bullying I had suffered and be open and honest about how it made me feel without feeling ashamed or embarrassed, that’s when I knew I had healed.

I also discovered some positive takeaways, such as wisdom, a sharper people sense, and an ability to detect lies and sense bad intentions. I also developed a determination to put my needs first and to say no. In short, I discovered the value of self-care.

I now realize that the bullying I suffered back then was only ensuring that I wouldn’t be a target later because it was teaching me exactly what to watch out for in other people. But even better, it was setting me on the path I was meant to be on. It was paving the way for me to help others!

Anytime we haven’t healed from trauma, we tend to bury it and deny it ever happened. We pretend we’re stronger than what we are, and we act as if we’re someone we aren’t. We run from it rather than admit what happened to us and how it changed our lives.

Healing isn’t easy because to heal requires that we feel the pain. We must allow ourselves to go through emotions that aren’t comfortable and that make us feel vulnerable and out of control. That’s the most difficult part. We must admit to ourselves that our bullies and abusers made us feel weak. Understand that this process will take time. It will not happen quickly. It may even take years.

But in the end, it will be worth it because once the pain and feelings of vulnerability are dealt with and begin to subside, we can move on and get our lives back. We can finally attain the happiness we deserve.

In fact, we can use what we endured to help someone else who is currently suffering the same scourge and there’s nothing more rewarding!

This is what makes us not only survivors, but overcomers, winners, conquerors!

So, know that you can escape bullying. You can heal, and you can overcome! You too can become a conqueror! Please hold on to hope!

8 Ways to Heal from Bullying After You Leave a Toxic Environment

Bullying is very traumatic and impacts self-esteem; it often takes many years to heal. People who’ve never endured bullying cannot comprehend how it can change your life. The good thing about leaving a toxic environment is that once you’re gone, you can begin healing and rebuilding your life. However, in many cases, it’s easier said than done.

Here are eight things you can do that can help you heal quicker:

1. Seek Therapy. Though I realize that there’s a certain amount of stigma that goes with it, getting therapy is the best and most important thing you can do for yourself. You must do what you must do to take care of yourself. Don’t concern yourself with the opinions of others about your care. Right now, you must do what’s best for you.

2. Rest. When you’re fresh out of a bullying environment, you’re more than likely to be exhausted. Get plenty of sleep. Take some quiet time for yourself. Go on a walk in the park on a beautiful day, or take a pajama day. Get all the rest you can get for a few days.

3. Music. Music is therapy in itself. Once you’ve got plenty of rest, put in some easy listening for relaxation, maybe some slow jams like TLC or Keith Sweat? Or pop in some dance grooves and rock and roll to make you feel upbeat and like dancing.

There’s nothing that lifts the mood like shaking your booty around the house to some Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul hits or rocking out to some Van Halen, Judas Priest, or Def Leppard. Whatever your taste in music, you’ll feel much better when you do. So get out those CD’s or stream some music on your computer.

4. Lean on the people who love you. When you’re recovering from bullying and a toxic environment, one of the most important things you need is a network of love and support to balance the positive with the negative. Keep company with the people who uplift you, love you, and make you feel good. It’ll help you salvage the confidence you’ve lost.

5. Do things you enjoy most. Indulge in your hobbies and favorite activities.

6. Exercise. Exercise is a major stress-buster. And you can get rid of all that negative energy like anger and depression by sweating it out either in the gym or, if you don’t feel like going anywhere, a workout DVD.

7. Take a trip. After being in a toxic environment for so long, sometimes, we need to get away for a while. Visit a family member in another state. Embark on a camping trip in the mountains or hit the beach and relax in the sun as you listen to the sounds of seagulls and crashing waves. I guarantee that you’ll return home feeling much, much better!

8. Treat yourself to a day or night out with the guys or gals. You and your pals could go to a concert or out to lunch or dinner. Maybe go window shopping or to a bar and listen to a live band. The key is not to isolate yourself. Get out and have fun. Because sometimes it pays to go out and paint the town red!

Just go easy on the drinks, as alcohol is a depressant!