When I posted “My 12 Takeaways from Being Bullied” today, perhaps it should’ve been titled with a thirteen instead of a twelve.
Later, another takeaway came to mind that I hadn’t thought of and failed to mention. But before I tell you what it is, allow me to elaborate a little first.
Many of my bullies in school were the most irresponsible and incompetent people I’d ever met. They were spoiled, coddled and babied which caused them to be self-entitled, demanding, arrogant and ignorant. Many of them would get into trouble with the school, juvenile authorities, or the police. And they would do these things repeatedly.
Any time they got themselves in a jam, here come Mom and Dad to the rescue. Their parents would either pull a few strings or pay through the nose to pry little junior’s butt out of the crack he’d gotten it stuck in.
If they made a bad grade, the parents would come to the school and chew the teacher out for giving the grade. Or the kid would cheat their way to a passing grade.
Many of my female bullies would end up pregnant, some repeatedly, and their parents would swoop in to fund their abortions to keep her from bringing shame to the family. What’s even funnier is that some of these kids were those no one ever in a million years thought would end up in such predicaments.
This is not to say that I look down on anyone who goes to jail, who has gotten PG out of wedlock or has had an abortion because we all screw up- and screw up BIG- at some point in life. So, understand that I’m not judging anyone, nor am I expressing any views.
The point to this post is this: They never learned to take responsibility for their own lives. And why would they if they were never made to?
I look back now and realize that it’s no wonder most of these people had the attitudes they had.
With that said, here’s my 13th takeaway:
I learned early on that I was the only person responsible for my own safety, success, and future happiness, no one else! And I had to be willing to do whatever it took to bootstrap my way back up. And it was the same with my other siblings.
There were no freebies nor piggyback rides.
If I screwed up (and I did many times), my parents didn’t bail me out. They stood back, let me fall flat on my tookus, then expected me to pick myself up afterward- all by myself! And they did it to teach me responsibility for my actions.
And when you’re a kid, you don’t realize the tough love and good intentions behind it. You don’t see the eventual payoff. You don’t think about how this will mold you into a much better person and make life much easier for you in the future.
All you’re looking at is the here and now. All you see is what’s in front of your face, which is every other kid getting to do whatever wrong they want and getting a pat on the head and a proverbial get-out-of-jail-free card while you’re having the book thrown at you. And no, it’s not fun. In fact, it downright sucks!
But! Though it may not have felt good nor seemed fair at the time, through it all, I learned independence. I learn self-control. I discovered my own strength and that I was unstoppable!
And if I can go through six long years of brutal bullying and remain standing, then nothing is impossible, and there’s no limit to the heights I can achieve.
The majority of people who are bullied are those who come from families who’ve instilled morals, integrity and the importance of accountability in them. These people are often the brightest, most hard-working, decent, caring, and, most of all, bravest people around.
When you’re bullied, you learn to overcome so many obstacles and move on with life. And you learn by yourself. You learn to fight like the dickens for your safety, well-being, and your happiness. You also learn that if you want anything in life, it’s up to only you to put in the effort to get it.
In closing, I want to thank my bullies for showing me my own strength and for giving me the grit to stay in the fight, to adapt, to overcome, and to win!