It’s Up to You to Protect Yourself

If you’re a target of bullying, can you truly and totally rely on people in authority to help you? Can you rely on them to do something about the bullying you suffer and hold those who are bullying you to account for their horrible behavior? Can you rely on others to bring you justice?

I used to be all about laws against bullying and yes, the idea sounds great. I won’t pretend it doesn’t. However, I’m beginning to gravitate away from making bullying a crime. Why? Because most people aren’t going to protect targets until it happens to them or one of theirs. And even then, that’s still debatable.

Let’s Stop Relying too Much on Others

We cannot rely too much on laws and policies because they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. Entities, such as schools and workplaces, can write all the rules and policies against bullying they want. But until they enforce those policies, they’re only as cheap as the ink and paper administrators use to make them.

What good are laws and policies if these entities don’t enforce them? At what point do we stop relying on the system to protect us and begin protecting ourselves?

Understand that, no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to put up with anyone else’s crap. Therefore, it’s up to you to stand up to bullies and do it properly. And if defending yourself doesn’t work, you have the option to remove yourself from the situation and environment.

We Must Learn to Take Care of Ourselves

Here’s another reason I’m gravitating away from making bullying a crime: It’s because most seasoned bullies have ways of making innocent targets look like the bullies. Therefore, if lawmakers make bullying an imprisonable crime, many innocent targets would end up behind bars. Because, again, bullies, especially narcissistic bullies have a flare for flipping the script and, very convincingly, painting the target as the bad guy.

Too many targets have been conditioned to think that self-defense is wrong and it isn’t. And the people who condition these targets are often bullies themselves. Therefore, if bullies target you for bullying, you must know your enemies. You must do a lot of study and research on bullies, then use the knowledge you gain to outmaneuver them.

Also, yiu must do your own investigation and gather your own evidence. That means detailed documentation. Moreover, you may need to use the last resort and bust the bully in the mouth if all else fails and the bully tries to physically attack you. It’s the only way you can effectively defend yourself. Remember!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Looking at The Bully’s Perspective

Bullies perceive their target as their enemy even when the target has done nothing to them and even as they’re ritually abusing and torturing the poor soul. And once the target speaks out about the abuse, that enmity only increases exponentially.

The bullies get a fix on the target and he/she is all they can focus on because they feel threatened.

Bullies and abusers only see from their own perspective and their perspective has the target as an opponent to be punished- a threat who must be contained and even eliminated. Bullies aren’t concerned with the fact that their anger and hatred are irrational. They don’t think that they’re destroying a fellow human being much like themselves- a human being with thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Bullies are oblivious to the fact that the impetus of their violence comes from the primal part of their brains.

Know Your Bully

Understand that if you’re a target of bullying, your bullies see you as the enemy, right or wrong. They view you as bad and evil and they want revenge. They have no inhibitions of destroying you because they think they’re the good guys and they’re doing the right thing by destroying you: evil enemies must be annihilated.

In the Mind of a Bully, The Target Owes Them Respect

And when the target doesn’t show the bullies the respect they feel they’re entitled to, or in the way the bullies think it should be shown, they become enraged and seek to destroy the person.

The power-dynamic between bully and target is always zero-sum. The bully feels the target deserves nothing but hostility and abuse from them but, in contrast, the target owes them respect…and he owes it to them as they’re abusing him.

From the bully’s perspective, the target must atone for their flaws, their shortcomings, and their evil by lying down and “letting” the bullies torment her.

But when and where does it stop?

It doesn’t. As we know, bullying only gets worse until somebody dies or leaves.

If you’re a target of a bully, understand this. It doesn’t matter what the bully’s perspective is. It doesn’t matter what the bully thinks. Neither the bully nor anyone else has a right to violate your boundaries, physical nor psychological.

I want you to know that you have a right to learn, work, or live in a safe environment. You have a right to be in a nourishing environment that allows you to flourish. And you owe respect to no one who hasn’t earned your respect. Bullies and abusers deserve no respect from you. Anyone who deliberately sets out to hurt you does not deserve anything from you. Understand that you must value yourself and put yourself first.

If someone is abusing you, you have every right to take care of yourself. You have not only a right but an obligation to yourself to either walk away from the person or, if you can’t walk away- if the bully won’t let you walk away, then you have a right to defend yourself. Realize that you are valuable, and you matter just as much as the next person.

And everyone has flaws, not only you. If anyone bullies you, then they have no business coming anywhere near you. Always remember that.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Loving Myself: The Hardest Lesson I Learned

I had to be torn apart to put myself back together again.

I had to be naïve to become wise.

Also, I had to be weakened by bullying for several years before I could finally realize my own strength.

I had to be cheapened by others before realizing my worth.

I had to feel hate from others before I could finally love myself, all parts of myself.

When I was young, I was a beautiful girl to look upon. However, I didn’t think I was so beautiful. Because my classmates had bullied me for so long, I thought I was worthless. And why not? They had drummed that brutal narrative into my head for years.

They wanted me to hate myself as much as they hated me.

Every time I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. Therefore, I would jokingly put myself down to keep from seeming arrogant. My classmates and a few others had brainwashed me into thinking that “to like or love yourself was arrogance.”

Turning Pain Into Power

Many of my bullies would accuse me of being just that, arrogant. They called me stuck-up, full of myself, snooty, snob, or crazy. And those names were tame compared to the other names I was called, which I won’t mention here because of vulgarity.

Some of them referred to me as “Miss Prissy,” “Empress,” and other sarcastic names. Moreover, these names seemed to come anytime I smiled or showed even a sliver of confidence.

‘You see? When people consistently tell you that you’re this way or that, and in large numbers, you begin to believe it too. Therefore, one of the hardest things to do is to change that mindset once it’s instilled in you, especially after you reach young adulthood.

Child abuse with the eye of a young boy or girl with a single tear crying due to the fear of violence or depression caused by hunger and poverty and being afraid of bullying at school.

Self-depreciation is so unhealthy because it often determines your outcomes in life. Furthermore, it breeds laziness and failure. Any success I had wasn’t enough to satisfy me and I would shun it. I always thought that I should be doing more and being better.

I internally belittled myself not only because I feared looking arrogant, but also because I didn’t think I was good enough. Thus, when someone would compliment me, I should have accepted the compliment and thanked the person for it. But instead, I’d say something like, “well, I could’ve done better.” I would always belittle my successes when I should have been celebrating them.

I have noticed that we may compliment friends and family on how beautiful, smart, or how talented they are. Also, we advise them never to put themselves down. However, we find it so hard to extend the same love and support to ourselves.

Reprogramming

Additionally, there were times I’d say things to myself I would never have said to another person, much less my friends and family. It’s sad when we find it so difficult to love ourselves as we would others.

Since those days, I’ve learned that the best kind of love is the love you give yourself. Because, without self-love, you won’t be able to love others properly and healthfully. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I finally decided that I was going to love myself no matter how others felt about me. However, it didn’t happen overnight.

This was the beginning a long journey. I was taking on an exceedingly difficult task, which was reprogramming my mindset. Therefore, I had to purge all the negative stuff I’d been told for so many years and it wasn’t easy by any stretch. It would take reversing and undoing many years of abusive programming. And it was going to require a lot of grunt work.

When I rose to this challenge, there were times people fought against me. Why? Because they did not like and were threatened by the positive changes that I was implementing for myself. There were times when my own mind fought against me. But, I stuck with it because that tiny spark within me always told me that I deserved better.

I continued to vomit out all the garbage others had made me believe about myself. And it was difficult to cleanse myself of the negative thoughts and self-beliefs that had only kept me shackled.

Pushback

It was a long fight, but it was worth it! Today, I’m happy, confident, and comfortable in my own skin, which means I’m free! My intention is for you to be free too!

Here’s what works:

1.Celebrate your successes even if you don’t feel up to it.

2. Make a list of your positive qualities.

3. Make positive affirmations.

4. Reward yourself.

5. Talk kindly to yourself.

6. Catch every negative thought and replace it with a positive thought.

7. Do things you enjoy most.

8. Stay away from toxic people if at all possible.

9. Surround yourself with positive people.

10. Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet standards that are unattainable.

11. Place no value on the opinions of people who aren’t worthy of your time and energy.

12. BE YOURSELF!

If you practice these twelve things every day, I promise you that you will see change in your overall outlook. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen fast. But it will all be worth it in the end. I guarantee it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

10 Things that Happen if You Don’t Love Yourself

If you don’t love yourself, who will? And how can you love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself?

These are valid questions.

When someone doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in their demeanor, their face, and their posture. We can hear it in their tone of voice and the way they talk. Why do you think these people attract users and abusers to them? Why do you think they end up with people who mistreat and control them?

Here’s what happens when you don’t love yourself:

1. You’re never able to properly love anyone else. You will be codependent- always searching to get love from another source- a source outside yourself, instead of letting love come from within. When you finally find someone who does love you, you won’t love them the way they need to be loved. Instead, you’ll only smother your partner to death because you’ll always have to be right there under the person’s nose.

dreamstime_xs_116631302

Also, you’ll be suspicious of others, wondering if your partner’s going to leave you or wondering if they’re cheating. You’ll wonder if your friends really like you or if they’re only pretending to. In essence, you’ll end up making a new partner or friend pay for something someone else did in the past and it’s not fair. Being in constant worry and suspicion is no way to live!

2. You rely too much on others to make you feel loved and wanted and be afraid of being alone. You will always believe that to be happy, you must always be one half of a couple. But understand that if you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.

3. You move too quickly into a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, you’ll love your partner more than they deserve and before they have time to earn that love. Also, you’re likely to scare the other person away. Realize that love needs time to grow.

4. You give away your power. When you give away your power, you automatically put yourself at the mercy of someone else. And believe me, they take full advantage. You put your own needs on the back burner and always put your partner before yourself, doing all the giving in the relationship in exchange for your partner’s love. You’ll even do things you really don’t want to do just to satisfy the other person.

You’ll stop making your own decisions and allow someone else to choose for you. You’ll also agree to every single thing he or she says. When you do this, you leave nothing for yourself. After a while, the feeling of unfairness will slowly build. Soon, you will become resentful after so long of not getting anything in return.

Never give another person that kind of power! You must have your own mind and be your own person.

5. Because you can never control how another person acts nor how they feel about you. What happens when your partner gets tired of you and decides he/she no longer wants to be with you? It will devastate you. It’s only natural that the end of any friendship or relationship is painful. But it should never be crushing. It should never feel like the end of the world.

6. You’ll be on an endless search for love and friendship. You’ll spend your whole life searching for love. That in itself is not only off-putting to others, but it’s also exhausting to you. You’ll waste your time, hopping from relationship to relationship.

When one partner gets bored with you and leaves for someone who challenges them, you’ll be on another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. Before long, you’ll have a string of broken relationships behind you. Not good!

7. You’ll settle for just anyone. And you’ll get even less than what you settled for. No one should settle. Ever! If the person isn’t the person you want or is less than what you thought they were, you’ll be much happier if you move on to something you really want. Always be selective of the friends and partners you choose and of the company you keep.

8. You attract takers instead of givers. Predatory people have a keen eye for those who are desperate to be loved and accepted. And they’ll sniff you from a mile away. These people will be more than happy to befriend or date you just to get what they want from you. Once they’ve used you long enough and bleed you dry of resources and dignity, they’ll only drop you and move on to the next poor sucker. When you stop being afraid of aloneness, you magically begin to repel predators and attract better people.

dreamstime_xs_47262974

9. You’ll repel the people who either do or would otherwise love and accept you. If by chance you happen to find someone who truly loves you, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy it. You’ll be so scared of losing the person that you’ll be too clingy and likely run them off because of your incessant neediness.

Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness and it’s not fair. Being held responsible for another person’s happiness is a heavy load for anyone to carry! You’ll only zap the other person’s energy as you expect them to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but you and God. Realize that only you are responsible for your happiness. No one else.

10. You stay in toxic relationships and put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone. You’ll likely end of with an abuser who’ll physically or mentally abuse you. Love and friendship shouldn’t be painful.

You may also end up with someone too lazy to work and who expects you to keep their worthless ass up. No one has to work that hard to keep any relationship and if you do, it’s a sign that you need to show somebody out the door- and fast.

The last thing you want is to be tied down to some broke chump who treats you like crap or won’t get off their dead ass and work to help pay the bills. I’ve seen this happen to so many people I’ve known in the past.

Being alone is a part of loving yourself. It’s not the worse thing that can ever happen to you. It’s very healthy sometimes because you get to know yourself during times of solitude.

But when you’re afraid of being by yourself, you’re likely to give others control of your life and put yourself at their mercy! STOP THAT! Never cheat yourself by settling for anything less than what you deserve!

Never put your happiness in someone else’s hands! Ever!

Self-Care Means Looking Out for Number One

One thing I learned the hard way: If you don’t start looking out for number one, you’ll only continue playing second fiddle to others. Or worse, you might end up coming in last! I cannot stress this enough. It’s not selfish to make yourself numero uno, which means second only to God! Especially around bullies and people who don’t value you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re a parent raising children, or you have an ailing mother who depends on you, it’s only natural that you would put your family ahead of yourself- that’s a given. We all have an obligation to our families.

It’s also a given (or should be) that you always put God ahead of everyone else, including yourself. Again, that’s completely understandable, and more than that, it’s expected.

But when you’re in a toxic environment, around people who want to use and take you for granted, understand that you are top priority and to hell with them if they don’t like it.

Understand that when you’re being bullied in school or the workplace, the only person you have is you! So, be good to yourself. How you do this is to set firm boundaries and say no- and do it early-on and often!

You have to look out for number one, because, if you don’t, no one else will. In fact, they just might use you as a rug.

I know many, many people who were conditioned to think that putting yourself first is selfish or greedy- that taking care of yourself only means that you’re self-centered. They were raised being told that self-centeredness is a huge turnoff to others and in some cases, that’s true.

However, I’ve also noticed that bullies and abusers also tell their targets and victims those things only to shame them into staying around, silently taking their abuse, and accepting their inferiority to them (the bully/abuser).

Know that there’s a difference in being self-centeredness and self-care.

Self-centeredness means that you think you’re better than everyone else and that you think that any rules don’t apply to you. It means that you’re entitled- that you think everyone else is inferior to you and they should bow down and let you treat them however you deem them worthy because they have no boundaries.

Self-centeredness is one of the roots of bullying and abuse!

Self-care, on the other hand, means that you know that you’re no better than anyone else, but you’re just as good as the next person. Self-care means that you know that you’re equal to the next person and that you don’t deserve to be bullied or abused. Therefore, you know your rights and you’re not afraid to stand up for those rights.

It means that you hold yourself in high regard, just as you hold your family, friends, and the people you love and that you treat yourself just as well as you would another human being deserving of dignity.

It’s funny how quick bullies are to call us selfish or self-centered if we dare to stand up to their abuse. In fact, it’s part of the bully’s (or abuser’s) playbook. Accuse the target of that which you are guilty of yourself. Right?

If you have bullies and abusers who abuse you, always know that if they accuse you of anything- anything at all, you can bet that they are doing it themselves.

So, continue to look out for number one, even if you must find a way to do it on the sly. Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.

With knowledge comes power!

5 Ways to Lift Your Spirits

We all have days when we feel down in the dumps. Fortunately, there are things you can do to remedy your situation and chase those doldrums away!

1. Listen to good music – There’s nothing that cures your ills like boogying down to some good dance music or rocking out to the sounds of your favorite rock bands. There something about music that makes us come alive and want to get up and move! So, put on some good tunes and shake your butt!

 2. Go for a walk – Going on a good nature walk on a beautiful Spring day lifts the spirits and feels so good. Walking is also one of the best exercises there is, so, there are physical health benefits to it as well.

 3. Indulge in your hobbies – working on and completing your hobbies brings out your creative side and gives you the feeling of success and accomplishment. It gives you pride in yourself and in your abilities. And who doesn’t love that?

 4. Surround yourself with your favorite people – Being around the people you love, who love you, and who lift you up feeds your soul like nothing else. When you get together with your loved ones, you know you belong, and you get that much needed sense of belonging and togetherness.

 5. Fix yourself up – As the old saying goes, when you look good, you feel good. When you take pride in your appearance, it shows. Looking your best has a way of building your confidence and your self-esteem. And it also has a way of spreading to others.

The good thing as that you have options. Do any one of these things and watch your mood skyrocket in just minutes. You’ll be glad you did. I promise!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Flowers Can’t Grow and Bloom Without Sunlight

Self-doubt is the killer of dreams. It comes when a person is consistently showered with toxicity and toxicity comes from toxic people- bullies and abusers. When all a person gets is insults and abuse for a long period of time, they become exhausted and any positivity they once had is slowly drained from them until they’re totally depleted of it.

Eventually, if targets aren’t careful, they’ll start to believe their abusers. They start seeing themselves through the eyes of their bullies. They’ll give up and others will see in them, a person who’s lackluster and slow.

When you’re a target of bullying, you’re like a flower that gets nothing but constant rain. The flower doesn’t grow and develop properly. The consistent abuse zaps your energy and keeps you hyper-vigilant and on guard 24/7- waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What happens is you lose your happiness, confidence, pride, will, and purpose in life. In essence, your bullies take away your good qualities and turn you into a person you don’t even recognize anymore.

Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

Bullying and abuse takes the joy out of your life and you begin to daydream about escaping your current situation. If there is no escape route available, you feel stuck. Then, you isolate yourself and become a recluse. You retreat into your own little fantasy world because it just feels safer that way.

Finally, you stop growing as a person because you live inside your head instead of observing life that’s going on around you and learning the lessons life is trying to teach you. All the while, the bullying and abuse you suffer only gets worse because everyone around you knows that you’re living inside your head and they ridicule you for it.

And people who do not know what you are going through or don’t understand you may mistake you for being lazy, slow, or stupid. But it only causes you to retreat further inside yourself and the bullying only gets worse. It is a vicious cycle, and it is no way to live!

Not only do I understand how you feel inside, I understand why. Just as flowers can’t grow without sunlight, people can’t grow without positivity. Flowers need a good balance of rain and sunlight and people need a good balance of positivity and negativity. They cannot survive on just negativity nor positivity.

Too much negativity or, in this case, toxicity, and the person’s emotional and psychological growth will be stunted. Then, their happiness, confidence, and dreams will die, and they’ll give up. Too much positivity, and they lose touch with the real world and real people, then become arrogant, full of themselves, demanding, and tyrannical! There has to be a healthy balance of both before a person can truly grow.

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, never accept what bullies and abusers try to cram down your throat. I want you to realize that they don’t know you at all, although they may claim they know you more than you know yourself. The truth is, nobody can possibly know you like that and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying through their teeth.

Understand that bullies and abusers are miserable people who want you to be as miserable as they are. Stay away from those people. They aren’t worth your time or energy. Only keep company with people who love you and who uplift you!

Remember that there’s always hope and you’re worth much more than what your bullies say you are and more than you may think you are. Never let bullies destroy the things inside you that matter the most- your self-love, self-respect, confidence, and sense of pride. Those things are yours and not for anyone else to have!

And how you do this is through self-care. If at all possible, remove yourself from the bullying environment and go to a new place where you can grow and flourish, and where you can make friends and be no only accepted, but celebrated!

Be your own best friend. Be your own hero. Be your own sunlight! Keep company with people who allow you to shine and the sun to shine on you!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Fighting Is The Only Alternative You Have

Many times throughout my life, I’ve heard people preach against fighting- and yes, even in self-defense. When I was being bullied- even physically so, I was often told by teachers and even the bullies themselves, “Violence doesn’t solve anything.”  Or, my personal favorite, “fighting isn’t lady-like.”

I’ve got news for these people- neither is getting your face beat in every day.

Be that as it may, fighting back was better than just standing there and taking the beatings. When you’re a target of bullying and you decide to stand up for yourself, there will be people who will climb up on their soapbox and insert their two cents where it doesn’t belong, telling you that “violence doesn’t solve anything,” and that “you shouldn’t stoop to their (the bullies’) level.”

You’ve heard the term, “All up in your Kool-Aid, and don’t know the flavor.” Yep! That’s where they’ll will be when you get enough of bullying and decide once and for all to take care of business.

However, what else do you do if you’re a kid at school getting their brains beat out every other day? Just stand there and allow yourself to be harmed over and over again?

All the time, targets get suspended or expelled from school when they finally defend themselves against a bully. After six months, eight months, two years, or even five years of being mercilessly bullied and trying to handle it through nonviolent means, only to be called a wuss and beat up more, the target finally gets fed up and beats the living crap out of a bully.

Now everyone’s surprised and outraged! Not at the bully, but at the target! But where was their outrage when the target was getting their body pummeled without provocation? Where was their outrage when the shoe was on the other foot? Where was their humanity when the target cried out for help?

If you’re in school and you’re a target of bully. These questions are those you should ask the school authorities, bystanders, and anyone who gets offended by your defending yourself. Know that you’re just as good as the next person. Know that you have the same rights as anyone else- including your bullies. And know that you have the right to defend yourself anytime you’re threatened with physical harm.

Understand that this is a part of self-care. It’s true that fighting isn’t always the answer but sometimes, bullies will leave you no other choice.

So, if you’ve tried everything else, know that you must do what you must to keep yourself safe. And if it means putting up your dukes and getting froggy, so be it.

It’s sad when a target must fight all the time to keep themselves from being harmed but I don’t hold it against anyone who fights back under those circumstances because you have to take care of yourself or no one else will.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Be Careful What You Put Up With

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others and teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so bad and so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.

Understand that bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. That’s when the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked and once he/she gets that first high, they always want more. It’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react and give the bullies that first rush- that first power high, then they always come back for more.

Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose, then an even bigger dose to catch that high. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and so on! It’s no different with bullies. With time they escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, the insults become more blatant and hurtful, escalating to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. When that loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse- accidentally on purpose running into the target in the hall, light shoves, and tripping.

When bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch and progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc. Next, they use weapons like textbooks, slamming heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles, then sticks, bottles, pipes…and so on.

boundaries, respect yourself

boundaries, respect yourself

So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!

I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.

Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

I Never Wish I’d Been More Popular, I Wish I’d Loved and Respected Myself

I wish I had put myself first.

I wish I’d said “NO” a lot more than I did.

I wish I had been true to my own heart.

And I wish I had known my worth and realized my full potential.

In a nutshell, I wish I had been better at being me. But we all wish we’d done these things when we get older, don’t we? That we’d done something a little different- a bit better?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown a very thick skin and learned to handle any confrontation with composure and aplomb. As we get older, we shed that shell we curled up and hid in when we were younger. We grow to love and accept ourselves as we are and become comfortable in our own skins and let me tell you! It’s immense freedom that you can’t describe!

I’ve learned that the reason people bully is not because of something the victim has said or done and that it is not the fault of the victim.

The reason bullies bully is because they have issues, whether it be a bad case of narcissism, low self-esteem, problems at home, jealousy of something the victims have that they don’t, or they have something to prove. I’ve learned that bullies, at their very core, are great big cowards and attention-seekers. That knowledge alone is freeing!

Just knowing why unsavory people do harm only serves as a huge buffer to any psycho/emotional blows.

Today, I no longer get bullied by anyone, but if anyone tries, I am easily able to swiftly put the person in their place, or laugh and blow the idiot off. Instead of getting hurt or angry, I get amused by them and am usually able to have fun with it.

Unfortunately, that takes time, learning, and most of all experience. I feel a sense of regret when I think of all the years I spent feeling insecure and sorry for myself. What a total waste of my time and energy!

You mustn’t take anything your bullies say as the truth. You must know that their actions or words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them! Hey! I know it’s hard not to, and I know it hurts. I know it’s hard not to blame yourself when it seems that everyone, from every direction, is bombarding you with negativity.

However, I want you to love yourself and see the bullies for who they truly are- pathetic souls who are so desperately trying to look tough, smart, or cool. I want you to understand that bullies are trying their hardest to get attention. You must know your value. You also need to realize that some people are just wrong for you and do not belong in your life!

Most of all, rest assured that you will eventually find people who are right for you. And when you do, they will love you for being your loveable, beautiful, intelligent, and awesome self! There will come a day when you will be loved, appreciated, and celebrated for all that you are!

It happened to me, and if you don’t give up, it will happen to you too! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

With knowledge comes empowerment!