Today’s Quote

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“Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.”

~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf~

The World Through the Eyes of a Target

After you’ve been a target of bullying for any length of time, the world becomes a terrifying place. You begin avoiding people and social situations like the plague because you’ve become afraid of people- all people. In short, you’ve lost all faith in humanity.

Everything becomes threatening. You’re stuck in defense mode and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The ability to think becomes blurry. You drown in self-doubt and lose the ability to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from lies. You also lose the ability to make smart decisions. You’re always on guard and trust no one. Again, everyone becomes a threat. Even total strangers become threatening.

You can’t give anyone a chance because you’ve become so afraid of being hurt again. And why not? Your classmates or coworkers have done extensive and deliberate harm for so many months or even years. So, who’s to say that others won’t do the same.

Knowing that anyone could bully you at any time, you must always watch your back and cover your behind. You must continually look over your shoulder and observe those around you for signs of hostility.

You come to believe you have a mark on you that everyone but you can see, and it’s why others always seem to come after you. As much as you want to get rid of that mark, you’re not sure how to do it.

You don’t think you’ll ever stop being a target. You feel there’s no possibility of ever overcoming it. Other victims might rise above it, but you never will because you think that love, success, and anything good is for anyone who isn’t you.

You’ll never be the same person you were before bullies began targeting you. When you’ve been a target of bullying and continue to be, jokes stop being funny because you automatically feel they are somehow aimed at you. Bullying makes a person paranoid. And with good reason.

You lose all confidence, and your self-esteem hits rock bottom. You begin to believe you can never do anything right. You see yourself as a failure. You think that anything you touch, you’ll only screw up.

You expect to fail in social situations and that everyone will see all your flaws, real or perceived. You start having unexpected and uncontrollable emotional meltdowns and outbursts. You’re in constant fight or flight mode. Your mind is in overdrive, and you’re hypervigilant. Your physical body suffers splitting headaches and violent bouts of nausea.

You don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve become a stranger to yourself- this person you don’t even recognize.

You’re shakey inside. You feel tired and run down all the time now. You pass out from panic attacks, and you can no longer sleep at night. Your weight drops and your hair falls out due to the overwhelming stress. You feel as if people are torturing you.

In essence, you turn against yourself because you feel the entire world has turned against you.

I was there at one point. Then, I got mad! I didn’t only get angry at them for driving me into that dark pit of hopelessness, but I got mad at myself for allowing it! And when I got mad at myself and started working on changing my self-perception, that’s when things began to change!

The good thing is that I wasn’t down for long. Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, and this describes how you feel now, I want to give you a big hug.

I also want to tell you that regardless of how things are looking now, there’s hope. You will see the sun again.

‘You see? It’s one thing to have people look down on you, but it’s another when you allow them to cause you to look down on yourself. If nothing else, hang on to your self-love and your strong sense of self. Please don’t allow your bullies to force you to see yourself through their eyes. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Never ever give up.

Bullies may turn everyone else against you. Just make sure they never turn you against you.

Know that no matter what, you’re worth it! And you deserve friendship, love, and happiness just as much as anyone else!

There is Life After Bullying

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People may bully you now. They may taunt you, call you ugly names, physically beat you, humiliate you, and turn others against you. Those around you may make you feel sad, alone, unattractive, and rejected in the present.

But rest assured, it won’t always be this way. Take it from someone who’s been there.

I had no friends in middle school nor high school until I finally transferred to my new high school during my senior year. Once I left *Oakley High School and began attending *Roseburg High School, that’s when life began. And I took back my power and started rebuilding every part of me that my bullies from the old school had torn down. Leaving Oakley was the free feeling you get after walking away from a toxic and abusive boyfriend.

As an adult, my confidence and self-esteem blossomed. Today, I’m a very happy forty-something and have so much to be thankful for. I have a family of my own. I enjoy my job and am comfortable in my own skin. I’ve accomplished more than I thought I ever would.

I also have grown to love myself- imperfections and all. I don’t worry about what others think of me, and I permit myself to be me and to say no when I don’t want to get involved in or do something that doesn’t feel right to me. These are freedoms that I will never again give up. Not without one hell of a fight!

I want you to know that the bullying you’re subjected to now will not last, and there’s a beautiful life waiting for you once it’s over. So, whatever you do, don’t give up! Stay your course, and keep fighting. Hold on to your faith and your dignity with everything you have. Because it may not seem like it now, but the best is yet to come, and the right people will find you.

Today, I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and accept me for me, not only what I can do for them. I have friends I never have to explain anything to and who love my flaws and quirks along with my good qualities. I’m so secure with being myself that I can make fun of myself and have a good time doing it.

I’m relaxed, worry-free, and best of all, safe! I’ve found my tribe, and you will find yours. And once you find them, they’ll be well worth the wait!

You’re worth fighting and living for. Don’t give up now. Stick around! It gets better! Much better!

Enduring Years of Bullying Takes Guts!

It amazes me when I hear of targets of bullying, especially kids, being told to “toughen up.” Because anyone who endures long, miserable years of being bullied by everyone for everything and still finds it in them to get up and get on with it? These individuals are already tough.

I remember swallowing hard every morning at the bus stop. For any bullied kid, it takes a mountain of courage to step onto that school bus every day, knowing all too well what’s in store for them as soon as they get on and even worse once they grace the entrance to the school. For me, it was like walking into a minefield!

The daily ritual of being name-called, tripped in the hallways, having books knocked out of my hands, my long hair pulled, my head slammed into lockers, slapped, punched, kicked, shoved to the floor, and a barrage of death threats…it was never-ending! But through it all, I never gave up!

I look at these kids today- the ones who endure the same as I years ago (and worse with the internet now at play), and they have more heart and soul than all their classmates combined! They’re the strongest because they have no other choice but to be!

• The finding a reason to get up and go to school every day
• The holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you!
• The daily facing of your worst fear
• The countless insults and beatings
• The choking back of a river of tears that beg to pour forth
• The constant thievery of your pride and personhood
• The never-ending violations of your rights, to safety, and to learn in peace

To face all this, day after day, and STILL, find a reason to keep going? That takes grit! It takes guts! Moreover, it takes balls of steel!

So, if you’ve never experienced what these kids endure, before you tell some poor, bullied soul to “toughen up,” ask yourself this question. Would you have the fortitude to hold up under that kind of pressure?

And if you’re a kid who does face that kind of pressure at school every day, know that I understand, I hear you, I see you, and I have your back. Also know that you’re so much stronger and have more courage than you know! You have the heart of a lion!

Please Hold On! It Won’t Last Forever! Your Well-Deserved Happiness is Coming!

 

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To those of you who are being bullied now. Your pain, although intense- even unbearable, will only be temporary and I do not say this lightly. I know what you must be thinking… “But she doesn’t understand! Nobody understands! She’s isn’t going through it and she doesn’t understand the hell I go through every day at work or at school!”

I understand because once upon a time, I was stuck in the same spot that you are in today. I know what it is like to want to smile, laugh, sing, and dance and have it beaten out of you. I understand the pain of wanting to believe in yourself and see your own value, only to have others repeatedly and seemingly deliberately, drum into your head that you are nothing.

To want to speak and have your voice heard, only to be silenced with the threat of either physical harm, further degradation, and humiliation, suspension, the loss of your job and livelihood, or the threat of having opportunities for future employment ruined! I know all too well the feeling of wanting to move forward and go places, only to have bullies hold you back.

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To want to escape the torment, only to be stuck in a toxic environment with toxic people, against your will! I know the horror of having your very existence cursed by others and to be bombarded with death threats. To be forced to sacrifice your own needs and wants for the satisfaction of others! To see others getting gratification and entertainment- all at your expense. I know what it’s like to be marginalized, shut out, devalued as a person, even slapped, kicked, beaten, scorned, disregarded, walked on!

It is a feeling of being run over by a truck, whose driver then stops, throws it into reverse and backs over you again. Then the driver shifts back into drive and mows over you- yet again. Then stops the truck, opens the door, sticks his head out, and asks, “Are you dead yet?”

And any signs of life- any whimper or movement only encourages the driver to close the door, shift into reverse again, and back over you again- just keep running and backing over you until you finally succumb to the trauma and die.

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Yes. This is what being a victim of bullying is like. Bullies want to destroy you and it seems that they won’t relent until they are sure that they have done just that.

But know this. You will not have to deal with these people forever and Karma does repay- in spades! If you keep believing in yourself, you will go on to become successful and happy and your bullies won’t even matter to you when you do reach success.

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You are beautiful! You are smart! You are awesome! And one day, you will cross paths with people who will see your worth and love you- unconditionally- just for being YOU! And you will find a teacher, school, supervisor, or employer who will see the good you bring to the table and view you as the asset you truly are!

Don’t give up. You are worth fighting for!

 

Targets of Bullying, Here’s Why You Have So Many Reasons to Live!

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If you are a person being bullied and are considering suicide, this message is for you! Please hold on. Stay strong. Continue the fight.

Know that you deserve love and friendship just as everyone else does. Know that you are just as good as everyone else. Above all, rest assured that life will get much better! Instead of thinking of reasons why you should take your own life, think of reasons why you shouldn’t. There are so many reasons to keep living.

Let me put this another way. If you resort to suicide, you will cheat yourself out of the possibility of one day overcoming your present circumstances and out of so many exciting firsts. You will cheat yourself out of so many wonderful years that lie ahead.

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If you’re under 16, you will cheat yourself out of driving a car for the very first time and let me tell you! That feeling of sliding in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of a car and your hands on the steering wheel? There’s nothing like it! It’s one of the most liberating experiences!

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You will also miss out on prom and high school graduation, another one of the most exciting and hopeful times of life.

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You will also forfeit the magic of falling in love and the joy of marrying your soulmate.

And I can tell you that love is one of the most intoxicating and fulfilling experiences life has to offer!

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And lastly, you’ll forgo the beautiful experience of having your first baby!

I want you to imagine yourself, five or ten years into the future: You’re married to your spouse and you’ve become a new parent. You’re holding that precious little life in your arms for the first time and gazing into that precious, tiny face! You’re now able to have a life beyond your own! You’re holding that soft, tiny body against your chest and watching it sleep against you! I can’t explain what that feels like or the love and joy that goes with it!

You have so many firsts…so many magical and beautiful moments yet to experience and enjoy, so much beauty yet to behold and so many awesome people, potential friends and family yet to meet!

However, if you die by your own hand, you’ll cheat yourself out of all of it! On the other hand, if you’re patient and you keep fighting, life will reward you with such beautiful moments!

Another thing I want you to consider is that if you give up, the bullies will automatically win! That’s right! Your bullies will win and you will lose! Do you really want to let them win? Do you really want to give them such an easy victory? Think about it for a minute. Really think!

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As long as you are alive, there’s always a chance that things will improve…and improve drastically! But once you’re dead, that chance dies with you and there’s no coming back! Death is final and there are no do-overs! So, if you ever consider suicide, I beg you! Talk to a close family member and if you can’t talk to a family member, talk to someone! A loved teacher, a trusted friend, a stranger- someone!

And give yourself a chance! Give the people who love you a chance! Give love a chance! You won’t be disappointed!

I promise you that you’re worth it! If you continue to fight for yourself, I can guarantee that there will come a day when you will look back on this moment and thank yourself. You will look back and be glad that you fought the good fight and stayed alive. I’m living proof!

You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!