Being a Target of Bullying Will Either Make or Break You

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Being the object of bullies is a hell that only few people can comprehend. If you aren’t careful, it can very easily turn you from a kind and caring human being to one of two things:

1. an angry, bitter. distrusting and mean-spirited person

2. a sad, sullen, and withdrawn individual.

Bullying can either make or break a person. Sadly, so many people end up broken. But I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you continue to practice self-care, chances are that, although as painful as it may be, the bullying you suffer will not have as much of an impact as it would if you give up on yourself. So don’t – I repeat – DON’T give up! EVER!

I’m living proof. I’m a very happy, healthy, and successful adult. But if you knew me during high school, you never would’ve thought that I would ever make it as far as I have.

The bullying didn’t break me. It made me! I consciously chose not to let it break me, and you, too, have that choice.

Being bullied is never good. But it not only made me a stronger, more resilient, and compassionate woman, it also motivated me.

It gave me the drive to pursue my goals and dreams. It gave me a purpose. That purpose is to spread awareness of the bullying epidemic, which seems to be sweeping the globe. It gave me the drive to become a published author and be a voice for those who are too afraid to speak out.

If you have a dream, there will be people along the way who will do their best to discourage you because if you flourish, it’ll be as if you’re holding a mirror up to them and showing them a reflection of their own pathetic lives.

No matter how others may treat you, you must continue to follow your dreams and do it because it makes you happy. Never dumb yourself down to make someone else feel better about themselves.

Instead, mute the voices of these toxic people and get them out of your life (if possible) as quickly as you can. Then, continue to go after and achieve your goals because life is too short, not to.

You only get one shot at life. Make it count! Do what fulfills you and live life to the fullest! You can do it!

Hope, Your Best Ally Against Bullying

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Bullying is a war unlike no other. It’s the fight of your life- a battle in which there’s no clear cut enemy. Bullying is a situation in which hope is your only ally. Don’t lose it! Because, in losing it, you also lose morale and the strength to keep going.

Hope enables you to look to the future and know that whatever you endure in the present will eventually pass. It encourages resilience and gives you the strength to go on. Hope gives you confidence, and with confidence comes the determination to reach the finish line and win the race.

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Hope opens doors. It’s that still, small voice that whispers, “Keep going. You’ve got this!”

Holding onto hope fuels success in helping you to attain your goals and desires. It’s the will to persevere during the toughest of times and go after your dreams in life.

Never lose hope. Because if you lose it, there’s nothing left.

Bitterness and Acknowledgement of Past Victimization- What’s the Difference?

Telling you to “get over it” is typical of bullies. The reason they tell you this is to shame and to silence you. In telling you to “let it go,” bullies make you out to be unstable or a drama-filled person who carries a grudge and can’t leave the past behind.

I don’t hate my classmates. I thank them. Because if it weren’t for my classmates, I might have never found my niche and the thing I enjoy doing the most. In their torment of me all those years ago, they inspired me to become a champion for the bullied, an author of 4 books, and a blogger whose niche is bullying. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. In truth, I can never thank them enough.

Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between holding a grudge and accepting that you suffered abuse. You can acknowledge what happened without holding onto bitterness and hate.

Grudges, bitterness, and hate – unhealthy

Grudges are unhealthy. A person who carries a grudge has anger, resentment, and hate boiling inside them and will often seek revenge. A grudge-holder handles any past victimhood he suffered in very destructive ways.

People who hold grudges only let the past hold them back from growing, from enjoying new friendships and relationships with others, and from success. Because a grudge holder carries so much anger and bitterness, they only repel people who would be potential friends and partners. They only attract more negativity and adversity into their lives.

Acknowledgment of Past Victimization – healthy

On the other hand, acknowledging or accepting prior victimization and how it hurt you is one of the healthiest things you can do. The person who does this doesn’t hold a grudge and doesn’t hate the people who abused her. She only feels sorry for them.

Survivors who accept the past realize that there can be valuable lessons learned from being a past target of bullying and abuse and often use it as their rocket fuel. Like I have done, they do years of research into bullying and into bullies’ mindsets and the victims they select. They consistently search for answers as to why bullies bully, what bullies look for in victims, and much, much more.

They then speak out about their experiences and the pain they suffered to bring awareness to the world- consciousness that, yes, such evil does exist. A former victim who accepts the past freely talks of and spreads awareness of bullying and abuse only grows and acquires wisdom. She then uses that wisdom to reach out to others who endure the same or prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

You would be surprised how rewarding this is to a survivor. Through using past pain for good, many survivors have achieved healing and gotten closure. Also, these people often make fulfilling and life-long friendships and connections through their work toward their cause.

Expect your old tormentors to come for you if you raise awareness.

Sadly though, it’s easy to get these two things confused. Former classmates from school have accused me of being bitter and full of hate. They have blasted me for having the gall to speak out and write about the brutality and the vile and downright devilish behavior they displayed years ago. Luckily, I see right through them.

‘You see? Even years after the fact, abusers despise it when you take the pain they caused you in the past and turn it into something that can help people. And when you take something that was meant to defeat you and turn it into something that helps others and only makes you stronger, oh man, do they hate that!

All that time, they tried to tear you down! All that combined effort! And still! You didn’t drown! You only took it and turned it into something positive, and all that work they put forth to bury you ended up wasted! Understand that bullies become furious when they realize they weren’t able to destroy you.

Anytime you speak out about any past abuse you suffered, it should be not only accepted but expected that your old tormentors will come for you, telling you to get over it. Not only are they angry at you because you didn’t crash and burn, but they’re also very much afraid that you’ll expose them somehow or that you’ll succeed. Don’t take it personally.

Instead, take it as confirmation of their guilt- as proof that they were and still are the ones who have the problem. When old bullies bash you for speaking out, they only out themselves. Don’t let them silence you, nor allow them to stop you from reaching out to those who need to hear your story because you might end up saving a life!

Turn your pain into power! Be a friend and advocate for the bullied!

A Message from A Survivor of Bullying

Many bullied kids (and adults) are committing suicide. This should hit home with many people because the suicide rate among bullied kids and teens is astronomical! It certainly hits home with me because I attempted suicide at age fourteen after being bullied for several years.

Therefore, I wrote, “From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying” to tell my story and encourage today’s youth. I survived, and things got much better once I left that toxic learning environment I was bullied in.

I want the bullied children and teens of today to know these truths:

1.They can overcome and move on to a better life.

2. School is only one chapter of their lives, not the entire book.

3. There are better ways to handle bullying other than taking your own life.

4. They must love themselves and be themselves regardless of what others think.

5. They are just as good as anyone else, regardless of what they’re told.

6. They can do anything they put their minds to if they believe in themselves.

7. They must educate themselves about bullies, their mindsets, their tactics, and the damage they can do.

8. They must recognize the beginning symptoms of low self-esteem and find ways to fight it.

9. They must realize that if bullies take their confidence, then bullies can alter the course of their lives.

10. They have more power than they know.

11. Confidence is the key to a better and more rewarding life.

Why It Pays to Know Thyself

When you know yourself inside and out, you are better able to define yourself instead of letting others, particularly bullies and abusers, do it for you. And when you learn to accept only your definition of who you are, you can more easily avoid bullying because you’re better able to recognize it. And when you’re able to identify abuse, you’re least likely to put up with it.

In other words, when you know who you are, you also know what you want and what you will and will not tolerate, which is why knowing who you are is of the utmost importance.

Knowing yourself means knowing your feelings, senses, and instincts and trusting them to guide you through this crazy thing called life. Tuning in to your feelings and instincts means tuning into your gut. As we all know, your gut can guide you out of dangerous situations and environments if you allow it to.

Knowing yourself also means refusing to allow bullies to shame or ridicule you into staying in situations and circumstances that don’t feel good to you or around toxic people. To know yourself means to trust yourself to make the right decisions.

For example, during the years my classmates bullied me, there were times when they would accost me, and I’d put my hand up to them and walk away. I didn’t have time for their drama and foolishness. Next, one of them would shout, “Hey! Where are you going, you big chicken!” or “Oh, that’s right! Walk away like you always do!” or “You’d better run!”

Understand that when you turn your back and walk away from a bully and he calls out these things to you, it’s only their attempts to control you by defining you- to shame you into sticking around and taking their crap. Or, it could be that they’re trying to bait you into a fight because they know the chances are that you’ll get blamed for it.

No one wants others to think them to be a coward. But people will try to define you as one to corner you and trick you into doing what they want. They know that you’ll feel compelled to hang around and you’ll do it for no other reason than to prove to the rest of the world that you aren’t afraid.

Again, this is why you must know yourself. When you know deep down that you’re not what people call you, you won’t feel any need to do any posturing nor virtue signaling because you won’t have to prove anything. Although the name-calling may sting a little, it won’t bother you as much.

Another good thing about knowing yourself is that you won’t feel the need to hold back emotions. You’ll be able to recognize them better and allow yourself to feel them. You won’t let others tell you how you should feel or bullies to shame you into suppressing them.

You don’t have to put on a big front and try to act like someone you’re not.

To know yourself means freedom!

Understand that people who don’t know themselves will follow the crowd and try to fit in. People who don’t know themselves will accept other’s definitions of them without realizing it. They’ll build a fake identity based on how others view them and others’ expectations and ideas of who a real person should be.

Sadly, if a target is told by abusers that he’s stupid, no good, lazy and that he’ll never amount to anything, in many cases, they’ll live up to it. It will show up in their grades, performance, and how they interact with people.

During school, I lost knowledge of who I was only for a little while, and that was before the suicide attempt. Later, I become angry at myself for allowing them to define me.

It was later when I decided that I was going to be true to my own heart. It may not have looked that way to the outside observer. Still, inside, I got in touch with my inner sensations and instincts and began to realize that I wasn’t to blame for what was happening to me. I realized that their abuse was no reflection on me but spoke volumes about their lack of morals, decency, and character.

Getting to know myself brought confirmation that what they were doing was wrong. Now this inner realization didn’t stop me from being bullied and may have made it worse. But instead of hating and blaming myself, I listened to what my gut told me. I paid close attention to the vibes I was getting and maintained a strong sense of self while enduring the pain of not being accepted.

I decided from then on that I was going to maintain my inner strength. I would listen to my instincts when they told me that I had reason to fear certain people. Even better, I was no longer going to be ashamed of it. I began paying attention to how my body tensed up when I was around certain people and realized that it was only a cue for me to get away from those people.

And today, I trust myself enough to reject others’ definitions of who I am. In that, bullies are no longer able to have power over me, and I’m a much happier person for it.

And I want you to know that you too can get to that beautiful and peaceful place.

4 Changes That Bullying Causes in Targets – Beware!

Once a person suffers bullying for so long, changes in the brain occur- changes that aren’t good. Here are these changes:

1. The target becomes exhausted and loses the will to fight back. Being bullied is extremely tiring. Bullies know this and deliberately wear their victims down to take the fight out of them and wrest control over their lives.

Although at first, the target may defend themselves and fiercely assert their rights to human dignity and respect, most bullies don’t recognize any human rights but only see self-defense and protection as an affront to their power. They then only double down- intensify the hatred until they mentally and physically exhaust their target.

The target finally loses their will to fight back and acquiesces because he’s just worn slap out and no longer has the strength to fight anymore.

2. He loses the ability to recognize mistreatment. When we’re used to being treated well, we can more clearly see poor treatment and know the difference when it happens. But after so long of enduring bullying, the lines get blurred, and our eyes lose the ability to see aggression so clearly- especially if the hostility we face is subtle. We finally reach a point where we don’t recognize the bullying at all!

3. The target becomes conditioned to accept bad behavior from others. After so long, you come to believe what bullies tell you- that you’re a terrible person and that you somehow deserve to be treated shabbily.

These damaging self-beliefs happen after the bullies, their followers, and bystanders have repeatedly prevented you from defending and taking care of yourself. They have, for so long, drummed into your head that you are worthless, useless, evil, mentally unstable- take your pick. They repeat the same lies over and over until they force you to believe it too.

4. The target begins to punish himself. The victim does this by engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors. He may hang with the wrong people and befriend those who only tolerate them. Targeted girls may participate in risky sexual behavior or having relationships with abusive partners.

Understand that we must be vigilant to take care of our mental health and self-esteem if we want to avoid these results in the future. Make sure you have a friend outside of the bullying environment that you can talk to and that your family is supportive. Do things you enjoy and keep company with positive and uplifting people any time you’re away from the bullies.

Your goal is to balance the bullying you suffer by adding healthy and positive relationships and experiences outside the bullying environment. This balance will soften the blows to your self-esteem and provide a buffer to your bullies’ attacks.

Bullying Will Either Make You or Break You

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All too often, whether at school or work, it’s the best of the best who get bullied- children and teens with pure hearts of gold, empathetic coworkers, the very people who don’t deserve it, and who want to make the world a better place.

These are the people who are team players, who are cooperative, and who deeply care about others. They extend kindness to others and will give you the shirts off their backs if you needed it.

Understand that simply caring– about anyone or anything is going to be painful. It’s why so many who were once kind and caring people are now cold, hard, angry, and bitter. These people were relentlessly bullied and they allowed it to make them cold and mean. They are often those who adopt the “I’m going to get you before you get me” attitude.

narcissist bad attitude

For a long time, I was one of those people. After being bullied, I became no better than they were. I’m thankful that my eyes were opened and that I no longer have to resort to cruelty to protect myself. And I’m much happier and more confident in who I am!

Bullying has a way of taking it all out of you. It can take your self-esteem, your confidence, your happiness, your love and kindness for others, your energy, your health- even your will to live. But only if you let it!

Bullying will either make or break you.
It will either wise you up or dumb you down.

Either way, these results are up to you.

Bullying changes a person, no doubt about it. But don’t let it make you bitter. Let it make you 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!

Enduring Years of Bullying Takes Guts!

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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 mine field!

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!

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I look at these kids today- the ones who endure the same as I years ago, 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

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To face all this, day by 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 in school, who faces that kind of pressure every day, know that I understand, I hear 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!

A Letter to My Teenaged Self (Part 3)

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It won’t always be this way!

People won’t always bully you. And your classmates won’t always be in your life.

Your stomach won’t always be in knots and you won’t always be running out of class to go to the bathroom and throw up because of the intense stress.

You won’t always have to wonder when some snake at school is going to attack you in the halls or in the girls’ room.

The looking in the mirror and trying different outfits, makeup tricks and hairstyles- thinking that if you make yourself more attractive than you already are, the bullying will go away? It will soon end.

The wondering if you’re good enough and worthy of love? This will go away as well.

The wondering if you’ll ever be allowed to be yourself and to relax? This too shall pass.

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The wondering if you’ll ever have true friends- friends who will love you for being you, stick up for you, and take care of you? Friends you don’t have to explain yourself to? In a few years, none of it will even be an issue.

Trust me. There will come a day when you won’t have the fake friends you have in school. And when that day arrives, you will have real friends who will love you for all that you are and all the beauty you bring to this world.

There will come a day when you’ll have the courage to walk away from toxic people who are no good for you. And you won’t be afraid to stand alone until better people find you.

There will come a day when you’ll be so confident and secure in yourself that the cruel words of others will no longer matter.

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There will come a day when you’ll have a family of your own and friends who’ll love you for you.

People will no longer only tolerate you but celebrate you!

And each rejection, each bad name, each cruel taunt hurled; each punch, each kick, shove and blow to your body will piss you off a little more, and a little more. But that anger will give you the dogged determination to tune out the naysayers, follow your dreams and reach success!

Each incidence of bullying is only preparing you for what you’re meant to do later. It’s preparing you for a rewarding and successful life in the future.

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Each blow you take, each bruise, each disappointment, each humiliation, each pull of your hair, and each tear you cry is only making you better. It’s making you the lady you’re meant to become- a more compassionate, empathetic, stronger and wiser woman.

Your loneliness now will be appreciation of the circle of friends and abundance of love you’ll have later.

Your naivete will become wisdom.

Your victimization will become your launch pad

And your bullies, your motivation.

I know it hurts. It hurts terribly! But the pain you suffer today will be the power you enjoy tomorrow!

So, hold on.
Don’t lose sight of your goals.
The best is yet to come!

Love,
Your Adult Self