Let's Talk: Bullying

Back in Middle School, I was super awkward.
[Disclaimer: I'm still awkward]
I was one of those girls who hit maturity before any of the other girls in my grade; I remember all the girls in my class were buying bras because they were pretty and it was the cool thing to do, I was buying them because I needed them.
So why all the other girls in my class were pretty and thin, growing curves in all the right places, I was just growing, and being short, it made me stocky.
I didn't know how to dress, how to adapt, how to "be cool," how to do my hair...
I was just so awkward.
I didn't know how to talk to guys or simply how to be confident.
I was shy and quiet, tending to be more of a tag-along in a group with no real identity or personality because I was too scared to be anything else.
Believe me, 
Everything inside of me wanted to be loved and accepted by the people who surrounded me, but I really hadn't learned yet at this point how to love myself.
And let me tell you, not being confident and socially normal gave plenty of room for ridicule from my peers. 
I remember to this day how much it hurt to be rejected by people, how it felt to be bullied.
I was one of the few lucky ones who had true, authentic friends despite the harassment, but regardless, those words and actions still hurt the same.
I remember not really being accepted by the other girls; I know I was probably more of a nuisance to them than another member of their clique.
I remember the names they would never call me to my face, but I would hear of them behind my back: tag-along, butt-buddy [I know, we were so mature back then], oh and countless others I've purposely blocked out of my memory.
I remember the way the boys would mock me.
For some reason, it's funny to mock an awkward girl and I guess I was easy harassment to boost egos and get a cheap laugh.
I remember too one specific name that still haunts me to this day.
See, because of my chunky baby fat and my best friend's slanted eyes, a couple of guys I went to school with adapted a name for our friendship duo:
Ching-Chong Moo-Moo.
Oh my gosh, now I can look back at this name and laugh at it.
It's such a childish name and its really not bad in comparison to what other people have had thrown at them; but the truth is, at ten years old, it's still scarring. 
No girl feeling already uncomfortable in her own body wants to hear from a guy that she's unattractive and large. No girl wants to hear cow noises being thrown her direction.

For years, I battled with self worth.
I struggled every day to feel that I could even be moderately pretty or truly accepted as someone.
To think that someone could one day call me beautiful or actually think I was someone they truly wanted to be around.
For years I battled with eating disorders.
I remember in High School trying so hard to control my weight.
I would starve myself until I was starving, then binge when I couldn't contain it anymore and throw it all back up.
As shallow as it is, I just struggled to look like all the other pretty girls who could wear size 0 & 2's and to hope that someday, someone could truly love me and find me to be beautiful.
I just wanted to be "normal."
To be honest,
Weight is something I've still struggled with to this day. 
Even with a husband who adores and loves me,
I still have those hard days, feeling like that little awkward girl on the playground, wanting to feel pretty and look like the other girls who surround me.

It's easy for someone to tell you to not let what people say affect you.
It's another thing to truly not believe what those cruel people are saying.
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I’m not the only kid who grew up this way. Surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme. About sticks and stones. As if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called, and we got called them all. So we grew up thinking nobody would ever fall in love with us. That we’d be lonely forever. That we’d never meet someone to make us feel that the sun was something they’d built for us in their toolshed. So broken heart strings bled with the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing. Don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone. That an ingrown life is something the surgeons can cut away.

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The sad thing is, I'm really no saint.
That longing for acceptance made me just as worse as the people bullying me.
I might have not verbally attacked anyone or called them cruel names, but the truth is I still was a part of gossip. I was still hurtful and I was still vindictive.
I would still do things that I know were unkind to other people who were dealing with the same awkwardness. I was a quiet voice to a crowd that was longing so much for the same acceptance & love. It's funny because I was trying so hard to impress people who didn't even like me for me, that I closed myself off to people who were like me, who would have loved & accepted me.

Why do we do it?
Why do we say those hurtful words?
Why are we so unloving?

If we could learn to open our hearts, to open our lives... to walk a mile in other people's shoes... to see life through their eyes... to learn to simply love people.
I really think our word would look so much different.

 To those of you who know what bullying and pain of rejection feel like,
You're not alone.
You are loved.
You are perfect and so perfectly made.
To those of you I have hurt with my silence, with my ridicule, my rejection,
I'm sorry.
If I could change the past,
I would hug you and let you know your worth.
I would let you know you were loved.
And I want you to know to, I'm trying.
I want to be that better person.
To not be that girl from my past, but to be that women who loves unconditionally and brings love to the rejected, the lonely, and the ridiculed.
To bring more beauty to this world and to bring a little less pain.
Regardless of our past,
Of our hurts & pains,
Let's focus on the beauty of this second opportunities we've been given.
Let's remember,
We made it.
We can make this world a better place.

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  1. great post. Thanks for being so honest. I was also one of the awkward ones in middle school (or high school up here in canada). I was a tom boy with super short hair who always wore a baggy sweat shirt because I didn't want people to think I was fat. Needless to say I was called all sorts of terrible things, and ridiculed sometimes by my closest friends (they thought it would be funny to write a fake love letter and put it in my locked to get a laugh).

    1. People can be so cruel. Needless to say, I'm glad my middle school days are behind me!


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