I was listening to a discussion about bullying on Friday afternoon. The radio host was asking whether bullying has lasting affects on people from childhood. Different people rang in and discussed their experiences and how it had impacted their lives into adulthood.
It was heartbreaking listening to people talk about how their lives had been affected by the cruelty and violence of others and it was especially difficult to listen to one lady who had been bullied first by her parents, then her schoolmates and most recently her co-workers.
It was hard to listen to Jeremy Vine, the host explain why he had been bullied. Vine explained how he was tall, skinny and bit of a nerd, that he was clever and different. That was his explanation of why he was bullied.
I was bullied. I wasn’t bullied because I had moved here from England or because I had an English accent and the bullies decided I was a stuck up bitch. I wasn’t bullied because I was different. I was bullied because the girls and boys who bullied me thought it was okay. They came from families where aggression and violence were normal and accepted. The bullies had not been taught right from wrong. They had not been shown how to treat others with respect and kindness.
It was nothing about me and everything about them.
I remember quite recently my daughter being bullied because she has moles on her face and neck. Someone suggested that she could have them removed.
I had to explain to my daughter that the flaws were not her moles but they were flaws that can’t be seen, inside the people who were making the cruel comments. I explained that she could have painful cosmetic procedures but it wouldn’t change a thing. If people want to bully or be cruel they will just pick something else. The colour of your hair, the size of your body or the sound of your voice. The thing is not the problem. The problem is something inside them.
I’ve been bullied as an adult by other adults but the benefit of being older means that I now realise that there is nothing wrong with me. The person bullying me has a need to bring me down, a desire to make me feel unworthy and less than I am. Imagine being so unhappy that you need to make others feel as unhappy as you.
If you are being bullied please don’t change yourself to appease the bully. You are worthy.