Hi, it’s me, Lauren, one person out of — what — a billion? For those reading this who have ever been victims to bullying, I hope to be your voice today. I do not call you victims to put a submissive label on you, but rather to show your innocence, or your worth. As a survivor of bullying from elementary school until the graduation of high school, I am here to speak the truth of what it really feels like to be bullied. There is hope in all of this turmoil, and I aim to show you that hope, just keep reading. It is my turn to speak out on the harsh, dark reality of the consequences of bullying that can often go ignored. For I have walked that path; I know.
Image Source: Deliverance Ministries Group
I know what it feels like to have kids in the hallway go silent as you walk by them. I know what it is like to see mocking stares and smirks just because you refuse to be like them. I know what it feels like to stand by your locker, looking out into the sea of people blurring past you, thinking “if only they knew.” I know what it’s like to have teachers accuse you of not giving your best effort on last night’s homework assignment, when really you have no effort left to give. I know what it’s like to sit at your desk while the girls across from you find the one thing that destroys you, hoping someone might actually stick up for you like you’ve done for them. I know what it’s like to turn to your friends with a silent cry for help and have them turn their backs on you, because you are too much work. I know how much effort it takes just to take one more breath, one more step. I know what it’s like, contemplating whether or not your life is really worth living. I know how damaging it is, to realize you’re all alone, that your “friends” were never really your friends, but your enemies. I know, what it’s like to feel hopeless, worthless, to wonder if maybe you deserved this.
I know what it is like becoming tolerant of a shove or two into the locker, because hey, it’s funny right? I know how loud you have to be to the person right in front of you just to be heard. I know how it feels, when everyday you walk down those halls and feel another part of your soul dissolve, but there is nothing you can do to stop it. I know what is means to have courage, to face those people everyday; face the betrayal, the teasing, the silence, and the loneliness. I know what it means to fake a smile, always be the positive one to your family and friends because they just don’t understand the spearing pain from those words, that silence that follows you every single day. I know how it feels not to care anymore; you shrug off a bad grade and walk off another insult.
I know the constant torment from your secret demons replaying what hurt you that day in your head just when you thought it was finally over. I know what it’s like to have your friends and family get annoyed of you because you’re being too dramatic. I know how it feels to hear from your own friends that your thoughts of ending your life, that cry for help, is only for attention. Or to hear that you caused your own pain, so you start to believe that lie. I know what it’s like to not feel beautiful, to let that crown on your beautiful head, fall off. I know what it’s like to never be asked how you are doing from the ones you hope will ask. I know what it is like to feel you can never escape your enemies, that somehow they are where you are, waiting to pounce, the constant texts of how you are the one who needs to move on and that you should just switch schools, because, well, you’re the problem.
Image Source: Affinity Magazine
I know what it means to wear that pink shirt but underneath that vibrant shirt, is the blackest of all blacks, your heart I mean, because it’s stone. You are numb, weak, anxiety attacks daily, lack of appetite. The thoughts that you are a failure, that you are ugly, that you have no purpose swallow you. You feel your only purpose is to be a punching bag to the world. I know what it feels like to slowly die from loneliness, suffocating in your pain, going through the motions. And I know what pain bullying really brings onto you, how it stays with you forever, reappearing even at the most random times… I understand.
But what I also want to tell you is I know that there is hope for you; this hurricane of pain you are in will end. There is beauty in your pain, precious ones, you may just have to wait awhile. For me, my justice didn’t happen until four years after the bullying occurred four years of counseling, suffering and grieving. I’ll let you in on a little secret, what I discovered through my pain, was my purpose… I know, ironic right? I felt God was calling me to become a counselor for quite a few years and what came to me after that realization, was the answer to my constant question of why I was a victim for thirteen years, why God let me suffer. I suffered so that I could understand your pain, so that I could cry with you, be angry with you, because I have been there; only few understand this unique pain. I had to go through this pain in order to get my answer to life’s riddle. I have recently started a blog to give the hope I have to others. I have a 3.5 GPA as a sophomore in college, when in high school, I was failing. I have friends; real, true friends. I can now separate those people who are toxic from those who will push me in the right direction.
I applied to my college of choice with a declared major in Psychology to pursue my dream job. I have healed slowly, but surely, and I know you will too. I know you have a purpose, it just hasn’t been shown to you yet because you aren’t ready. I know you are beautiful and that you’re worth so much, you are precious. I know you will make it through this pain, just take one more breath, one more step. You need to stay here, do not let yourself think your life is better off ending. You are more than what their words were to you, whatever they might have been. You are not alone, not anymore. You were chosen out of millions to endure a pain most could not handle; you are a strong warrior, not weak or pathetic. It took a lot of time, but my pain was worth it. And I hope one day you will say the same thing; I am waving my white flag, so come join me to wave yours… I’ll be waiting.