I wasn’t going to write about bullying because, frankly, it has nothing to do with me and we all know how self-involved I am. Plus, what am I suppose to say that won’t come across as preachy or tooly? Normally I’m not one to keep my opinion to myself, but I try to always be aware of how what I’m saying can be perceived. I never, ever want to offend or upset anyone, even if I’m 100 percent sure I’m right.
But after watching/reading the news and other blogs the past two weeks I decided I do have something to say.
Let me start by saying that I was never bullied in my life. I can only remember three times in my life when somebody said something mean about me to my face: Once when I was young (I think I was five or six?) and my neighbor called me fat. My best friend’s older brother promptly punched him in the face. The second was my freshman year of college when one of my roommates told me I was too sarcastic. Not exactly a mean thing to say (in my opinion), but she seemed pretty upset about it. And the last just happened about a month ago when I was on campus walking to my car and some random dude in a random car drove past me and randomly shouted “fat bitch!” out his window. And even though two out of these three instances relate to my weight, I can assure you that I am no fat bitch. I’m not a skinny bitch, but I realllly wouldn’t call myself a fat bitch either.
But that’s just me.
Also, I’ve never been a bully either. Just in case you were wondering. I’m sarcastic, but not a bully. So I honestly can’t relate to anybody who has been part of a “bullying” situation, but I, obviously, know it’s a huge problem and needs to be stopped.
But can it be stopped? In my opinion, the answer to that is no.
I truly do not see a world where bullying does not exist. Maybe it’s because I’m slowly losing faith in humanity but I’m pretty sure they will still be talking about bullying in 100 years. Why? Because it’s drama, and we live off of drama. I don’t mean for that to sound as ignorant as it does, but it’s the truth. It’s not even just about the actual act of “bullying” that’s the only problem anymore, it’s the aftermath and it’s that aftermath that is causing the problems.
I feel like I keep hearing two things over and over again.
1. ” We need to stop the bullying!”
2. “We need to let these victims know that they will get past this. It’s just high school.”
Obviously we know I don’t agree with the first one, but I think it’s wonderful that people are trying. The second does bother me though. I really dislike it when people say things like “It’s just high school” or “Wait until college, then the real world starts.”
Um, what? Nothing about my world the past 23 years has been fake. Life, in all forms at all times, is real. At a time when we’re trying to emphasize the importance of education, how can we also say those years don’t matter? And education only really matters if you get the most out of it, and a lot of kids who are bullied, depressed, etc don’t do well in school which hinders them for the rest of their lives. Actual education aside, middle school and high school are rough. I had wonderful friends, was never subjected to bullying and never really dreaded going to school and it was still rough. Everyone has something they’re scared of. Something that makes them feel like they’re less than someone else. Whether it be looks, sexuality, smartness, money, etc, everybody will experience that feeling.
For me, it was “being enough.” I always felt I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough, nice enough. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what my peers thought in high school. It’s an awful feeling, and I’m just now learning to get over it. But I was never called out for it. Nobody ever came up to me, shoved me in a locker and told me I wasn’t good enough.
And to tell you the truth, I don’t know how I would have handled that. What is the right way of handling that? When somebody cares enough to put you down to your face, that’s big in my book. Where do you go? What do you say? How do you defend yourself? Especially if you (sadly) think they are right. If I didn’t think I was good enough and someone else thought the same, do I pat them on the back and give them a cookie for being right? Obviously not. But I might not complain about the abuse to anyone either. I’m sure others are doing the same.
So many people are bullied and abused but we don’t know about it. Maybe it’s because somewhere inside themselves a part of them thinks they deserve it. This is what we need to be fixing. While we scream and protest (rightfully so) and get the bullies suspended or expelled (as they should be) we need to also focus our attention on making people know they are better than they think they are. That nobody deserves to be treated badly, and more importantly, that they deserve better.
How do we fix that? Well, I don’t know. I’m sorry if you read all this looking for an answer. There probably isn’t a real answer, but there is something we can do to help.
Make people know they matter.
I want to do that. I want to prove to people that they deserve the world. When I think about my niece and nephew it breaks my heart to know that they could be subjected to bullying. In my eyes, they are perfect and I want them to know that. I want them to know they deserve the world, because that’s how I grew up..with my family and friends letting me believe that I deserved everything I wanted. Case in point:
We all need people to bring us up when we’re feeling down. Some are born into a family that provides that. Others find friends who can do the same. And others, like me, are lucky enough to have both. But some don’t. I feel like it is the responsibility of the “lucky ones” to pay it forward.
How else do you get over a complete stranger calling you a “fat bitch”?