Motherhood

To the Bullied Kid

“If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life.” -Rick Warren

To the Bullied Kid,

You are not alone. In fact, they say that one out of every five students is reported as being bullied, and those are just the “reported” cases. Which they say only 36% of children report being bullied, leading a whopping 64% unnoticed.

I was one of those kids. I was just like you. You may have a hard time believing it, but it’s true. It still brings up bad memories of school. My husband and I recently started talking about it again after watching a very provocative show called “13 Reasons Why.” It is a Netflix original about a high school student who commits suicide, but before she does, she leaves behind 13 tapes for each person she felt had some responsibility in her death. The show was emotionally intense. It made me think about my own experiences in school and how I made it out alive and well, which I will get to a bit later. But it also made me realize that whatever I did experience, the times have only gotten worse. With youth being able to access so much at just the tips of their fingers, it makes a parents job even harder.

So how can we protect you? My parents couldn’t keep me from being bullied. It first started in the 7th grade for me. Girls were mean. One stupid rumor about me kissing another girl spread ramped throughout the entire school. I might add this was before Katy Perry’s song “I kissed a girl.” Before it was ok, or dare I say even cool, for a girl to be kissing another girl. I went home that day and cried my eyes out. My reputation was ruined. I felt as though I had no friends that were willing to stand up for me, or to even stand next to me. I felt alone, just like you.

The teasing continued, as it usually does and the wounds grew deeper. Girls with boyfriends often talked about their make-out sessions in front of me laughing that I didn’t know the sexual terms they were using. Once even telling me the definition of a “B.J.” then snickering and chaffing me because of my ignorance. Maybe I was nieve, but at that age wasn’t I supposed to be? Do you ever wonder why these kids know so much so soon? And why do they feel like it’s their job to make others feel intimidated by their lack of “worldly exposure?”

That wasn’t the end of my bullying. My story goes on, just as I’m sure yours does as well. In the beginning I was able to talk to my mom about things, but as time went on I no longer felt like anyone could really understand what it was like in my shoes. No one walked the halls as me. No one hid in the bathroom during lunch with me. I hid it all pretty well; a stellar student academically, active in my community, extra curricular activities with dance, drama and singing. And yet, alone.

Once in high school I realized I didn’t fit into one particular group, I wasn’t a “jock” or a “computer nerd,” I wasn’t a cheerleader and definitely not popular enough to be nominated for the homecoming court. I never had the courage to run for student office, in fact, I reveled in the once a month drama meetings at lunch just so I would have somewhere to go.

To the Bullied Kid

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So how did I manage? How did I make it out alive? I am not 100% sure, but I do know this, because I had a passion, which was performing, I think it saved me from a lot of bad decisions. Not that I was ever invited to any parties in High School, but I suppose I could have found my way there, invite or not. My dancing was everything to me. It was my ticket out of our little town that held no promise for me. It was my light at the end of the tunnel. I also had a supportive family, which can make a world of difference to a young teen. I was able to stick out High School (barely) and leave on a one way flight to dance school. I was given a fresh start, a do-over. No one knew who I was or what my past had been. Would I be exempt from being bullied ever again, no, but I had hope. Hope that God would lead me in the direction where my story would help others.

And that is where I am today, right now. I am here to tell you life isn’t perfect, nor is it promised it would be without its bumps and bruises. I was still bullied in college by another very mean girl, a roommate in fact, that made me fear to come home. You may be looking for this magical ending, but it’s not always about the destination but the journey. If I had never gone through those experiences I would never be able to write to you from the heart of someone who had been bullied. I am a living, breathing example that what people say or do to you doesn’t make you who you are. One day I will be able to share these stories with my own children and teach them compassion and understanding for all kinds of people. Just because you may not be the person being the bully doesn’t mean you are not contributing to the bullying. As we saw in “13 Reasons Why” sometimes not doing anything at all is JUST AS BAD.

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” -Rick Warren

So to you, the bullied kid, know this; you are SPECIAL, you are LOVED and you are NOT ALONE. If you don’t know where to go or who to talk to, start with just writing down your feelings. I know for me it always helps to gain clarity on a situation. Try to include a list of all the things you love; a sport, art, writing, a musical instrument, fashion, photography, whatever it may be, try to focus your attention on the positive things you have in your life. Once you have your thoughts think about sharing it with someone, anyone, even if its an anonymous hotline (1-800-273-8255 – The National Suicide Prevention Hotline). Consider an adult, a teacher you might trust, a coach, a pastor, or I know this might sound crazy, but maybe even your parents, because guess what, we love you more than you will ever realize.

Know that where you are in life in just the beginning. Weather you are in elementary school, jr. high, high school, college, or even in the work force, your life is only at the beginning credits. Your movie is yet to be played out. Don’t let the bully write your movie for you, it is far too great of a story to be ruined by someone that may just be insecure themselves. Go write your movie and make it epic, one that you will be proud to share with your own children some day.

Love,

A Bullied Survivor

 

 

This article has 16 comments

  1. Joan

    I was bullied in the 6th grade when I liked a boy, sent him a love note and asked him not to show it to anyone. What did he do? He showed it to the entire class and they would laugh at me whenever I was passing on the hallway. They were in the 8th grade. I couldn\’t wait for the year to finish and for them to be gone cause I was always hiding whenever I saw them. It was awful. Years later when I turned from the ugly duckling into the swan, that boy started to like me. Needless to say the satisfaction I had to turn him down but … without being a bully 🙂

    • Jenny

      Now that’s a story to tell! I love that years later you were able to have just a little bit of satisfaction turning him down, politely of course because you knew what it felt like to be humiliated. Thanks for sharing your story with me!

  2. Colleen

    This spoke to me alot. I don’t know if I was actually bullied but I was a total misfit. I wasn’t a nerd, I wasn’t cool, I wasn’t a dramakid or bandgeek. Nothing. I never really belonged or felt included. I couldn’t wait to graduate and get the hell out of that place and go to college where NO ONE else was going. A fresh start! I’m terrified for my kids to go through some of the same stuff. My daughter is 5 and there is already mean girls and kids just being plain rude to her. She’s so shy and passive…just don’t want your own kids to experience any of that terrible stuff and see the ugly side of people. Glad you came out of it ok❤️. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jenny

      Why must it start so young? She is only 5 and she is experiencing this? Wow! It’s so hard because we want to protect them, but we also have to show them how to stand up for themselves. Parenting is so difficult. Praying she finds a few good friends. Thank you for reading!

  3. Caroline Rogers

    Love you Friend and your willingness to share your heart! I too had experiences being bullied at church, and I was homeschooled. It can happen anywhere and seeing those mean girls even today as an adult still makes me nauseous! Thanks for sharing❤

    • Jenny

      It’s so hard to believe even when homeschooled that it can still happen. Praise God He is bigger than all of it!

  4. Sue

    Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
    May you continue to speak out in truth and love!!
    Thank you for bringing attention to this growing and devastating problem.

  5. Angela

    Gabriel Taye could be any of our sons or daughters. His life was too short and although I never knew him my heart is so broken.

    • Jenny

      My heart is so broken too. I will be praying for his family.

  6. sally

    Thanks for sharing Jenny! I was bullied to in elementary school. And have encountered numerous mean girls in college.. It hurts but you’re right– you’r not alone and you have to keep going. <3 <3

    • Jenny

      Thanks for reading. I am so sorry it happened to you as well. I had a feeling my story was not so isolated. Just hoping to encourage the younger generation that there is hope beyond it.

  7. Sarah

    From one bullied kid to another I hear you and understand! I’ve even experienced bullying in adulthood and it brings back childhood heartbreaks. My heart hurts for your story but it’s so amazing how you’ve healed and overcome to the point that people would never guess you’d been through that. I totally agree that pouring yourself into your passions, having a support system, and talking about it is of utmost importance.

    • Jenny

      Its so interesting that most adults will confess now that they have been bullied. I just pray over our children that we can help them along the way not to experience it quite like we did.

  8. Justine @ Little Dove

    So beautifully shared friend, thank you for opening up!!

    • Jenny

      Thank you. Just hoping to help one person out there who may be struggling even more than I did.

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