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I'm Glad I Was Bullied

by Talia Devora 2 months ago in healing
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How being bullied made me a better individual

I'm Glad I Was Bullied
Photo by Rowan Kyle on Unsplash

Bullying is one of the most traumatic things that nobody wants to undergo. Bullying impacts people all over the world, and people are impacted by it differently. Bullying occurs at school, at work, in the community, and sometimes even at home. If you don't seek help and do something to prevent yourself from getting emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually injured, bullying will ruin your life. Although this is not the case for every single person who's been bullied, the majority of bullying victims don't end up surviving. Bullying is one of the common reasons why the suicide rate keeps increasing.

By Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

As a bullying survivor myself, I DO NOT glorify it and I'm not persuading others to do so as well. The point I'm trying to make is, bullying can make us more resilient.

I was bullied in elementary and secondary school, at summer camp, and I'm unfortunately re-experiencing it again, because not everyone in the residence I reside in is kind. Individuals, including myself, have been bullied, harassed, and jumped. They can quarrel about the silliest things and they can ostracize each other for not agreeing with our points of view. Sadly, not everyone knows how to get along with each other in the facility, and it's the sad reality I have to face.

Growing up, I was quite vulnerable because of my disability, my kindness, and most interestingly, my personality. The fact that I was this bright, goal-oriented, cheerful, dedicated, conscientious, friendly, kind, and supportive individual turned me into a bullying victim, because the kids either didn't grasp my intentions or they were envious of me. I truly feel that I was not the reason why kids targeted me; they were the ones with the issues and the lack of motivation. They also didn't feel confident themselves, so they would one-up me to gain power over themselves.

Bullying has had a seriously negative impact on my mental health. It has caused occasional depression in which I'd feel miserable, low, sleepy, and anti-social, anxiety bouts, anger management problems, high levels of stress, binge eating episodes, and excessively spending money. I've wanted to harm myself, but I'm thankful that it never occurred.

I'm still healing from the internal pain and trauma I've endured from bullying, but I would like to explain why "I'm glad I was bullied", so you can get some insight on how bullying and other types of trauma we've gone through can make us courageous, resilient, and influential people.

Being bullied inspired me to continue on my literary path

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Strong feelings do, indeed, get our literary juices flowing! We are made to communicate, so we cannot ignore that. Although we are designed to articulate our emotions and beliefs, we do that in a variety of ways; there is never only one way to communicate. Writing, speaking to our loved ones, and making music are several common ways of communicating. I simply chose writing as my primary outlet, because I love the thrill of showing off my innate writing talent and receiving positive attention for it.

Like I've mentioned before, I began my writing journey as an amateur diarist and story writer. I had challenges making friends with kids my age, so diaries were considered "one of my few best friends" at the time. I was allowed to write about anything my heart desired, without being judged or anxious about somebody possibly being insulted. Earlier in elementary school, I wasn't a good visual artist, so story writing was my only creative outlet at the time. It was like drawing or illustrating pictures with my words, and I took pride in my literary creations!

When I was a teenager, I didn't only write for pleasure anymore. I wrote as a means to freely articulate strong emotions like anger, fear, pain, sorrow, etc. I had my behaviour problems, but at least, I had a few other resources: journals, paper, Microsoft Word, and Notepad. The bullying continued into my early adulthood and writing aids in the proper management of emotional burnout. Not only does writing help me release emotional tension, but it also gives me the opportunity to share my ideas with people who necessitate them. It's another rewarding task that I gain fulfillment completing, regardless if I'm inspiring and supporting people from afar!

Being bullied helped me develop more empathy

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As much as I abhorred suffering myself, I abhor seeing people suffer. The whole concept of suffering itself makes me heart bleed. I already feel the pain I’ve endured, so it hurts me to see other people feel the same pain I’ve felt over the years. Oppression of any kind makes me sick to my stomach. It’s one of the things I hate to contemplate. Whether someone is abusing someone spiritually, physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally, I still perceive it as one of the most brutal things one has to experience.

Since I know how excruciating it is to be ostracized, I become emotionally involved. It’s hard for me to not be empathetic when I see or hear someone being mistreated. I’m not the kind of person to remove myself from those types of situations; I have to intervene in the best ways I can, especially if someone dear to me is being targeted. I may not confront the abuser, but I’ll speak to my friend or family member who’s been bullied and make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Since I’ve dealt with bullying on numerous occasions, I believe that it didn’t just magically turn me into an empathy, but also someone who’s reliable and trustworthy. Reliability and trustworthiness are two of the most common characteristics of an empathetic person.

Being bullied made me more artistic than ever before

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I was an enthusiastic visual artist, even way before I became a bullying victim. As I’ve mentioned in a few of my Vocal stories I Was Born To Create, My Favourite Hobbies, and My Free Virtual Art Gallery, I’ve practiced all types of visual art since I was 2 years old. It’s something that will be close to my heart for my entire existence.

There was a time in my life where I took a long hiatus from making art, simply because I became unmotivated, depressed, and uninspired. There were times when I took a pause from making art, because I lacked inspiration, motivation, and I have periods of heavy depression and emotional exhaustion. Once I’ve moved out of my family home, I started painting more, because I finally received my own easel!

Even though I’ve been painting before the pandemic happened, having extra spare time enabled me to paint even more! I’ve bottled in a lot of negative emotions before and during the pandemic, and I’m the type of person who likes to release her emotions as opposed to suppressing them. I have many outlets for that, but painting is one of my favourite outlets! Just like writing, painting gives me the liberation of discussing whatever o want without feeling criticized or worried that I’m going to insult one another.

Bullying caused me to spiral out of control, and I would often feel the desire to hurt people as a way to seek revenge. I want to seek revenge, but in a healthy way. Asides of writing and speaking to others, I choose to draw or paint, because I don’t have to worry about being too wordy when something’s too disturbing for me to speak about. I can just communicate without being too wordy, and I begin to notice the sorrow and stress melt away within 10-15 minutes of drawing or painting. I also make art as a means to share my knowledge with others and to inspire people to focus on the positives instead of the negatives!

Being bullied was a stepping stone to voluntary mentorship

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Having lived experience with both autism and mental health issues, plus being a victim of bullying automatically turned me into an "unpaid mentor", in which I'd provide peer support at a social and emotional level.

The majority of my friends have some form of a challenge whether that’d be a mental health disorder, a medical condition, an eating disorder, a cultural barrier, etc. I enjoy being around different people and I believe it’s rewarding to share my story and listen to theirs. Everyone needs support of some kind; some people simply require more than others. I'm always glad to know that I have something to add to the table.

When my peers ask me for guidance, I share my personal experiences with them, so they can feel "less alone". I tell them how I've been bullied, sexually abused, and how I've grappled with anger and stress management, that would cause behavioural issues. I've done things that I now regret, and I tell them that everyone has issues and that they're not evil or worthless for that. I also advise them to do the right things, so they don't feel guilty to the point where they are depressed or angry with themselves. Many people can confide in me, because they know that I have lived experience with autism and mental health issues, I've had problems with anger and stress management, and the believe that I'm insightful and comforting by nature. As soon as they've spoken with me, they usually notice the stress and tension melt away and they thank me for their support. That's a mitzvah (a good deed), in my eyes!

Being bullied made me more open-minded

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For several years, I was a pretty gullible person. I would listen to whatever people would say to me, regardless if it was accurate or not. It was challenging for me to distinguish between true and false, because I’ve been messed around so many times. I was an intelligent person, but people have messed around with me so many times that I felt I needed to listen to them instead of my heart. I had difficulties sharing my perspectives with certain people, because I was fearful that people would consider me "an unintelligent, uneducated, and worthless individual who would just fabricate things", but I felt obligated to hear other people's perspectives and think that they were in the right, even though I knew deep down that they weren't always correct. Because of my challenges with being open to listening to other people's opinions and not thinking of myself as moronic for having beliefs that people didn't always agree with, I became narrow minded. Whenever someone had an opinion I didn't feel was accurate, I'd be distraught.

As I matured, I slowly began to realize that life isn’t black and white, but rather a place that's multicoloured. Nobody thinks the same way, no one feels the same way, no one operates in the same manner, and no one like and dislikes the same things. Reading tons of spiritual quotes and gaining more wisdom over time made me come to this realization.

Bullying made me more open-minded, because I was able to learn that it's okay to not always be correct and it's okay to have a different point of view, and that it doesn't mean that others are stupid. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with having my own opinions and also embracing other people's ways of thinking. Bullies often don't have confidence in their own intellectual abilities, so they one up others to make themselves look smarter, when really they're not. That’s been the case with me. I learned to be more open-minded and to not take sides with people, because that’s how arguments start. I won't agree with every person, but I have to be tolerant enough to respect what they have to say.

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Thank you for taking the time to read another one of my stories! If you enjoyed reading this story, please give it a ❤️, share it with others, comment and please feel free to send me a tip/pledge to show your appreciation and support! To find and read more exciting content, please consider subscribing and visiting my public profile! Stay tuned for more poems, recipes, articles, and much more!

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IG: @tdwrites24

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healing

About the author

Talia Devora

Poetess, visual artist and lifestyle/quiz writer! My pastimes include reading, sleeping, gaming, music, fitness, etc! Be yourselves, be kind and value life! Let's connect and be friends!

My IG accounts: @tdwrites24 & @tdcreates97

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Comments (3)

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  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    I have to say I know what it's like to have been bullied a lot throughout early elementary, high school, higher education, and even at work right in front of my managers. It's not a pleasant experience. Yet, I have to say I am more compassionate to others, especially since I have an understanding of such pain that I wish not to extend onto somebody else. Bullies really do have their own problems. However, sometimes people are bullies not because they're always lashing out, but because some of them just want to hurt others. Sure, compassion and remaining firm on one's boundaries can already be set and well secured without bullying. Yet, for some people they still need experience in order to do so. Sadly, most people have set up such walls from hurt that's been done, instead of from a healthy mentor beforehand. It's a shame, cause I do wish that such positive things were practiced more often before we even needed them. Compassion and boundaries are needed by everybody. I have to say that after a certain point You learn to prioritize Yourself, and rightfully so. Reminds me of a phrase I said to a coworker. "I refuse to force myself to be uncomfortable by walking in somebody else's shoes when I should've been walking in mine all this time." That doesn't mean You can't learn to be empathetic and sympathetic. Just because You're not in their shoes doesn't mean You can't walk beside them, or even help them when they can't walk anymore. You are right about how our emotions can inspire us to do great things, like writing a story, poem, building a new invention, or just wanting to help the lives of others. They are a great source of power. It's important to learn how to harness that power not to one's detriment, but for ours (and others) benefit. When it comes to thoughts of revenge and a desire to commit acts out of malevolence, just know that You're human and practically every person has had those thoughts before. Opening up about having those thoughts with a group of people that You feel comfortable with will let You know. Trust me, You're not alone. Most people know somebody that they'd like to slap at least once. Yeah, bullying ain't nice by any stretch of the means. We just have to make sure that someone else's indecency doesn't prevent us from being more than decent to other people.

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    This is a very interesting and thought provoking article. Really well done.

  • Experience of bullying should make you make sure that it doesn't happen from you, but I still see a lot of it in the Vocal Facebook groups in various forms

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