Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Long Term Effects of Bullying

When you are bullied as a child, it causes long term effects. Those names people call you, they cause long term effects.  You could carry it with you for a long time. It can play a huge part in decisions you make in your life.  It is something that could ruin your life when you are a child or even as an adult. When I was younger in elementary school, I was bullied; I was constantly called names, called weird, called crazy. I wasn’t crazy or weird. I was bullied by classmates and even by a couple family members. My own family members would call me crazy.  My dad’s mom and my aunt would tell my cousin I was crazy.  They would say oh you are in one of your moods.  It really hurt me and it still makes me want to cry to this day. I was just a kid going through a lot. My parents were divorcing and I was just trying to find my place.  I was treated like crap for no reason. I wasn’t a mean child, I was in fact the complete opposite, I was a sweet and loving little girl. 

When I was in jr. high I was made fun of. Everyone knew my name, not because I was popular, because it was some big joke. I am not sure what I did, or said to make everyone taunt me or whatever. I never knew. I was a sweet and loving girl. I had some friends who were nice to me when I was in elementary school and in jr. high, I just don’t know why I was the butt of some joke. I wasn’t doing anything crazy. It makes no sense. I wasn’t the most glamorous girl but I didn’t think I was too bad. I was average in my opinion. I think that bullying affected my life.  I made choices that weren’t smart. I chose toxic friends over and over again.  I just was so used to being made fun of and people being mean to me, that it was normal. I guess I allowed friends to be mean to me and hurt me over and over, because when you have nothing, anything seems better than that and you can take what you can get.

In high school, things got better. I had more friends, granted most of them were not the best choices. Especially my old best friend, she was so mean to me. I took it anyways. I wanted to have friends, so I looked the other way. Even when she and a bunch of people wrote a hateful note to me and it really hurt my feelings. There are many other times this girl has severely hurt my feelings, thankfully she is not in my life anymore. I have learned that there are good friends out there. 

I also think that the fact that I was bullied and called names had something to do with my relationship choices especially my ex-husband, who was abusive.  I am not saying it was my fault because no one deserves to be abused, physically, emotionally, mentally or verbally.  I just think it goes back to one of those things where when you are used to nothing you take what you can get.  I have completely changed my mind set when it comes to friends. I am no longer friends with anyone I deem toxic.  I am so blessed now to have so many great friends, who would never hurt me in the ways I have been hurt before. They love me for me, and I love them for them. We look past each other’s flaws and totally accept one another.

Those names you call others, those mean hurtful words, they do cause damage.  They are more than just words, there is a real human behind hearing them and you are crushing their spirit, self esteem and self worth. If you think that someone will forget about those mean things you said, chances are they still remember, and they probably are still hurt deep inside. They probably still think about you and how much you hurt them. I am sure you are thinking oh they need to get over it, or we were just kids, but really those are excuses. The words will linger for a long time.  You can steal their childhood, or part of their life, because of the turmoil and pain you caused.  You never know what someone is really going through, have some compassion. Teach your children compassion and empathy.  Teach your children to think before you speak or type you don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s pain or worse.

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