By GWBT Contributing Blogger Rochelle S.
If I think about it, I've faced bullies for most of my younger life. When I was 8, I was forced to go on a diet as I was 'too fat'. At 11, I migrated to the UK and got bullied for my accent and the clothes I had to wear as my parents couldn't afford much else.
It was at these points that I thought 'I am not good enough' and I'd be lying if I said that on occasion, this doesn't affect me now as an adult. But as a result of this experience, I have learned specific life lessons that have made me into someone who leads, not follows.
BEING BULLIED MADE ME STRONGER
Bullying exposes you to a world where not everyone is going to like you. In a way, the more it happens, the more you get used to it, this will sound horrible, but bullying helps you step back from a situation and think about why something happens without getting emotionally involved.
At secondary school, I bullied by this one girl regularly. She made fun of me for any reason whether it was my accent, my love of learning, or my ability to get on with any teacher. When I look back on it now, I realize that she wasn't always happy as she was constantly fighting with friends she had, was not doing well at school, and perhaps saw me as an easy target as I never defended myself. Over the years, I have come across many individuals like her.
But rather than feeling sad about it, I've looked at those situations objectively. I realized that most of those individuals felt threatened by me in some way or another. So rather than listening to their voice, I carried on focusing on what was important to me.
BEING BULLIED HELPED ME ASSESS WHAT I WAS GOOD AT
Initially, when I felt down, I beat myself further. It’s only natural when bullying first happens. But then I started thinking, 'OK, I'm not America's next supermodel but am I that bad? If I was, why do my teachers appreciate me?
So, I found a piece of paper and a pen to write down things I love about myself. I spoke more than one language, had beautiful, long hair, was loyal to my friends, was doing well in my studies and I could stitch a bag by myself without the help of a sewing machine!
Over time, this has become my gratitude journal where I list and think of all the fantastic things I've done during the day. Doing this type of exercise, even though it's trivial, has boosted my self-esteem and told me to forget about what the haters say.
BEING BULLIED SHOWED ME HOW TO PICK REAL FRIENDS
When I was in school, many of my' friends' did not defend me as they were afraid of becoming targets. I know that bullying is a scary experience, and so I never hold it against any of them. But as I grew older, this experience helped me pick friends who would take my side no matter what. I learned that these people are unique as they genuinely care about me and my well-being.
So, if you have these types of individuals around you, don't ever let them do, and if you don't be patient! I spent a lot of years without any real friends, but it got me used to my own company. I got to focus on myself and what I wanted to achieve.
It's no secret that bullying is a horrible experience for anyone to go through, no matter their age. Trying to see the positive in a soul-destroying experience like this can be difficult at first. But once you do, you will live your life according to your terms.