I am straying from the promised wedding related blog post yet again, instead opting to blog about something that has really been playing on my mind. Bullying, I believe, is something we have all been affected by at some point in our lives. If you haven't been bullied then chances are you have been the bully... or have stood by and watched when someone else was bullied.
We all know children can be nasty. As children we have a survival of the fittest mode, and the school yard becomes the place to display our muscles, either physically or verbally. Personally I have never intentionally bullied anyone, but I know that my worst trait is that when backed in to a corner during an argument instead of backing down I will sharpen up my tongue and say whatever it takes to "win" the argument. I'm not always proud of the things I choose to say, but then again I didn't always used to be that way. I used to take it, and that's probably why I was a target for some bullies. I didn't like confrontation so if people lied about me or said mean things I would rather let people believe those things than argue back. But we all have a point where we snap. When you bully someone, you have no clue at what point they will snap or how they will snap.
It's a sad fact of life that some people, insecure or just plain evil, take pleasure in hurting people. Another sad fact of life is that although technology such as internet, social networking sites and mobiles have become an integral part of our lives and help us all keep in touch, they have also made it near impossible to escape from the bullies. Worse still they offer the bullies an anonymity that they never had before. If like me you have ever sat in your bedroom as a teenager crying at the prank phone calls, vindictive text messages and cruel voice mails you were receiving, you will know there is nothing worse than knowing it had to be a friend who you gave your number to, and yet not knowing which one has decided to play games with you. Even when you figure out who it is, you can't prove it. Technology is wonderful and yet such a curse.
It allows people to spread lies about you further than before. It gives people a voice, even when they don't have anything nice to say. It opens the world up to trolling and griefing, which no matter how you spin it, is basically deliberately winding people up, offending them or trying to obtain a negative reaction from a person. I understand people think it's OK to just joke about, throw an insult or two around, gang up on someone as a 'laugh'... I understand but I don't agree. For example, on Facebook there is a poker game, I used to play. One day a group of boys 'griefing', trolling or whatever you want to call it, came in to the room I was playing and for a joke said things to everyone in the room to provoke a negative response. I cried myself to sleep that night... over people I don't even know calling me an ugly troll. A young man said he was going to kill himself when they made comments about his skin/acne in his profile picture. I don't know to this day if he did or not, but it haunts me that he may have.
Another sad fact of today's society is, all to often you turn on the news, open a newspaper or go online and discover another victim of bullying has taken their own life. Children of 13 & 14 are writing on their friends walls after arguments "go kill yourself, no one will miss you" and worse still some people believe it, take their own lives and end their misery while creating a whole new unimaginable pain & suffering for the family, friends and loved ones they leave behind. I know that this blog post can not solve the problem of bullying, and it won't stop every bully in the world. But if it makes even 1 reader think twice about how they treat people then I am happy I wrote this post.
I've been in situations where I have felt bullied. In school, in the work place, by 'friends', by family and by people I loved & trusted. There is nothing worse than being at the lowest point of your life and having a 'friend' mock you and laugh about the situation you are in behind your back. Or having a family member use the one thing they know will break your heart to get to you. There is nothing more heartbreaking than realising you have trusted the wrong person with your secrets, fears, hopes, insecurities and the thoughts you never shared with anyone else in the world. To find they have spread those things around, laughed at you at times of pain, and used your insecurities to make you feel so insignificant and unlovable. To hear those very people turn on you at the very moment you need them most. To take physical, emotional or verbal abuse from someone you trusted or loved is unbearable. It leaves you feeling weak and ashamed. I've been blamed for others making mistakes and telling lies, I've been blamed for saying things I never did, and I've been blamed for lying about things I would never lie about. I've made some bad choices friends wise... trusted the wrong people and learnt the hard way that not everyone is what they seem.
To anyone who is being bullied, trust me, you can and will get through it. No matter how weak or ashamed you feel, it isn't you who should feel that way. You are strong for living with your insecurities and fears without turning on someone else to make you feel better. No matter what anyone tells you, a loving heart and an honest person is far more attractive than any vindictive bully. Any 'friend' who makes you feel unworthy isn't a friend, any loved one who doesn't tell you how lucky they are to know you, isn't worth your tears. I got through it and you can to. Don't ever give anyone the power to make you feel anything less that magnificent. If you find out you trusted the wrong person, then cry over it, feel the heartache, and then move on. Move on to what you truly deserve.
For anyone that is a bully, or thinks "I haven't been the friend I should be" then think hard before you take your problems out on someone else. The person who you lash out on may well be having a worse time of things than you, they may not be able to laugh off your insults, or the feeling of betrayal.
Bullying happens all around us. It's not just a school yard thing. Keep your eyes open and make sure you don't stand by and watch it happen. If you see someone treating your friend in a way they shouldn't, stand up and help your friend. Don't sit back and wait for them to hit rock bottom before you offer them a helping hand.
That's my ranting blog about bullying over. I've just seen and heard some nasty things being said online recently and I just hope my little rant makes even one person think twice about how they treat others and how they speak to other people. If it makes that one person think twice then I am one happy blogger.
Thanks for reading xxx