You can’t tell by looking at me.
You can’t see the wounds because they’re on the inside.
The wounds they left.
They – the bullies.
Sometimes, unfortunately, wounds leave scars. But scars to me are part of the fabric of who I am. A reminder of just how strong I am.
You see, we only know how strong the fabric of our soul is when it’s tested. When it’s stretched or when it endures wear and tear.
Life will always pull at threads. Bullies look for low hanging threads of our fabric like low-hanging fruit. Easy pickings.
I was only eight-years old when the bullying began. It wasn’t at school. Although, I never, ever felt like I fit in despite many years of trying to. I just didn’t. The bullying happened on home-turf. And there’s been one question that has – like scars do – irritated me…
I don’t know why.
I’ve always connected to so many of the lyrics within Linkin Park’s songs. And this line – I don’t know why – connects.
Like we all so often do, I asked myself ‘Why Me’? ‘What had I ever done to them?’
The bullying I experienced, sadly, went beyond name calling and intimidation. Let’s just say the bullies were creative. Even now, I have a completely irrational fear based upon an experience I suffered at their hands.
And I suffered.
Over the last almost forty years, the irritation the scars of the wounds they inflicted would rise now and then. But I’ve learnt that it always goes away. Sometimes, years and years pass without it bothering me.
But when we’ve experienced something like bullying, it can be so easy to slip into a victim-mentality.
And that gets you nowhere in life. It really doesn’t. Over the years, I let that victim-mentality mindset get the better of me. Being a writer meant I had a way to escape the pain.
Books and writing became my sanctuary, not just something I loved.
I still don’t know what drove those who bullied me to do what they did. At one point, I even fell for their attempts to befriend me because I wanted to see the good in people, and, more importantly, I wanted the bullying to stop. So, surely, if I show them how kind and funny I was, they’d like me and they wouldn’t hurt me anymore, right?
How wrong I was!
So, I still don’t know why. But I’ve realised, it’s a question I don’t care about finding an answer to.
And if I asked them, I’m not sure they’d know the answer either.
Tomorrow, I’ll be exploring the question: “Why Them?”
So often, people who are bullies are in pain. Terrible pain which I have sympathy for. However, it is never, ever okay to bully someone. No matter how much pain you’re in.
But unless we dive deep to understand why people bully, then we’ll never eradicate it.
If you have experienced bullying or still are, please tell someone. Please. I promise you it makes a difference.
If you cannot, then write it down and give it to someone you trust to read.
You can visit the National Bullying Helpline
Or to chat to someone: Helpline: 0300 323 0169
Massive hug to you.