Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sticks and Stones: My Bullying Testimony



Picture from Pinterest

Usually, I don't talk about my past, here or anywhere else, but today I feel I need to. Perhaps someone needs to hear.

What I'm about to say has been in every newspaper, schoolroom, neighborhood, and even Church.

Headlines read of suisides and hazings.

Yup, that abominable act of Bullying.

It has caused so many children to have sleepless nights, tears that shouldn't be shed, and some of them even their lives.

No, I'm not going to talk about that Mayberry type bullying where the kid says he'll beat you up if you don't give him a nickle. This is worse.

So I guess I'll begin at the begining.

My story. I can remember being "Bullied" from the time I first stepped onto the playground.. yup, even at Christian school (or should I say "especially") But this was rather more "Mayberry" stuff. Things that every child is going to hear if they are in school. Things that can be overcome and forgotten about.

But stepping into high school was a whole other story. Now let me explain something. In my school, the transition from grade to grade meant simply changing rooms. And in the case of middle school, moving upstairs. So the atmosphere was pretty well the same. There was no having to ask directions and getting sent the wrong way just for kicks. Though I have heard of this happening in public schools.

So here I was, sophmore year. Yes, I've had my fair share of being on the receving end of cruel words. Not to mention being on the other side and saying things. But that year something changed. I went to a re-enactment that summer (the day after the end of freshmen year) and fainted. It was a combination of problems that included being too hot and dehydrated.

That threw me into a downward spiral. I started having panic attacks every time I started to get too hot, fearing passing out. Then it got worse, I got so scared of the panic attacks I would have them just for fear of them. If I had, had the support of my peers I could have dealt, but since I didn't, I couldn't. I carried a frozen water bottle with me at all times, kept "calm down" pills from the health food store in my purse. I never wore make-up, and my hair was always in a pony tail. I couldn't wear long sleeves or socks. All for fear of being hot.

This is when the bullying really got bad. I had that water bottle timed, if I froze it the night before it would juuuust last until 3:00. And of course the air conditioning in the school went out. One of the worst days of my life was when someone hid it from me and put it in the window sill. Needless to say the ice didn't make it to 3.
Picture from Pinterest

People CONSTANTLY teased me and poked fun. And because I was alread down, I couldn't get up. I can't remember a day when I didn't come home crying. A lot of the teachers werre un-suportive, asking when I was going to get over this, or "Why couldn't I just..." I'm not going to say they were all like that, but none understood.

It all came to a head when someone took the teasing too far. I was compaining about some ailment, (Yes I won't lie I DID complain. I WANTED people to know what I was going through, thinking it would help) And someone piped up and said, "Well if it's that bad, why don't you just kill yourself and get it over with." Trying to be strong I replied, "Well it's good to know I'm worthless."

The reply?

"Well someone had to say it."

I wasn't one of the ones who kept this to themselves, my mom and I spoke to one of the teachers about it and the only answer I got was, "Well you know 'so-and-so' I'm sure they were just joking"

I'm sure they were.

But folks, you don't just "Joke" about someone's life.

I'm saying this because I know this goes on everywhere. I was one of the blessed ones, I knew God had something for me, and I knew I was needed HERE. But some don't. Some people would rather face death than another comment, another humiliation, or another hurt. There are so many times I look back at things that I said and regret it. I could've driven someone to that.

So, jump foreward to today. I'm nearly 21 years old, and I've realized that those old people ARE nothing. They have nothing over me, or power in my life. Do I still have scars? Yes. There are still things I'm hesitant to do because of comments that were made to me in highschool. There are times when I'm at my lowest that Satan throws that old taunt from above back at me.

But the most important (not to mention the hardest) thing I've learned from this? Forgiveness. Keeping those grudes and carrying that hurt only hurts YOU. They're going to dissapear from your life, why not let them. You CAN move on, even with the scars. If Jesus can walk away from the grave, WE can walk away from the bullies.

Lastly, I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm as much to blame for what I did to others as for what they did to me. I only seek to inform, and perhaps help someone who's going through the same thing.
 
 
 
Well.. You have no idea how hard it was to write this... it's going to be even harder to make myself post it. So if you needed to hear my story, please let me know...

5 comments:

Avonlea_dreamer said...

I also just tried to delete this... So... Here it is... Read it quick! lol!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting it. I'm not as brave as you, and am commenting annanymously, but you "know" me from another place ont he internet.

I too have panic attacks for "no good reason", but hardly anyone knows about them (therefore, I haven't really been bullied for it). It's helpful to know there are other Christains who have them.

Gracie said...

You have an amazing testimony, Avonlea_dreamer. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to learn, as is getting over fears. And you conquered both. God gave you the strength to overcome, and I believe He has a great purpose for you. Thank you for sharing such a difficult memory from your past to help and encourage us who would read it.
May God bless you greatly, always.

Avonlea_dreamer said...

Thank you! To both of you!

To anonymous, If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. If you would like to talk about it, do email me Avonleamountaindreamer[@]hotmail[.]com (remove brackets) I know too well how hard they are to overcome, don't let them get you down, just know they are something Satan throws at us to keep us from doing God's work. But God can turn it into something we can use to help others.

Gracie: thank you so much. I'm glad to hear that my story has touched you. I'm glad I didn't delete it now. ;D

Elisha Strickland said...

Thank you for posting this, I was homeschooled my whole life...but that doesn't keep you from getting bulied...church can be just as bad if not worse than public school and when the bullying comes from inside your own home it's even worse.
I have always tried to be pretty open about my life and what has happened to me...it's true that not all things are profitable and so they shouldn't be said, so complaining about it ALL the time I think would be sinful. BUT, when it's for the comfort of others and for the knowledge of someone who may be unknowingly hurting someone else I think it is profitable and SHOULD be said. Thank you for saying this!!!!

I have had panic attacks as well and for years during the abuse (from my step mom) and a few years after I did think of taking my own life, just because I did believe myself worthless. I am so GLAD that the LORD saw fit to keep me from doing such a sinful thing.
Tell your story and DO NOT BE ASHAMED, it helped make you into what you are today. God uses people who are used and abused for HIS Glory!