What I Learned from Getting Bullied
I suppose, in a sense, I was lucky. I was not bullied aggressively or physically. The kind of bullying I went through in elementary school was bullying by exclusion. From grade one to three, I had a good group of friends, but after that, they changed schools and that changed my life. At that point, no one liked me. No one from school asked me to hang out. I remember the last time in elementary school someone did ask me. The only reason they did was because they were new and didn’t know they weren't supposed to like me. When it came to the grade eight trip, the teacher had to call a meeting with all the girls to convince three of them to give up one night to room with me. I don’t have good memories from that time. However, I learned some important things.
1. Good friends are a blessing.
The thing about not having friends for the longest time is that when you do have good friends, they hold an extra special place in your heart. I’ve written about the importance of friendship before, and my opinion has not changed whatsoever since then. I consider myself so lucky to have the most amazing friends right now. I also know what a good friend looks like. I have standards when it comes to my friends, and I have room for only the best type of friend. I spent too long around toxic people, and I don’t tolerate that in my life now. I don't let myself take my friends for granted. I do whatever I can to let them know how much I care about them and love them because they are a beacon in my life.
I mentioned before about the first time I started counselling was in elementary school, and this is the major reason why. I had no idea that I could even reach out for this kind of help, and my mom led me in this direction. It felt odd to be going to counselling at a young age. I didn’t know it was possible. In a way, it made me feel even more alienated. However, it became a big reason that I was able to stick it out. Starting counselling then let me know that is was always a viable option in the future. It opened me up to getting help in the future when I need it.
3. Negative events in your life impact the good relationships.
I think the worst part of this time was the way it affected my family. I would act out against my parents and put a strain on the relationship with them. It also affected the way my sister saw me. She told me later about how much I scared her back then. I can say that I now deal with my feelings in a healthier way, but I realize how much daily things affect the big things. I now know to get help before it affects the good relationships in my life. I would never dream of jeopardizing those relationships.
In elementary school, I was the kid that read books at recess or found any opportunity to stay inside because that was better than going outside. I applaud my little self from back then because that is not what anyone wants. I recognize my own bravery in doing things on my own. Even better than that, when I went from elementary school to high school, I did it alone. I didn’t have a group of friends to help me deal with the first day. So, I introduced myself to people. I made my own friends. I hung out with all new people, and I expanded my horizons. It is so difficult to do that, but that now comes with ease and helped me even more when I transitioned to university and my study abroad.
I won’t go so far as to say I’m glad it happened. It was a dark time in my life, and it made some harsh scars on life today. However, I’m glad that I learned from it. I wouldn’t take back these lessons for anything. I can say I came out on top, and I would also say that I’m stronger for it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I know most people go through bullying at some stage in their life. I invite you to share your story. What have you learned from it?