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Have you or someone you know ever bully someone? What did you do to stop it? If you did nothing then you condoned the bullying. You cosigned their shenanigans. Why did you do that? Were you afraid of being bullied too?

For years I was bullied in my own neighborhood. By a group on my own street. Now that group will never admit that it was a collective consciousness. They will say it was one person in particular. But their silence solidified their allegiance to his tormenting of me.

Everyday he would stand with them and call me ugly and throw juice containers at me. Some would laugh but the majority stood in silence. This vicious cycle continues for years. I do not know what incited him so much. No one was brave enough to stop him. Not even me. I felt so powerless.

I recall walking down my street and he yelled my name ugly and other venomous words and my sister was laughing along with them. I was hurt and devastated did she agree with him that I was ugly. Did she believe that his words rung true?

My mother would say he likes you. I would think to myself that was an erroneous statement. That’s not how you treat someone you like. That’s not infatuation, that’s hatred plain and simple.

I realize at that time I lacked emotional strength and strong self esteem. I still hate that word ugly and the person that called me that. I know I cannot hold onto to this hatred for it is too powerful and draining on me emotionally. I have to let it go. How do I let it all go?

When someone comments on how beautiful they think I am I often feel they take pity on me and just want to build me up. I rarely believe it is genuine. I am still allowing his words to haunt and torment me. The nightmare will never be over if I don’t wake up and see that I am stronger than his words. I cannot allow my validation to be left in his hands.

I have to know that I am beautiful. I have to take back the power that I allowed that word to take away. I allowed that word to hurt and scar me. That one word has always conjured up so much pain and trauma for me. How do I regain my power, my strength?

Daily I work on rebuilding my self esteem. I ply myself with affirmations and encouragement. I write through my pain as I am doing now. I can look in the mirror and embrace my beauty. And acknowledge it to be good and true. I’m learning to say thank you and move on when receiving a compliment. I validate me no one else deserves that power more than me.

Were you ever bullied? How did you handle it? How did you heal? Share your thoughts below.