“What the heck?! Why did they just spit on me? Is something really wrong with me? They’re calling me names, cursing at me, riding their bikes in circles like vultures around me, laughing. I can’t get off the bus anywhere without one of them being there just waiting for me to get off. What is so funny about my last name? Is it because my dad is a member of Neighborhood Watch? I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!!”
This is a glimpse at just a few of the things I endured between my 3rd and 6th grade years in school. I couldn’t wait until the bullies who lived in my neighborhood moved up to the high school bus. Even though they all lived close by, I would at least catch a break on my ride to and from school.
I recently read an article, How Being Bullied Affects Your Adulthood, written by Kate Baggaley. It was affirming to read how others who survived the childhood tsunami called bullying have also dealt with ongoing issues like anxiety and self-esteem. The article also helped me realize why I have such a hard-lined, zero-tolerance when I come across another who is being targeted in any way by a bully. Whether they are children or adults, I quickly step in to dissolve the situation. Watching these interactions triggers a “fight response” in me and compels me toward action. I do this for many reasons:
- A) I hated being targeted by bullies
- B) I know how much it hurts
- C) I understand how the shock waves of bullying reverberate inside your thoughts long after childhood
I know, through and through, that the work we do at Care Lodge to help others climb out of despair or hopelessness stems from a shared experience of hope. Our spirit of caring is driven by the people we have encountered either personally or professionally who believed that what they were experiencing in that moment was as good as it could get for them. BUT THEN... with the support of our staff comes a glimmer of hope. For me, my past of being bullied helps me to stand firm beside someone who is being taken advantage of or who has been hurt by someone very dear to them. This, my friend, is the worst kind of hurt and it goes deep. Bullying from those mean ol’ neighborhood kids is one thing, but being harmed by someone you’ve shared life with brings a whole new sinister nature about it.
“I would rather adjust my life to your absence than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect.” -@KARENCIVIL from @PeacefulMindPeacefulLife
Healing takes time, space, and self-compassion. What happened to you was NOT your fault and you DID NOT deserve to become the target. It will not be easy to make the decision to separate from a toxic loved one, but in moving forward, you will see that the “authentic self” you’ve been missing this whole time is still there waiting to walk a new path toward a hopeful future. We will stand by your side to help you redefine [your name here] and make helpful connections that will smooth the path ahead toward the goals you decide.
It’s never too late to get help… even if it’s years later. Call Care Lodge at 601.693.4673 to learn how you can get help to heal from relationship trauma.
Want to dive deeper into this topic? Check out this link on Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome, or APBS, HERE.
Should you try counseling? Click HERE to visit the Weems Community Mental Health Center website, our community partner in mental health wellness.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Care Lodge Living Well, so you can be the first to watch interviews with survivors, learn helpful tutorials and share great info to your social media pages!
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Photo by Ashley Whitlash on Unsplash