This is the second part in my 12-part series The Inner World Of Bullying.
The aftermath of bullying can be a difficult and rather emotional time. What needs to be remembered about bullying is that it is a traumatic event in anyone’s life and coming out of that trauma can be both a relief and the start of a lot of rebuilding. A person doesn’t really leave bullying without having scars. But on the other side there is a lot of good qualities someone gains or further strengthens due to their experiences being bullied. Obviously no one should need to gain or strengthen these skills from such an experience but there is some good things which come out of the bad times.
Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem
It can take some time to rebuild your self-esteem after being bullied. Sometimes it can be things you didn’t get to look after as much while facing the constant barrage of bullying or it can sometimes come as things you didn’t think you would worry about but when you have more time to think you begin to realise that there is scars there you didn’t think you had. It can also become something you think about when you are entering into new situations. What happens to your self-esteem is that negative things about yourself being repeated to you over and over again begins to become ‘true’ in your mind and that can become dangerous for how someone sees themself. Usually the things which have been said the most to you are the things you feel unsure about. In my case it was said a lot about my introverted personality in a negative way. I also may have Social Anxiety Disorder but I do need to look more into that. But in any case the fact I wasn’t a huge talker was something which was negatively spoken about when I was being bullied. I didn’t overly worry about this when I was in school but after I left and was starting to go into new environments with new people it became something I was extremely aware of. Because I had been made very aware of it. I’m not there yet but I am beginning to gradually appreciate and love that side of me. I have got that love and appreciation back inwardly but I still have some work to do on being openly appreciative of it, to say I love my personality outwardly in everyday situations. I never really done that before because it never was seen as a good thing. It was always seen as something to be fixed. I need to openly say this is me, I am happy and I love who I am in this aspect and if anyone else doesn’t like it that’s their problem. For someone else they might be very aware about for example their hair or their ability to learn new things if those were areas which were constantly put under a microscope.
Someone who is bullied will often experience having trust issues in the aftermath. When you think about it it is obvious why. For so long someone is facing the nasty, ugly side of life and that becomes what a person is used to. Though they don’t want to be untrusting of people they meet after their experiences, they often are. It can be incredibly difficult to know who is going to be kind to you and who is out to hurt or offend you. You don’t want to find yourself back in a situation like you were before and you protect yourself so that you are not. But in doing so you can miss out on making connections with people who want to get to know you and are for your good. But you are scared to open up and let what happens happen. You remain guarded as a shield. Though deep down in your mind you know that your lack of trust is often somewhat, and mostly is, irrational you still protect yourself from the possibility that the people you are meeting are not what they seem and will use your openness as a weakness to exploit.
When you have been bullied, you often gain a lot of strength. This is because you have been treated so badly before and had to face so much that you can pretty much survive anything. There is an irony in certain ways because you protect yourself a lot from getting into difficult situations but when you do get into them there is a deep strength inside you that can handle anything. I sometimes don’t believe that I can survive things but when I am in them I do and I do so well. It’s because I’ve been through tougher experiences in the past such as bullying and therefore when faced with tough situations I tend to be able to get through them. Though bullying fills a lot of people with self-esteem issues people are very strong because they have had to be in the past and they bring that to their experiences now.
I said in my last post that some people who have been bullied become bullies themselves. But the majority of people who face bullying are the total opposite. Because the nature of bullying is relentlessly bullying someone for being different in some way, people who have been bullied can’t stand to see people being singled out and made feel uncomfortable for who they are. And when I say can’t stand, I mean really can’t stand. It makes a person feel really unhappy for that person. Whether that is seeing someone being bullied or being singled out for being who they are when that person is not hurting or offending anyone else it is something that person has been through too. So a person who has been bullied is very compassionate and often defends and looks out for people in similar situations. They don’t pity. They understand and they support. Being incredibly passionate about people being happy, comfortable and treated equally are huge traits that people who have been bullied generally have. They don’t leave people out even when they don’t like them. They might debate with them especially if what they do or say could make a person uncomfortable or make their life harder but they also don’t leave them out.
It Gets Better Over Time
It would be untrue to say that certain scars will not probably always remain. Searching for perfection in terms of being completely free of your traumatic experience of bullying is probably unattainable and will only make you feel worse when you can’t overcome certain insecurities all the time or if you feel things are not going away fast enough. However things do get better and you do work through a lot of things which you fear due to your experiences though it does often take time. You need to be kind to yourself and understand that you are doing great considering the things you have went through. It is traumatic in a lot of ways in the aftermath and it doesn’t always feel very fair because you didn’t ask to be bullied, no one deserves that and it can feel like weights have been put on your shoulders that never needed to be put there by people who can go on about their lives with a confidence which they took away from you. A confidence you have to rebuild that you should have been free to have all the time and that realisation can hurt and can make you angry. That is completely normal to feel. You may feel resentment and that’s normal to feel but I urge you to let it go in your own time because that’s not going to eat them up, it will eat you up and they will succeed in that way. Don’t let them succeed. I have learned to forgive those who bullied me but that can take time so give yourself as much time as you need on that one. It is very freeing for me to do but I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to. If you never feel like you want to forgive those who have bullied you, you are well within your right never to do that. You have been the one who has been hurt or offended or affected in some way or ways so it is completely up to you whether you ever do or not and you don’t need to feel any pressure to do so or to feel guilty if you don’t. You know what’s in your own heart, go with that. Talk to people you trust about your experiences and how they affected you. It can really help you to figure stuff out and progress through the pain. Don’t ever feel like you should be over it by now. There is no deadline and people have a different pace at working through stuff so go at your own pace. Finally don’t be ashamed to cry. Crying is never a weakness and it can help release a lot of stress and tension which has built up in your mind and your body.
Here is my latest Beauty On A Budget look. Hope you all like it. 🙂
Use Miss Beauty London’s powder – Autumn Beige on your face and neck. Brush eyebrows and put the black colour from Max & More’s 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette on your eyebrows and under your eyelids. Put the pinkish-purple colour from Max & More’s 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette on your eyelids. Put Miss Beauty London’s False Lash Effect Mascara – Black on your eyelashes. Put on OG Outdoor Girl Blusher on your cheeks.
Put Miss Beauty London High Shine Lip Gloss – Show Off and cover with Miss Beauty London’s Lipstick Sealer over it.
First up is the story of the amazing and very brave activist and journalist Ida B. Wells narrated by Christina Greer for Ted-Ed. I loved this video. It was really interesting and the way the animations are put together helps really tell the story. It was lovely to learn more about Ida’s story and to see it being put together in such a creative way.
Also narrated by Christina Greer for Ted-Ed, here is the animated story of Bayard Rustin who was an activist who in his work helped organise the March on Washington Movement. I found his story really interesting and I hadn’t heard his story before so it was great to hear about his story. The animations like the first video are amazing and Christina Greer once again does an amazing job on the narration side of things. Really excellent video.
Iman’s Met Gala outfit was simply stunning and it was great in this video from Vogue to see the making of the outfit and the lead-up to the Met Gala. The video shows Iman meeting the designer of her outfit Harris Reed and shows the team behind the making of the fabulous outfit. Amazing outfit and really interesting. It was great to see the whole behind-the-scenes of it, like a mini fashion documentary.
Lil Nas X released his debut album Montero recently and this is a very fun video he done about the album’s release. The video is set in The Montero Show where Lil Nas X is being interviewed about his music videos with clips being shown from the music videos. I found it really funny, creative and well-thought out. Excellent. Also good luck to Lil Nas X with the new album. I hope it goes really well for him. 🙂
Finally here is Keiynan Lonsdale with his song Rhythm & Music. I absolutely love the song. It is so catchy and the music video has some amazing dancing from Keiynan in it. The music video is also very storytelling, it reminds me of scenes from dance movies and I love the romantic storyline in the video too. I think the chemistry is acted very well between Keiynan and his love interest in the video.
Here is my latest Beauty On A Budget look. Hope you all like it. 🙂
Use Miss Beauty London’s Ready Set Go! powder on your face and neck. Brush eyebrows and put the black colour from Max & More’s 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette on your eyebrows and under your eyelids. Using the same eyeshadow palette draw the black and white squares on your cheeks. Have one square coming out from the top middle of the other square. From the same palette put white on one eyelid and black on the other eyelid. Put Miss Beauty London’s False Lash Effect Mascara – Black on your eyelashes.
Also using the same palette paint half your lips black and the other half white. Cover with Miss Beauty London’s Lipstick Sealer.
Firstly we have episode 18 in the amazing Black American History series from Crash Course with Clint Smith. In this episode Clint talks about the role of many black people in the civil war and how the involvement of black people in the civil war is often not represented. Clint speaks about how freedom from slavery was a huge part of the civil war and speaks about the many people involved in various roles such as Susie Baker King Taylor, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, David Hunter and John C Fremont. So amazing as always.
Next up here is part 3 of Mikeekee’s very fun RuPaul’s Drag Race compilations.
Thirdly we have Sananda Maitreya’s Wishing Well. I just adore this song and Sananda’s vocal is amazing on the track. The music video has some great dancing from Sananda and a lovely romantic storyline.
Next is Dalton Harris singing If I Sing from the musical Closer than Ever. Dalton’s voice sounds so beautiful and emotive on the track. The song is really good and Dalton presents the storytelling and acting to accompany the song superbly. This is just gorgeous.
Finally we have the current reigning All Stars queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race Kylie Sonique Love, much congrats Kylie, with her song Complete Me. The song is really well sung by Kylie and the music video created with Crane Center For Transgender Surgery is just so beautiful and will help lots of trans people feel less alone and be able to see lots of people who are trans like themselves being represented in a music video which I think is really cool.
This is a new 12-part series I am going to be doing on the blog about bullying. It may be every week or it may be every two weeks. Well that’s the plan but there will be 12 parts. It’s a topic I feel very strongly about and feel knowledgeable about because if you have read some previous posts I wrote you will know I experienced it. I hope that the posts will be informative and helpful for people reading them. Well that’s the hope! 🙂 So I will stop rambling and without further ado here is part 1 of The Inner World Of Bullying.
What is bullying?
Bullying is a repetitive pattern of negative abuse which someone faces from another person or a group of people. It is unprovoked and can happen in various forms. Forms of bullying include singling people out, calling people names, isolating people, playing mind games, humiliating people and physically hurting people. These forms of abuse can take place in any setting such as school, work and online. Bullying can have all sorts of affects on a person who is being bullied ranging from sadness to irritation depending on how much a bully’s treatment gets to someone or the level of bullying they face. It can affect the way people feel about themselves and what they feel can achieve. It can make people feel uncomfortable and not want to go to school or work for fear of the harassment they would face. It can stop a lot of potential being acted upon because it can attack a person’s self-esteem or their trust in people. People can often be so fearful of ending up in a similar situation to what they were in before that they stop themselves from going into situations which could benefit them both personally and professionally. If a person has being bullied for a long period they don’t want to not be trusting people but if bullying is what you are used to when you step out into the world for so long it takes a lot of time to let your guard down.
Mindset of a bully
Not a pleasant place to be but to understand bullying more we do need to look at what motivates bullies in their ugly pursuits. Not to give them too much credit but it is complex because there is different things which motivate different bullies but two things are always present and that is that bullies can’t stand difference and non-conformity and bullies like power. It is the reasons after that which are a bit more complex. Jealousy is an obvious one. A lot of bullies are jealous of their targets. That jealousy can stem from many things like a bully’s home life not being as happy as their victim’s home life or at the very least they perceive it to be that way. It can be because their victim scores higher at tests or gets a promotion they want. It can be because they see their victim living their life the way they want to. That can come in two forms. A victim may live some way they want to or they may want to live some other way to the victim but with the victim’s confidence and seemingly freedom to do so. Some bullies also bully because they are influenced and conditioned to do so. A lot of people who are bullies have parents, guardians or older people who they look up to in their lives who are or were bullies themselves. They hear a lot of comments made which are of a negative nature and it makes them feel like bullying is right. Bullies bully people who they see as weak or who they think will have less allies. Bullies are cowards. They bully people who they think will have less people to back them. Bullies lack self-esteem sometimes and they try to build their self-esteem up by trying to tear someone else’s confidence down.
A victim of bullying
People who are bullied vary in so many ways but there is a few things most victims of bullying have in common. They are usually different in some way and their difference is one of the things which bullies use to consider them a target and something which bullies use to bully them. People who are bullied are often confident in a lot of ways and it is that confidence which bullies try to break down. To a bully’s mind a victim appears weak even though they aren’t. In contrast a lot of victims of bullying also have a lack of confidence and self-esteem issues which bullies try to exploit. Victims of bullying are often extremely good people. Gentle. Strong. Loaded with compassion. Loaded with feeling. Being bullied can go one of two ways. Someone can become a bully to someone else in a bid to protect themselves from further bullying or to regain some power they feel they lost. But the majority of victims of bullying become even more compassionate and strong due to their experiences. Victims of bullying are often the first people to fight against oppression and discrimination. The first people to want to see everyone included. To be very gentle and kind about the mental health issues people face and the struggles people face. They want to help. They often feel helpless when they can’t. They can’t bare to see wrong done to people or people being hurt because they have went through it themselves. Just a word on my use of the word victim which I will be using throughout this series. My use of the word victim does not imply weak. Phrases in media like ‘playing the victim’ and ‘always the victim’ have put negative connotations by those who use these phrases on the word victim. I used to be unsure of using the word but there is nothing wrong with admitting you are a victim of things. That’s what I learned. The bully is the perpetrator so the person they bully is the victim and rather than be sucked into the bully narrative that it makes you weak I believe the victim is the strong one in this. A perpetrator is the true weak one. In saying that I understand that there is people who have been bullied or are being bullied who don’t use or like the term victim about them in their experiences and I completely respect that.
What is bullying like?
The experiences of people who are bullied vary but I will start by talking a bit about my own. I was bullied in school for years. It happened mostly in primary school but a bit too in secondary school. The change was that I wasn’t in as many classes in secondary school with the bullies and especially not with the head of the gang. The majority of the bullying I faced was verbal. Calling me names like smelly and dumb. Saying your nail varnish looked dirty. Saying you had lice. Spreading rumours that I believed in Santa when I didn’t. Saying when I was in a concert that they were all going to come along to hear me sneeringly because they thought I couldn’t sing. Without sounding cocky I can. It’s in the family. So that shut them up. Calling me names in the corridor and making me feel intimidated and uncomfortable because I couldn’t pass them in peace. Calling me names and saying negative things to me and then laughing together. Asking you why you would buy a phone when you have no friends. Making comments about how you shop in the charity shops. I do and I’m very proud of it, thanks very much. Saying you are dumb because you don’t talk much which is so wrong on so many levels about both me and people with disabilities which is what they were meaning. Saying I got my nose pierced because I had a sore on my nose. Having something stuck to my back. Sneering at me on the safety warden’s team and saying I couldn’t do the things we had to do on the team right. Sneering at my own song which I sang behind my back although it was about my experience being bullied so it might have got to them but if you see yourself in, what can I say? Making negative comments about my family. A few times the main bully kicked me. I had a few times going home from school where I had stones thrown at me. As I got a bit older there was some inappropriate things said about my body and inappropriate sexual remarks. There are things which stick in my mind but what I do know is that it was relentless. It was every day or at least almost everyday. I couldn’t go about my business at ease. I hated running into them though that was inevitable. If I wanted to do some activity I had to consider the fact that if it went wrong they would have a field day about it. They felt they could be negative to me every day because I was introverted, because I was different in some way. Maybe they thought that was a weakness but they need to educate themselves. Weakness and being introverted have nothing in common and they certainly had the wrong person if they thought I was weak.
Bullying to other people can be different. Some people might face a lot more physical abuse than I faced. They might be forced to give their money to people. They might invite themselves to sit with people who move away when they come over. They might have their heads shoved into toilets. Threats made about their family. Being made feel they are bullying someone who is in reality bullying them. Having their belongings taken from them. The possibility of what someone can face is endless but always relentless. To understand what it is like to be bullied you have to understand what it is like to be practically certain you won’t be in the bully’s presence long without something negative happening and to consider something not happening as an unusual day for you.
How bullying works
The way bullying works is all in it’s repetitive nature. Much like other abuse such as gaslighting the repetitive nature of it plays with people’s minds and how they see themselves. If one comment is made, well you might find it nasty and it would upset you, you wouldn’t like it but this is those things repeated and several things repeated and if something is repeated enough to anyone there is sadly a huge chance that they will believe it or they will believe everyone would see them that way. People who face a lot of physical abuse might eventually think they deserve to face that or think everyone will be like that. Bullying plays with a person’s confidence about themselves by making false things seem real because they are everyday, they become what you know and what you are used to. You crave to be in an environment where things are different but some people find it hard to trust even in the most kindest, welcoming environment because their experiences have left them with scars and false beliefs about things which are hard to shake. It puts fear into a person that they wouldn’t have or extra fear that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Bullying is vicious and deliberate and even after when many bullies regret their actions they have left the people they have bullied with a lot of baggage that no one deserves to have.