Usually, I try to keep things fairly light hearted (save missing my dog the other week), which…Friday’s comic should make up for that, however something that’s been a bit on my mind this week, bullying. More importantly the truth about bullying.
While I will say; the idea behind the whole “It gets better” campaign that was flying around the internet is very well intentioned, it’s a bit of a blanket statement. Which isn’t necessarily what bullied people need to hear.
How this came about, people at school were discussing a student who had moved schools due to bullying…granted, she can be a tad overbearing with our students, but that’s no excuse and the comment was made “Well, have you seen her? it’s no wonder.”
It rubbed me wrong; why?
a.) I was baffled that adults would talk that way about a kid! I mean, fine…now, she’s got teeth that stick out every way, she doesn’t dress like the other kids and hangs out with kids much younger than her. but she didn’t deserve to be bullied…to say “it’s no wonder” implies she deserved poor treatment from peers.
b.) I was the ugly kid. On top of my geeky interests, I had horribly crooked teeth, I wanted long hair but didn’t like to keep up with it’s maintenence, so it was ratty…I didn’t dress cool..and I went through a smelly phase (dude, video games were waaaay more important than a shower)…then came the braces, oh god, that topped the awkward cake…not with sprinkles, but with pain. so, yeah…I was bullied. a lot. I hated school, I took the bullying until once every couple months (especially after my dad died) I lashed out..I cussed out the people bullying, I screamed at them til I cried, I hit, threw, etc until a teacher would sit me down and talk to me…and my bullies? laughed. they always.. laughed.
Eventually, the braces came off. We moved so I went to a new school, I re-invented myself and was on the other side of the fence. I could bully…I’m not proud, but I did. I had a lot of rage left over from the years of bullying and I wanted to take it out on something…I wasn’t me though, I nearly abandoned my love of Spiderman, my nightly quests in Zelda, my love of Hitchhiker’s Guide…I was not true to myself. Instead, I targeted those who reminded me of myself…I didn’t feel good…In fact I cried to my best friend about it one night. Eventually, I turned around…I went back to being me…
Here’s the point that’s not about me…bullying? Sure…it can get better. It doesn’t go away tho. To the kids being bullied, it gets better if you make it better. It’s really hard. Sometimes, it feels like we just say “It gets better” and things somehow are magical…soon, you’ll be society’s definition of beautiful, you’ll be socially graceful, you’ll be perfect. or not.
You may always be a bit socially awkward, you may not fit society’s definitions, you may never truly grow up and your interests may never fit the mould.
And you know what? THATS OKAY!
Unfortunately, there will always be bullies…even as an adult, there are bullies…as adults, it’s a bit more subtle and a bit more stupid…but they exist and will do whatever they can to bring you down. It may hurt, but don’t change for anyone. No fucks given.
To all those kids being bullied for being “ugly”;
I hope you grow up to be drop dead gorgeous. I hope you have men and women calling you for dates constantly. I hope you are a freakin’ bombshell! A freakin’ stud! What can you do to achieve that? Work on being a good person first and foremost. be kind, generous and show inner beauty above all. That will make you a bombshell moreso than what you wear, your bodyweight, the makeup you wear.
To all the kids being bullied for being a “geek”;
keep loving the things you do! If people could have half the passion and love you feel for your favorite things for other people, things would be a lot better in the world.
To those being bullied for being gay/bi/transexual;
You are who you are, and that’s completely ok. those who bully you for that are nothing but scared, scared of what they don’t know, don’t understand and seriously…fuck’em.
Sorry, I’m wrapping this up over my morning tea and I’m not a morning person…bullies exist everywhere. Thing is, you may always have the quirks that make you different. That’s fantastic! different is good!
There may always be people who don’t like you.
There may always be people who don’t understand who you are.
There may always be people who will be mean, regardless of how kind you are.
However, there will also be people who accept you for everything about you, love your quirks, encourage your interests and will bend over backwards to defend you.
Ok, I’m done with my rant…this was kinda’ thought up on the spot from a few weekend rants to friends about it.