Bullies and Being Yourself

I write about bullying for a reason. I was bullied as a child. I was teased for things that were completely beyond my control, simply because others wanted to prop themselves up with their peers or in their own minds by stepping on me.

I know many others of all ages who experienced similar things. I listen to their stories and immediately understand. Through multiple generations, it still exists, but through awareness and attention, maybe it can be reduced and hopefully eventually eliminated.

I point out to adults and kids the types of bullying when I visit schools. Some types of bullying are obvious, and others are hidden, but all kinds of bullying harms, hurts and shapes the rest of the person’s life.

Some bully to control and dominate others, because they have no control of their life. Some want to feel superior and control their group of friends by putting others down. Some are afraid of change and they take it out on others. Some are just plain mean.

But know this. No one has the right to make anyone feel bad or wrong about themselves for any reason. And you don’t have to take it.

Sometimes you can tell a parent, teacher or counselor. Other times you can stand your ground and talk back, but never use violence or force. That never accomplishes anything.

Mostly you can get the best revenge. Keep being yourself, no matter what anyone says. Friends and adults can celebrate who you are and have your back. Just like the characters in my book, Skizitz, Katie and Miranda, they find their own way to be themselves.

When I went through this, I read books about others who went through the same things and there was a song that inspired and comforted me. It’s called Don’t Laugh at Me by Peter, Paul and Mary. It’s on YouTube. It means as much today as it did back then.

You are wonderful the way you are. No one should tell you different. It’s not a perfect world. Bullying still exists. But how you let it affect you is up to you. Don’t let it. Be true to yourself. You do you.

(c) Suzanne Rudd, 2022

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