Bullying

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Bullying. What does it mean to you when you read or hear those words?

My immediate response is a terrible sadness; a hurt deep within my soul. Why do bully’s bully? I don’t know the answer, but in relation to my own life I still have unanswered questions.

My heart still cries out “why? What did I ever do to you. Why me”?

These past few days I have seen a glimmer of light, which is like an opening into forgiveness, healing and maybe the beginning of the answer to that question.

I know God as my loving Father and friend , someone who I love very much and who I know loves me back, but so much more.
I was reflecting on this when memories of the bullying came back to me from my younger years. I will not give the person a name but just refer to her as J.

Up until that time my early childhood had been reasonably happy, even though I was plagued with worries and anxieties. They were happy times. All this changed when we moved to another area when I was nine years old. I was the new girl at school. I did find it hard to adapt and started dreading going to school.

Without going into too much history, the bullying gradually started by being befriended by J, and at some point it went onto emotional, verbal and mental abuse.

The abuse became worse when we went to secondary school.

When I look back, I am so proud of my personal achievements during this time of my life. I was form captain in my first form and did well in maths, very well. I was also a member of an Athletics Club and I did well over the years; winning the wirral schools many times ; the Cheshire Schools once and representing the county at the All England Championships in London.

Shortly after we had moved, mum had a terrible mental and emotional breakdown which none of us understood. It took her many years to get better, but these things never quite heal and leave their scars. It was only when I had my own complete breakdown that I was able to start understanding mum and ‘forgiving her’ and myself.

Breakdowns express themselves in many ways but in mums case she was full of rage and anger which was expressed always at home, never at me but always directly at my dad.

When you are a child you just cannot understand these things, all you can see and hear is shouting and anger. I was very unhappy.

So in amongst all of this was the bullying by J.

Why didn’t I tell anyone? I don’t know. I kept it all in as well as my own inner unhappiness at home. Its not good to do this, but I didn’t know. If I had told my parents they would have done something. But I didn’t tell them.

I still feel sad for the little girl within me.

The bullying was always at school, and most of the time within the class room when the teachers were not there. Usually a lunch time when the weather was bad. All she did was home in on me and say the most vile, cruel and hurtful things.

The whole class remained silent. They all kept their heads down in whatever they were doing. It was never talked about.

I felt so ashamed.

I couldn’t respond in anyway. I froze and crumbled as a person and a lot of damage was done which has taken years to undo..

I am not going into more details about this but it did eventually stop after about three years. A very dear friend joined our class and we just hooked up. She is a strong person and J receded into the background.

My friend has no idea what she did for me.

Life carried on again.

Which brings me back to the light which is now switching on in a very dark and lonely place.

It started with me remembering about a book I read called The Shack.

The realisation came to me that J lost her father when she was young. Hurting people, hurt other people. It isn’t right, but it is a fact. Bullies put others down to build themselves up and and tread others down, usually by belittling and tormenting them. They are usually followed by others because they don’t want to be bullied or have their own issues as well.

So I have been reflecting on J having no father and it is starting to melt the hurt and anger in my heart. It comes and goes, but it is a beginning.

I am praying, if she is still alive, that she will come to know God as her father and he would adopt her into his heart and family.

I am not going to dwell on the past too much but I am pleased that light has come into this darkness. Which means I am moving on towards healing.

It is Women’s Day today and I have felt very strongly the last few days to write this. I have survived and I have grown and developed so much as a person.

The lovely thing is that the last twenty years of her life, me and mum were able to talk so much. A beautiful closeness developed between us which was beyond a normal mother and daughter bond. We were like sisters and best friends.

Our family talks now about everything, our troubles and hurts. We try not to hide things from one another.

God has been good to me. What was too painful to look at is now shrinking back into a chapter and page of my life.

If any of you have identified with any of this, please feel free to talk about it in the comment section below or to someone you love and who loves you.

Love and best wishes to everyone
Barbara