It’s good to share.
This morning as I scrolled through my Book of Faces news feed, clicking on shared news stories and reading links, I came across a video shared by the lovely and talented photographer Che Correa. I watched it. I smiled. I laughed. I started to feel a lump forming in my throat and then my lower lids began to fill up with tears. The speaker, Shane Koyczan, is powerful – have a tissue ready.
If you’ve been bullied in the past – be prepared to have those feelings reawakened. If you have been, or are, a bully – watch this video – because you need a swift kick in the ass. Then you need to start dealing with your personal demons to figure out why you’re causing other people pain.
My response to the video (besides sharing it on my own News Feed) was this (and I didn’t even correct the errors I now see in it):
I am compelled to share this – it left me with a huge lump in my throat and tears puddling in my eyes. I felt ugly and unlovable and unwanted since middle school. Grade School I just felt “different” and like I didn’t belong – but that was because I wore hand-me-downs and didn’t have the newest Guess or Jordache items. Middle School was where the name-calling began. High School I could usually ignore it – but that’s where I was made to feel ugly; I gave the ignorant and hurtful words of one person too much value. Hearing the slurs day after day surely meant they were true, because nobody said otherwise, covering their mouths behind a hand to hide their laughter, because they were uncomfortable or agreed – I know not which.
There were places I felt I belonged, gym class when I was always one of the first picked because I was damn good at sports. Band class, because in a way – we were all “misfits” of some variety and we belonged together. Those were the places I felt wanted and accepted and it wasn’t because of my appearance but because I was needed.
Now, I know that the person who slung ignorant and hurtful words at me had their own demons they were battling. I now know that I gave value to words that were worthless. They no longer hold value – but they still hurt and deep down I want to confront this person and shout “HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW!?” But they wouldn’t get it. They wouldn’t understand and ultimately, all the work I have put into myself was done FOR myself and no one else.
Be careful what you say to people and make every effort to be kind, always.
Readers, have you been bullied? Are you a reformed bully? Do you have children who are going through bullying at school?