I was honestly considering skipping this 52 Weeks of Gratitude post. It’s not like I have anything to hide, since I have mentioned many of the obstacles I’ve overcome in life throughout other posts…it’s just weird.
But it would feel like I’m not being committed to the challenge, so I’ll simply suck it up ha-ha!
There are a handful of obstacles I’ve had to go through in life, but I think the one that truly caused the most hardship was bullying.
That’s right folks, I was bullied for most of my childhood. It’s hard to hear about all these people who had wonderful childhood friends and even better childhood experiences since mine were really not that wonderful. I thought bullying was a natural part of growing up until my friends told me otherwise…that was an awkward moment to say the least…
In kindergarten, we had to choose sides. I didn’t want to and I didn’t really understand why we couldn’t all be friends. That’s when I became the outcast. Not only were the students in my class against me from day one until I left for a new school after Grade 5, but the area I grew up in wasn’t the nicest and the teachers at my school weren’t the most helpful…let’s just say they aren’t pleasant memories.
I was a rather emotional child as well, which DID NOT HELP. My feelings got hurt easily so I cried easily…okay, I’m still sensitive but not nearly as bad. I simply couldn’t do anything right.
I would be invited to birthday parties to only be bullied the entire time; I would be invited to hang out simply for their amusement; I was left alone during recess and class activities; kids would pretend to be my friend just to see me cry after they left. I had one or two friends, but they also got bullied which didn’t help matters. Additionally, one of those friends ended up really hurting me so I was pretty shocked and heartbroken. I found out later from my mom that I was so stressed in kindergarten that I ended up with a bald spot on my head from stress – she was pretty traumatized to say the least.
Eventually, we moved to a new neighbourhood and I got to go to a new school. I was terrified at first. But then I met such wonderful people, such as my old friend Chris. Not only did these people accept me, they accepted my brother, for he was also another source of people’s entertainment in regards to bullying – the “eeky” kid who can’t talk. If it wasn’t for these people, I don’t think I would’ve ever become so open to making new friends. They’re truly some wonderful kind of people!
The mental and physical abuse was hard. It was such a vital stage in my development, I still have a hard time wondering what I’m doing.
Did I say the right thing? Are people annoyed of me? Am I a weirdo? Should I change how I dress and act?
After high school and entering undergrad, I met a few friends who are still dear to my heart to this day. These three and a few wonderful people from high school are my inspiration for making me realize it’s okay that I’m not perfect and that I can’t force the world to like me – I have to be okay with who I am. I began to realize that I’m apparently a likable and warm person, which was such a shock but so amazing!
I’ve gotten much better over the years, learning that I can’t please everyone. Those who like me for who I am are the ones who are worth it. I still have a lot of personal issues, like confidence and self-worth. But both my parents and my friends have helped me continue my growth. I’ve met people (who I wish I knew growing up) who are real friends, people who are so loving that I can’t believe they are real and in my life. My mom and dad and other family members were also their for me when no one else was, which not everyone is lucky to have. My life could’ve been SO much worse and I’m grateful that it has turn around in such a wonderful way!
I like me, with all my imperfections and funny little quirks. I take it day by day, but I continue to grow as much as I can. I’ve done well for myself with school, activities, this book blog and so much more! If I’m a weirdo, then I think that’s okay and pretty cool.
That’s it folks! If you’ve ever been bullied or still are, please reach out to someone. You can even reach out to me if you’re comfortable enough! One thing I learned later in life was that you can’t do it alone…it’s a lonely and difficult path when you have no one to help you against the world.
Love yourself, imperfections and all!