Most people experience being teased or bullied at some point in their lives. But while we all know that is a fact, it should never be normalized. We shouldn’t tell kids that “this is something that everybody has to go through” when they tell us that others are teasing them. We shouldn’t insist that people ignore the taunting remarks that are being thrown their way like knives. It is in no way okay to invalidate people who are traumatized by psychological bullying.
Let me just say it out loud: Bullying is not something that can be placed on a scale based on its severity. Because it doesn’t have to cross a certain line to be considered bad enough to stop. Honestly, it should be considered bad the minute that it has an impact on the victim.
If you have been bullied, please don’t ever allow yourself to think or say: I wasn’t physically hurt, so I was lucky. No matter what happened to you – no matter what others might have told you – your experience is the only real one. And the pain you might be feeling? It’s valid.
It hurts; words, betrayal and rumors, hurt. Don’t you ever think that just because the bullying you experienced was psychological as opposed to physical that it is all right for anyone to tell you to: “get over it and move on”. A lot of the time, people who have been, or are currently being bullied, feel stuck – as if the road that they’re on is an endless one, filled with bumps and cracks that will make them fall. How long it takes them to walk along that road is nobody else’s business.
Every possible kind of bullying can lead to trauma that you have to struggle with even once you think it’s finally over. You’re not really free once you escape the bullies, and that’s often what some people tend to forget when they urge you to trust people or be comfortable with acting like yourself. That’s because it’s difficult to understand, especially for people who haven’t been through anything similar.
So what do you do? Keep your trauma locked up inside your heart until it breaks? No. My answer will always be that people handle things differently, although I would advise anyone who is trying to heal from experiencing psychological bullying to talk to someone. But I don’t think it helps to talk to someone random – I don’t necessarily think you should talk to a friend either. Find someone you trust – someone who will listen.
And please remember that you can’t give up on yourself no matter how difficult (or impossible) getting better might seem. I’m not saying that you will ever fully move on because, as someone who is currently still trying to heal from years of betrayal and psychological bullying, I can’t promise that. However, what I can say with no doubt in my mind is that you need to try. Trust me, I know that it sucks to have to listen to something like that all the time, but at the end of the day, Darling, it’s true. What happened to you wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t fair, and it is more than okay to fall apart as long as you can find the strength to piece yourself back together.
It’s okay to feel.
And then, despite the pain when it’s all over, you’re still the hero of your own story. You cannot choose to be happy. You cannot choose to move on, but you can want it. I swear that if you see a chance of recovery, that hope of a happy ending will be all that you need.
You can find out more about Josefine on her author page.
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