The rate of suicide among children in our country caused by bullying right now is intensely sad. Most of us have had the experience of being bullied to varying degrees and it is terrible, at any time, in any way – whether it is someone speaking directly to your face (while you are trying desperately to hold back the tears), or hearing something said behind your back and sobbing with sorrow. I was bullied in elementary and middle school and it has scarred me to this day. I was teased about my stature and how I was significantly smaller than everyone else, how I hadn’t grown into my features, mainly my nose – thus being called “bird.” People said I was stupid because I did have some learning issues and didn’t do well in school. I was teased about my haircut, and people told me I had no friends. Whenever I run into any of the girls that made my life hell from elementary school through 9th grade, I have Vietnam-War-type flashbacks. I know I am not the only one out there having these attacks. Some of my friends tell me to get over it or leave things in the past that were so long ago, but when you are hurt that badly, it’s really hard to shake it.
You may have been discouraged and felt like what the bullies were taunting you about or accusing you of was true, but only YOU know the truth. Those who have been bullied in the past grow up stronger and they have valuable perspectives on how to deal with people and situations. Always remember that great, famous people were also bullied. And keep their quotes in mind whenever you’re feeling really bad because of a bully.
1. Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right. – Theodor Roosevelt
2. I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird. – Frank Zappa
3. I would rather be a little nobody, then to be an evil somebody. -Abraham Lincoln
4. One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. – Michael J. Fox
5. The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet. – Stephen King
6. You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are! – John Lennon
7. I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure. – Shay Mitchell
8. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. – Martin Luther King Jr.
9. To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. – Friedrich Nietzsche
10. If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I’m not frightened by anyone’s perception of me. – Angelina Jolie
11. I haven’t personally experienced bullying, but when I was in high school, I had a best friend who became a bully. I took a stand and took it upon myself to separate from her. I couldn’t be associated with her because it wasn’t the type of person I wanted to be. – Amber Riley
12. I have insecurities of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me. – Adele
13. In fact, my courage and my bravery at a young age was the thing I was bullied for, a kind of ‘Who do you think you are?’ –Lady Gaga
14. Of course I was bullied and of course I was called names – my last name is Weir. That’s very, very close to ‘weird,’ or ‘queer’ and any of those words. But I’ve never been anyone to cry over spilled milk or be upset because kids don’t like me, or people don’t like me… It makes my skin stronger and thicker. And why cry? Your mascara runs. – Johnny Weir
15. I changed schools a lot when I was in elementary school because some girls were mean. They were less mean in middle school, because I was doing all right; although this one girl gave me invitations to hand out to her birthday party that I wasn’t invited to. –Jennifer Lawrence
16. I grew up in Tennessee, and if you didn’t play football, you were a sissy. I got slurs all the time because I was in music and art…I was an outcast in a lot of ways…but everything that you get picked on for or you feel makes you weird is essentially what’s going to make you sexy as an adult. -Justin Timberlake
17. Usually the bullies are the most insecure. I was bullied and it’s hard, you feel like high schools never going to be over. Its four years of your life and you just have to remember the person picking on you has their own problems and their own issues. And you’re going to be ok. -Megan Fox
18. I was very tiny…I spent most of my time stuffed into lockers. Thank god for cell phones, or I’d still be there. -Chris Colfer
Image courtesy of EBullyingStatistics