Broken: How Bullying Breaks You
I was a kid the first time I was bullied.
I remember those years when I used to hide crying in the bathroom.
I grew up as if I was invisible. At school, people pretended I didn’t exist. When I spoke, they ignored me. When I got close, they ran away. On social media, I was bullied. People made fun of me on social media, and rude comments filled my head.
People often talk about the impact of physical or verbal aggression, but the truth is that no one prepares you for psychological and social abuse. For a long time I thought it was normal. I thought I was overreacting. There are times when I think that again.
Not only did I develop an eating disorder that lasted 5 years, but my will to live disappeared. I cried myself to sleep, and when I woke up the next day I cried even more, disappointed that I was still alive. I would panic about going to school and seeing my classmates. I would hide in the bathrooms and cry, begging to die.
When I finally raised my voice, no one believed me. They blamed me and made them the victims. They blamed my personality, my physique. If I wanted to be accepted so badly, I had to be the way they wanted me to be. When I finally raised my voice, everything got worse.
As my psychologist said, I developed a lot of problems. There are days when seeing a phone pointed at me gives me a panic attack. Every time I am ignored as punishment I have a terrible anxiety episode. Nowadays a lot of things happen that I just can’t help but feel.
I cry remembering those years. I look at myself in the mirror and I feel I overreacted. I feel they were right. I look at myself, and deep down I blame myself, even though I was the victim.
Bullying breaks you, destroying not only the child, but the adult they will become.If you are going through something similar, I know there is still a long way to go, but for now I want to tell you, I do believe you.