Bullying by Jasmin Chew
I remember being bullied for the first time in Kindergarten. And I remember being bullied for the last time in grade 8. But what I don’t remember is why I was a victim of bullying. For years I tried so hard to think of a reason as to why I was the one they chose to pick on. But to this day, I still can’t come to a conclusion.
I was bullied from Kindergarten to grade 8 by a group of 7 boys who were all in the same friend group. I was mainly picked on for my last name, height, appearance and ethnicity. So basically every part of me. I would like to make something clear - these boys never touched me, or physically bullied me in any way. They did not cyber bully me either, it was strictly verbal, and emotional bullying. The odd time these boys would take things from me and throw them away just to make me look for it for their own pleasure. I remember one time in grade 4 when I was walking home from school on my own and the 7 boys took my favourite hat. They threw it across the fence and I walked home without my hat. Sounds sad doesn’t it? That’s not even the worst part. The next morning when I walked to school I found my hat on the side of the road. It used to be pink, but that day it was black and torn apart. That was my favourite hat. Thanks boys!!! You know who you are ;)
If only those boys could read this post right now. I know they aren’t though because why would they? I’m pretty sure they forgot about who I am, and what they did to me. Most of them should be 20 years old by now, maybe slightly more mature (probably not though let's be real), hopefully they all cut their hair because boys, that hockey hair was NOT cute, and maybe they’re more responsible (debatable). I think for me, that’s the worst part. They all forgot. Bullies are so extremely oblivious to the great effect they can have an a person. How hurtful their words can be, sometimes they feel like punches. How it can strongly affect one's self-esteem and confidence. How they can create unwanted fears that were never asked or welcomed in the first place. They don’t realize that all this developed over the years because of them. I am scared of people, I have social anxiety, I have very low confidence and self-esteem, I do not think I am beautiful, I am very quiet and introverted, I keep to myself, I am extremely defensive, and I am constantly looking for approval because of being bullied for nine years of my life. From early childhood to becoming a teenager, I was bullied. The teen years are the most important years for self-love, growth and development. And I never got the chance to experience that because of them. I first developed self-love, growth, and development when I turned 19 last October. 6 years late. I should have experienced that at the start of my teen years -13.
People often ask me if I regret not standing up for myself, and obviously I do. I wish I could have told them all to fuck off when I could. But back then I was such an introverted girl that I didn’t do anything about it. I’m still very introverted, however I like to stand my ground now. Back then I let people make fun of me because they made me believe there was a reason behind it. I definitely do not regret getting bullied. Do I wish I had a bully-free childhood? Absolutely. But getting bullied for nine years taught me so much about life, myself, and other people's views, and how there actually is good and evil in this world. Trying to dodge the evil in life seems impossible, and sometimes it is. But when evil comes your way, allow it, but also stand up to it.
If I could gather those 7 boys right now and place them in front of me, I would hug each and every one of them. I would thank them. Boys, you made me stronger, you made me healthier, and you made me courageous. It took me almost two decades to get over those scars you gave me but I’m almost there. I hope we can all live our separate lives in peace now. I want to take photos, write, and travel the world with my boyfriend and my dogs. I want to let you go along with all the hurtful words, memories, and scars you placed upon me. I want to leave it in the past. It will still take me some years because that was the effect you had on me. I hope you live your best life too. I hope you remember me and regret bullying me and the other people you probably bullied along the way. I know you only bullied because you felt empty inside. You wanted to fill a hole that was in your heart. And I’m sorry you felt that way. Bullying is no acception to fill something. You should not have bullied me in the first place. If you felt empty you should have told someone, lovingly.
I never got the chance to say fuck you. But here I am almost 20 years old, my career is thriving and so am I. This blog post is not only dedicated to my bullies, but it is also dedicated to those people who told me I was damaged, aggressive, violent, and a psycho. The boy who told me I was too sensitive, not strong enough, and too dramatic. I will never apologize for who I am. I never told anyone to fuck off. But here it is.
visit her photography and travel blog at www.jasminchew.com