Being bullied completely altered my relationships with my family and friends. It was something that I kept hidden and never really talked about until about two years ago when I experienced a minor depression while pregnant with my daughter.
The effects of bullying caused me to distrust most people, because my friends were the people who bullied me. I struggled to believe that any of my friendships were genuine.
I never fully believed that my friends had my best interests at heart or that they would not belittle or betray me like my bullies did.
While I was pregnant, depressed and on an unpaid maternity leave, this reality became clear to me. It finally made sense why I have always been in-and-out of friendships. I have had long-lasting romantic relationships but very few friendships have lasted for more than a few years. I realized it was because of the bullying I experienced in elementary and middle school.
National Bullying Prevention Month
The entire month of October is dedicated to preventing harassment and bullying.
“National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.” PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Children who experience bullying can suffer with emotional, behavioral, and social detrimental effects. According to stopbullying.gov, kids who are bullied, are more likely to experience “health complaints… decreased academic achievement, depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns…loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy…they are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school. ” Some of these concerns can persist for the individual as they grow into adulthood.
“A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.” stopbullying.gov
This year, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, wear orange and be an advocate for bullying prevention by participating in Unity Day to unite together against bullying. According to PACER’s, “…send one large ORANGEmessage of support, hope, and unity to show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.”
On Unity Day, and throughout the entire month of October, raise your voice on social media and in your community, share your story on PACER’s platform HERE, and wear orange to show you support kids and adults that are being affected by bullying.
“When hundreds of individuals in a school or organization wear orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the unified message to kids to know that they are not alone.” Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center.
YOU BULLIED ME
LADYHOOD journey seeks help women incorporate self-love into their lifestyle. In doing so, we hope to empower women and girls to defy fear, doubt and insecurities in every stage of their journey. It is important to us that we uplift and inspire every female and transgender women to know that they are loved, valued, and to know that they are beautiful.
As a survivor of bullying, I decided to create the #YOUBULLIEDME challenge to bring healing to those who have suffered from bullying and to prevent others from being bullied in school, at home, at work, and also on the internet.
“My friends were my bullies…” Ta’lor Pinkspen
Bullying prevention requires advocacy and communication with schools, parents, and community leaders. I am looking to YOU to share your story and your truth to help end bullying and shine a light on the pain it causes and how we can heal from the experience. No matter the frequency, depth, or duration of the bullying, it carries with you for the rest of your life.
How to participate in the #YOUBULLIEDME Challenge
Throughout the month of October, there will be a daily prompt to respond to. You can respond to each prompt in a journal or on any social media platform and post your comments and answers using the hashtag #YOUBULLIEDME.
Each prompt is designed to help you heal from your experience; to help heal those who are currently being bullied on the playground, in schools (Kindergarten +), at home, in the workplace, and on social media, and to prevent others from bullying.
I hope this challenge shines a light on the importance of having this conversation and for preventing everyone from the pain, low self-esteem, self-doubt, social insecurities, depression, and other long-term effects caused by bullying.
All are welcome to participate in this challenge. This is a safe-space. I will be transparent and also participate in this challenge along with you.
Share your truth. Share your story.