Bullying doesn’t stop after high school. If you or someone you know is being bullied, whether it’s online, at the bus stop or at work, say something. Tell someone. Tell everyone. This is my story about struggling through internet bullying & how I moved forward. I told it originally in 2014 but I feel like it’s a story that needs to be retold again & again.
I made this printable last year, after several months of being a victim of an internet bully that left me feeling inferior, sad, depressed even. We ran in the same social circles/online communities & I felt like I couldn’t escape their snarky & hateful remarks. I let all of the bully’s comments & retorts slither under my skin. I let the bully make me feel inferior, like I had no right to be happy, like I had to right to communicate with my friends online. I let the bully squish my joy right out of me. Since then, I’ve dealt with two more instances of being bullied by people who used to be my “friends”. At first being a victim of an internet bully sucked. But then I realized something that changed my mindset. I literally just woke up with the realization that those people don’t know me. I don’t know why they acted the way they did, but I do know I did nothing to deserve it & realizing that those people had no inkling of the real me. They were trying to create an online image in those social circles into a warped version of me, someone who was falsely happy & kind, a fake person who lied about how much I sold (which I have never done) & they made up rumors about my “terrible customer service” (I have never had a complaint & they refused to provide evidence of their claims, having never bought from me & all) & they told people I said stuff about them that I didn’t. They made up a version about me that didn’t exist. But that wasn’t really me. They had no idea what I was really like. So I meditated on what I was really like. What circumstances had shaped me into who I am. And man, I love the person that I am & no bully can ever take that away from me.
My checking account may be small but I give freely from it nonetheless. I have been poor & know what it is like to go without warmth, comfort, even food sometimes. The bullies had no idea that through my own misfortunes, I became kind & generous. Knowing hunger, real hunger, not the hip hangry hunger every one talks about on Instagram, humbles a person. I willingly give my money, food, shelter to anyone who needs it. No fake kindness here, no matter what those bullies tried to say.
I’m not a falsely happy person – I genuinely believe in the goodness of the world & the people in it. I wake up every day just thankful to be alive, because I have been in situations that threatened my very life. No false joy here, just a grateful heart & positive mind. When my son was three, he rolled out of bed and broke his femur. There was six months of full body casts and surgeries. I was out of work for two months immediately following the accident, and I lost my home. During that time, I didn’t cry. I never asked “Why?”. I never worried. I just kept on keeping on. Because I am brave, strong and positive. I was scared but I knew everything would work out. And it did.
Though I don’t have a diploma, I graduated from my homeschooling curriculum (the equivalent of graduating high school, but it was a year before you could receive a GED from completing the course & I just never went through the process after that) when I was fourteen because I am smart. I tested college level in multiple subjects while at middle school ages.
The bullies didn’t know me the way I & people who matter to me knew me, the real me. The bullies didn’t know I am smart, brave, positive, inspiring, kind, strong, and creative. I love these things about myself, and no one can take them from me. Just because they tried their darnedest to press me down into the dirt & make me feel terrible (and it did work for a while) didn’t mean they were right, that they were better than me, or that I had done anything to wrong them. Whatever problem they had with me was their problem. And when I wrote down all the things I loved about myself on this worksheet, I felt strong. I felt brave & proud of myself. I still do!
I do want to say, I harbor no ill feelings towards these bullies. Going through their torment made me stronger, made me braver, made me kinder. I just hope they can move past those negative emotions & find their own joy.
What I hope you take away from this post is this: when you reflect on your story, the road that has led you to the person you are today & nurture your positive character traits and strengths, you can only grow better as a person, facing each day peacefully, confidently self-assured, full of positive energy. Pluck out the negative character traits like doubt, worry, pessimism, anger & replace them with better ones. Always be the best version of you. No one can take that away from you.
How to use this worksheet:
In each bubble, write a word that represents a positive character trait of yours that you admire, that you really love about yourself. Are you brave? Kind? Funny? Or maybe logical, thoughtful, and generous? Really dive into your heart and think about you most value about your true self.
Another idea for this worksheet:
Have your child fill out one of these worksheets every few weeks and see how their opinion of themselves change as they grow & their interests change. You can help them foster & nurture their positive character traits and weed out any self doubt or self deprecation that may arise, helping them to truly love themselves as they grow. ♥