I love this girl like a sister! Today I have Alivia Anders who ahs shared her story and when I asked her to participate I knew she would. What I didn't expect, was the story that unfolded before my eyes. I can completely understand it and it makes perfect sense, but this girl has strength and holds somethings special inside of her that nobody can ever take away. Here is Alivia Anders story.
Me, Myself, and the Bully
I have a terrible confession to make: I once was a bully.
Once upon a time, in a small little school, I grew up just like every other kid. I took after school dance, played with my siblings at home, and for the most part did my best to get by in school academically. But, something wasn't right. I vividly recall spending almost a quarter of the school year on 'the wall' during recess. The principal knew me by my first name, and trust me when I say it wasn't a good thing. I was there because I was a bully.
Name calling, hair pulling, punching, smacking, you name it and I probably did it. But it wasn't for no reason.
It wasn't that I was a bad person, or someone who felt the need to be mean to others for no reason. Usually the reason I spent time on the wall at recess was because I was defending myself, smacking back at the catty girls who felt the need to chase and tease me on the playground. The principal knew me by first name not because I always caused problems in class, but because the problems were blamed on me by other kids when they didn't want the trouble. After all, who would believe the girl who got in trouble all the time when she insisted she didn't do the things they accused her of?
For years, I fought back. I would ignore when the parents of children called me fat and chubby in dance class, thus in turn teaching their kids to do it as well. I'd sit on the end of our lunch table, practically out of sight. Recess was always a nightmare; would I be chased today? Would I have to fight back and end up the bully instead of the victim?
Somewhere down the road, I hit a wall. I stopped defending, and started attacking. I'd call out on the catty girls, say mean and unforgivable things about them like they had me. I'd pull their hair and thrash on the ground with the intent of harm. Somewhere, I became the bully. And it took nearly the rest of my Middle School and High School years to shake off the habit of striking before breathing, thinking before doing.
Bullying pushed me into a corner as a child. It left me feeling vulnerable, alone, and unwanted. Part of me wished they had simply hit me, and beat me, instead of saying the cruel, low comments about my weight like they had. The saying goes, actions speak louder than words, but I think whoever said that had never felt the stab of an insult from a bully. The snarky attitude from a child who learns by parent. Words can never be shaken off; they shackle to you like weights at your feet, and when you're drowning at the bottom of a lake, held by those words, it's a cruel life.
When Jodie asked me to participate in this event, I admit I was nervous. Telling the world I was once the bully isn't something I'm proud of, but it's something I have learned from. I've learned that judging only shows your own insecurities, that hurting someone doesn't make things better, it only adds to the pain.
If I had the chance, I would go back in time and talk to my younger self. I'd tell her to be brave, be strong, and never stoop to their level of interactions. After all, two wrongs never make a right, but one right can change everything that's wrong.
You can find Alivia Anders around the Web