When I was younger I was bullied. And not in the traditional way one would think I was never beat up or cyberbullied. No, that was never the case. What made it so difficult was that those who bullied me were my closest friends at the time. We were friends for so long I began to rationalize the way I was being treated by thinking negatively of myself. I believed what they said was true. In my mind people would not make things up. If they said I was “fat” I believed I was “fat”. If they told me I was “ugly” I believed I was “ugly”. I would get ditched, rumours were spread, and I was restricted in how I could present myself. I was not allowed to feel beautiful when I made myself up. I was painted with many negative and untrue labels. And if I dared say a boy seemed to have a crush on me I was met with a reaction of disgust: how could anyone love a girl who was fat and ugly? Even when I tried to be kind to others. When I’d try to reach out to them I would be met with cruel words and backstabbing. I don’t think these friends were bad people. They just weren’t the right friends for me.
Ultimately, I became a person who I really did not like. I was so negative. My response was putting on a mask to the world. I acted happy and overly confident. I acted like I was stronger and better than I was. While on the inside I felt so weak, vulnerable, and alone. I was so unhappy and unfulfilled with my life. I was at my lowest point and didn’t know what to do. I was so angry with the world.
Eventually, it became so toxic that I had to stop being friends with these people. Unfortuately, the damage was already done. When you spend your childhood and teenagehood trying to rationalize the negative attitudes others have towards you, you change who you are. But creating positive changes make you change for the better. Surrounding myself with one really good friend was one positive change. Finding others who supported me was better. Eventually, I was able to partake in activities I was to fearful to do previously because I was scared of the stigma of others. These were the stepping stones. Soon other positive changes were obtainable.I became a better version of myself. I am doing so much better than I was. It feels good. I started loving myself and the people who surround me. I am no longer passive aggressive. I know what I want in my life and am working hard to get there.
Sometimes I wonder if my current attitudes and choices are still impacted by my past? I feel like I have this obsession with always acting like a perfect “lady”. I feel like I always have to look and act perfect. I always have to be polite and smile through things. My ability to trust has been affected. I always fear what people may feel towards me and that they secretly dislike me. When this happens I put my walls up.
I believe that my negative perceptions and responses are not all the fault of having poor friends. It is also the majority of the cause of myself. However the “bad friend” makes it more difficult to interact in your future and current relationships. Your view of the world and other people alters. I want to love more. Trust more. And be open to others. Especially, since there are very big life changes I will be encountering this year. I would like to have the support of more positive people and friends who are interested in my well being. In order to do so I must acknowledge the damage that was done, be aware of my negative perceptions, and alter them for the better. I am moving on with my life and I am doing better. I just hope that soon I will be at a point where I will have completely be over it and regain some of the trust that I lost in others.
Moving forward, newly 22 year old me