The other day, my 11 year-old cousin told me his classmate called him ‘stupid’ after losing on their game, and since he was not used to hear that kind of word, he got so angry about it that he cannot even stop asking me how to get even. I sat there listening to him, acting so numb (because I see his reasons as something prideful and pointless) and told him at the end to just let it go. And for sure you all know the reason why. That was a single word. Although it hurts, depending on the intensity of how it was said, but they’re kids and most of what they say are words they’ve heard from someone else. But thinking on how he got angry over it, I cannot help not to reflect it with my childhood days when I am always bullied.
I remember before, I rarely play with kids because they always tease me. They call me names. And since I always cry over it without even telling my parents, I decided to live my life around books, barbies, colors, paintings, music and many more. I never took those bullying as something that would tear me down.
But what pushed me to write this is not to gain sympathy from people. I decided to write this thing to be able to let other people see the other side. We are sometimes so focused on what other people did to us, but how about looking into the lives lived by the bullies? To be honest, I can enumerate the kids who bullied me, but only by describing them and not by their names.
When I was in the 1st Grade, I have two classmates that I’m afraid of. During recess, they always ask money from us. My friends back then would agree to this: their presence everyday was sort of monstrous for all of us. If we fail to give them money, they will wait for us outside our school and punch each one of us. But one thing I remember is, I never gave them money. Thus, I always get their punches. I even went home once crying because that was the only time I felt hurt, but what my dad said was what became my motto when it comes to bullying: “Let it go.” I thank my dad for giving me that response. I thank him for not going to school and scold those kids because his response really made sense.
There are times those bullies are absent, and sometimes they go to class with bruises. One of them even went to school with a black-eye. And since most of us hated them for what they always do, we sometimes don’t bother to ask.
One day, a parent went to our school and reported what they’ve done. I still remember how those bullies begged not to let their parents come to school, but since their acts were inexcusable, they were forced to bring their parents the next day. Many of us got happy over what happened because at last, we found justice after months of inexcusable punching! But what really made me pity the two guys was their fear towards their parents. It seems like there’s a story behind it that we still do not know.
It was already during my last year on grade school that I finally figure out the reasons. I might be wrong with this, but I think they were also abused back home. They go to school without money, and sometimes they come to school with bruises. And a year after 1st Grade, they stopped going to school. Some of my classmates even saw them selling something at the public market. Those things brought us to conclude that in that story, we were not the ones to be pitied. Although we became victims on some degrees, but we should also think about the reasons why they do those things to us.
When I reached high school I encountered the same things, but this time, it’s worse. I cannot recall the small details of the story, but I can remember the times I went home crying because their words hurt. It was a mental abuse, I guess, because my self esteem started to decline that I even decided by the end of that school year to transfer to another school. I traded my chance to graduate on a prestigious school just to live a life away from those mean people. I thought that was the end of my martyrdom days, but I was wrong.
To be honest, I got so paranoid on my next school. I easily get angry when somebody calls me names. The humble side of me was erased. What they saw was really a new me. But sometimes, I got tired of pretending, and in those times, they saw the true me who’ll just cry over hurtful words, and my silence shows I’ve let it go. I even once went home (when I was still a 2nd year High School student) with bruise on my arm because my classmate punched me for no reason. I could have punched him back, but I didn’t, and again I just let that thing go.
Last year, I found out what happened to those bullies. Most of them did not finished on time, some of them got pregnant and some of them became drug and alcohol addicts. Some might say those are the punishments given by God for what they’ve done before, but I see those things as effects on what was done to them.
Those mean people back in high school are the people who lack attention from their parents. How did I know? They were attention seekers, thus they always tell the people around them what was happening to them and to their families. On that early age, they already know how to drink alcoholic drinks and go home drunk. The guy who punched me for no reason stopped in the middle of his college days because of drug addiction.
It’s sad. I never take those things as a triumph over them. I see them as what they really are…lost, and they really need our help.
I have no regrets I didn’t fight back. I have no regrets not reporting those bullying. What I regretted was, I never grabbed the chance to help them despite the fact that I professed myself as a Christian during those days (although I admit there were still some things that I needed to fix with my Christian life before). If only I know the reasons behind those things, I could have befriend them even it hurts. I could have taken their moments of brokenness as a chance for me to share why after all what they’ve done, I still find to give them mercy.
This world loves pointing at people’s mistakes, and worse rubbing it in their faces until it hurts, but as Christians, we are called NOT TO CONFORM to those kind of activities. We are called to heal those wounds and give mercy to the hopeless ones. We are called to love the ones who hurt us and eventually know why they are doing those things so that we could pray for healing to them.
We all sinned, but Christ cleansed us and called us to Christ-likeness. Why not tell that Good News to them instead of cursing them and thinking how to get even with them?
So for those who went through the same things, grab every opportunity to show mercy to those who hurt you. Disregard your pride, and let God use you for those broken people to know the Gospel. Just like you, they also need healing. 🙂
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. –Romans 12:14-21
God Bless you, Readers. 🙂