Have you ever experienced being discriminated upon? Have you ever felt the entire room fell silent went you walk in because you were the subject of what they talking about? Have you ever been judged and criticized by people who don't understand you and have you ever felt so alone that you though no one was at your side? Well guess what, you are not alone. This is not just my experience but many people have a similr situation. Whether or not it's what you look like (maldita-looking), how you dress (kikay), the way you think (smart-ass), the way you talk (inglesera), the way you act (strong personality or igat), or even the color of your skin (Negro or Indian kay baho daw ilok), there are people out there who are discriminated and judged based on such shallow reasons and things can get ugly and people can get harsh, evil and mean. I will write something very personal right now. So if you don't want to know then you better just close this note coz I'm writing this to people who care and for those people who are victims as well as the perpetrators. Kung naa maigo sorry batobato sa langit lang ta.
I was once bullied.
Bullying is done when you make people feel they are not welcomed, when you talk behind their backs and influence others to do the same. You might not know this but bullying is mostly effected by peer pressure. There are four kinds of people in this picture, the most active group are those who are not afraid to use their numbers to do such act. They openly or impliedly attack these people without a care in the world whether or not it hurts or instill suffering and difficulties on the receiving end. They would twist and exaggerate every single thing these people do and make it a point to make it a subject of another ridicule. (Ex. Oh, She's alone today? She has no friends. Poor thing. hahaha. or EWW look at how she dresses what a KSP)
Some people actually do this not because they don't like the person but just because their friends or people they hang out with or friends don't like them. Then there are a few who are afraid that if they go near the receiver of the person, they might be subject to the act themselves or be branded as "traitors". A fair number of people actually witness and know of such thing happening but just turn a blind eye. They don't want to be involved. And lastly, we have the receiving end, the victims of bullies. Well, I already mentioned who are these people most likely are. It is not an exclusive list though but it can be these people more or less. As long as these people "Stand out" or get "too much attention" then most probably they become victims if they are not the perpetrators themselves.
Writing about this is not easy for me and I know a lot out there are not comfortable about discussing their experiences if it would make it sound like they are weak and that they would rather not get pity. However, I tell you, IT'S ALRIGHT. Talk about it and don't take it all in. Don't hide the pain it is causing you because I know no one wants to get hurt. No one wants to have no friends and not being accepted in the crowd. Most especially, we must admit to ourselves we don't want to feel the uneasiness and discomfort it gives us when it is being done to us. I remember, every time there was a class activity before outside class hours, I would say to myself, "Should I go? What if they are there? They are going to talk about me again. But if I don't go, I might be absent but I don't like it if they stare at me coz I know they are saying something mean about me again." In a lot of events, I end up not going. Not because I was not interested but because I was scared, scared to feel the rejection, scared to hear the whispers and scared to feel the stares.
I also remember holding back the tears and anger that I felt about these people and wondering, "What did I ever do to them? Was it because I spoke english again? But BISLISH man jud ko! Was it because I was taray-looking again? Sige I'll try to smile more para di ko ingnon maldita." It went to a point I was even scared to raise my hand in class to ask a question because I know they would make a sort of "Cough" signaling people that, "here she goes again. Whatever..." They thought I didn't get it.
They said they didn't like me because I have a strong personality. I am an inglesera that it makes them feel uncomfortable and that because I am too "Extroverted" they are not used to it. Well, this is really me folks. What you see is what you get. I am used to being in front of people because I've been trained by my parents to attend speech classes, drama, singing and even dancing. I paint, I draw and I even write journals and that's just some other parts of me. If you get to know me, you will find a friend. If you won't then that's one less friend you could have had. I won't judge you. I won't care if you were the ugliest person in the world or the person with the worst English. I wouldn't care about your nationality or the way you act. I would accept you for who you are and you can share a secret with me and I won't tell a soul. If you need me, I'm the type of person who will go to you immediately. I don't even have a problem of lending money as long as the amount and necessity is reasonable and that I know this person can pay. (And no, I won't lend you any if you're thinking that.) That's the Marian you'll miss just because you prejudged me and with that, you kept your distance from me. I have a lot of friends and I hope to gain more. I don't want any fighting but I'd rather enjoy happy memories with a lot of people as possible. Because we only live once right? And we are only young once.
But you know, I didn't feel that way before or rather I wasn't like that before. Because of all the insecurities I felt, as I said, I became angry and bitter. I became defensive and full of hatred. I kept blaming others for all that I felt. If I heard someone didn't like me, I didn't like them either. If they talked sh*t about me, I would talk sh*T about them. I would even confront them, fight with them or play them at their own game. And you know what? The cycle never ended. Instead of winning, the "war" continued. But I could not hide the fact, that I was injured more than I did any damage to the other party. Though they might have strength in numbers, I thought to myself I can take them on anytime and anywhere. But then again, I was still the one who was hurt. I was still the one who was misunderstood.
I got to talk to someone who is undergoing the same situation as I was in and poor girl just broke down and cried. This was the first time I met her but she really reminded me of how much I went through in "their" hands too. Then it came to the story that someone told somebody who was the friend of this certain person, "Why do you like her? Yuck, she's such a feeler!" and this person said, "You know what, this person is a lot nicer than you that's for sure." and then this person was asked, "What did she do to you personally for her to deserve from you a personal attack?" this person said, "Because she's such a feeler!" Again, this person was asked the same question, they could not answer. Really, why is it like that? So what if this person is whatever, really is that even enough ground for you to dislike them? If they didn't attack you, why should you attack them? If they have a fight or personal quarrel with someone you know or your friend then that is their problem not yours. And they should settle it on their own and not you who should enter the fight. Because it is not your battle in the first place. Do you get my point??
People give me praises for my supposed "Strength" but the worst part about being too strong is that people think they can't hurt you because you are strong and the more you resist, the more they will try to overpower you and so I realized I contributed to how everything ended up. I kept showing them aggression, they also showed more aggression and you know what, these people can grow in numbers. Remember, there are those who are not involved. Those who are just observing the situation. A common mistake of people at the receiving end, end up doing is that they distance themselves from others who were not involved. They will get suspicious of everybody and will start attacking first or they feel like they will end up being attacked by them. In the conclusion, they made more enemies rather than finding people who matters most, like friends and allies. And that's what happened to me before. My worst mistake was neglecting those who mattered just because I was blinded by self-pity and pride. Because of this, I regret to say I lost people who I realize I love the most and I know I can never get them back because no matter how many sincere apologies I gave them, I can never undo the hurtful words I spoke which hurt them deeply and in the end, I hurt myself more because I lost some of my most valuable friends. I'm a fool and I know it. You know who you are, I'm sorry.
If you ask me, how I got back on track. I made it a point to value my friends and family. To realize that there are more people in this world who love me more than those who hate me. I made it a point to reconcile with those I've hurt and with those that hurt me. I want friends and not enemies. I want to be free from anger, pride and ego. I have decided to be more than just the girl who is maarte, inglisera and maldita. I want to be the friend and the confidant as well. I have a new outlook in life and that is to be happy. I found friends in all the unexpected places and you know what? I would rather have a handful of diamonds than a room full of rocks. And because I let go of the fear of rejection, I found the most valuable treasures in the world and those are you, my friends and family. Again, you know who you are, I love you.
I told the girl I was talking to earlier this same advice. Don't be afraid to show people who you are. If you are truly good, people will see it. Help in any way that you can if you get the opportunity and yes, help even those who hurt you, it will make you feel a lot better. Join the Fraternity of Kindness. Make friends with those near you because most probably some people are just waiting for you to smile at them, to remember their names, or to strike a conversation with them because they are ready and willing to accept a friendship with you. Even those people who bullied you, most probably you did something that caused their aggression towards you and they just want an apology or they just misunderstood who you are so make known to them you mean no harm. There is this one girl, she smiled at me before but because I didn't see her, I looked down and did not return her smile, she interpreted it the wrong way and that's why she did not like me all throughout the school year. It was later on, she told me the truth after we became friends and we've been good friends ever since. It's just a matter of adjusting your attitude. It will take time though and I tell you it won't be easy and you won't be able to please everybody however, it will make things easier for you and less drama. I tell you, your friends and those people who can see the goodness, kindness and the real person in you will be the one to defend you whether it is with or without you knowledge. Eventually, the people will understand you better and it will happen naturally and the bullying will stop. Just be straight forward, anyway which would you value more at this point? Your enemies or your friends? Seriously, You won't even have to exert that much effort. You just need to be you, living on the basic principles of respect, love and trust. With all things good, the bad will eventually come to pass.
To those who does this, please know that it does hurt. Just because the person is unique does not make them necessarily a bad person. Just because they dress different or talk different or look different, does not mean that they are different people from you. Wa mu kahibaw magkarelate diay mu diba? It just probably means they have an exciting personality. They could be the good friend you've been looking all along yourself. So please, stop the bullying. The wounds oftentimes does not heal and people take it with them until they grow older because of emotional damage and this is very much often with adults, as well as teens, as perpetrators and victims. If you did that because this person said or did something to offend you, they probably didn't mean it or just retaliating to what you did to them. So yeah, talk or not. Just live your lives you don't have to hurt anybody anymore. In the wise words of the Black Eyes Pees "Where is the love?"