With all this talk in the news about bullying I have decided to write about my experience on both ends of this situation.

You see I was bullied and I was also a bullier.

Keep in mind I was a fat kid, at one time tipping the scales at 240 pounds and my parents divorced during a time when divorced was virtually unheard of.

At school, ballet class, the beach and out on the streets I was subjected to the words and taunts of, “Fatty, fatty two by four. Esther the molester. Esther Uncle Fester. Fat Pig, oink oink.”

School mates often asked me if I was adopted because my mom and sisters were skinny and I wasn’t. They also often remarked on how beautiful my mom was and asked who did I take after because it wasn’t her.

Combine this with an already growing lack of self-esteem, I was a mess.

Was I bullied?–absolutely. But we didn’t call it that back them.

Back in my days we referred to bullying as teasing. A bullier was often considered to be a robust boy who came from a perceived “rough” family who kicked dirt at kids on the playground, pushed people around, fought and stole toy cars.

I was told to ignore the kids. But when you are a wounded soul and your little mind is believing everything it hears, ignoring the taunts was impossible

And so I did the only thing I knew how to do. I lashed back.

I used words to bully back. Cutting words spewed forth from my mouth in the form of criticism, gossip, lies, brow beating and jealousy. It was my weapon of choice and I was good with my words.

And so I stood on both sides of this situation as one who was bullied and one who bullied back. It was called, “Kids being kids,” back then. It wasn’t addressed.

I was hurt deeply and I hurt others deeply. The bullying stung my life for a long time.

Fortunately for me I began to understand that I needed to make change on the inside. I realized I needed to love and accept myself. That other people’s words are simply information. That other people’s opinions don’t matter as much as my own.

As I began to heal those parts of myself left on the playground still living the taunts day in and day, out even in my adult years, I shifted.

It’s no co-incidence that today my life’s calling is to help people to stand in their power, harness their thoughts, know who they are and encourage and inspiring them along the way.

In 2010 bullying has taken on a whole new meaning and scope. People are dieing because of it.

What is the answer? I don’t know. But I can share with you what I have learned from my experience.

All forms of bullying need to be addressed and talked about immediately. Building self esteem and acceptance in our youth is crucial. Fostering an environment of understanding and non-judgement is essential. Healing hurt and wounded parts of ourselves is important. And as Jesus stated: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

~Love, Esther




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