I was reading a book at Barnes & Noble and it was about anxiety. It talks about anxiety disorders and I was reading the first chapter and he talks about teens and technology. He talks about bullying and he said something very interesting. He said when you are bullied often, you start to think there is something wrong with you, there is something about you that makes kids target you, you don’t see anyone else being bullied like you do, so you start to think something is wrong with you. It brings down your self esteem. He said what makes you a target for bullying is your reaction. REACTION.
Yes the bullying did make me think there was something wrong with me. I took the criticism kids thought of me and I tried to better myself. I started to study what was rude behavior and what exactly is showing off, I started to walk looking at the ground so I would stop bumping into people. I always felt bad for bumping into people because of my clumsiness so I learned to look at the ground when I walk and I will have more time to move my body when I see a kid in the way. I even started to copy “normal” behavior to be normal. I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be respected, I didn’t want to be this mean and rude girl and a show off. Kids thought I was weird so I tried to stop being weird. I didn’t accept being different anymore. I tried harder to care about others so I wouldn’t be selfish anymore and spoiled. Also the author wrote to not listen to what kids tell you about yourself and it’s just their opinion. I sure took their opinions seriously so I started to obsess about being normal and trying to be this good person. I couldn’t handle the criticism. But the truth is bullies do not care, you can never impress them. But where do you draw the line for when to listen to someone’s opinion about you and when to not listen? If we never listen to anyone, we will never better ourselves and also when does a comment count as bullying? My mom doesn’t think I was really bullied, she just thinks I was just teased and I was too sensitive and I took kids comments too personally. She says they were just mean kids but she didn’t see any of it as bullying. She says the others were just innocent and I took it too personal, too literal. That seems common in ASD kids to take it all personal so they continue seeing those kids as the same people, I sure did. I didn’t want to be around the kids that made fun of me in the third grade for how I spoke. I didn’t want to be around any kid that thought of me as a show off or selfish or spoiled or rude or crazy or weird. I had true social anxiety around those kids because I felt so self conscious about myself so I had to watch my facial expressions, my behavior, how I sat, my body language. I don’t feel that way anymore because I don’t care what people think and I don’t care about normal. Besides what is normal anyway?
I was also rejected but I didn’t know why I was rejected. My own friends would avoid me and tell me to go away. I had poor social skills.
But I think kids are bullied for many reasons, not because of how you react. Transgender kids get bullied because they do not follow the gender role Homosexual kids get bullied because they are not following the “norm” and kids are taught that being gay is “wrong” by their religious families or because their parents find it “sick.” Autistic children are bullied because of their poor social skills and because they don’t understand jokes and of course how they react to teasing so it makes them even more of a target. I think one of the things that made me a target for bullying was my reaction to teasing, the way I talked, I was socially naive, I was pretty sensitive. Kids also thought I was stupid or retarded and I did take teasing seriously and I remember getting upset by it too. So when I got upset by it, I think that is what made me more of a target for teasing. Most kids would just ignore it and handle it better and then the kids move onto the other kid. That didn’t happen with me because I made myself the target. Children with autism make themselves the target because of the way they react to teasing so the kids do it more. Kids do like to pick on those who are different. Different can be normal kids or kids with disabilities.
So the author is right that being bullied doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.
I think bullying attributes to anxiety. It can lead to PTSD, social anxiety, depression, and of course low self esteem. I think the bullying may have lead to my anxiety and the rejections and causing me to be depressed. By 6th grade I wanted to kill myself and was already talking about it because I couldn’t handle it anymore and I was sick and tired of not being able to be normal. I was so obsessed with the word normal and I didn’t accept myself. I did try to to up my low self esteem by doing work by myself and being proud of it no matter what grade I got. Even my mom getting upset with me about my grade didn’t change it because I did it all by myself without help so I felt normal and smart. C is average so why feel bad about it?