Since the age of 9 I have been the victim of extreme bullying. Many think childhood bullying ends after the child moves on to a new school or has graduated from grade school all together. Unfortunately that is not what happens for majority of us. I internalized everything people said about me. I replayed every hurtful experience in my head and memorized every negative word.
Disgusting, FAT, sloppy, too emotional, too sensitive, trouble maker, lazy, unhealthy, dramatic, crazy, undeserving, unworthy.
I would lay in the bed at night and think of all the words that have been spoken to me, welcoming sorrow and sadness. Often nights would be spent saturating my pillow with self-pity while whispering to depression and seeking comfort from suicidal ideation. The more I spoke hateful words over myself, the more I became the person everyone said I was. I began to consume my thoughts with how low I was while consuming large quantities of calories. I ate in hiding and pretended everything was just fine in public, obtaining a college degree while wondering why I even bothered because I didn’t even want to live.
I went to church on Sundays empty of self-love begging God provide a word to the pastor enough to overflow my tank to make it another week without increased thoughts of self harm. Unfortunately, I’d go home to look in the mirror at this large stomach and these back rolls and immediately empty myself again. I never even made it 24 hours. I dated any man who came around hoping if I gave them what they wanted from me , whether it be money, time, attention, sex, they could maybe pour into me. Sometimes I would feel like I had a quarter tank of self-love but it never lasted which would leave me more empty and running on fumes for weeks…sometimes months.
One Sunday, a pastor spoke the following words: “who told you that you had to look a certain way? Who told you that you had to be a certain way? Do you know that God loves you? How God feels about you and how you feel about yourself is the gap between your current situation and your dreams.” I sat there crying and thinking about those words. I had been asking God to speak to me that entire week because this was turning into week three on fumes after being embarrassed by a man in public for the millionth time in my 27 years. I was fed up with feeling bad for and about myself and I could not figure out how I had gotten to a place of such self hate. I had allowed the words from my childhood define me. I have been telling myself I am too fat to be loved right, too emotional to be taken serious, too negative to reach my dreams.
My entire mindset changed that Sunday. I currently exercise not with hopes of weight loss but because it makes ME feel good. I pray and meditate alone at least once a day. I am reading and writing. I cry when I feel sad and then I take the same energy I put into acknowledging the feeling of sadness into dancing while no one is looking. I write poems. I tell myself a joke. I tell myself it is okay to not feel okay all the time but I don’t allow myself to stay in that feeling long anymore. I have realized that I am NOT what anyone has said to me and about me in my past because I am who defines myself. These days I choose to see myself from God’s eyes. I am beautiful, I am strong, I am poetry, I am a writer, I am inspired, and I am inspiration. I am one of the many who will use their pain as the passion to touch the hearts of others who have been picked on because they look or act different. I am living in my purpose. I am positivity. I AM ENOUGH.
Knowing that I am one of many who suffer currently or have once suffered from extreme bullying, low self-esteem, and depression I am writing this blog with prayers that you not only can relate but that a fire is sparked within you to work hard towards healing and self-love as well. Join me on this journey of acknowledging pain and then growing from it. The next time you look in the mirror thinking what and who you are not, I want you to ask yourself WHO TOLD YOU THAT? Who told you that you had to be skinny? Who told you that you had to have long hair? Who told you that you had to have lighter skin? Who told you that you had to have those muscles? Who told you that you had to be married by this age? Who told you that you had to reach all those goals before today? I guarantee you it was not anyone who truly loves you and has your best interest at heart.
You, my friend are enough!