I am an easy target for bullies. I am because I care. I care too much. I have always been this way. Growing up, I was made fun of daily at school. I was extremely thin and had a mustache (Seriously, I did.) I have always been weird and opinionated, which is not always the best combination. My best friend was my little brother. We were so close that I didn’t change schools to go into the gifted program until he was old enough to go as well. This put me into the program 2 years late. I was the outcast again. Years later I found out that one of the leaders of the group of girls who made me the outcast, didn’t like me because her mother had said how cute my nose was and that had made her jealous. Really, that happened. I remember hearing how beautiful I was going to be. Going to be, what was I now? I cried myself to sleep often. My mom said it was just because they were jealous. Jealous of what, mom? It hurt. I wanted to be liked and accepted.
It hurts just as much now at 31 as it did at 13. I like to think I am not as physically awkward as I once. I am still very weird and probably even more opinionated as I was back then. I went through a period in high school where my phone never stopped ringing. That was during my party time. I thought I had tons of friends. I felt popular. I didn’t have friends, I had followers, even though this was before social media. They were following because I was fun to watch, not because I was their friend. When I stopped partying and “having fun,” I had no one. I was alone. Slowly, the people I had alienated, that truly loved me, came back into my life. I am slowly learning how to be a friend. I truly believe you have to be a friend to have a friend. This is a daily thing. The disease of addiction is a selfish one. Sometimes it is necessary to be the selfish one. Sometimes the people in your life don’t grasp how the are killing you. For the most part, I have found that the genuine people in my life, want to understand and help with my sobriety. I know it can be hard to be my friend. I get that. I am not “normal.” I have had some serious tragedy happen in my life. I take responsibility where I should. I learn about how to get better daily. I see counselors and go to meetings. I am not perfect and never will be perfect, but I try to get better.
When people openly dislike me and shut me out, I hurt. My initial reaction is to cry, so I do, then it is to lash out and hurt them the way they hurt me. Is this correct behavior? No, it isn’t. I am working on correcting this. I have to give it to God daily, because I can’t do it, He must. If I have apologized and asked for forgiveness for my wrongdoings, it is time to give it to Him. I can’t say it doesn’t hurt still and that I have even really accomplished this, but I am trying. Having people openly and actively bash me is painful! I don’t know yet how to let go of that pain. As a recovering alcoholic, I have to learn to not let it turn into a resentment because that will lead to me drinking, which will lead to my death.
At this point in my life, I really do like myself. I don’t have a self-esteem problem. I am confident and have wonderful, real relationships with people from all walks of life. I always have things to do and invites to places. I am well liked. I know all these thing, yet when a couple of people don’t like me, I am wounded. I know it isn’t really me they don’t like and it is truly internal for them because these people even have issues with each other often. In spite of me knowing these things, it still hurts. I don’t understand holding grudges. I don’t understand not forgiving. I don’t get creating drama. I don’t understand being in someone else’s business as if it is your own.
I remember when I started teaching right out of college. I was shocked at how grown adults would start rumors and spread lies they had nothing to do with. It still shocks me now when people who claim to be Christians, spread hatred and evil. It shocks me at how truly petty people can be. I hated high school. I hated the cliques and divisions. I think some people can’t move past that age. They peaked in high school and want to bring it back. That is why these people are alone. Or they have each other and band together to bully. I know all this, but it still hurts.
What do I do? I am unable to just cut these people out of my life, which is what I want to do. That wouldn’t be fair or right to some people I care about in my life. I can only pray. I continue to take the high road, even though it is exhausting. I feel like every encounter with them is tiring. I know they don’t like me, I get that, but it still hurts. I have to give it to God each day so that Satan can’t use it towards me. I have to keep my prayer wall up and strong. I can’t let that evil seep into my life. I can’t let it be used as a weapon against my family and my sobriety. I have called upon my Christian brothers and sisters to pray and uplift God in my life. I know that if it weren’t for the strength and support of my Christian family I would not still be sober. I have to continue what has worked for this long. I am so grateful for such Godly council at my fingertips. The minute I feel myself slipping, I reach out and am answered. I hang on to the life raft I am given. I am not that 13-year-old girl anymore. I am a strong 31-year-old woman who has made it through countless storms.
I encourage everyone to develop Christian relationships in your life. Be open and honest with these people in your life. It is ok to depend on these people. Love yourself because God made you. Not everyone will like you, but the people who matter will. Stay in constant prayer, that God will put these people in your path. Find a church that you can be effective in some form of ministry. Get to know the people at your place of worship. You will get out what you put in, always.
After writing this, I have 2 songs stuck in my head; T Swift’s “Why Ya Gotta Be So Mean?,” and “Let It Go.” You are very welcome, I know you are singing at least one of these!
You can’t change how people treat you, you can only change how you react to it. This is going to be my main emotional goal for this coming up year, well, maybe for my lifetime. I can’t make you like me no matter how hard I try. I also can’t let that tear me apart.
The Bible speak of forgiveness, just a little….. I listed just a couple verses. I have to forgive, even when I am not asked for forgiveness. I may never get the “I’m sorry,” I deserve, but I can’t hold on to that hurt. If I release it, sometimes moment by moment, I can be free of that hurt. The young girl in me still exists and is still wounded, but the adult woman in me knows that I am above this. I am not those insults. Also, it isn’t about me. It is about what is best for the people I love.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Proverbs 10:12 ESV / 64 helpful votes
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.