Fifth grade was the year I remember everything going downhill. Physical and verbal abuse, often right in front of a teacher who would wave it off. Sometimes it was simply because my sister was obviously different with Downs’ Syndrome. Teachers didn’t help. Parents couldn’t help. I was on my own. Or was I?
Those years made me lean in harder to God, ask tough questions of faith and doubt, study God’s Word for answers, and pray hard. I learned I’m a survivor and God is always with me.
Endurance and strength are built in tough times.
Here are some tips if you face bullying:
- You are not alone. There are people who want to help you through this.
- You didn’t do anything to deserve this.
- Find some support. Talk to your parents, a youth pastor, a counselor. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will keep reminding you of how incredible you are. Don’t stop looking for help until you find it.
- Stay in groups – don’t go anywhere alone. Find friends who will stay with you and pray with you. If that means finding new friends, or joining other clubs, do it. You are worth protecting and worth knowing.
- Be creative. Can you change your schedule or path? Ask God for wisdom and ask trusted adults for advice.
- Remind yourself often… You are remarkable. Nothing can change that fact. God made you spectacular. He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way for you to be with Him forever! He is with you and won’t leave you.
- Copy verses from a Bible app into a notes app on your phone. Leave notes under your pillow, in your dresser, and on your mirror.
- A framed picture on my wall said “I know I’m Somebody, cuz God don’t make junk” kept me going when I contemplated giving up. Is there a picture, saying or verse that helps you keep going?
- Listen to uplifting, truthful music. We all need encouragement!
- Find healthy ways to cope. Take up a new hobby. Learn an instrument. Write down your experiences. Find ways to help others who are being bullied.