Hey my lovely readers [aka salty tribe]! I am launching a new series titled: I Survived. Amazing stories from women with stunning strength, faith and courage. These women survived. They have risen above abuse, depression, and illnesses and have incredible insight to share with others who may have gone through the same thing. I want these stories to give hope of healing and recapturing joy. Michelle's story is below. Please share this. You never know who could benefit from hearing our stories. It could save a life!
I Survived | How I Beat My Bully Using These 7 Strong Tips
By Michelle Pohl
I felt his hot breath towering over my head. He lunged towards me with flared nostrils hurling unwarranted insults directly into my face. “YOU ARE SO UGLY, I wish you would die!” His eyes glared into mine. I was cornered, too humiliated to retaliate.
His girlfriend, hanging on his arm, held him back pleading with him to stop. He was a classmate, one of the beloved students of our private middle school. My class of about 20 watched as I was helplessly attacked. Quietly, I stood off to the side as the rest of the class gathered around the door of our next class waiting for the math teacher to unlock it after lunch.
I was tucked away in this small Christian school for my safety. Instead, I was largely misunderstood. My previous elementary years were spent at a semi-violent public school in an urban setting. It was there that I learned early – survival trumped education.
I was misunderstood. The kid parents didn’t want their kids around. I was told not to talk about my home situation with other students. What most couldn’t see was the internal pain I suffered, while my family fell apart before my eyes. I was dealing with the recent trauma of my father’s arrest, and later conviction, for molesting me.
I never told anyone what my classmate did nor spoke of it again. Why? I believed him. I didn’t need his reasons why. I already felt dirty, unwanted, and blamed. This was more proof that what I felt was correct.
Fast forward several years…
The fresh aroma of fallen leaves and carved pumpkins filled the crisp Autumn night. Anna, Elsa, Ninja Turtles, and other fantasy creatures roamed our streets in search of candy. My porch light was shining in the darkness, welcoming each visitor.
The doorbell rang, I answered. Immediately, I recognized the face of the child’s chaperone. It was him. My former classmate, matured in form and feature – yes – but this I was certain. I called him by name to confirm. We exchanged awkward small talk for a moment. His sister lived in my neighborhood and our streets were easier for maneuvering his daughter’s wheelchair.
“This is your daughter?” I asked.
“Yes.” He replied.
I bent down looked her in straight in the eye and said, “You are BEAUTIFUL!”
There are so many ways this scenario could have played out. I was justified to slam the door shut in his face. Why did I choose to respond this way? Because I know the power of forgiveness and I believe EVERY little girl should be told often that – she is beautiful.
No child, not even his, should ever have to endure the torture of bullying. It’s a terrible place.
For most, middle school is an awkward season. Faltering between childhood and adulthood, kids are attempting to spread their wings with independence. Their changing bodies are ravaged with zits and the evil pubescent hormone begins changing individuals at its own pace, making some feel left behind.
Seven Tips for a Stronger Future
Forgive – Hanging on to the past gives the perpetrator power over your future. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting nor does it excuse the act. It does not mean reconciliation or include an apology. Forgiveness is between us and God. A God who cleanses the bitterness from our heart. As a result, we can deal with the pain in a healthy manner. The world is full of hurting people and forgiveness gives us an opportunity to be example of true love.
Speak out – Find a person you can trust and start talking. If you cannot find someone to trust keep a journal and process your experience in writing. Getting your thoughts out gives you an opportunity to process them rationally.
Keep Faith –Difficulties should point us to Christ, our place of strength and endless wisdom. Faith reminds us that good will come and that we will either learn how to overcome situations or use these situations to build our character.
Education is important – Beat your past by soaring high in your future. A proper education builds confidence, resulting in a self-thinking individual that seeks life outside the box.
Be successful – Find your gifts and use them! Once you have experienced the worst – the best is yet to come.
Kill them with kindness –Kindness shown with confidence is a powerful weapon. Learn proper boundaries so you can differentiate between encouraging someone in need and sharing their heart with a friend.
Be Yourself – We were made to be individuals, not carbon copies. Because of this, we will have moments when we feel different. Being an individual means standing out not necessarily, fitting in. This takes courage. Finding who you are is a journey with lots of mistakes and challenges along the way.
As survivors we can equip the next generation to become strong in adversity and empower them to withstand the difficulties ahead.
Hi! I’m Michelle Pohl @ Blooming With Joy
I love telling stories to encourage my audience to grow in joy despite the chaos of life. I am a reformed coffee addict turned devoted tea drinker. I enjoy helping others by speaking, planning beautiful events, and creating lovely graphics. I have experienced dreadful seasons of life like childhood abuse and miscarriage. Also, I know the daily chaos of mothering and homeschooling. Yet through it all, God’s peace has allowed me to become stronger in faith, growing in joy despite the chaos.