07 Jul, 2016 The Benefits of Being Bullied
Being bullied as an adult, by adults, has been a devastating experience, but it also has benefitted me in ways I never expected. Here’s what I’ve learned.
This by far, will be one of the hardest blogs I’ve ever done. But I pray it will bring healing and comfort to anyone who’s gone through the same tragic situation – being bullied.
For many years I’ve talked about bullying to teens across the country, but it was a topic I didn’t spend much time on. I would go through the description of both physical and emotional bullying and explain the devastation it could lead to, like depression and suicide. When I was a kid, I can’t remember being bullied besides some minor teasing and one major altercation on a play ground in middle school.
I didn’t fully understand what victims of bullying lived through until recently. I now have a deeper compassion for those being bullied and harassed than ever before. I pray God will use my story to help bring healing to others.
I went through some of the most hellish times I have ever gone through back in January of 2014.
That year began with my husband revealing several major things he was struggling with and it completely blindsided me. I had just had my 4th baby in 4 years. Both his parents and mine live many states away and I felt completely alone, fried and frustrated. A week later, our local school called and asked if I could do a last minute, urgent assembly for the middle and high schools in town because of all the sexting, pregnancies, bullying and other major issues they were having with some of their students. I worked over 60 hours preparing for the following week’s assemblies which actually helped me heal from the news the week before. God kept telling me to focus on what He’s called me to do and He will take care of the rest.
Shortly after speaking I found out that a woman I considered a close friend, said some things about me in the community that devastated me. My credibility as a speaker was attacked, school board members were called and told lies regarding my mothering skills (the lies could have invoked law enforcement) and my income was somehow mass texted and shared on Facebook (the numbers were way off). Up to a year later I received emails asking if I paid my taxes and was kosher with the IRS. (I’ve always paid my taxes). One of Luke’s prominent clients was informed that we can’t manage our finances and was asked how Luke could be trusted (we manage our finances with excellence). This person also told me she was furious I got pregnant the same time she did and told me I was her competition in this town. I was heart broken. I really looked up to and respected this person.
We all say and do stupid things, but the thing that I desperately needed to help me heal, was an apology. It came months later, but so much damage had been done by that time. In some cases, an apology might never come. For those of you who have gone through a similar situation, know that our acceptance should be focused on the Lord and not in other people. It took me months to fully grasp that.
I don’t wish it upon anyone to go through the same thing I did, but if you have been or currently are being bullied, believe it or not, there are some amazing benefits that arise because of it. Realistically we know bullying will never go away, so I hope these pointers will help you get through it and make you a better person as a result!
Jesus reminded me of several points that I know will also help you in your healing process, no matter if the bullying/gossip happened decades ago.
- If you are being bullied, it could mean that you are doing something RIGHT! Find a trusted friend, school counselor, pastor, etc. to help encourage you through the hurt and healing process.
- You will grow a thicker skin! You will become a tougher, wiser person if you stay focused on God during this process.
- Cling to Jesus even more! Where God will be taking you will require you to cling to Him and not worry about what other people say. I’m learning that being obedient to God is the most important thing I should be concerned about.
- You will discover who your true friends are. The people who come along side you and encourage you to get back up again, are your true friends. Block out anyone who is not.
- You will learn how to forgive and pray for your enemies. Easier said than done. It took me several weeks to get over the resentment and anger. I wanted her to suffer like I had suffered and that isn’t my way of thinking at ALL! Time helped my heart heal along with forgiveness and prayer. If we don’t forgive, we are only hurting ourselves.
Yes, it was one of the most hellish years of my life. I do regret that I let it devastate me for almost a year. I didn’t sleep, it was hard to eat, I bawled my eyes out on many nights and suicidal thoughts bombarded me for several weeks in a row.
I don’t think people realize how much grief bullying causes. Due to what happened, I’m now able to reach my audience at an even deeper level when I discuss the consequences of bullying. By the way, if you are being physically harmed in ANY WAY, you must seek help immediately! Call the cops or check into a shelter if necessary.
No matter how long ago you’ve endured bullying or gossip, focus on the Lord and pick friends who truly have your best interests at heart.
— Tina Marie Griffin (@TinaMGriffin) November 12, 2016
Only allow people to speak into your life that are encouraging and have shown you that they can be trusted. Block any negative messages that are causing grief, torment, and anger to flare up within you.
What happened to me was a complete Satanic attack. Do not let Satan deceive you with empty words and cause you to hold on to resentment or let bitterness take root in your soul. This will not only affect you emotionally but physically. A great book I’ve been going through in our women’s bible study is Priscilla Shirer’s “Discerning the Voice of God.” It has literally changed my life.
The one thing to always remember is that God made you YOU for a reason. He gave you your looks, personality and talents to spread his truth and love with others. Find a team of people who cherish you for who YOU are and develop life long friendships with those people. Don’t ever stop being YOU!
For those of you wanting further information regarding bullying. Here is a list of great resources to check out and apply.
- The Survival Guide to Bullying – Written by a Teen
- The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, From Preschool to High school: How Parents and Teachers can help break the cycle
- List of more books on bullying.
This post has affiliate links included. Meaning if you buy the suggested resources above, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. This will help support our mission.