God's Great Love

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I didn’t know I was a victim of bullying…

I am also shocked to realize it tonight. I’m 21 now and I just realized it. I can’t sleep and I don’t know, I just happen to think about past experiences. Late night thoughts…you know it.

In the Philippines, I think I am quite right if I’ll say that the bullying issue here isn’t as bad as the bullying issue in another countries. Growing up, it isn’t one of the main topics the media talk about. I never even heard it in school, really.

Time flies and the internet is becoming accessible to everyone. Information can be easily spread —you can just stare at your phone or at your monitor and you can stumble upon a news just like that. Awareness is easily implemented. And I am one of those who became aware because of the internet.

I actually became aware about bullying when I got signep up here (yes, really) and I was 18 then. You know, the whole “bullied to death” kind of news that I see on my dashboard? That’s very surprising for me! I don’t even know any story of a Filipino being bullied to death. Nor a Filipino just being bullied. In highschool, all I know is that there can be kids who “just make fun of a classmate”, kids that can be “just mean to a classmate”, or kids that “just hate a classmate”. For me, they’re just kids growing up with a different personality —mean one, by the way. The term “bullying” isn’t in my mind. It’s like saying someone is “just having fever every afternoon” without realizing that it is a symptom of a contagious disease. Unawareness. I was unaware.

I was unaware that in my first and second year high school, when I was 12-14 years old, I was being bullied.

I was unaware that when a girl junior talked to me as if trying to scare me, she was bullying me. She even patted me in the head then put a little force to push it. She never did it again after. I don’t know what her problem is, I don’t even know her.

I was unaware that everytime my girl classmate makes fun of me, I was being bullied. I remember my teacher once told me during the class(yeah) that he suddenly noticed then that my eyes have a problem. He said it’s a bit squinted. Well, just a bit that it is barely noticeable(even I didn’t know it.) The Filipino term for that is Banlag. Then one time, during a special class, I went out during the break and when I got back, I saw something written in our board and it read: “Hannah Banlag.” I didn’t know it was her who asked a male classmate to write it until a friend told me.

I was unaware that everytime she intentionally looks for a flaw she can use against me, I was being bullied. I remember, I was writing our lesson in the board. (My teachers in high school usually ask me to do so as my penmanship is kind of blessed to be a good one. I don’t know if it happens in other countries. As I write the lesson, my classmates write them down. We don’t have our own books in public schools.) She told me I mispelled a word. I corrected it. I didn’t think she has other reasons of doing that. After writing, a classmate told me that after that girl told me that, she turned into her friend and said “I’m gonna look for more misspelled words!” while smiling with pride. She feels good about it.

I was unaware that everytime she shows how much she hates me, I was being bullied.

I was unaware that everytime she prohibits her close friends to talk to me, I was being bullied. I remember, a classmate talked to me and just as I was about to answer she tried to get that girls attention and looked at her badly.What happened was she just simply stayed away from me.

I was unaware that in my first and second year in high school, I was being bullied.

Only tonight! Tonight!

How did I feel then? What did I do during that time?
I didn’t like it, of course. I’m not doing anything wrong to her—or to anyone for her to feel bad about me. Maybe she just simply hates me. But since because I know I am never doing anything unpleasant to her, I shrugged all her actions off. I am not the kind of person who holds grudges against people who hurt me. Maybe I can never forget how you made me feel and what you’ve done, but I am sure I can forgive you. I wasn’t even mad at her during those times. I was young then; kids forgive easily. I treat her like how I would treat a classmate. Just a classmate. I help her when she asks help from me. Lend her stuff if she needs one.

During those times, some of my girl classmates are aware of what’s going on with her. They all gave me the same advice: “Don’t mind her. She’s just insecure.” I really didn’t mind her rudeness. Besides, what was happening then is: we treat each other ‘regularly’ —just classmates— but then there’d be days when she’ll do her thing. She’s weird, isn’t it? Of course, I’ll be hurt whenever she’s on attack but I will just shrug it off, forgive her and then go on! That’s just how it was supposed to be, I guess. In the end, I am the winner. I am the one with no hard feelings. I’m the one who didn’t do anything wrong to anybody.

Then, before our second year ends, she suddenly changed. She never offended me again. I don’t know why but she stopped. Maybe she realized something, I don’t really know. But I was thankful. At least, everything went normal.

On our third year, I don’t know how we got to talk about our first and second year. All I know is that we were sitting next to each other in one of our classes then and then we were talking. She said: “I don’t know why I seemed to be very pissed off about you.” And I jokingly answered her (because of the advice I received) “Maybe because you’re insecure.” I was laughing of course. I was taking it lightly. Then she said, “No… I don’t know, I was just pissed off.” Maybe I’m just super annoying that even if I’m not doing anything, she gets irritated. But whatever her reasons maybe, I’m happy it ended. And after that, the bullying never happened again. Again, I’m happy and thankful about it.

Above all, of course there’s this one person behind my attitude towards her behavior. He who helped me how to deal with her. I couldn’t thank Him enough. Slowly, He was turning me into a strong teenager then.

I was bullied? I didn’t even know!

He was allowing me to mature then through that experience? I didn’t even know!

Without even knowing it, God made me strong through an uneasy experience. And I’m thankful of it.

Filed under bullying bully bullied bullies god faith inspirational motivational fight against bullying hannah fighting strong thankful