I EXPERIENCED MULTIPLE BULLIES SINCE I WAS 10 YEARS OLD.
No one really knew about the way I spent my childhood. The way people see me as a blogger and acquaintances nowadays are totally different - they thought I have a well-preserved life, happy-go-lucky thoughts, and harmless time to be given serious sympathy about. The fact is, I have been through more than what visible. I experienced being a little girl who got bullied by seniors at school, and with some groups of people around my old neighborhood. I was bullied for two main reasons : my appearance (I used to be so skinny and boyish) and my religion (there was time when I live in an area where Catholicism were totally minority). People hurt me by yelling bad words or saying inappropriate comments about how unattractive I was, how the way I speak loudly was shameful - or how I unlikely dressed up 'normally'. I also were there during people talked about my mixed Javanese-Chinese blood, and witnessed the times when my Chinese mother was disrespected for no logical reasons. Being a Catholic wasn't easy too - I was labeled as 'Dog-worshiper' (when the word Dog refer to the Lord Jesus himself), and being expelled from the significant-groups. My dogs were my best friends, but due to some religious reasons some people threw my puppies with stones when they passed by and even put toxic on our yard to killed the dogs. I grew up in a loving family, but during those lucky years I also met such incident where low-minded people simultaneously attacking me and my family just because we weren't the majority, or simply because they didn't like me.
NO BRUISES, YET STILL SUFFERING
Maybe people think that Bullying is mostly about being kicked or punched or whatever physical. It does true. But the other things many of us sometimes are not aware of is the way we bully people NOT by physical contact, but by using words and attitude. I wasn't slapped or hit by any of those people. But they judged me for my appearance, attacked my race and family history, made evil ways to kill my dogs. The time when you feel like you have the rights to make "justice" for the people you don't even bother to know closely, that's a start of where your attitude leads to stupid prejudice and arrogant stereotypes. No matter how 'right' you are, you don't have any authority to messed up another people's life, especially when they have no power to fight back. I had those time when I feel ashamed of my Chinese descendant. I had those moments where I didn't want to make a Crux-sign with my hands when I were in public. I had those painful i-have-to-be-girly-and-perfectly-slim days with dangerous diets and over-cost body treatments. But as I always said, I've been too lucky to be true, surrounded by great friends and awesome family who never lose a hope towards me. We move to a new place, we get to know more people, we became stronger and we didn't lose faith. Sadly, not every person is blessed by a visible nurture or helpful environment to survive. Some of them were bullied and crashed themselves down in misery, drown in sorrow, even end-up making their life miserable, giving up hopes and even committed suicides. I've seen my friends devastated for being bullied as "fat", "ugly", "stupid", "poor", "villagers", and all of the negative labels they never deserved.
WE CAN DO SOMETHING.
After all the past experiences I got through, now I can say that I'm living one great life I've been always grateful about. But that's because I have enough sources to hang on when I was on my weakest stake. MOST OTHERS DON'T. And that's why I share my story, to at least support the victims out there by saying, "Hey, you are not alone." No matter where you are, start to notice when act of bullying happens around you. During the arise of this new-media era, Bullying also happens around the web - they called it cyberbully. I am not an expert to speak about Bullying, but I used to know how it feels. All I can say was the invisible scars from being bullied is the worst effect one can handle. When you physically hurt people, you also create psychological abuse and trauma. When you THINK you only saying harsh judgment and words, you actually destroy a soul by leaving invisible damages. It happened in school, in friendship, in social life, in fashion, in twitter - it is everywhere. We can do something to reduce bullying cases and to raise the social awareness about this. What we can do best is not only tell other people to stop bullying, but also by NOT being a person who easily bullying others based on your own beliefs. Remember, it only takes a person or a few people with bullying habit to destroy someone's whole life. Maybe they didn't know how much bullying affect anyone. Maybe they didn't realize what they did. That's one of the reason I speak up my story, and maybe you can too. Use discussion, critics, questions. Don't judge and bully. Because when you bully others, you show the world how miserable your own life is until you have to seek for another people to blame.
I'm a former bullied child. I survived but the past scars continued to leave invisible memories on my mind. I proudly said I am not afraid of facing the bullies anymore, and I will not let myself bullying others in any possible stakes.
Because no matter how unfair the world is, we don't have to be.
LET'S STOP BULLYING.
A small Anti-Bullying support project by me and my bestfriend Nocky Chandra.
Photo credits : Claradevi Handriatmadja (@claradevi) | After-Beaten Make Up : Nocky Chandra (@nockychandra)
Note : This little project was born during the time when Nocky and I shared our experiences of getting bullied back then as a child, and the way we survived. The story meant to be a support for those who had the similar experiences, and still trying to find an escape until now. For anyone who interested to make a collaboration for Anti-Bullying Campaign, please contact me. And for anyone out there who feel down for being bullied - speak out and let us help!
Anti-Bullying community Indonesia - SEJIWA.ORG