It’s a loaded word.
I could talk about a million different subjects under this topic, but the one that is on my mind tonight is the lasting effects that words have on someone.
I have a boyfriend. I am in a very healthy relationship – we laugh, we kiss, and when we hurt each others feelings, we apologize.
Lately, I have been feeling insecure. Not because of anything he’s done or said negatively, but because of things that have happened to me in the past that have resurfaced.
I don’t feel like I’m allowed to be this happy.
It’s a loaded statement. And you’re probably wondering what this has to do with bullying.
Now, let me make this perfectly clear: I am happy. Happier than I have ever been in my life. I am in love and there isn’t anyone who can change my mind. He showers me with affection, is understanding when I cry for no reason, and doesn’t judge me for the things that I’ve done. He accepts me for who I am.
Past experiences make us the people that we are. We change, we grow, and we adapt. But there are some things, especially when we’re young, that happen and effect us throughout our lives.
Some of these things I fight to keep locked up, deep down. But when I let myself be vulnerable – that is when they start to surface. It’s like a wave that starts out in the middle of the ocean, and until it gets closer to shore, you don’t know if it will be a tsunami or a little ripple.
I have been bullied multiple times in my life. By friends, and by loved ones. I have been bullied to the point that it was emotionally abusive. I don’t, and can’t, talk about specifics, but these words, these actions, resonate with me no matter what I do to try to make them go away.
Sometimes it’s a look. Sometimes it’s the tone of voice or an innocent phrase.
To the unsuspecting person, they may not know the feelings they’ve brought to the surface, but it’s not their fault. It’s the ones before. And it’s not fair that they should have to tip-toe around, wondering if what they say next will be followed by tears.
People have told me over and over again, “Just get over it, it happened so long again.”
But it’s not that easy.
Do you remember the feeling you used to get, when you heard the ice cream truck driving up your street in the summer? The feelings of excitement, anticipation, joy?
Well it’s the same thing, except my triggers bring back emotional pain and insecurity.
So what is my point?
G knows that something is bothering me. I’ve been acting weird lately. As safe and secure as I feel in our relationship, there is this gut-wrenching feeling that I’m not allowed to be happy, something will go wrong and he’ll split.
I know this isn’t the case – he said he’s known where this is going from our first dinner together, and I know where I want things to go. I have never wanted anything more in my life than I do him. And I am so unbelievably lucky that he is everything I had ever hoped he would be; I couldn’t ask for someone to treat me any better.
I am my own worst enemy.
But I refuse to self-sabotage the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My demons can find a new home.
I AM allowed to be happy. I AM allowed to be loved, and love in return. And it’s OKAY to feel secure in a relationship. I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.
So before you say something cruel or demeaning, think of the lasting effects of your words. Because, although it takes only seconds to say something out loud, the things you say can last a lifetime in someones heart.