Good morning, everybody.
I hope everyone is having a good week and a peaceful Sunday. I was struggling to find a topic for this week’s post. Yes, even I have writer’s block sometimes. But there was an incident at work that happened last week that prompted my next topic. As mentioned before, I work at a place that caters to teenagers and young adults with special needs. One particular client there is higher functioning than a lot of the other clients and he sometimes will do everything he can to remind us of that. I am not going into detail of the incident because its not really my place to do so, But he said things that were derogatory and disrespectful to the clients. For my part, it made me beyond furious at what he said and it prompted me to write an article on a subject that is a sore-spot for me because I have gone through it many times. That subject in question is bullying.
I am sure that like me, some -if not most- of you who are Asperger’s have suffered at the hands of a bully or bullying behavior. Whoever came up with the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is either an idiot, lying, or has never been put down in any way and so therefor is ignorant of what it feels like to be bullied. I was almost reluctant to write this article because this is a very sore and difficult subject for me. I have a very strong fear of snakes and spiders, an almost paralyzing fear of them. One of the deadliest snakes on earth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, has a very nasty bite to it. When one of these creatures bite you, their fangs excrete a venom that has a necrotizing effect to it. That means that tissue is destroyed by the venom and even if you are lucky enough to survive the bite, you have a high chance of going through life with a missing limb do to necrosis or gangrene from the venom, or a horrible scar. I don’t mean to be gruesome or graphic in my imagery here, but I tell you all this because the cruel words said to us and their effects on our self esteem are like the venom of a rattlesnake and its effects on living tissue. When things are said to us or about us that are bad, or when things are done to us that are bad, the venom from those actions or words can have a very necrotizing effect on our self esteem and psyche and though I have survived, I carry scars with me that will never fade. I have been called “retarded”, “half-retarded”, “slow”, “incompetent”, etc. There was one time at work a couple of months ago that I was doing paperwork and there happened to be a fire-drill with the clients. I stayed behind to finish the work I had been doing and one of my coworkers walking by stopped and told me that he hoped that I burned. Now deep down I knew he was kidding, of course. Him and I always get along and he’s became a good work friend of mine. But that hurt me when he said that because I have a fear of fire and being burned alive and that affected me.
I have had friends that had cruelly dumped me out of their life out of the clear blue. Sometimes I can be annoying, I do struggle with social issues after all. But these ending of friendships hurt me because they were so sudden and just made no sense because I had done nothing to offend them. It has made me paranoid that maybe I’m not a good friend to others like I think I am and that something about me offends people that I don’t know about. Though I am very strong and can survive almost anything, I am also a human being…a human being with a disability. So when someone does things to hurt me, whether they mean to or not, it really does effect me. But I have found ways to cope and survive and so here are my tips for those of you who have ever suffered bullying.
- Shrug it off and take time to realize it’s not you, it’s them. As Ms Swift says “haters gonna hate” we should follow their advice and shake it off
- Stick to those that find value of you. Even if it is your mom or even your dog or cat, talking to someone who loves you and understands you for who you are does wonders for healing.
- Realize your value. I have said this before and I will say it again, God does not make mistakes. He made you as a perfect masterpiece in his art gallery called life. Don’t let other’s perception or views of you make you forget that. They are not God and so their feelings of you aren’t important. But God’s feelings are and I can assure you that he adores everything about you.
As always, I hope this helps. feel free to ask any questions. God bless.