You’ve been told your entire life to never be anyone but yourself…that you shouldn’t care what others think of you because the only opinion that truly matters is your own… well, that’s where my problem lies. For as long as I can remember, this one girl has horribly bullied me. She takes daily punches at my body type, my sexuality, the clothes I wear, and my weight. At one point she broke down my self-esteem so low, I was buried in a deep grave of hate that I thought I would never get out of. I desperately want to stand up to her every day, but the second I stand in front of a mirror and look her in the eyes, my bravery shrinks. How do I escape a bully that’s inside me?
My struggle for self-love began at a very young age. The ironic thing is, that I have always been myself and never put in effort to fit in. Growing up people would praise me for always “being me” and not changing who I was. They saw this as bravery, but inside, I hated myself because I was so different than other girls. I didn’t understand why I was such a tomboy and hoped that my friends were right about it just being a phase, turns out it wasn’t. Hateful and discouraging thoughts continually grew in my mind, and spread like wildfire, taking control of my body and my soul. I prevented myself from trying new things, because “I wasn’t good at anything.” I isolated myself from friends and family, because “No one really loved me.” I didn’t allow myself to make mistakes, because “Mistakes make me even less perfect.” I stopped myself from embracing and exploring my sexuality, because “Gay or not, nobody wants me anyway.” I punished myself for any weight I gained, by not eating, and working out so hard to the point of fainting.
The things that I have called myself, and the way I have talked to myself, I would never dare speak like that to another human being, yet I have no problem saying them to myself. This bullying and abuse has continued through out my entire life, and if I am being honest, still is present today. A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon Only Human’s website, and things began to change. I began reading other people’s stories that were so similar to mine, saw people pushing through hardships, being vulnerable and being their true authentic selves, and embracing their mistakes and imperfections. It was if I had an epiphany, and the words “Only Human”, truly registered in my mind. For the first time in my life, I decided to forgive myself. I decided to fight back against my inner bully and start to love myself.
This road of fighting my inner bully and trying to heal myself has not been easy, I take one step forward and five steps back, I cry and scream more often than not, and I sometimes am so worn out from battling myself that I want to give up…but I don’t. I owe it to myself to truly live, to let myself fail and succeed and fail again, and to allow myself to be loved (especially by me), because that’s what every human being deserves.
“If I can survive the war that I battle with myself, I can survive anything.”
Story submitted by Kate.