We’ve all at some point in our lives have experienced bullying. The thing that seriously bogs my mind about the whole attack against another human is that it’s usually always targeted at an individual for something they are unable to control, whether it’s their sexual orientation, the way they look, their past, etc. We tend to always be humiliated for the things we can’t change.
When I was born, I did not look like the typical child. I was born with a facial deformity known as a bilateral cleft lip. In order to be treated, I needed to undergo an operation when I was 5 months old. The surgery left me with a mark that I can never remove. Growing up, tons of people would look at me and point fingers at my face. As a child, it was something I didn’t understand. There were even some people who had the courage to come up to me and ask, “What’s wrong with your lip?” I was never brave enough to speak up for what I had gone through. As a result, I became self-conscious to every possible relationship that I had a shot at and constantly thought society was judging me.
My friends always told me that they understood. But, they have never been in my shoes. Bullies never abused the majority of my friends with their harsh words about something uncontrollable. I didn’t choose to be born the way I was. Although I knew my friends were being empathetic, being comfortable in my own skin is something I had to learn on my own, and, after a lot of thought and countless nights of crying, I knew something had to change. I began to learn that my experiences make me the person I am today.
If it weren’t for all the scars on my skin, regardless of where they are placed, I would not be here. I realized that I am unique — not everyone has a scar on his or her face, after all. And I knew that if I survived the excruciating pain that I went through as an infant, then I could tolerate any obstacle that comes my way.
Our scars tell a story, and it is these stories that define us; they’re what differentiates us from everyone else. What we undergo is extremely powerful and can transform the way people see the world. We are not bad people for going through difficulty. Just because someone says something rude to you doesn’t always mean they are right. They just have no idea what we’ve each been through, but it is up to us to be strong enough to disregard these negative connotations others bring upon us.
Remember that it’s okay to speak up. It is okay to educate others for the things that have happened to you or for the way that you are. You don’t have to change yourself to please others. Instead embrace it, hold your head up, and show everyone who’s boss.