1. You take the path less traveled by.
On my way to school, I would always take the long route, just so I wouldn’t have to face any of my bullies. To have a few more minutes of peace. To experience the “calm before the storm.”
Imagine taking the usual route to school, and then weeks later you are taking that wretched, muddy, bumpy route you said you wouldn’t be caught dead on, and yet there you are, because you need a few moments to yourself before the torture begins.
2. You find ways to escape.
It doesn’t matter if it is for a day, a week, or even a few minutes. You are just glad you managed to find some form of shelter from further emotional torture.
3. You try not to attract attention.
Some bullies look (specifically) for you. You are their prey and they are the hunter. And if you catch their eye, be prepared to be humiliated — all the more fun if there are others around.
I remember causing unnecessary attention before a very important exam. All it took is one look, one single look, and then everything went downhill. He humiliated me in front of the entire class, which in turn made me cry for the remainder of the exam, and I had a very hard time concentrating. I had to thank my lucky stars for studying hard for this exam, as opposed to that wretched person who not only cheated, but earned a higher mark.
4. You’re always paranoid.
You constantly have that paranoid feeling, even in your own home, because you know that in the next few hours or days you will face them and be humiliated again and again. You know that “chair tipping” feeling? Now imagine feeling it every single second.
5. You find places to cry alone.
This is a tricky one, simply because everyone is unique and copes with pain in different ways. Some cry, others become violent or shun themselves from everything, even their loved ones. I cried, because that is how I coped with bullying. I just sat on my bed, thinking about why everything happened, and then silently let the tears drop. The silent cry is the most painful cry of all.
6. Your self-confidence drops.
For some reason or another, these wretched people can turn others against you. How do they do it? It might have something to do with them not wanting to be on the bad side of the bully, so they become a bully themselves just to “stay on the safe side.” Or they just might be sadistic.
Either way, it is not okay, because the victim’s self-confidence suffers so much that they may never become functional human beings again. Not to mention the trust issues. They might not even trust their lover or their best friend out of fear that they might turn against them. Some victims of bullying could even become psychopaths or criminals or abusers themselves.
7. You pretend that everything is okay.
The school system failed us. Why? Because even if we had told our teachers, they would have done nothing about it, ignored it, and even taken the bully’s side. They would have just told us to “ignore it.” But that does nothing to stop the bullying. If you ignore it, they will continue.
8. You stop doing what you love.
When you are bullied, whatever it is that you are doing will be laughed at: drawing, listening to music, wearing certain clothes, walking, breathing, etc. Think about this: you love doing something, but the wretched bully keeps putting you down. As a result, your self-confidence plummets to the ground and you no longer enjoy doing what you love anymore.
9. You feel empty.
You feel so deprived of life, of hope, that you can no longer see the bright side of life. You become so accustomed to being bullied, to all of those negative experiences, that you get to a point where your anger circuits just burn out and you accept disillusionment. You feel so much pain that you simply give up and decide not to feel anymore. You just go numb.