For me, bullying has been one of the most painful experiences. Bullying is hard when it comes from friends or acquaintances, but even harder when it is from family members. I cannot describe the amount of pain that bullying has caused me.
I believe that people don’t recognize how much of a negative impact bullying can have on students with disabilities. In my experiences, bullying can affect your self-esteem, your ability to socialize, worsen your anxiety or depression symptoms, and cause isolation.
Bullying can be prevented, and the work YO! does is helping people to recognize that bullying is a major issue faced by youth with disabilities. I have found a few techniques that I use to help me cope with bullying. I will share them below, hopefully they can help you too.
1) I like to listen to loud music through headphones right after I have been bullied. This helps to block out all the horrible words that were said so I can focus on other things.
2) When you are being bullied, try to immediately leave the situation. Whether that means leaving the family dinner table, a social gathering, or going home from a friend’s house. I have found it best to immediately distance myself from the bully.
3) I like to say positive affirmations to myself. Affirmations like “I am goodness”, “I am beauty”, “I am health”, and “I am peace” can do wonders for your self-esteem. Saying it in front of a mirror is very powerful. Some people even write sticky notes with their positive affirmations and place them on their mirror as a reminder.
4) Speak to your emotional support team right after you have been bullied. Have a conversation and tell them what just happened. If you have been bullied at school, you can also speak to your teacher or other administrators.
Some of these tips may seem silly, but they have worked for me and they may work for you too. Our ability to heal ourselves shouldn’t be underestimated. We are powerful and capable human beings who can access emotional healing. I hope some of my tips above will help you to heal and combat bullying.
Below is a video of other youth with disabilities sharing some words of kindness. If you have been bullied, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Check out some of our resources below and find even more in the resource section on this page :http://yodisabledproud.org/organize/own-my-power.php