So what did I do yesterday when it was brought it to my attention that somebody was calling me names, cursing, being hateful towards me and sharing it with everybody they know? Answer- I did nothing.
I know, mind-blowing, right? Why would I sit back and do NOTHING?
divorce made me a target for a lot of name-calling and smear tactics by the people who were close to my previous spouse. But despite anything that's ever been said or thought about me, despite any actions taken against me, I don't feel the desire to be cruel. I've never said anything about the situation or the people involved that was hurtful, mean or untrue. I never wished bad things about people who have hurt me, I never called anyone bad names, and I never rallied to have an army supporting me. And despite the things that were said about me, I still don't feel the need to do any of those things.
Instead, I share my story for the women who have gone through similar trials. For the women who want to be a part of an encouraging community of love and support. For the women who are looking for friends who have been through those really hard experiences and have come out on the other side. For women who, like me, have gone through things in life that have hurt them, but are determined to be better people because of it.
So here's why it doesn't bother me. Here's why I don't feel the need for confrontation or retaliation. I am happy. I have gone through things in life that nobody should be exposed to. I grew up in a home where I was exposed to abuse on a daily basis, I heard things like "you're a waste of life" "you're a worthless piece of ****" and much worse from the very people who were supposed to love me the most in this life. I heard the words "you don't deserve to have children, but I hope you do. I hope you give birth to a stillborn," by somebody I once thought I was going to marry. I fought through depression for years. There's nothing anybody can say to me that will ever hurt me more than I've already experienced. There's nothing anybody can say about me that would change my self-worth or change the person I am.
Getting to this place of peace and contentment wasn't easy. (You can read how I did here.) But now that I'm here, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. I won't jeopardize where I am now by resorting to things that are hurtful, cruel and uncalled for. I wouldn't dare change who I am for a second to react to something so small, so insignificant. The greatest piece of advice I've ever received in reference to being verbally smeared by the people I once called my family was this:
"Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you."
And if that doesn't work for you, try listening to this. Because I do believe that Taylor Swift has a song for everything and this is mine for remembering that happiness is a choice I make despite anything that may go on around me and nothing anybody says is going to take that sense of self-love and value away from me.
How do you respond to bullying?
Image courtesy of the amazing Sharon Elizabeth Photography.