This week has not been off to a great start. Last night I was starting to get a migraine, likely weather related and fell asleep on the couch. Never a good thing on both counts. No one wants a migraine and falling asleep on the couch usually means a fitful sleep. We were fortunate to have a couple nice days and now there is a shift in the weather again and not only has it given me a headache, the shift may have stirred up some residual memories and feelings. These things I thought I’d let go keep popping up again.
If you’ve read my blog, you may or may not have come across a few posts about being bullied in High School for being different. For the longest time I called it being picked on, but in fact, it’s bullying. In my case I fought back, however, it still affected me. Being treated that way made me feel as if I was even more of an outsider and it pushed me to move out of that small town. I also had to learn at a very early age that I was going to have to take care of myself. No one else was going to stick up for me. It made me tough and independent. This doesn’t always happen. In many cases bullying has the opposite affect and to heart-breaking results.
In the case of myself, I tried over time to not think about it as much. I tried to let those feelings go. Yet, in my dreams it will pop up from time to time. After being fat shamed the other week, I felt horrible for a few days, then I made an effort to let it go. I’m wondering if last nights dream was that feeling stirring up again. Shaming someone will do that.
In the dream, two friends and myself are at a Rockabilly bar. One of them recognizes a man, who is standing by himself, from a Toronto band from the 1980s. (in my dream I remembered this band, when I woke up this morning it left me) They invite him to sit at our table. The conversation is fun. There is some reminiscing, lots of laughter and everyone is participating in the conversation. The musician even talks about how their band is going to start up again now that 80s music is so popular again. Then it happens. He looks directly at me, and says, “You are so fat and ugly, no one would fuck you.” At that moment everything had gone quiet, the music, the sounds of conversations, everything. Then, after he stopped talking, it started up again. He then looked away and said he had to go to the bathroom and the two friends (male) both said they needed to go as well. I then waited for what felt like a really long time and when they didn’t come back, I left. When I left the bar, my feet were suddenly bare and there were shards of ice everywhere. I had to choose to go back into the bar or walk on the ice and I kept walking. Then the dream ended.
Shaming is bullying.
In the last few years I’ve really struggled with my weight. I went from being slender and physically active, to hurting my knee, unable to exercise and gaining weight. Menopause hasn’t helped. I used to have a friend who said things such as, “Hey fatty!” When I would tell her that was a horrible thing to say, she would then say, “Just KIDDING!” In her mind twisting it into a joke made it ok. Guess what! It’s not OK! It’s never ok! EVER!
Bullying and shaming hurts the victims. Every single time. It has to stop!
How did I get to this blog post today? This morning when I went to begin yoga, I didn’t feel like it. I was tired, I still have a headache and the dream was bothering me. I was going to do an intense core practice today and rather than do nothing at all, I chose the Fill Your Cup video. It is a 22 minute video and was just what I needed, also hearing Adriene’s voice, telling me it’s ok to feel the way I feel and it helped. Doing this practice every day is helping my mind as well as my body. During the practice I kept coming back to why I can’t let go of how horrible I feel about being bullied and shamed, then started to feel heart-broken for those who are pushed to suicide because of it. Bullying has to stop!
If you are being bullied or feeling helpless, lost and suicidal I am including links to helpline’s. I know you may not feel like you can talk to anyone, but please, if you can, contact one of these helplines.
Bullying Canada — https://www.bullyingcanada.ca/
Canada Suicide Prevention — https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/