The long term effects of bullying include: depression, shame, self-doubt, stress, negativity, short fuses with others, anger, rudeness, not being a good parent, and many more things. I know this now after being on the receiving end of it for the past 18 months.
Previously I had no idea how bullying seeps into your life, eating it way into every nook and cranny. Sometimes I was conscious of it, but it was more of an out of body experience. I would watch my behaviour to those I love degenerating and not really knowing why but also powerless to stop it. But most of the time it was unconscious and I can only see it with time.
My ability to work decreases each week. My parenting evolves into a style I never knew possible. And most of all, I’m exhausted. Ground down by it all. And each week, the bullying continues. The worst part of it all is the powerlessness I feel in it all. It is horrible manipulation meant to grind you down into submission.
But here the thing. What we have been going through for the past 18 months is minor in comparison to what some kids experience at school, what refugees experience everyday, or what people of colour or LGBQT people regularly face.
There is a pure evilness in bullying. I have a taste for it now. And it makes me wretch.
And yes, bullying can rear its head in change. When you face change or meet resistance to the change you seek to create, bullying can come knocking offering itself as a means to get your way. However, the impact of bullying is never the change we seek. It is never ok.
Be kind and generous to each other. Respect one another. Especially those who are different than yourself. And remember no one goes to bed at night wishing they had a little less encouragement or kindness shown to them that day. And your kindness may mean the world to the person you showed it to. You never know what they are going throw.
The choice is up to us.