Truth by Maya Stojan
Hey there, I’m Maya and I’ve been an outreach ambassador for Boo2bullying for a good 6 years. I want to start off by saying that when I was asked to do this blog, I first thought “Yikes, I’m so private about my life! I like being viewed a certain way, and this is going to be read by strangers – or worse – maybe people who actually know me. What if they think, “Who is she to think that she’s been bullied? What could she possibly know about bullying? Blah blah etc etc” and that’s when I realized “Wow Maya, chill, you’re bullying yourself”.
Truth is, I’ve been privy to all sorts of bullying throughout my childhood, from being made fun of for my (at the time) severe OCD, to having “fuck you Maya” written on walls in my middle school, to other events which I don’t feel quite comfortable sharing.
Now as an adult, I have better tools to handle bullying. But it still isn’t easy. I suffer from low self esteem and sometimes get a lot of anxiety from just posting on Social Media in fear that I’ll get mean comments or rude private messages.
When I first started out as an actress and posted my first demo reel online someone commented for all to see that I was the worst actress that they had ever seen and that I was super ugly or something along those lines. I remember it being very detailed and articulate. It took me weeks to recover because I believed it.
Now, when I get a mean comment, I honestly feel a lot of love for the person that’s sending it to me because I have the tools to understand that they themselves are in a lot of pain and are mostly just trying to alleviate their own suffering. It doesn’t make it right of course and all bullying should stop, but I now have a deeper understanding for how dark their lives must be to go out of their way to point the finger at someone else in a cruel way.
I also know that whatever is said to me is a reflection of themselves. If someone calls me, for instance, “an insecure, weak, sensitive girl” whether they are right or wrong doesn’t matter, I just think “Right back at you buddy.”
My advice to any young person in school suffering from being bullied is to speak up! There are so many people out there who can help you and have been through similar situations, and chances are your family and the people who love you know what’s best for you.
Try to never take anything personally. This could be happening to anyone else, including me. They might have picked you because you are special and beautiful inside and out, and that’s just more than they can handle so they have to drag you all the way down. Don’t let them. You may not have the physical strength to fight back but you can build your inner strength.
And if you’re an adult being bullied, you can walk away or block them. I’ve pondered awhile on what it means to have closure with someone who you’ve allowed into your life, who hurt you or even continuously hurt you and my conclusion was that
sometimes closure is slamming the door shut. That’s strength and freedom right there.