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Beneath the Surface



In my personal journey, I have firsthand experienced the profound impact of hurtful words and relentless criticism. I found myself continuously exposed to remarks about my physical appearance, mental well-being, and behavior, feeling the immense weight of their impact. The relentless barrage of comments about my body size and eating habits, along with judgments about my mental health and unfounded accusations of theft and drug use, seemed never-ending. What made matters worse was that these hurtful comments originated not just from my peers but also from members of my own family, and even from the internal echoes of self-doubt within me. Unquestionably, these words cut deep and left lasting scars.


Navigating bullying in a school setting posed an immense challenge. There was one classmate in particular who subjected me to relentless torment, solely focused on my weight and determined to shame and degrade me. Their attacks persisted, regardless of my body size, and left a lasting impact on my self-esteem. They invaded my privacy, rummaging through my clothes in the locker room, just to expose the size of my jeans. The vulnerability and humiliation I felt during those moments were unparalleled. Their cruelty didn't stop there. Years later, they stooped even lower by carving "Amy is anorexic" into a wooden classroom desk, completely shattering any remaining sense of security I had. It felt as if my deepest insecurities were suddenly laid bare for everyone to witness, leaving me feeling isolated and desperately yearning for acceptance in a world that seemed determined to break me.


While I believed that my home would be a refuge from the criticism I faced at school, it turned out to be an equally challenging environment. Contrary to what I expected, my biggest critic was someone who was meant to love and protect me unconditionally. The constant reminders of how I fell short of their expectations, the pressure to conform to their ideals of beauty and health, left me feeling unworthy and desperate for acceptance and love.


This blog post aims to delve into the prevalent types of bullying/criticism in schools and homes, shedding light on the subject. Additionally, we will confront the alarming statistics that reveal the correlation between bullying and suicidal tendencies and explore the lasting effects of this destructive behavior. By raising awareness and fostering understanding, we can work together to create a more compassionate and supportive world for our children.




The Emotional Wounds Inflicted in Educational Setting


Bullying at school inflicts emotional wounds that can have long-lasting consequences. Recognizing the different types is crucial in addressing and preventing this pervasive issue. Let's explore some common forms of bullying encountered in the school environment:


The Power of Hurtful Words: Verbal bullying involves using hurtful words, insults, name-calling, and mockery to demean and belittle the recipient. Such

relentless verbal attacks can significantly impact a person's self-esteem and overall well-being.


When Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Physical bullying manifests as direct physical aggression, such as pushing, shoving, or damaging personal belongings. The physical pain inflicted often pales in comparison to the emotional trauma experienced by the victim.


The Pain of Social Exclusion: Relational bullying revolves around manipulating relationships, spreading rumors, excluding individuals from social groups, and publicly humiliating them. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety.


The Dark Side of Digital Platforms: With the advent of technology, online bullying has become increasingly prevalent. It involves using electronic platforms, such as social media, messaging apps, or online forums, to criticize, attack, or spread harmful content about an individual. The anonymity and wide reach of online bullying intensify its impact, as it infiltrates a victim's personal space and extends beyond the school walls.



The Sanctuary Breached


Unfortunately, bullying/criticism does not remain confined to the school environment. It can also permeate the supposed sanctuary of our homes. Domestic abuse or family abuse can have significant repercussions on a child's emotional well-being. Let's examine some types that can occur at home:


The Hidden Scars of Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse involves constant criticism, humiliation, manipulation, and invalidation of a child's feelings. The relentless emotional abuse chips away

at their self-worth, leaving lasting scars on their psyche.



When Home Becomes a Battleground: Physical abuse within the family encompasses acts of physical aggression, such as hitting, slapping, or pushing. The betrayal of trust and violation of the home's supposed safety can deeply traumatize a child.


Undermining the Foundations of Self: Psychological abuse at home involves gaslighting, manipulation, and controlling behavior aimed at undermining the child's self-esteem and sense of reality. The constant psychological warfare erodes their confidence and distorts their perception of self.


When Bonds Turn Toxic: Sibling bullying occurs when one sibling exerts power and control over another through physical, verbal, or emotional means. This can strain sibling relationships, create feelings of resentment, and leave lasting emotional scars.




The Hidden Peril


The link between bullying and suicidal tendencies is a harsh reality that demands our attention. The emotional anguish inflicted can push vulnerable individuals to the brink of despair. Consider the following statistics:


The Burden of Constant Emotional Pain:

Research reveals that victims are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts. Studies indicate that approximately 15-20% of students who face bullying/criticism have contemplated suicide or engaged in self-harming behaviors. The constant onslaught of emotional pain and isolation can erode a person's will to live.


Trapped in the Darkness: The correlation between bullying and suicide attempts is distressingly strong. Individuals who have faced some type of bullying/criticism are more likely to attempt suicide. Research suggests that recipients are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than their non-bullied peers. The cumulative impact of relentless criticism can lead recipients to feel trapped and hopeless




The Lingering Scars


The effects of bullying extend far beyond the immediate emotional distress. Victims often experience long-lasting consequences that impact their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Some common long-term effects include:



The Battle Within: Bullying can contribute to the development of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The emotional trauma inflicted can haunt individuals well into adulthood.


A Diminished Sense of Self: The constant barrage of negative comments and attacks can severely undermine a person's self-esteem and self-worth. Victims may internalize the hurtful words and develop a distorted perception of themselves.


Hindrances on the Path to Success: The emotional toll of can hinder one's academic performance and limit their potential. The stress and anxiety associated with bullying can make it challenging to concentrate and excel in school or work settings.


The Struggle to Connect: Victims often struggle to form trusting relationships and maintain healthy social connections. The experience of being ostracized and humiliated can lead to social withdrawal and a fear of vulnerability.


When Criticism Takes a Toll on the Body: The toll of being criticized is not limited to emotional scars. It can also manifest in physical health issues such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, and compromised immune function.




Healing the Unseen Wounds


Bullying, whether at school or home, leaves victims with unseen wounds that can endure for a lifetime. Understanding the different types of criticism and its profound effects is crucial in addressing this pervasive issue.


These experiences, both at school and home, shaped me in ways I never anticipated. They taught me that sometimes the people closest to us can unintentionally inflict the deepest wounds. The pain of being ridiculed, judged, and belittled took a toll on my self-esteem, leaving me questioning my worth and purpose. However, through my journey, I also learned the importance of resilience and self-acceptance in the face of criticism.


The power of hurtful words should never be underestimated. The wounds inflicted, whether at school or home, can have a lasting impact on an individual's well-being. It is essential to raise awareness of the profound effects of such behavior and work collectively towards creating a more compassionate and supportive world for our children. By sharing our stories and shedding light on the destructive consequences, we can foster empathy, understanding, and kindness.


It is crucial to surround ourselves with supportive individuals who uplift us and to develop a strong sense of self-worth that cannot be easily shaken by critics. Let us strive to create environments where acceptance, love, and understanding prevail, empowering individuals to embrace their true selves without fear of judgment. Together, we can break the cycle and cultivate a society that values compassion and celebrates the unique qualities of every individual.



"Thorns make you stronger, and the beauty of the rose is worth the pricks along the way"

 

Join me as we embark on a path of resilience, self-discovery, and transformation. Connect with me today to book a public speech that will allow your audience to witness the strength that arises from vulnerability and the beauty that can flourish when we choose to embrace our authentic selves.

The Vintage Rose is a testament to the unyielding spirit within each of us—an invitation to bloom despite the shadows that may have once defined us. Let us celebrate our individuality, celebrate our journeys, and create a world that embraces the inherent strength and resilience within us all. Thank you for joining me on this empowering journey. Together, we can rewrite the narrative surrounding mental health and inspire others to embark on their own path of healing.


Remember, our past does not dictate our future. We are survivors, we are resilient, and we are ready to create change. Welcome to The Vintage Rose, where authenticity, courage, and healing intertwine to form a beautiful tapestry of recovery.

 

Amy Thompson, MSW, CAPSW, CPS is the owner and designer of the The Vintage Rose Co. She has a Master’s in Social Work, is a Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker, a Certified Dual Peer Specialist, a Social/Emotional Interventionist, an Inspirational Speaker, and a suicide survivor. Amy has walked the path of recovery from her mental health struggles to addiction. She has confronted the challenges of living with OCD, anxiety, and depression, and as time went on, she received additional diagnoses of ADHD and PTSD. She now dedicates herself to providing support and advocacy for others on their own journey.




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2 commentaires


Candi Fitzsimons
Candi Fitzsimons
24 mai 2023

Amazing insights💚Thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise💚

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Membre inconnu
31 mai 2023
En réponse à

If I can help one soul, my purpose in this universe will be fulfilled! 🖤

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