Anna Labor and Bellamy Young at Paley Fest
Like so many others I was bullied all through school, but it was middle school when it got really bad — all because of a rumor another girl decided to spread about me and a fellow friend. I never knew this girl very well ( I barely had any classes with her) but somehow she decided to spread a silly rumor and helped others make my life a living hell. Rumors spread like wildfire and suddenly every day I had a goal to simply survive the day. By the time I graduated high school, and after being bullied by students AND some teachers (yes, teachers), I was a wounded soul, yet I somehow made it through. Even though they stacked odds against me that I wasn’t “smart” enough to graduate or to even succeed in going to college or having a career, I graduated with a high GPA and went to college (and I am now a lead graphic designer at a small company) but really, I was a shell of a person – I was empty. I didn’t know who I was or who I’d become. I simply didn’t know how to be me because all this time I was told being me was wrong. It’s a horrible thought to have.
No child should ever fear to walk down the hallway of their school because they don’t know what will happen to them. Would I be harmed? What horrendous words would be thrown in my direction today (I was told I was better off dead at one point – that’s how severe the threats and words were)? It was a fear I had to face every day. To some, words are simply words. However, they are as equivalent as a punch in the gut. Only with words you don’t see a wound or the bruise left by the aggressor but the victim? We feel it everyday. The wounds eventually scar over but they stay with us – a constant reminder of that horrible time.
“It hurts until it doesn’t. You think it’s going to break you, but it won’t. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb, but numb and fine are the same.” – Mellie Grant, Scandal
College was the only school I felt safe in. Finally, I could walk the halls without fearing of being harmed or harassed. I didn’t realize the battle wasn’t over and now I had to rebuild myself — a big challenge. This took years and so many things played a role in the rebuilding.
The pain was severe but I kept tucking it away hoping it would eventually disappear. Maybe if I kept ignoring it and acting as if it didn’t exist, it would go away and never return. But it stayed and it all came to surface when I sat down and watched a show called ‘Scandal’. Being a TV show buff and someone who loves writing and how creative writers can be — it didn’t shock me too much that a show/character/actress would play a role in this journey to healing…
The moment I saw Mellie Grant on Scandal I saw more to her than her cold demeanor. I saw much deeper than that. I related to her. Her anger is what I felt inside for so long but never knew how to handle it. She was a woman in pain and a woman who had been wronged and had no one on her side. That’s all she wanted…someone on her side — someone to listen (“I want to be heard!”).
As I watched her scenes and heard her monologues, I could feel myself getting emotional, more than I ever have during any show/movie. Not because I related to her exact trial or situation, but because it was bringing up my own anger and bitterness I had against those bullies. Suddenly, all the pain was at the surface and it was demanding to be felt.
“Love is a true unconditional space to me. To love someone or to be loved is to be seen, and I think, gosh, as humans, all we want is to be seen, to be heard, right? To be valued. To be respected. But mostly just to be held in a safe, unconditional space.” – Bellamy Young, Origin Mag.
I was bitter that I was alone during those years, and I had no one on my side. I had to fight through the battle alone because I didn’t know who to trust and who I could turn to. I was angry no one could see my screaming wounds that had barely scarred over. These strong feelings intrigued me to look up this amazing actress who portrayed Mellie in such a wonderful and heart-wrenching way. I needed to know who this woman was.
I didn’t realize how these actions were about to lead me down a new path of healing – all because of Amy Maria Young (stage name is Bellamy Young). I watched her red carpet interviews, I watched her talk show interviews and I saw she had endured so much grief and pain in her own life. Once again, I felt a connection. While we had two totally different stories and two different types of pain, I felt connected. As more interviews came out over the year, and she talked of pain and true beauty, I could feel my heart softening and the once dim light in my life was getting brighter. These were words I had longed to hear. I silently ached for these words every day. She was the sunshine in my own darkness, and she brought back the light. She taught me to welcome my pain like I welcome the joy – it was a challenge at first because of all the pain that was built up. She taught me that even with all the pain, darkness and ugliness that we face in our lives, we can still be a good person and we can still carry ourselves with grace. It’s the only way we’ll heal and have a good life – holding onto bitterness and anger won’t get us anywhere.
“You gotta love yourself, because when you’re hurting — you never know who’s gonna be around to do the lovin’ for ya. You gotta love yourself through the pain.” – Bellamy Young, Origin Mag
I forgive my bullies. Perhaps they were in a bad place and felt the need to inflict their own pain on someone who seemed to have a happy life. I’ll never understand why that girl spread the rumor or what her exact purpose was but that’s not for me to understand. Right now, I just have to continue moving on. I truly hope those bullies are happy and have a good life. And if they have kids I hope they remember how they treated me and will teach their kids how awful bullying is. It makes a huge impact on someone’s life.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for such a long time but I kept hesitating in fear people would think this is a silly way to heal, but if this can somehow reach out to someone who is currently being bullied perhaps this will help inspire them to keep going and to keep the hope, maybe this will help them find a way, a person, or anything to help them with the pain and for them to see the light. The days do get better and the sun does return.
“But also, kindness. That is what thrills me, personally. Small acts of kindness; thoughtful, large acts of kindness. I feel like we’re in a bit of a precipice, and I think that any beautiful energy on the kindness continuum will just help us fall into a lovelier place. From the fear and constriction that’s sort of always pulling us back and keeping us in old modalities, I feel like any expansive act of kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity, helps tip the scale toward a more conscious, liberated existence for everyone. The smallest act has repercussions for the universe.” – Bellamy Young, Origin Magazine
Written by: Anna Labor
Story as is by writer. Permission to post was granted