This is a brief excerpt from my book From Bullied to Black Belt, a true story. I write in the sincere hope it helps anyone who is a victim or fearful. There is a bright future, trust me, I know.
I learnt that when it mattered, when it really mattered, I had what it takes to dig deep.....
There is no sadder sight than that of a child walking the playground alone, having endured yet another beating, or ‘mickey taking’ session from cruel kids who know no better…or maybe they do. Sometimes they get a perverse kick out of the misery they cause others.
All sorts of ‘reasons’ are given for their behavior. Their dad didn’t buy them a bike, their sister wouldn’t get out of the bathroom this morning, somebody was in their seat on the bus...the list goes on.
We can talk all day and long into the night about why a bully does what he does and why a victim suffers needlessly. Sometimes the talking is justified and needed, sometimes it falls on deaf ears…the bully might just not care an ounce for his victim’s pain. Hell, he might even revel in it.
But for now, back to the victim. He cares not for the bully’s story. He is just sick and tired of being at the wrong end of bad behavior. Sick of getting spat at, sick of getting called hurtful, spiteful names and sick of the anxiety this problem creates.
He may even start to question his own future. Can he carry on like this? What can he do to prevent future attacks (because that is exactly what they are, attacks)? He may feel there is nothing he can do, that he is destined to a life of misery, of failure and of pain.I am happy to tell him he is wrong. There is a life beyond the suffering. There is a future with no bullies, violence or terror. Hell, it needn’t be just any life either! It can be a soul-soaring, rip-roaring adventure, filled with friends, adventures, excitement and love. It can be a great life!
Trust me; I know what I am talking about. You see, I was that kid and I was that adult that endured. I wiped spit from my face, my ears burned from horrible name-calling and my body ached from the violence people cared to inflict on me. I was bullied so badly as a child and young adult that I suffered more anxiety than a man has a right to. Plagued by panic attacks I succumbed to agoraphobia. Unable to look people in the eye, people would prey on me like predators. Before I really got to grips with my problems I became the focal point for a gang of drug dealers and they too thought they could join the people who had blighted my life by bullying the very spirit out of me.
But they didn’t. Nobody does anymore. They don’t do that because I stopped letting them. You see I decided to take control. I was sick of the fear so I decided to take it on. It wasn’t easy, it is never easy but I took control after I made the decision to do so.
It was up to me. When my chance came along and I realised I had a responsibility to myself to take that chance, I bloody well did. I took it and held onto it until it became mine, until it became me. My chance to build my self-respect came through the way of the Martial Arts but your path may be different. It really doesn’t matter what path you take as long as the path fills you with confidence. As long as it builds your self-esteem so high that you feel like you are flying. In the end it isn’t about fighting, it is about being.
Not everyone wants to hit the dojo floor or enter the ring but that isn’t the important thing. I know people who draw their confidence from singing, painting and writing. I am lucky enough to know people from all walks of life who excel in their chosen field and exude confidence. The by-product of this is that bullies give them a wide berth because confident people will not be picked on. Life becomes a little easier to handle.
So the important thing is that you try. That you try something you really want to do but are afraid of. Maybe you are afraid of trying something because you might fail, afraid of looking silly or of being out of your depth but when you try you will find you aren’t. You will find the mere fact that you are trying will lift you to a confident place and you will realise that you no longer have to be a victim.
I did it and so you can, I promise. So please, trust me, read my words and bear with me if it seems I am waffling at times. It makes sense in the end.
This book is for sufferers everywhere who are damn well sick and tired of being a victim. This book is for those people who want a good, positive way out. This is for people who have suffered and want to say ‘No more! No more hiding, no more pleading. It’s time I took control of my life.’
And you will.
The names of certain individuals have been changed to protect the guilty. Other than that, everything written in this book is true.
Simon Morrell is a 6th dan internationally recognised black belt,3 time Hall of Fame winner and the author of five books. He is available for talks and seminars. You can contact him here