January 22, 2020

To Those Who Have Ever Been Bullied – A Final Unapologetic Message

As you are aware, I am in the process of sharing my final thoughts with the world, while I have the platform to do so, one message at a time.

Today’s message contains my final words and thoughts to those who have also been bullied.

Dear friends,

From the end of fifth grade, when I started a new school (just a month before we were let out for summer), all the way through eleventh grade, I was severely bullied both verbally and physically by classmates. I don’t say I was bullied lightly, as if someone once called me a mean name that hurt my feelings. The bullying I experienced was harsh and relentless.

My two main bullies once burst into the bathroom stall where I was hiding from them and forced me to lick up and down the length of the toilet seat I had been sitting on.

I have been slammed against lockers and into lockers.

I have been surrounded by literal crowds of kids all chanting “fat ass” at me.

I was surrounded by a crowd of kids all chanting, “Danny is a faggot!”

I have been surrounded by crowds of kids shoving me back and forth to the edges of their mob circles.

I was threatened to be beat up constantly. I was threatened to be framed for things I didn’t do. I was even threatened to be killed or sodomized a few times.

I have been shoved by a bully out the front door of my school bus, only to have the bus driver say something uncaring to me and drive away as I lay on the concrete staring at him.

I have had my lunch trays thrown to the ground, my locker vandalized, and my money taken.

I once had a cute popular girl feign interest in me just to get a laugh from the watching crowd.

I have been attacked with water balloons.

I have been attacked with snow balls.

I have even been attacked with a couple of apples.

For six straight years, I couldn’t walk down the halls of my school without hearing someone sneer, “fat ass,” just loud enough for me to hear it.

I have had terrible rumors spread around the school about me.

I have had class clowns yell things out in class to make me look and feel stupid.

I have been invited to fictitious parties.

I have been spit on.

I have been cursed at.

I have been kicked in the shins many times.

I have been kicked in the buttocks many more times.

I have been flicked in the testicles. I have been punched in the testicles. I have been kicked in the testicles.

I was nicknamed and called “nigger lips” in an almost all-white high school by dozens of classmates for more than a year.

I have almost been run over by my bullies on their bikes.

I have almost been run over by my bullies in their cars.

I have had trash thrown at me in the hallways, in the lunch room, or even as I walk by on the street.

I know a thing or two about what it is like to be both severely and less-severely bullied.

But that is not the message I am writing to you today. I simply want you to know where I am coming from as I say what I am about to say. So let me begin again…

Dear friends who have also been bullied,

It does not matter if the bullying happened as a child or an adult. It does not happen if you had it easier or worse than I did. It does not matter if it happened on school grounds or it happened within the walls of your own home. This message is for all of you.

You have every right and reason to be completely messed up mentally and emotionally because of what happened to you.

You have every right and reason to have a hard time trusting, a hard time showing love, and a hard time connecting to other humans because of it.

You have every right and reason to feel rage when you least expect it and to have no idea how to correctly express your anger when you do feel it.

You have every right and reason to look at certain people and see them as threats, no matter how much you tell yourself they aren’t.

You have every right and reason to think about the abuse the bullying was and to think about how it changed your life and health in so many ways.

You have every right and reason to suffer from chronic depression or anxiety.

You have every right and reason to absolutely, without a doubt, hate and loathe your bullies.

Bullying can really mess people up. It destroys our confidence. It wipes out our self-esteem. It makes us feel weak and unable to stand-up for ourselves. It gives us eating disorders or mental disorders or addictions. It makes us process our world’s stimuli incorrectly. It gives us mental filters that even the purest of loves has an impossible time breaking through.

I weighed 330 LBS when I graduated high school. At 18 years old, I weighed 1/6 of a ton.

I was released into the world as a morbidly obese adult with absolutely no idea how to navigate romantic relationships or all the mental problems the bullying gifted to me. I was so happy to be gone and out on my own, but I was undoubtedly an absolute mess once I left home.

No wonder I struggled with raging jealousy.

No wonder I went through different time periods of binge eating disorder and anorexia.

No wonder I couldn’t trust that anyone’s love for me was actually real.

No wonder I had sudden outbursts of anger.

No wonder I wrote home about a fake girlfriend I had when I went to college.

No wonder!

I left home, and I was indeed an absolute mental and emotional mess with no clue just how much of a mental and emotional mess I was.

But even all that is not what this message to you is actually about. I just felt you need to know that I truly know how difficult it is to function as an effective human when you have experienced being bullied. All that being said, let me start again.

Dear friends who have also been bullied,

The bullying you received will stay with you for life and it will affect or damage every love you will ever find and every single relationship with your friends and family… If you decide to let it.

If you will listen with an open mind today, I am going to tell you how to get over all the crap the bullies did to you and leave it behind. Well, most of it anyway. The truth is, there will always be weird moments that trigger the sickness in your stomach that thinking about your bullies always has, but for the absolute most part you can live a life that is not controlled subconsciously by what happened to you.

First things first. This is the absolute hardest one…

And, please don’t throw your phones or computers across the room when I say this…

You have to find a way to forgive your bullies. If you want to get over having been bullied, you have to learn not to hate them for the bullying. You do that by finding some way to feel empathy for them, or even by loving them in a backwards compassionate way. There are two reasons this is probably the most crucial step on your journey to healing:

First, your bullies are humans who (research and common sense have shown) were most likely severely bullied themselves. Do you remember how messed up you are from all the bullying you have received? Well, guess what. So were they. Do you remember how you do crazy things to try and cope with all the pain and hurt that bullying has caused you? Well, guess what. So did they.

Second, resentment and bitterness is a cancer that will eat your soul little by little until there is nothing left to redeem of it. Forgiving your bullies has nothing to do with your bullies. It has everything to do with you, your sanity, and your ability to live a good and wonderful life.

If you are still with me and you are up for the task, and if you are tired of letting your hurtful past dictate your entire future, may I suggest the following exercise?

Sit down, and brutally write out a list of every terrible thing any bully said to you or every physical way any bully hurt you, just like I did above (but even more thorough). Write it exactly as I did, using all the “I have been…” statements. Write, and write, and write until you literally can’t think of another way you can remember being bullied.

Read the list aloud, and when you are done, I want you to say, “I can’t believe anyone would do that to another human.”

Now, on a separate sheet of paper, force yourself to do the following.

Copy what you just wrote, every single word and every single line to the new sheet of paper, except this time replace the words “I have” with the names and pronouns of whichever bully brought each hurt to you.

When I write and blog, I call my bullies Levi and Miles, so my list above would begin to change to this:

Levi’s bullies once burst into my bathroom stall where he was hiding from them and forced him to lick up and down the length of a toilet seat.

Levi has been slammed against lockers and into lockers.

Miles has been surrounded by literal crowds of kids chanting “fat ass” at him.

Levi once was surrounded by literal crowds of kids chanting, “Levi is a faggot!”

Miles has been surrounded by literal crowds of kids shoving him back and forth to the edges of their mob circles.


Read the list aloud, and when you are done, I want you to say, “I can’t believe anyone would do that to another human.”

Whether any of it was true for your bully or not, let yourself believe that all of it was true, and that all of it happened to your bully at some point before it ever was passed along to you.

This is a very helpful way to begin to feel at least a bit of empathy for your bullies, who were probably severely bullied themselves, which is one of the easiest paths to somehow find forgiveness for your bullies.

You will never become absolutely whole as a functioning and loving human until you do find a way to let go of those things that have hurt you the absolute most. Like I said, that is the hardest and most difficult part for most people to do, mostly because it requires letting go of all the resentment and blame that they have used as the foundation leading to so many of their life’s struggles.

Once you have learned how to actually let it all go (and it’s okay if you need to go to a therapist to help you with that), then you must move onto the next step, which is to acknowledge that you are a bit broken in many ways that you can’t even necessarily know or understand.

I would recommend you achieve this through brutally honest daily journaling, mixed with (at first) weekly meetings with a counselor who you feel “gets you.”

If you have not discovered the power of journaling, just try it.

Inner truth, for some reason, flows through the fingers much easier than it flows from the mind to the mouth. All those filters that keep your mouth from admitting the actual truth barely exist at all in your hands. Writing unlocks the deepest of truths in any person once they do it enough. You not only need to get in the habit of deep and honest journaling if you want to heal, but you also have to fall in love with doing it… Every… Single… Day. It should become as important to you as eating or sleeping.

Listen, I get that you probably live a mostly functional life now, even though you were bullied.

I get that you may not feel some great need to fix anything kind of broken inside of you.

I get that the very thought of forgiving those who hurt you most in your entire existence might make you absolutely sick to your stomach.

I can also almost promise you that if you were severely or repeatedly bullied in your life, it will affect your entire life, your entire way of thinking, and all of your reactions in ways you won’t even see until you get to the other side of your healing process.

I am not going to coddle you in this message and say, “poor you” today.

I am unapologetically going to tell you, instead, to rise up and be better than what happened to you. Take the steps you must take to actually shed those damaging parts of your psyche.

You, just as most humans, were born with inherent greatness. You were born with the right to love properly, live properly, and think properly. You were born with the right to live in thought that exists for you and for the ones that you love only, without giving a single neuron of space to those who once hurt you. You were born with the same right as the unbullied to be mentally and emotionally healthy in every possible way.

It is up to you whether you want to invoke and enjoy that inherent greatness or not.

It is up to you whether you want to shed your biggest demons or not.

It is up to you whether you want to finally be free of it all or not.

I am simply here today to tell you, from someone who was bullied almost as bad as anyone can be, that life and love are beyond beautiful and so much easier in every way once you finally learn to let your bullied past go.

Dan Pearce | Dan Pearce Was Here (formerly Single Dad Laughing)