(2.5 minute read)
After having experienced both abuse and bullying in my life, I realized that abuse felt a lot like being bullied and being bullied felt a lot like being abused. So, I began to wonder if it is fair to say that bullying is a form of abuse? If someone lays their hands on you to harm you, is it just like physical abuse? When bullies use words to tear others down, could that be considered a form of verbal and emotional abuse?
Though they both can make you feel the same in many ways, I think that there is a greater feeling of betrayal when it comes to abuse. The thing about abuse is that it can sneak up on you. A person is often abused by someone whom they grew close to and trusted deeply. Many abusive relationships become that way gradually.
There are instances of being bullied by coworkers or family members. However, when it comes to typical school bullies, one often never has a chance to develop a close relationship with the bully. However, the hurt is great because one is made to feel rejected before ever being given the chance to be known.
The relationship factor is what makes both abuse and bullying sting. It hurts when the person is close to you and knows you, and it hurts when the person never knew you or ever tried to get to know you.
It makes me think about how important it is to teach children the importance of treating their peers right while they are young. The sad thing is that I’m pretty sure that many children learn to become bullies when they are bullied and abused. That’s why I‘m able to forgive those who have hurt me.
I believe that “Hurt People, Hurt People.” There is a book by that title written by Sandra Wilson. I read it years ago before I realized what abuse was. It talks about the cycle of hurt that occurs because hurt people go on to hurt other people, and those people hurt other people, and it goes on like a chain effect. I intend never to let that chain continue on through the life that I live.
Bullying and abuse seem to be very similar. It seems like we just change the name of the offenses depending upon our relationship with the person and the severity of the offensive treatment. If bullying was viewed as being abusive, I wonder if bullies would think twice about their words or actions.
What do you think? Could bullying and abuse be one in the same? Or are they totally different?
(Image by Pimkie)