Setembro de 2008 - Nº 11     ISSN 1982-7733
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The theme: Bullying
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Testimony about Bullying

Daniela Vuoto

22 years old, studying Pedagogy at ULBRA, Canoas - RS, Brazil



Since 2005, when I was 19, I decided to create a blog about bullying (

The reason?

Well, I was a bullying victim myself for several years, and at that time I got very sick, scared and depressed (I had to quit school when I was 16 to get medical treatment). When I got better I’ve learned that all I went through had a name: bullying – quite a weird word for us, because we speak Portuguese in Brazil.

And every time I’ve tried to find information about this issue, guess what: only find results reading websites from other countries.

That’s when I realized that “You know what? Maybe I can try to change this situation, sharing what I’ve learned, offering help, giving information.

Since 2005 I read all kinds of bullying stories – depressed teenagers, some angry kids and adults, worried parents, worried teachers…

It’s unbelievable how many adults stop their lives because of the fear they have, reliving everything looking back at those school days, thinking that there’s no hope.

There’s always hope, but it’s not an easy thing to have after years of psychological and physical abuse.

We can’t change our past. The people who treated us bad, teased us, scared us… all that heavy stuff from our school days happened in the past, and that’s something we just can’t change. It’s impossible to go back in time and handle things better at the time we were younger.

Yes, the past is a big part of our history, it’s not easily forgotten, and can also haunt us in the present.

I won’t even dare to say the opposite! And I also believe that forget things isn’t the answer. The reason, I tell you this, is because, for better or worse, wanting or not, we’ll have to deal with all kinds of people in our lives: friends, positive people, loving ones, and also envious, aggressive, bitter people.

What I’m saying is: some ( lets just say “not very nice”) people will cross our path for many times as long as we live (and we hope to live for a long time, right?).
Yes, they will say mean things, create rumors, and make silly jokes about us.

Unfortunately we don’t have the power to change other people. But there’s one thing we can do: change the way we deal with them!

Realizing that someone with those bad attitudes can’t be happy.
Realizing that we have qualities and don’t deserve to be treated badly, tolerating disrespect. Realizing that being the ugly duck at school days doesn’t mean you’ll be or will be seem and treated as a loser for the rest of your life.

After all, what is a winner? What’s winning?
Being the popular kid? At school, sometimes this “winner” is the strong, tall, handsome guy from the soccer time, or the most beautiful girl, with the perfect hair and clothes, always smiling. They can say or do anything they like, because they’re good looking- and very admired for that. If they’re rich and snob, even better!

Do you really think they’re happy?

I don’t believe that a person who does everything to bring the other down to feel better is a happy person.

They can disguise their intern pain, their family conflicts, their insecurities, but I’m pretty sure that they aren’t happy. Living behind a mask isn’t very cheerful. And to me, that’s not “being a winner”. That’s not winning at all. That’s fear. Fear to show who they really are. Fear to show what they really feel.

Maybe we went thought some heavy stuff because of their wounds, but when we look at things this way, there’s no reason for us to be ashamed about what happened.

Why? Because it wasn’t our fault!

When we are young we don’t have the maturity to really understand a bullying situation, separate things, see what’s real and what’s fake. And that’s why we thought all those bad things kids used to say to us were truth.  We began to see ourselves exactly by the way they used to describe us: weird, ugly, stupid…

We graduate, leave school,  but memories still stay with us years after that. But our sad memories don’t define us as a person. We are so much more than a depreciative nickname, than a push on the stairs. Now we’re here, still strong in our convictions, not changing who we are just to please others.

I believe that instead of thinking about the sadness we lived, we can think about how strong we were and how much we’re capable of!

Focus on fighting for our happiness, accepting that we are who we are, and stop thinking we won’t be respected, be loved by other people. Because guess what? We will!

What keep us away from that sometimes are our own thoughts, this habit we get to only see imperfections in ourselves.

Let me ask you something: could you, at least for one day, for a little moment, try to find your qualities for a change?

Find the best in you, in your life, in the little things.

Perhaps that’s a good start, right? I’m pretty sure it’s worth to try =]

Daniele Vuoto


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