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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Friday, August 21, 2020

My Message To Those Who Feel Like Outcasts

Woman sitting on the couch
Photo courtesy of Rafael Barros on Pexels

I was not exactly what you would have called "popular" or "cool" when I was in school, not by any stretch of the imagination. I was never invited to anything outside of school, I never had a date to a school dance, I was seldom not picked last in gym class, the teacher often had to assign me a partner for school projects; I could go on and on. I'll be honest, I really didn't even have a close group of friends back when I was in school. I was more than just unpopular, I was an outcast, and I was often a target for bullying and teasing; or at least, I sure felt like a target sometimes. No matter what I did to try to fit in, I never did. As a matter of fact, it seemed that the harder I tried to fit it, the worse the bullying and teasing got. Late elementary and middle school, when the bullying was at its peak, was not a fun time for me. I sincerely hated going to school, for the obvious reasons; aside from having to wake up early and sit in boring classes. It was honestly such a horrible and lonely time in my life. I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't a shitty time for me, even though I did find some gratitude for it later on in life.

With all of that said, I would like to make it clear that I am not telling you this because I want pity or anything like that; I am telling you this because my story is quite common. Even in 2020, bullying is still very prevalent, and it doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon. Let's be real, there are always going to be people who choose to be assholes, it's just a fact of life. But my point with all of this is that if you feel like you're an outcast, I want you to know that, by no means, are you alone. I know what you're going through, and I know how lonely and misunderstood you may feel. I know that it feels like no one cares about you and that you just want to fit in somewhere. Maybe not with the "popular" kids, but somewhere. Seriously, I know, because I've been there, and I get it. I also know that you've heard the phrase "it gets better" so many freaking times that you'd be a millionaire if you had a penny for every time you've had someone tell you that. I can personally tell you that it does get better, but I know that really doesn't mean that much when you're still going through it.

So today, I'm not just going to give you that generic "it'll be okay" statement and tell you what your future could look like. Trust me, I know that it can be hard to look to the future sometimes, especially when you're in middle school or high school. Heck, even if you're an adult going through it, I know it can be hard to look to the future at times. Seriously, I get it. That's why today, I'm going to tell you something that I wish I knew when I was dealing with all the crap I deal with back then; something that I hope can be eye-opening to at least one person out there. Because there was a lot that I did not realize at that time, not just because I was young, but because the situation was just so overwhelming at the time.

My Message To The Outcasts

Before I get into the letter, I would like to say that whatever you're feeling is valid. Seriously, please don't let anyone (including yourself) try to invalidate what you're feeling by saying "other people have it worse" or anything of that sort. Even if, objectively, that statement may be true, it doesn't mean that you're not allowed to be upset by something that's affecting you. Bullying, at any degree, can certainly have a nasty effect on a person. I know from personal experience how isolating, lonely, hurtful, and just how horrible it can be to feel as if you're an outcast. I also know that being teased and bullied can do a number on your self-esteem and your self-confidence. I know that showing up to a place where you don't feel as if anyone accepts you is absolutely dreadful. Seriously, everything that you're feeling about this is valid, and you have a right to what you're feeling. Don't let anyone tell you that you need to just "suck it up" or "get over it" or anything along those lines. You're not weak, and you're certainly not selfish for feeling the way that you do. 

I know there's a chance that you've heard many of those things, even from supposed adults, because I've had that same rubbish thrown at me on many occasions. In hindsight, I don't believe that everyone who used those "put on your big person pants" sorts of lines had bad intentions, but it was clear that they didn't actually understand. I could go on and on about the less-than-helpful ways that adults in my life, particularly the faculty at my school, tried to "help" the students who were often the targets of bullying. All those anti-bullying programs my school had were pretty much useless, and the "advice" they gave to those of us who were being bullied was usually rubbish; I really could go on and on about all of this. It seems meaningless when people tell you that "it's going to be okay" when they've never even gone through it, and if they have gone through it, it doesn't do much for you right now. So with all of that said, while I may not understand your exact situation, I'd like to share my message with you as someone who has dealt with bullying myself.

Also, I know that nothing I say is going to make the problem go away overnight. Trust me, I know that there's not much anyone can say that's going to "fix" everything. But I do hope that there is something in my message that could bring you some comfort; stuff that I wish I knew back when I was dealing with it on an almost daily basis. Oh, and by the way, this message isn't just for teens, but for anyone who feels like an outcast or experiences bullying, I know it happens in the workplace as well; some people never grow up and still feel the need to be bullies as adults.

Never stop being a good person because of bad people
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Lammerink on Unsplash

Hello there,

While I may not know your exact situation, and I may not be able to relate to everything that you're going through, I want you to know that you're not alone. I know that's a phrase you've heard millions of times, but it's the truth. I know how lonely and isolating of a feeling it is to feel that you don't have any dependable friends, or that you don't fit in anywhere. I also know that the things that other people say to or about you can not only sting, but they can straight up hurt. I know it feels as if they are watching everything you do, and it feels like they're picking apart everything you do and say. If you're anything like me, they probably have you second-guessing everything about yourself; I know that nothing that they are saying is helping you build your self-esteem or your confidence. You may be questioning whether you're worthy of love, respect, or kindness; or if this is the treatment that you deserve. Perhaps, there's a big part of you that believes them.

Believe me when I say that I know what you're feeling; because I've been there. But let me tell you something, the people who feel the need to try to bring you down are already beneath you. Yeah, I know you've probably heard that like many times before as well, but seriously, the way that these people are treating you says more about them than it does about you. Whether they admit it or not, I can almost guarantee you that none of the people who are bullying you have very high self-esteem, and they are severely lacking in self-confidence; even the so-called "cool" kids. They may put on a front that they have it all together and that they're super confident, but that's all an act. If they actually loved themselves, they wouldn't feel the need to bring someone else down to inflate their ego. Seriously, if you're wondering why they're picking on you, they're doing it because they believe that bringing you (or anyone else) down will help them feel better about themselves. So on that note, please, don't listen to their bullshit, because the way they are treating you is a reflection of them, not you. 

Seriously though, don't subscribe to the bullshit that they are saying and allow them to fill you with negative thoughts about yourself; and if you do find yourself having negative thoughts about yourself, correct them. Don't let a bunch of insecure people tell you who you are. Those people know little to nothing about you or your story, so why would you listen to them when they try to tell you who you are? I know it can be hard to just ignore them when they are often so loud and obnoxious, but I highly recommend not reacting to them. I can honestly tell you from experience that if you stop responding to their bullshit, and stop letting them see that it bothers you, they'll eventually back off. Bullies thrive off of knowing that they are bringing you down, so don't give them that satisfaction. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't defend yourself and find ways to kindly tell them to fuck off; what I'm saying is, don't react in a way that shows that you're bothered by what they are saying, because the more unbothered you seem, the better

Unbothered woman
Photo courtesy of Daniella Palmeira on Pexels

With all of that said, I would like to give you a fair warning that when you first begin to act unbothered, it's likely going to irk the people who are bullying you; and unfortunately, they may try to try even harder to get to you. I'm not telling you this to discourage you, I am telling you this because they're more than likely going to be starving for your reaction, and you must stand your ground and not feed them what they want. Seriously though, while it may not happen right away, they will eventually grow bored of trying to get a reaction out of you. Oh, and if you find ways to legitimately build up your self-esteem and become more confident so that you're actually unbothered? Even better, because bullies grow bored rather quickly when they know they can't bring somebody down, and they no longer have that sense of power and control inflating their ego. Really, more often than not, that's all bullies are after is that sense of power and control, as they think it will help them feel better about their own insecurities. So, please, don't give them that. 

Spoiler alert: The way they are treating you really doesn't make them feel better about themselves, in the long-term. All it does is give them a short-term ego-boost.

With all of that said, as someone who often sat alone at lunch, I know that it's still a lonely an isolating feeling to feel as if you're an outcast. I can fully relate to the belief you may have that everyone has something against you, no one likes you, and that you just don't fit in anywhere. But let me tell you something that I didn't at all realize when I was going through it; the people who have a problem with you and that feel the need to pick on you are actually the minority. In other words, not everyone has a problem with you, and if you pay attention, you may realize that the majority of the people in your school or workplace don't have a problem with you at all. Even some of the people picking on you may not have an issue with you, but due to their own insecurities, they are choosing to follow the crowd, because they are afraid of being bullied themselves. This doesn't justify the fact that they are participating in it, there's no justification for bullying somebody, but I am just saying, it's possible that many of them feel guilty for how they are treating you. Even if they aren't admitting it.

But seriously, if you pay attention, you will realize that not everybody has a problem with you, and not everyone wants to be mean to you. As a matter of fact, there may even be a couple of people who may try to defend you from the bullies. There may actually be some people who want to be your friend, but they are unsure of how to approach you, whether due to fear of being bullied themselves or because they don't want to make you feel uncomfortable. Looking back on it now, there were actually quite a few people who wanted to show me kindness, but I usually distrusted their intentions. Believe me, I know it can be hard to trust that anyone has good intentions, but there are some genuinely good people out there, so I suggest giving the people who show you kindness a chance, even if from a comfortable distance. It's okay to be cautious about who you choose to trust, but just keep in mind that not everyone has a vendetta against you, even if it may feel that way sometimes. Not only that, but there are people out there who will genuinely like you for you; believe it or not.

Stay strong
Photo courtesy of Sincerely Media on Unsplash

There is honestly so much more that I can say, but my point with all of this is, I know it's hard for you right now, but please, don't listen to the people who are trying to tell you who you are. Seriously, if they don't have anything nice to say, that's on them, not on you; it's actually quite possible that they are jealous of you in some way. As I said earlier, if someone is trying to bring you down, they are already beneath you. Besides, the people who feel the need to be rude to you are often the minority, no matter how loud they may be. I know it may be difficult to see or believe sometimes, but some people genuinely want to be your friend and show you kindness, whether in person or online. I personally found that making some friends online helped a lot with the loneliness and isolation, and it even helped me embrace being an outcast. Especially as my online friends liked me for me and not for who I thought I had to be to fit in. And on that note, I'd like to say, please, don't try to change who you are just to fit in

Seriously, you don't need to try to change who you are just to conform to whatever the current definition of "cool" is, you really don't. Especially as it seems that what society defines as being cool is always changing, and not only that but, sometimes, it's straight-up foolish to follow the crowd. Honestly, there are so many reasons why I personally feel it's better to be an outcast than to be a part of the so-called in-crowd. I don't even want to know some of the dumb things people do for clout now are, yet social media loves to show me some of the stupid shit that people do for popularity. I'm actually baffled by a lot of what it seems to take to be considered "cool" these days, but I guess that's because I'm old (26) now, but I digress. My point is, being "cool" seriously isn't all it's cracked up to be. And honestly, if they're going to consider you to be an outcast, why not embrace it, and embrace what makes you different? After all, some of the most successful people in the world were outcasts when they were in school. Perhaps even a few of your favorite celebrities and influencers were bullied in school, but that certainly didn't stop them from becoming successful!

I know that it may not be easy, but please try your best to ignore the assholes. Seriously, don't let them tear you down. You don't need approval from them, or anyone else, to love yourself and be confident. These people can not tell you who you are, and they can not define your worth; seriously, don't subscribe to their bullshit. I promise you that you can get through this and that you are stronger than you think you are. Besides, it's the hard shit that builds up our strength. But for now, just know that you're not alone, even if you feel lonely; and that you are worthy of kindness, and there are kind people out there. And if no one else told you this yet today, you are loved, and you are enough; I can promise you that. 

- Katherine Isabella Moon

While I know that there isn't anything that I can say that'll make everything better, I do hope that there was something in my message that you found helpful or comforting, even if just a little bit. I hope you know that you are worthy of love, respect, and kindness; and that the way the bullies are treating you has way more to do with them than it does to do with you. Trust me what I say that you really don't need to listen to their bullshit, and you don't need their approval. I know it can be hard when other people are trying to bring you down, but I hope that you can find the strength to ignore these insecure people and build up your confidence. I also hope that you know that you deserve to love yourself and be confident. And seriously, do know that you aren't alone, and that isn't just some cliche quote that everyone uses. Seriously, you are not alone.

Do you feel as if you're an outcast, or were you an outcast when you were in school? How did you deal with it? Also, for those of you who embrace being an outcast, I'd love to hear how you learned to embrace it! Feel free to share your story, as you never know who may help by sharing. But before I end this post, I feel that I absolutely must share a couple resources for those who are really struggling. Remember, your life does matter...

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Phone: 1-800-273-8255
Text: 741741
You can also use their online chat if you wish.

Your Life Your Voice

Phone: 1-800-448-3000
Text: Text VOICE to 20121
You can also visit their website for numerous other resources.

The Trevor Project - A Crisis Line For LGBTQ+ Youth

Phone: 1-866-488-7386
Text: Text START to 678-678
They have an online chat that you can use as well. 

7 Cups Of Tea

Chat with a listener for free at any hour of the day. 
Do note that this one is NOT a crisis line, but it is a great place to vent.

My Message To The Outcasts
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
If you liked this post, I'd really appreciate it if you'd help this blog grow and hit the follow button! :)

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