Please watch this video!
"To This Day," by Shane Koyczan
Like most good poetry, this video made me realize that I had known this truth, "They were wrong," but didn't have words for it until the poet uttered them for me. Instinctually, the other day when Emi came home in tears because a boy in her class said her pig drawing was ugly, the first thing I asked her was, "Do you believe him? Do you think your drawing was ugly?" And when she said no, her pig was fabulous, I knew deep down she would be fine, for now at least.
Three words form the key to taking all power away from a bully, to know in your gut that they're full of shit. Or at the very least, to briefly entertain the notion: what if they were wrong? What if they were lying just to make you feel bad, and make themselves feel better because of it?
I remember the what if, that infinitesimal possibility that maybe I wasn't a crybaby, or a freak, or a "retard," or a fat walrus (or was it elephant seal?). Most of the time I definitely believed their words. I remember walking on my tiptoes everywhere because a boy once told me I made the windows rattle with every step I took. I remember the day my so-called friend printed and distributed a newsletter about me to everyone in my class, pointing out all of my imperfections, from my belly to my laugh.
But somehow, my soul must have asked at the right times, "Wouldn't it be totally funny if they were wrong?" because I survived all that.