Bullied into a pulp, left for dead. I meandered my way through life, under the implanted perception that I was not “good enough”. Because of the fat, the awkwardness, the desperate desire to be approved of, my name was Flubber, or Turkey Neck. The kids in school even made a song for me. How delightfully gracious of them, “on your march, get set, Turkey Neck!” It did not take long before I began to avoid the cafeteria or other areas with groups of people in school. Toilet food sucks!

Not quite sure where the money came from, but I would got to the local sub shop and take my lunch back to school, where I proceeded to eat it in the bathroom. No one missed me in the cafeteria, except maybe when they had some new material to try out. The janitor of the middle school, and I became friends. A few things happened at this point. Caloric foods became my comfort, hiding became safe, and social situations were to be avoided.

It makes sense that now I struggle with emotional eating and making social connections. Today, having lunch with friends is like giving a diplomatic speech to the masses. The same anxiety, fear, and shame that I felt as a 12-year-old, are imprinted in my heart. The feelings travel with me to work, school, and anywhere where I dare to be me. On top of that, I had a nerve to be diagnosed with Bipolar disorder as an adolescent. I thought to myself, “If I wasn’t normal before, I am certainly not normal now!”

The normality that I speak of, is that which society uses to deem one either acceptable or not. Apparently, I was not acceptable to my peers. The kids at schools distaste for me, consequently, caused me to have a distaste for myself. I hated every spot, wrinkle, lump, flab, corn, and otherwise “un-normal” thing about me. As I reflect, this explains why when I look in the mirror, the first thousand reflections are of what is wrong with me.

I never stopped to consider that something could be wrong or maladaptive about my peers, or perhaps they were jealous of me. All I saw was a flawed, fat, dumb girl who was unacceptable. What they did not know, and still do not know for that matter, is that there words buried themselves in my soul and tainted my entire life. Do I hate them? NO! I actually am appreciative of their relentless taunting, bullying, verbal abuse, and ostracism.

Of course, their “jokes” led to drug addiction, a career as a criminal, prostitution, rape, and prison. To be crystal, I am not blaming, but rather thanking them. If I wasn’t reduced to feeling worthless, unacceptable, and unapproved of, I never would’ve found my purpose. I may not have the heart for the underdog, the abused, neglected, mistreated, self-defeated person out there. I certainly would not have written a book, and I would not be the woman I am today. I am a wife, mother, author, college graduate, and most of evangelist for God.

God told me that I am acceptable, beautiful, lovely, cherished, and valuable. God loved me so much that he thought His Son’s death was worth my life. With cocaine in my nose, innumerable sex partners, and self-hatred, God called me his daughter, and drew me out of a lifestyle of sin. God used Jesus to shut up the voice of the bullies that lingered for 2o+ years.

The toilet food doesn’t taste so bad when I remember where it led me. So, to all of those who bullied me, I forgive you, and thank you for my toilet food!