Poet Aija Mayrock on How to Survive Bullying, No Matter Your Age
by Jessika Roth
It’s hard to believe Aija Mayrock once struggled with having a voice. Yet the 21-year old college student, author, actress, and activist shares with Bumble that she got to where she is after experiencing years of bullying — beginning at the young age of 8.
Now a spoken word poet for the millennial set, Mayrock turned to writing where she transformed difficult life experience into an opportunity to help others. She published her first book A Survival Guide to Bullying at age 18. Her awareness and astute emotional intelligence make her advice applicable to all age groups. What follows is her compassionate guide to surviving the painful experience of bullying.
Use your voice
Mayrock grew up with a speech impediment and didn’t speak up for herself when verbally attacked, in fear it would make things worse; in turn, the silence was what made things worse.
Don’t do it, she warns. "Stand up for yourself even in the moments you don’t feel you can." She suggests that if you find the courage to speak up even once, it could stop the harassment forever.
Never ever go through it alone
Mayrock suggests creating a top 5 list of people in your life that you trust and can turn to. “Never stop climbing the ladder to find someone to advocate for you,” she encourages.
Her own healing began when she changed high schools. There, she finally met a group of girlfriends who accepted her as she was for the first time in her life. She describes a healthy relationship as one "where you feel seen and you feel valued and you never have to apologize for any part of yourself however imperfect you think it is."
Find something that gives you a sense of purpose
After being bullied to the point of receiving death threats, Mayrock felt that she had hit rock bottom. “Bullying is something that permeates so deeply into the soul that you start to lose sense of yourself.” Writing is what helped her feel alive again.
Mayrock regrets giving power to those abusive voices, allowing them to change the image she had of herself. If given the chance to go back and tell herself one thing it would be, “You are worthy, you are valuable, those things they tell you are not true."