What was the main reason for starting "Born To Rise”?
Feeling alone, not feeling accepted, constantly being judged made me want to speak out. It wanted me to let others know that no, it’s not okay that we judge, it’s not okay to feel alone, it’s not okay to have others feel uncomfortable. The times that I felt most alone or contemplated suicide was when I was judged by our society.
I thought that if I was feeling this way, alone, judged, that that meant others were feeling that way too. I believed we had a right to let others know how they make us feel, let society know the importance of treating each other with kindness because you really don’t know what another person is really going through. That one day you decide to make fun, can be the same day that someone decides to take their life because they just had enough. So BTR started by just giving a platform for others to have their voice heard in the hopes that it will inspire not only our audience to be more considerate, but to let others know that they are not alone, in whatever adversity they are going through. There is someone that can relate to them, so keep rising because if we can overcome adversity, so can you.
Do you have any advice for people who are struggling with being bullied currently?
Understand why people bully. It’s usually coming from a place of envy or hurt. As the famous quote states ‘hurt people, hurt people.’ So try not to take it personally because it’s just a reflection of what they are dealing with internally. Lastly, make sure to work on yourself to assure that you are confident in all aspects of your life. When you’re secure in who you are, it is hard for anyone to tear you down.
What is something you wished someone would have told you when you were being bullied?
I wish someone told me that ‘the bully’ didn’t actually mean what they were saying to me. I wish I understood that it was coming from a place of hurt that way I wouldn’t take things to heart and probably would try to befriend them. Also, I wish I understood the importance of having confidence in myself.
What can bystanders do to help?
Talk. Speak up for the person being bullied. If you don’t have the guts to do that then go get an adult. You’re just as guilty as the bully by not doing anything. Also, a bully likes a crowd, don’t give them that satisfaction - walk away.
What has been the biggest struggle regarding your bullying journey and using it to become an activist?
Accepting myself for who I am. I strongly believe that when you’re confident in who you are, it’s hard for anyone to pick on you. That’s why I also promote self love because I believe that’s the root to it all. If the bully and the bullied loved themselves enough, we wouldn’t be speaking of this.
How did you find your voice to speak on the topics that you do?
When I reached a point where I contemplated suicide, that was rock bottom for me. I was in a dark place that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. At that point there wasn’t anything else left for me to do except to rise from where I was - I had nothing to lose. So even though I hate speaking in public, I felt I had to prevent people from getting to their rock bottom. I didn’t want anyone to go through what I went through. I no longer cared what people thought of me, there was only going up from where I was at that point.
What do you think schools and parents can do to raise awareness about bullying?
I think schools can implement more workshops and assemblies surrounding the topics of bullying and self esteem. Parents can be more attentive to what is going on in their child’s life. Understanding the root of why their child is the bully and/or how to help build confidence in a child that is being bullied. I’m coming up with a plan so stay tuned ;).
What was the turning point for you to turn your experiences of being bullied and sharing it with the world?
When I was diagnosed with vitiligo, it brought back memories of the days that I used to be bullied.It was also at a time where I was hearing too many stories of kids committing suicide because of the way they were being treated by their peers. This infuriated me, and the only difference I knew I could contribute was to share my experience of when I was bullied, and most importantly when I was the bully. It’s not often you hear the bully speak out.
How can someone get started to help this movement?
Share your story with me. I provide a platform where I share the stories of others. Send it in at firstname.lastname@example.org. People love to know they are not alone, and that’s the benefit of sharing your experience.
How did you move on from being bullied and gain confidence after?
I went from being bullied in elementary to being the bully in high school because I found myself in a place of power. I had an older brother who was popular, I became popular myself and took advantage of that. So it wasn’t confidence, it was a power trip on revenge. No one was able to mess with me because there would be consequences. That’s cowardliness, not confidence. I only became confident years later when I dedicated my life to being comfortable in my skin with the diagnosis of vitiligo.
Do you have anything you want to say to those who had bullied you in the past?
I forgive you.
Is there a quote/motto you try to live by? If so, what is it?
I’m an extreme believer in karma. ‘What goes around comes around.’ Also, ‘treat people the way you would want to be treated.’
What message/word would you wear on your RP custom jewelry? Why?
‘Born To Rise.’ It serves as a constant reminder that I was born to overcome life challenges. Therefore, whatever adversity comes my way cannot last, as I will always RISE above it.
Girl crush? Some people might hate me for this… but it’s Jordyn Woods. I don’t condone what she did at all at all, but I do believe that we all make mistakes and I respect that despite all the hatred and backlash she was receiving, she didn’t let that stop her from getting to where she is now. Things get better!! You can’t dwell on your mistakes. You learn and move on.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I’m currently on my speaking tour in Canada, so if you would like to book me visit my website www.aiesharobinson.com. Also if you ever just want to talk, vent, I’m here :).