There is so much that I’d love to say on the topic of bullying that I’m not sure where to begin. Bullying wasn’t a huge problem for me during my high school years, but it took center stage during elementary school and junior high.
What is so sad is that I wasn’t aware that I was different in any way from other kids until I went to elementary school. I happened to be shorter and bit stockier. I looked, and still look, different. It truly angers me to think that I began to believe those kids who constantly said that I was fat and ugly.
I began to believe it. I stopped trying to find a sport or physical activity I enjoyed. I internalized what I heard on the playground every day. I’m sure that others were bullied as well. It never mattered what I said or did. Nothing changed. I simply retreated into myself. By the time I entered high school, I started preparing myself for college. It simply couldn’t come fast enough! I would finally be free of those classmates who refused to get to know me, who treated me so horribly.
My story aside, a friend of mine passed away over a year ago. We grew up together, were in the same class, and quite frankly, were both targets. I often wonder if things would’ve been different if he’d ever talked about being bullied. As good of friends as we were, it wasn’t something we discussed. We never felt the need to acknowledge it.
I feel so bad for the kids going through it now. One can only hope that karma really does exist. Let’s face it: It isn’t just boys that bully. Girls can definitely be bitches. In many cases, they learn their behavior from their parents. This post discusses it very well. By the way, I happen to think that he is very cute!
Included below is my 1st grade school photo. I remember being so upset about being short that my teacher, Mrs. Balton, tried to make me feel better by telling me that good things come in small packages.