If I were a kid in today's society, I'm not sure how things would pan out for me. When I was in grade school (I'm now 33 going on 34), I was bullied, I bullied because I was bullied, I had very little friends because of people bullying me and when I got home is where my bullying started. I lived in an apartment complex and it was easy to be the older kid who no one messed with but, when I got to school it was vice versa. I bullied only because it was done to me and it was the only way to not feel the anger that the bullies gave me and let it out when I was the bully.
***(Below is the things I have gone through growing up. Maybe to those who read this they can either; relate, feel sorrow, or some might even laugh. Whatever action you take make sure you think before that action, you never know just how something that makes you feel good, makes someone else feels bad.)***
I couldn't tell you for sure why people picked on me but, I could tell you why I think they did.
*There was a period of time where I had really short hair, so I was picked on for that, called a boy and when I kissed a boy on his cheek, he punched me in the face. I still remember his name.
*I'm a Portuguese girl and so all my life I have had thick hair, so my arms were a bit hairy. not crazy harry but you know there was a normal amount of hair there. I guess girls at that time already started shaving or just didn't have any, So I got called "Harry and The Henderson's", I loath that movie coming out when it did.
*I use to also have thick eyebrows, I can joke about it now but, when I was younger people would call me uni-brow, boy, they would say I have caterpillars on my face, kids say the darndest things but, when your a kid that stuff hurts and makes you feel embarrassed.
*At about 4th grade, I had already been going to school with a group of triplets, two boys and 1 girl. One of the boys was just an awful person and yes I remember his name too, on one of the days where he was acting out and trying to be class clown he decided it was cool to rhyme my name with other words. At first it was funny but, when it came to a word that stuck in everyone's head, even to this day, that's when I felt just how much of an outcast people had made me. "Krusty Kristy" has and will forever remain with me, along with the mean memories those who use it towards me have left. I was never a dirty kid or a "krusty" kid but, because of him doing this people thought I was and it just stuck.
*Also what didn't help matters; remember those "Days Of The Week" underwears? Yep, I had those,. Did I buy them? NO! Hahaha...but, Being that I was wearing the wrong "clean" day when I got pants, while on the big circle rings, everyone had a field day with it and called me "Krusty" and just said some really mean things to me as if I were nothing, no one with no feelings, just a punching bag.
*The apartment complex I grew up in was in an area at the time that had issues with the water. The water we drank from the faucet had turn my little sisters teeth a yellow and brown color and with mine it had started doing it just at the bottom of my two front teeth. Kids at school teased me so much saying I was dirty and I didn't brush my teeth. No matter if I tried to ignore them or tell them what's really happening they thought I was a liar.
*To this day I am still puzzled as to how this situation happened, I was locked in an elementary school bathroom by my school and neighborhood bully. She pushed me in there with the promise of bringing me back a "Pound Puppy" (80's girls remember these hahaha). All I can remember is that I could not get out of this stall, I think we just had such crumby bathrooms that the bad kids figured out how to lock kids like me in there. Finally when I knew she was gone, the bell had rung and it was just me in there, I had to crawl under the door to get out and headed to the office. I knew I'd get in trouble for being late and that no one would believe my story, even if the girl/bully was brought in she was such an actress that she would just deny everything and when people weren't looking, threaten to do worse to me. And yes I remember her name too. The same girl who would follow me home if I was walking in a certain direction and she would push me around and try to get me to fight. It was so embarrassing. I didn't want to fight her because she was big and known for fighting. I was scared.
*I remember not getting invited to girls parties or anything fun with those I went to school with/ classmates, unless my parents were friends with their parents and then it was a "well I had to invite her because of my mom" situation. That stuff always makes people feel like crap. At one party we were all playing a game or so I thought and it was to set me up to be all by myself while they run off and play. I left the house and walked home. I got in trouble for being just a kid and walking home alone, but I didn't care, it did feel good to know everyone was worried and looking all over for me, because at that moment, everyone cared all of a sudden.
*I was never the "pretty girl" in school, I had messed up hair, teeth, eyebrows, hairy arms and legs (mom wouldn't let me shave yet so that didn't help when I was at school), the boys never liked me, my clothes weren't what was "in style", neither were my shoes. It sucked big time and when you're at the stage in life where boys start to matter you either keep up or get kept out. That's just how it is.
*There was one time where I tried to be "pretty" and I wore lipstick to school. It was a bright red lipstick that I had found at home or at my grandmas house. When I got to class the first person to call me out was my teacher and she did it in front of the whole class. She called me a clown and said I looked ridiculous and sent me to the office. They called my mom and I got in trouble. The whole class was laughing at me and for the rest of the week I was teased about it. It sucked that the teacher was the mean one in this situation, she could have pulled me aside and said something, but she was a mean teacher and didn't seem to like her job. I remember her name too.
Now mind you all of the above happened in elementary school, most on a daily or weekly occurrence. Especially the name calling and my classmate/neighborhood bully incidences. These things really take a toll on a kid and at such a fragile time where you're trying find yourself and become someone.
Entering junior high was a scary period for me and at times very lonely. Now you have a whole new environment where different schools kids come together and that means different personalities that you're not use to growing up with. I found out who my real friends were and weren't, I lost my childhood best friend due to a stupid comment on an issue that I didn't fully understand until the damage was done.
I did however find a new best friend but, we were like a joint punching bag at times. People were just mean to us at times, together we felt stronger and it helped us not care about what people did to us and I guess they didn't like it. Of course when we were separate is when I felt the brunt of it all and people really lashed out on me.
I had another good friend that I hung out with from elementary school, she helped me feel more confident. Her and her friend, which became my friend too, would always help me doll up and fix my hair and stuff. Being that I was making these minor changes people felt the need to tease me for that as well. The "cholas" would always mess with me and make me feel small and scared. I hate that feeling.
I had I think 3 "boyfriends" in junior high, all very innocent, I would barely kiss them because it just never felt real and it was weird to me. Turns out 2 were just a joke and the other I got grossed out because he had really bad poison oak all over his face and it looked really bad and I also just didn't feel right with the whole "boyfriend" thing because he wanted more than what I wanted to give. So it was kind of a win win when that all went down hahaha. As far as the other 2, I don't like being a joke or made out to be someone's little game but, they weren't all that great of people anyhow so I'm glad it was short.
When I was ending my 8th grade year I dated a junior in high school, he was someone that hung out with a group of us of various ages, nothing creepy or weird, just one of the "older kids", that didn't last long either, why would it with such a big age gap and lifestyle differences. But at the time of being with him, my bully had followed us all (him, me and my two gf's) home and of course she started to shove me around and get me to fight her for no reason. He (my bf) was the only one to put an end to that. That was the only good thing about dating him for such a short time, he had my back at the right time. That felt good. It always feels good to know you're not alone and someone has your back.
High school was a whole new ballgame. I wish I never had to attend high school. I had asked my parents on many occasions if I could do independent studies and they always said no and to push through it all. They didn't understand the effect it was having on me and the extent of these peoples actions.
I didn't care about school, my grades we just passable and I started smoking pot, dabbled in drinking and cut class just to avoid people. I didn't take certain classes because I knew these people had were in them. I never gave people a reason to mess with me, they found their own reasons brought on by what I know now was their own insecurities.
I've been; shoved into lockers, smacked in my head, tripped, people getting in my face (because of 1 guy I dated for a short time, did nothing with but kiss and didn't know his ex girlfriend was still in love with him) it was all so damn innocent, girls have gotten up from across the classroom to get in my face and try to fight me or say threats like I'll see you after class or after school, even I'll follow you home and f&@% you up! These girls were bigger and scarier and in gangs and known for fighting and really hurting people, they would always say I was dogging them or talking shit. I didn't know them except for class and I had no reason to talk about them and how was I to know I was "dogging" them? Must I carry a mirror in front of my face at all times so I know how I'm looking at people to not piss them off? What's a person to do? When it got to the point of me having to have my older cousin meet me at my classes to make sure these girls didn't hurt me, my parents still wouldn't let me take independent studies. I cried and I begged, I wish they understood how much this was taring me up inside. It was making me a hateful person, it made me scared, I always had to look over my shoulder, anytime I walked into a hall I knew this other girl would be there to shove me into a locker, for what reasons I'm not sure, she just didn't like me. She even taunted me in her senior quote under her picture. She went as far as using the lovely nickname I was given in elementary school, I didn't even know of her until high school. Its just so crazy how far people will go.
I was so angry and felt so alone and that no one had my back that my best friend from junior high and I started beefing. We just weren't getting along as much and it made me mad that I always had her back but, she never had mine. People were always like that towards me, even to this day. So her and I fought and the funny thing was it was outside of school and for something really dumb. A part of me wished it was at school and that people seen so then people would know I meant business and to not mess with me. Word did get a round and things kinda cooled off but, at times it would make people wanna fight me even more because they knew I had gotten into one. It didn't feel good losing another best friend wither but, I guess its the price you pay.
My older best friend, that I first lost in junior high had a big group of friends in high school and of course they all didn't like me either. One day they decided it would be funny and embarrassing to me if they took an old picture of me when I was younger and in elementary school (I was wearing a New Kids On The Block jean jacket and had major 80's hair) copy it on colored paper and added things like D*** sucker, Whore and so much more crude things. They made many copies and strung it about the girls bathrooms, I didn't know what had happened until I was called into the principals office. It was almost lunch time so enough people had seen what they had did. The thing that boggles me is why did they all of a sudden make me a target? It just didn't make any sense to me at the time.
It really hurt me, it made me so sad and I felt so angry. All the things that have continuously have happened to me throughout my school years has made me a very angry person. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that I'm this innocent person who did nothing, I did something, I would stand my ground on all these occasions as best as I could and it was always with my words and how loud I could be with them. I would defend myself to an extent that wouldn't get me hurt but, heard. It didn't always work, ignoring it didn't always work. Nothing worked and what I knew would work I would never be granted.
By time it was my senior year I already had most of my major classes taken in the first 3 years of high school. My senior year was a breeze, I had only a couple major classes and a few on/off campus elective classes, plus I turned 18 my senior year so I was an adult and left when I pleased. If I felt I was making grades and had all my work/projects/homework done then I would do what I wanted. It was nice to because I din't have to deal with all the jerks nearly as much. The only jerk was the locker pusher, yes I know her name still, and although that's what she did, that's all she did, aside from the name calling of course but, I knew that was all she was capable of. Weak.
When graduation finally came I was happy and scared at the same time. I didn't want to walk the stage in front of everyone and then some, and then be booed by those who don't like me. I smoked pot to calm my nerves before I walked the stage and it helped. When I got up there I waved at the crowd with both hands and a huge smile, I was really thinking about waving to them with my middle fingers and with the thought of "Later Suckers!"
As an adult I have encountered some bullies, I've had two girls try and jump me because I told one of them I didn't want to be her friend because I didn't feel she was a good person to be around (druggie), her friend who use to be my so called friend didn't like that. So they tried to jump me but, I had the upper hand. I took kick boxing for a short time but, in that short time it taught me how to properly stand my ground, be ready and how to read people's body language. It made me stronger in my mind and with the training I learned in how to defend myself.
I've also had a girl come up to me from behind and hit me in the head and of course we fought and I once again had the upper hand. Why she did it? She just didn't like me and mainly because I was dating someone she use to date. These days or I should say since after high school, it's like these girls wanna fight me over guys, even to this day and that's my past. My far away past, people I don't speak to, look at, associate with and so on. But the girls just can't let things go and really hate me and for no reason, well no good reason. Of course they have a reason and it's their insecurities.
That's what I have learned as an adult but, still have a hard time accepting, is that its them, its their insecurities, its what they don't like about themselves that is making them lash out on me. My attitude towards them drives them crazy too, its the attitude of someone who has dealt with a lot and will look past you in order to not let you rain on their parade. Don't get me wrong I will fight, only in self defense. It is not okay to put hands on people but, if someone hits you, you hit back! I will never strike first because I know that it's not necessary to fight, its not right and in most cases you don't have to. Mainly because the other person is the striker and doesn't know how to control themselves. I know I can hurt people because when I do encounter a fight all my anger from everything in life past and present is ready to come out and I just want to make them all back off.
Just for the record it is not okay to fight, it is not okay to hurt other people whether it be with words, actions or fists. Think before you speak and remember your actions are a reaction of my actions. It's not always easy to stand your ground or even to hold back because, well I know for me, all that is running through my mind is why is this person this way towards me? Why must they act this way and not talk to me about what the issue is or just walk away themselves?
We will never understand how each other works or truly why we do what we do but, you and I do know that what we do can make a huge impact on someone else's life whether it be good or bad that's up to you. Choose your words wisely. Words hurt to the core, people never forget what you say. I know I will never forget what people have done to me, I will never forget their names or what they look like. I know I now have trust issues when it comes to people and I know I definitely have anger issues. I use to be so happy and ready to do anything and go anywhere, now I get anxiety and feel it to be easier to be angry or judgmental and I don't like it. I try to be happy and nice but, it all seems so fake to me even though I'm being genuine. How people have treated me and made me feel and the lack of acceptance and the hatred for no reason have shaped who I am now. Its a battle I feel I will never win and I want the war to be over. People still hold my past against me and don't invite me because they think I'm gonna fight or they know someone doesn't like me due to something from 6 years ago and it sucks. I had a lot of cool people that I use to call my friends until I found out how they really were towards me. Its easier to kick people out of my life now that I am older, I realize who I need and who I don't need. I don't keep negative people in my life but, I feel that I am the negative one now. Its a twisted world and I wish I never had to deal with bullies or bullying, I wish I was a more confident person, what you see on the outside is just a shell compared to how I feel on the inside.
I hope this inspires other people to open up about being bullied, I know it has made me feel a little bit better to finally get it all out there and a lot of it I didn't write about because its not appropriate to read about. So what you have read is enough for you to get the idea.
I wish this was a more peaceful world where people still walk past each other and say hi, or they hold the door open for one another instead of letting it hit you in the face.
One day at a time, one person at a time and one step at a time. It starts with you. Make a difference. End bullying. You could save a life.