My personal struggle with Bullying (and how I survived)


Okay as part of my http://aspieside.com/series-on-bullying/ I promised to write about my previous struggles.  But wow this is really hard to do.  This story is not all warm and fuzzy but I promise it has a happy ending but I guess you can figure that out since I otherwise I would not be writing this post right now.

My childhood was not exactly a happy one.  My home life was good, my parents were not Ozzy and Harriet or whatever the gold standard is but it certainly wasn’t bad or anything.  No, my issues were after I walked out of the house every day.  I am actually really grateful for not having facebook back then because I would have been cyber bullied for sure.

I remember when it all started and I remember who started it.  I was in first grade and when I got on the bus I accidently kicked or stepped on some girls foot.  I said I was sorry but clearly she viewed me as an easy target.  Well as we all know once the target is on your back it just all goes down hill.

At school people made fun of my last name, lucky me it rhymed with B.O., and there were all kinds of other wonderful sayings they came up with.  Every day I was told that I was ugly, stupid, had cooties, all kinds of horrible things and that was just in elementary school.

I would go home and cry every night.  My parents would try to help but nothing I tried worked.  My dad said ignore them and I would.  Then they would get in my face and scream “Didn’t you hear me?  You really are stupid!’  He told me to laugh at them.  Epic fail because then they said I was stupid for not knowing they were making fun of me.

In middle school it got even worse.  I was one of the first people to hit puberty and those kids were terrible.  I can’t even repeat some of the things that were said but being the only one with acne and starting to develop is not a good thing when you were already the target.  Now a days it would be considered sexual harassment but we didn’t have such terms back then.

There are lots of moments I remember but the more people involved the worse the humiliation is.  I remember in 6th grade we had to take some math test for a contest and the top 5 scorers were recognized at the end of the year assembly.  I will never forget the whole school reacting in shock and disbelief when they called my name.   It should have been a moment of pride but it wasn’t exactly.  Part of me thought “HA!” but part of me was humiliated because there was such an overwhelming response.  I guess it could have been worse but it felt pretty bad at the time.

During this time I felt that I didn’t fit in and I hated school.  I felt scared and confused and didn’t know where to turn for help.  I had suicidal thoughts but I never told anyone.  Instead I found the group that would accept me and found my own “medication”.  Yes I obviously survived this journey but I can never let my son walk this road.  It is a very scary and dangerous road and I lost some very good friends a long the way.

I think back on those kids and they were far too young to die.  One of my closest friends overdosed in the creek by my house.  He had always told me he wasn’t going to make it to 18 and unfortunately he was right. He knew he might die but he accepted it because he couldn’t see a bright future for himself.  Drug use is really just another form of suicide I suppose.  That is so terribly sad.  I truly know how blessed I am that my life took a different turn.

Believe it or not rejection actually saved me.  One day they told me I didn’t belong.   I was so upset, how could they turn on me too?  But luckily I listened to what they had to say.   They told me I deserved better.  They said they didn’t have a future but I did.  They told me I was smart and came from a good family and had opportunities they would never have.  They told me I was different and I had so much more to lose.  I often wonder what happened to some of them.  I have found some old friends on facebook and they too have turned their lives around.

I slowly rebuilt my life after my latest rejection.   I went on to college and no one there really new me.  It was the clean break that I really needed.  I was very shy and had difficulty making friends but I made friends.  I wasn’t friends with everyone but no one ever made fun of me.  As I gained friends and did well in school I gained some confidence in myself.

I did pretty well after college and even returned for another four years of law school.   I remember someone I hung out with looked at me and said something along the lines of “Isn’t this weird, I was always the kid that was made fun of in school and now it is totally different.”    That was exactly how I felt!  I was actually class president and had to give a speech at commencement.  Talk about a big turn around!

Although life has gone relatively well since school I still have emotional scars from what they did to me.  Someone recently posted on twitter about how they wish they saw in the mirror the self image they had of themselves.  I am sure they meant from when they were 20.  Not me, I have a horrible image of what I look like and am still sometimes surprised by what I see in the mirror.  Not ugly.

There is still a part of me that thinks I am stupid although evidence and logic says I am not stupid.  From the treatment in the past I still have doubts about my abilities.  Writing this blog has been a huge step for me.

But honestly now that I am older I care a little less about what people think.  I am just me, like me or don’t, I have more important things to worry about.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Sorry for what you went through…just look at you now! You made it…

  2. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I was just talking to my neighbor today about her granddaughter who has Asperger’s. They are writing a grant to work with the schools to help other children understand and accept children with Asperger’s. One of my nephews also has this but he is in college and doing well now. It’s not an easy road though.

    • Thank you for stopping by. That is wonderful that they are writing a grant to help the kids. It is really hard to get my son the appropriate help that he needs. It is a rough road but so glad to hear that your nephew is doing well & in college. I hope to say that one day!

  3. Hey you have a great blog and I love reading your posts so now you have The Versatile Blog Award 🙂 Here’s my link explaining it!
    http://www.onemomsmoxie.com/2011/10/versatile-blogger-award.html

  4. actuallymummy says:

    Oh it makes me so sick that kids can single out a person and attack them in that way. and you are right, once they’ve got you they’ve got you for the rest of your school years. I was lucky in that after a couple of years I managed to move to another group and then saw them for what they were. None of them have made much of themselves. But even the 3 years that I was in that nightmare have left an impact on my self-esteem. Well done for bringing this issue out!

  5. those kids were so mean!! I am glad you have made it through..not so many people are as lucky as you are and I am very happy for you..My son is going to preschool soon and bullying is one of my biggest fears!

  6. I’m glad you came through the other side ok. I am sorry for what you had to endure for years though. I was bullied growing up too, for my disability. It does leave scars. I worry my sons will go through it as well.

  7. I’m so sorry you had to grow up with that abuse. That was so courageous of you to write. I’m so glad that you are finding strength through telling your story, because you are helping so many people by doing so. Keep writing, and continue all your work with the bullying prevention, because you are making a huge difference.

  8. No child or adult should have go through what you did….I was never bullied, but my oldest son was bullied for most of elementary school for being “different” meaning too smart and making others uncomfortable (teachers included) with his knowledge. When he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in grade 3 things got even worse for him. It was breaking my heart cause there was nothing I could do (the bullying wasn’t physical). In grade 7 my son stopped trying to fit in and became his own person…..didn’t care what others think…..didn’t care about not being included and made fun of…..He entered high school as a very strong and assertive young man who loves himself and stands up for the underdog….I couldn’t be prouder.

  9. I’m glad you shared this one again today via tracking back from today’s post. I too am so glad you came out on the other side. I know you will make it through the problems you face today too. I hope one day the world changes and the bullying disappears. I am going to share this on Google Plus.

  10. andybfair2013 says:

    Good for you well said. I was bullied pretty badly from Yr 4 to Yr 11. I too could care less about what people think of me now. What I do find interesting is that it is those of us that have been damaged by the world that try the hardest to make things better for those that did the damge in the first place whilst they swan around as if they did nothing wrong. How ironic!
    By the way i love your blog. I am finding so many people i have so much in common with. It’s very heartening. Thank you for being here for yourself and others like me.

Trackbacks

  1. […] October is National Bullying prevention month and this is a very important cause to me because of my experience with bullying.  It happens at an alarming rate,  2.7 million children were bullied in the United […]

  2. […] with other kids is just too much.  As I say to him I will have his back no matter what.  I was bullied and it sucked.  I told him that if he refused again we were going to go to a local school for kids […]

  3. […] to deal with bullies because it makes them resilient I just want to scream. Why? Because I was bullied and I know how this has so profoundly affected me. I used to be obsessed with the stats on my blog. […]

  4. […] I was young I was bullied and was always trying to fit in. I had a high IQ, people refer to me as scary smart but I was in […]

  5. […] and tried to just ignore the other people.  I disliked a lot of people and found refuge with the wrong group of people.  I suppose I learned social skills by being with people that I was comfortable with.  Over time, […]

  6. […] spent my entire childhood being picked on and bullied, which I wrote about more in detail here.   Between this and in general not always understanding what to do socially I have always […]

  7. […] night I dreamt that I saw the girl, that first girl that made fun of me on the bus.  In my dream she told me she was sorry, she really had nothing […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: