Fair warning, this post is not in any way pleasant. So if you don’t want to feel any feelings I suggest passing this by. You have been warned.
Today I had to stop by my mothers house to deliver some delicious Girl Scout cookies. My darling dear nephew was home from school and sitting at the kitchen table. I was then informed of an interesting problem that my nephew was having at school. “Aunt Bee, my best friend is a girl and all the other kids are mean and make fun of me. Like the whole second grade! What am I suppose to do?!” My heart sank. My nephew was being bullied because his best friend is a girl. How do you explain bullying to a second grader? I told him that my very best friend in second grade was a boy and that the very same thing happened to me. As the old saying goes “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I explained that they just wanted to feel powerful and that they felt good seeing him feel bad. He should turn and walk away when they start being mean, it was their loss if they didn’t want to be his friend. But if they got very mean he needs to go to his teacher or the principal for help. Adults are there to help you, never be afraid to ask for help from a grown up that’s why they were there. He seemed to understand, but I could still see that my little dude was hurt inside. A wound that is invisible to others, but I know that wound all to well.
The old saying really should be “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can leave permanent damage and take years of therapy to for them to scar over.” I’m angry, it made me remember what it was like to be a victim of bulling. I’m not talking the kind of bullying where kids called me a few names and then it was over we all grew up and out of it. I am talking about YEARS of emotional torture, this was all before anti-bullying laws and what not. The following stories are the reason this post is titled “shit that keeps me up at night.”
Second grade. My best friend was a boy (we remain good friends to this very day) and we were really into digimon and Pokemon at the time and we would go outside at recess and reanact our favorite episiodes. Kids would all gather together and shout things like “weirdo” “freak show” “loser” “fags” things like that. I got so mad once that I pushed a kid down because he called my friend fat. I had to stand on the wall for the rest of recess. Nobody would listen to my side of the story.
Forth grade. At this point always picked last for the team, got labeled the weirdo. Kid on the playground called me a “bitch” didn’t even know how he heard that word but I got mad and stated to cry, he kept saying it over and over. So I punched him in the face, and pushed him down. I got in trouble, nobody would listen to my side of the story, he insisted he kept calling me a “bass” (the fish). They fucking believed that little shit bag. That’s when I stopped trusting adults, and stopped trying to make friends or be social in general. I became withdrawn, angry, and sad. But most dangerously of all, I became quiet.
Fifth grade. I was a bit disorganized at school, I usually just stuffed papers in my desk and used the empty desk next to me for books. Nobody seemed to mind. Until my teacher asked me to clean out my desk, which I did. But in my tiny fifth grade mind she never said both desks and I wanted to go outside and play with the few friends I had. I came back inside to see a group of girls (who were vicious bullies to me even then) cleaning my desk, going through my papers, my private things, my belongings. I was horrified, embarrassed, and angry. I just stood there in tears while they read through my notebooks (I wrote short stories or poems), and most embarrassingly of all they read about my crush. They just sneered and snickered at me with their bitchy little faces, relishing their power over me, I was a peon to them, they were queens. The teacher didn’t understand why I was so upset. All I could do was stand there like an idiot and take it when all I wanted to do was tear their hair out and claw out their eyes. That’s a lot of rage for a 5th grader mind you.
Sixth grade. New school, new start right? Wrong. We had lockers with locks, but sometimes I would leave some of my books in front of the locker because I had to run across the building for my classes. That was stupid. I came back one day to find my books scattered across the school and pages of my journal (which I had forgotten sitting on top of the stack when I went to luch) scattered all across the hallway. It took me 15 minutes to find everything.
I wore a shawl to class one day, someone shouted “you look like an old lady!” I never wore it again.
I was in choir and the girl behind me always called me “Marsha” from the Brady bunch. On account I had very long blonde hair. She would pull my hair when I would sit down. I snapped after a few weeks of “just ignore it dear” and said “stop pulling my fucking hair, you are already on my shit list”. I was called down to the office because they thought I had made a hit list, and she felt threatened by me. Nobody listened to my side of the story. Again. So I stopped talking. Eyes to the ground, mouth shut, just get through the day. That was when I started therapy and was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. In the 6th fucking grade. Where was 13abc to share my story?
I had a bully who was in several of my classes. Him and his friends would follow me around and sing “brass money” scream it in my ear, and they would always find ways to make me look like an idiot. I hated giving class presentations because they always found a clever way to make me sound stupid. He was on my bus and they would all just jeer and laugh “why are you so fat?” “Your so ugly” “you should just kill yourself it would make a lot of people really happy” “your so retarted” “everyone hates you you know”. Well one day I snapped. I grabbed that little shit by his backpack threw him against the brick wall, held him off the ground and said very loudly “I swear to Christ if you don’t leave me the hell alone I will fucking kill you!” In case you are wondering I got in trouble again, by the bus driver this time. I was over defending my actions and went home once again in tears. But everyone reassured me “he is just mean to you because he likes you” okay sure. That makes me feel awesome.
7th grade. My attendance was spotty, I wore baggy clothes and hoodies every day. I had a few friends, but not many. I had a girl at luch throw her chocolate milk at me. That was cool.
There was a school dance. I wasn’t going to go, but I got a phone call that very night from a boy who would like to meet me there. I was so excited! Someone liked me! So I did my hair, and I even put on makeup and a sparkly belt. Cute shoes and even a cute top. I felt so pretty. My mom dropped me off and drove away. I waited in front of the building for almost an hour, watching couples file in. Maybe he was just running late, yes that was it. It was cold so I finally went inside, maybe he was waiting in there for me. The group of guys that burst out laughing when I walked in gave me the answer. Nobody was waiting for me. Nobody liked me. I was humiliated, completely and utterly devistated. I called my mom and we drove home in silence. To this day I still wonder who called me that night, but I guess I will never know.
8th grade. I was always trying to find ways to get out of school. I hated going. I spent almost my whole time reading, it was my escape. I loved books.
I gathered up the courage to wear a dress one day. High neck black silk, almost kimono style. It came down just to my knee caps. I wore tights and black boots. Right before art class I got a huge run in my tights so I took them off, I figured since the dress was long enough nobody would notice. I walk into art class and within 5 seconds someone said “Jesus she took her tights off.” Then pointed and laughed. I never wore that dress again.
I wanted to keep taking art class but the teacher recommended choir instead for high school. I guess I wasn’t good enough.
Freshman year. I was quiet, had a few more friends. Made a few really good friends who stuck up for me. I had a friend who was all fire, loved to read just like me, and would put a bitch in her place if need be. She was my best friend, but then she moved away down south and I was alone again.
Sophomore year. I joined flag corps, I became a part of a team. People liked me, I had friends. Still picked last for every team and every group project. But I didn’t care. I stopped caring what other people thought because fuck em right? If people were actually mean to my face I would just flip them the bird and keep going. People grew up a little bit by then I guess.
Junior year. I smiled again, I laughed and joked with my friends, I joined clubs and activities. I had a car and went places, I went to dances with dates. The flag corps would compete in states. I was in choir, alto 2 section. Life was pretty okay.
There was this annoying kid who played drums. Kid never shut up, mean little thing. He wouldn’t stop talking at a train stop so I told him to knock it off. I found his parents and asked them politely to talk to him about it (considering he was a freshman). A few games later his mother comes rushing at me like a bull and starts full blown screaming in my face “you fucking bitch! How dare you tell me how to talk to my son! Who the hell do you think you are!? You stay the fuck away from him if you know what’s good for you!!” I was knocked to the ground. I was terrified. Nobody came to my aid. I told my mom later and she ended up chewing out the principal who cited the whole thing as “personality differences” my mom wasn’t having it and had her banned from all future football games. Well her kids decided that they should enact revenge and tailgated me home from school. Then they made up this story about how I ran into their car in the parking lot. Well my dad measured my bumper and their dent then proceeded to call them on their bull shit. My car could not have possibly made that dent. Plus it was on the wrong side of their car (I parked next to her in the school lot). They were told not to come within 20 yards of me from then on or face suspension.
Senior year. I graduated. Peace out bitches.
So yea I get a little fired up when I find out someone has been bullying my nephew. I would rather die then have him go through what I went through over the years. Fucking teach your kids to be nice, it’s not hard. That and call them on their bull shit every single time. Don’t tolerate that shit in your house. Don’t be a bad parent. Period.
And now I’m 25 and getting married to the love of my life. Who would have thought.