I decided to write about my experiences being bullied and how I managed to take that negative energy and turn it into something positive (or at least try to) and what I think of how bullies should be dealt with now that I am older.
We all know kids are cruel, it’s in their nature to pick on someone who is different from them, but I really think there is a very large difference from picking on the little kid and bullying one to the point where they are afraid to step outside their own home.
No child should ever have to fear playing outside or going to school or walking to the store, No child! Not ever!
I learned at an early age just how cruel some people could be when you have something that is quote”Not normal”
I was born with a very rare eye disorder that cause me to almost go blind as a child, I had (have) to wear thick glasses and for years I was forced to wear a sticky eye patch over my right eye to try and correct what was wrong with the left eye.
This became a constant cause of attack when regarding my fellow class mates, I have been called everything in the books from 4 eyes, to frog eyes to pop bottle glasses, and laugh as you may but that sticks and stones shit is crap!
Sticks and stones? who came up with that? I personally believe words are the most powerful thing on earth and they have such a power to make you feel so many different emotions including feeling like your a total freak, and feeling like that for years.
People use to tell me I needed to be more tough, grow thick skin, fight back and don’t take crap. But that’s not who I am.
The saying “I’m a lover not a fighter” is the closest thing I can say that would describe me.
I don’t like fighting, I truly believe it solves nothing at all, some believe it adds this macho appeal makes you king or queen shit but really all it does is drive people away.
I mean really think about it, Who wants to be around a person who could kick you head in at any moment right??
I dealt ok with the bullies up until 6th grade when I transferred schools and on my first day there this girl in grade 8 walked right up to me and said “You better learn the rules fast and follow them or I will kick you face in” It was my first fucking day man!
Since the beginning of time there has always been clicks, little groups who set themselves apart from all the rest and either you join one or your an outcast.
But the thing with these little groups is, when one person is outed by another the whole group goes after that outed one.
I took the outed one trip a couple times, and would run home like a bat outta hell to save my own ass.
These things get started over the most stupid stuff and then end almost as quick as they started, so really whats the point?
In public school I was a chubby girl but I was not fat by any means (that came later) BUT because I was bigger then most of the other girls I was a target, and they used that against me.
I also developed at a very early age (I had boobs at 9) and we were kinda poor so it was hand me down bra’s from mom and she had no chest at all so hers hurt me like a son of a bitch, so I stopped wearing them.
I was 11 I didn’t think anything of it, til they all started making fun of me for it.
Including telling our lunch room teacher who joined in on the fun.
So lets see by the time I was 11 I had been told I was fat,ugly, looked like a butch,frog eyes,bug eyes,stupid and retarded.
Self esteem was on a rise…I don’t think so!
But I make friends easy, people tend to like being around me I am funny and outgoing and tell really good tales to get your imagination going, So I managed to get through the rest of public school with no bruises,breaks or bumps.
But the pain lingered, and each time I would look in the mirror I would only see the person they saw.
It wasn’t the real me it was the me that was stuck in my head, If that makes any sense.
If I had thought public school was bad I was about to get a rude awakening when I entered high school.
The nightmare began almost as soon as I entered, I was out sick for the 1st 2 weeks of school which really didn’t help in the whole meeting new pals and bonding category.
I tried to blend in as much as I could, but I swear these bullies smell you and your fear from a mile away and they come a looking!
But the little names and being picked on in public school was nothing compared to the full blown bullying they dish out in high school.
Bullies there follow you to each class, taunting you as you try and scurry away, pushing you into things,tugging at your hair, calling out awful names.
And why do they do this? Cause I didn’t fit into a click, I had no group I was what they called a LOSER.
All I wanted was to go to class, do my work, get in get out graduate and go off to collage to do music, that never happened.
My first year of high school the bully was a guy! can you believe that? what a man he was picking on a girl for the fun of it, Guess his wrestling buds did nothing for him and he had to go a little weaker.
I actually stuck up for myself that day he came at me, he was the first to call me pop bottle glasses.
So to shoot insult with insult I called him a fat ass dumbo.
He told me my ass was grass by the end of the day (I later found out he had planned to get the toughest girl in school after me, but it never happened..don’t know why)
My 2nd year was a group effort and when they come in packs its worse, cause they find you no matter where you are.
They started with the taunting, and following me around, then the banging into me or waiting for me outside of my class.
Then it turned to leaving notes in and on my locker, and I won’t tell you everything that was in those letters but one stated they were going to smash in my face so bad no one would know it was me, and maybe if I was lucky but no likely it would make me look better.
I kept that letter for a long time, and I know it fueled my rage and dis-pare but for some reason I couldn’t just throw it away.
The letters soon turned to phone calls to my home, I would try so hard to hide it from my mother but she knew.
She once told me “Tami kick their fucking asses!” But as I stated above I am a lover not a fighter..Or a wimp as you might like to say.
Months and months of this and I finally started skipping school as I was terrified of what they were going to do next, I knew I might be able to handle a one on one fight, but as I said when they hunt in a pack its all of them you have to contend with.
By 2nd semester I wasn’t sleeping right, I was barely eating and thinking I just wanted to end it all.
I skipped more often and fled to the safety of my best friends house, day after day my mom had no idea, Til the school called and I was booted for not attending.
I spent a year out of a regular high school half was spend just hanging out the other half was spent in a support school to help kids who needed to get back on their feet.
I did well in that one roomed class, some of my best marks and I was proud.
Then for 2nd semester grade 11 I decided I missed what friends I did have in high school and was ready to give it another shot.
But even though people have not seen you in awhile, and some bullies have moved on to other targets there is always another one waiting in line to come after a person.
No sooner had I returned had my presence managed to piss someone off, let the taunting begin!
I have to say I really honestly tried to not let it bug me, I would go about my daily routine finding ways to ditch the bullies and carry on with my everyday life.
I had gotten pretty good at it too but on occasion they would find me, tease me and call me names, Smash me into my locker or pull at what they called my Brillo pad hair.
That same year I found that some of my own friends were deciding to be bullies themselves, picking on what they seen as weaker people, or people who “weren’t normal”
I am not saying I never bullied anyone Hell I am no saint, but for the better part of my life I never crossed the line from bullied to bully, and I am proud of that.
Out of my friends bullying I found a friend in the person they bullied, she would become one of my best friends Tara, we started hanging out all the time and working through things that at times I thought I was the only one dealing with.
Just when I thought I had it all under control something happened, I was at a friends house and one of the bullies called and told us they were going to bring a gun to school and blow our heads off. I felt that rush of anger and sadness swell deep in my heart.
It was never going to end, not for me anyway. I was never going to be that “popular” girl so someone was always going to have a reason to come at me. I felt like I was too different.
From the time I had entered high school at 128 pounds I had gone up to almost 170, so the taunts were about my weight and my glasses and my thick puffy hair.
People judged me on my outer appearance rather then looking with in to see if I was a good person or not.
Alas I finally did it, got my ass kicked out of my home and decided school was not an option either.
And this begun a new chapter of bullying, and not just for me either Tara became a target as she was a friend of mine.
And who were these bullies? My old school mates who I had hung out with for the last 4 years!
It started with 1 message on my answering machine, calling me a fat cow that needed jenny craig, Then a few days later 3 then the next day 5 til it finally reached 15 messages. each one saying something about me, calling me the rudest things you could think.
Then the day came, Tara called me crying her eyes out “Why would you do that Tami?” do what I asked?
Someone had made a little phone call to her claiming to be me, and said the most horrible things they could to her.
I was devastated, not only where they going after me but they were going after someone who I had come to care for and to trust.
We played my messages, and Tara heard a familiar sound.
Our good old friends giggling in the background.
It was at that moment I snapped everything in me saw red, I could no longer control the anger that had been building up over many years.
I couldn’t believe someone I had once called one of my best friends was now doing this to me, after everything she knew I had been through for her of all people to do it was truly as we would say a stab in the back.
I ran downstairs to my roommates home, they had a bee-bee gun that when cocked sounded so real it scared me.
I picked up the phone and called her, I told her I knew what she had done that I had had the phone company trace the taunting calls as they came in.
I told her I wanted my stuff back and was screaming to the point where I was scaring her to death.
I had begun to step over the line into being that bully, At that moment I didn’t care I cocked the gun.
She asked what that sound was, I told her it has a nice shinny bullet with your name on it, your never gonna know where and your never gonna know when but you will pay I cocked the gun again and clicked it, then again and again.
It scared her enough she never called me again, and at last I felt a kind of peace that I had not known in years.
I was in the wrong for what I did, I know that.
I think off all these kids that take guns to school now and it kills me inside to know that I got to that point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.
What if that gun had been real? Would I have done something stupid?
I would like to think that I have a lot more brains and strength and that I would never have done such a thing but the truth is I will never know.
The last real time I was bullied was a time I never even saw coming, I had once again returned to school in an adult center and was among people my age (21) and older.
Bitches are Bitches no matter what their age.
This one started over something so stupid I am able to laugh about it now.
At 19 I had taken a trip to England my passport stated I was legally allowed in the UK for 3 months, In class one day I mentioned that I had been in England for 6 weeks, the girl miss heard me thinking I said 6 months, saw my passport and came to the conclusion I was a liar. No I am not liar your just deaf!
But this whole “If you come to class again I am gonna kick your face in” shit is un real, I mean you want to kick my ass over a passport? Get a fucking life!
So now on to my conclusion:
To me there is no real help out there for children who suffer at the hands of a bully, and we wonder why kids have died.
Maybe if they KNEW there was a another way out they would take it, but these options are never presented to these kids.
Unless you yourself have been a victim of true bullying you have no idea what it does to the mind, People can always say “yeah people picked on me in school and I turned out just fine” Well good for you, but the fact is most are not like you.
And the chances are is that the bullying that was done to you was nothing close to someone who has snapped due to their being bullied.
We need a better system that says this will NOT be tolerated, it is NOT ok for you to go pick on someone else for whatever reasons you may have.
And if people choose not follow those rules they need to suffer the consequences for their actions.
Parents I believe should also be held accountable, Kids are born innocent and are taught to hate.
Most bullies were or are being bullied themselves and a lot of times its happening at home.
My dad is a bully, and all 3 of my brothers turned out the same way, not to the extent that my father is but a bully none the less.
We need anti bullying programs in schools, so kids can see the signs and learn when to speak up and know they have people they can go to.
Don’t blame video games,movies and tv shows, Blame people!
People teach other people to hate, they teach them to be mean and let them think its ok to hurt another person.
You may think calling someone a fatso is ok, but it’s not, chances are that person can’t help who they are some people are just born that way, it’s in there genetic makeup.
You think picking on another person for something that is beyond their control is fun?
I didn’t ask to be born almost blind and have to wear thick glasses for the rest of my life, 2 of my friends did not ask to be born with birth defects, But for some reason people think its ok to go after them because they are “different”
I say enough is enough, You want to stop these innocent killings in schools? Give these kids other options.
I am not saying they all went off an killed people because they were bullied, some people are born evil and I truly believe that but there is a whole other set of signs to watch for when regarding that matter.
Teachers need to be better educated in the whole bullying stuff, and then need to come down a lot harder on the kids who they know darn well are doing the bullying.
Here in Canada our teachers keep asking for more money, I say not til you learn how to deal with all kids on all levels.
If a kid just keeps doing it, Kick them out! let the parents suffer the wrath of their child’s actions, it’s not only a teachers job to teach it’s yours as a parent!
My niece is 9 and has been bullied since she started school, when she found out she had to start wearing glasses she balled her eyes out knowing it was one more thing for them to pick on her about.
I would watch as she would come home crying because they picked on her, and it didn’t stop at school it happened in our own front yard!
I say if it keeps happening police should get involved, show these kids where they will end up if they continue to act the way they do.
Call it tough love I don’t care, anything to make our schools and streets a safer place.
Breakdowns,depression,killings and re-bullying can all be prevented, all we need to do is stand up and say No More!
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