Bullying: I'm a Survivor
This essay is inspired by another survivor I heard on a local radio broadcast this morning. So, I dedicate this essay to everyone who has ever, is, and will be faced by these cowards.
It started when I was in the Second Grade. I was heavy, a bookworm, and didn't make friends easily. I didn't have any trouble until then. This was the perfect set-up for what started. When the kids started picking on me, I don't exactly remember, but the worst part was that the teacher seemed to join in. At one point, I was accused of something, I don't remember exactly what, but what I do remember is that I didn't do it. All but a few kept telling me that I did, but I still remember that I didn't do it. The worst part was that in order to keep from getting my mouth washed out with soap for lying, I had to lie and say I did do it. In retrospect, I should have asked them to call my Mom, but I was only the second grade, and an adult, my teacher, was telling me I was bad.
My mother knew something was wrong, and even met with my teacher to try and figure it out, but she only got the truth from me about the whole incident a few years ago. I'm 40 years old, back then not only was soap a common punishment, but so was corporal punishment, with a paddle. I have no problem with corporal punishment, personally, but, maybe I could have been saved if they had been required to call my mother first. I accidentally stuck my finger down a boy's pants, the back part, and he was quick to go to the teacher and told her what I did. I owned up to it, trying to prove my truthfulness, to no avail.
Lesson 1: No matter what I said, no one would believe me. Therefore, I should lie.
Lesson 2: Don't back down when you're right, or didn't do it.
I was held back in the second grade. My second, second grade teacher I suppose was good enough. I don't remember anything particularly bad about it, but my intelligence, and nerd factor, started to show. I was reading and comprehending on the eighth grade level by the time I was in the third grade, college in the fifth. I had a wonderful third grade teacher, how wonderful, I didn't miss a day. I also met Angela and Susan. These two were the popular girls. Future chearleaders and genuinely wonderful people, they told me flat that if I needed help with bullies, let them know, they would take care of it.
My self-esteem had never quite recovered. I still had those who felt I was a prime target, easy to pick on. They called me blubber, Medusa, and other mean names because of my weight. I've always been heavy. This escalated, first in the sixth grade, I stopped caring. I went to school without showering, or brushing my hair. In the seventh and eighth grade I had moved to a different school and beyond the help of friends. My only solace was my voice. Midway through the fifth grade I discovered that I had a voice no one could call ugly.
The bullies were girls, we'll call them Carrie and Darlene. They exhibited the classic physical attributes of bullies. They shoved me into lockers, tried to push my knees from behind while walking. I finally went to my counselor, and she talked to them. These two were druggies. They're probably dead by now, and I'm not going to cry over it. They picked a fight with me and banged my head into the ground. A week later, Darlene picked a fight with another girl and broke her arm.
Lesson 4: I'm among the people that rule the world. Not me particularly, I work for the Zoo, but my kind.
Lesson 5: Karma's a real bitch.
I spent most of the time from the seventh to the eleventh grades in Choir, and ROTC, high school anyway. I moved back to my original school area and the bullying stopped. For some reason the Athletes tended to take those who exhibited these tendencies out back and teaching them lessons.
I'm an adult now, but I have encountered those who never learned. My roommates have a sister and second brother who felt that if they could just yell at them until they did what they want. A couple who thought if they beat me down emotionally enough, I'd just give them the money they owed me. A roommate who can't ask, and starts telling me "Enough" when all I want is to get him to ask before he takes what he wants.
It saddens me when I hear kids can't rise above these cowards and commit suicide. They're not able to see the light, and I'd be willing to talk to them. So, please, if you're a victim, I will listen. You're worth twenty of them.