Thursday, October 27, 2011
Bullying is Something You Never Forget
I've mentioned briefly in a previous post that I was bullied when I was in high school. I graduated over 30 years ago, so I've had time to sit back and reflect about those times. There is always something in the news about bullying. It think it's a 1000 times worse now, because of the social media. Bullying can take the forms of physical and verbal, both of which I think are equally terrible. Two bullying incidents in particular stand out the most in my mind from my high school days. I remember sitting in the bleachers during gym. One of the girls that was out on the gym floor thought I was laughing at her. No matter how much I told her I hadn't been laughing at her, she started saying stuff like, "I'm going to beat you up later" and other things along those lines. Some other girls observed what was going on and they said, "don't worry about her, we'll take care of it for you." I didn't even know those other girls, but they came to my rescue and the girl never threatened me again. A second, very specific incident happened when I was coming down the hallway towards a few girls. They started saying things like, "we're not going to let you walk past us," and they physically blocked my way so I couldn't get through. I got so upset that I started crying. I think that's what they wanted me to do, so once I did, they laughed and moved out of my way. I have thought about that incident more than once over the past 30 years. This particular group of girls and I also played sports together, so unfortunately, I would have to deal with them. They would taunt me when I played softball. When I played soccer and was a goalie, one of the parents of a girl on the opposing team said "she's not very good, you can make a goal on her." Another girl gave my brother and I a hard time once when we were on our bikes in our neighborhood. I sometimes wonder what has happened to some of those girls. With the Internet, it would only take a few clicks to find them. Would it be worth it? They have probably long since forgot the way they treated me. Sometimes I have thought about tracking them down, just to ask the simple question, "why?" Did you think it was cool to watch me cry? Did you not think about what you were doing? My own daughter has already been bullied. I wonder about my son, being that he is "different." People are so quick to judge. I have tried to teach my son and daughter to be themselves and if they are being bullied know that they can come to me. I like to think of myself as a Momma Bear and the two of them and my stepson are my "cubs." I would do anything in the world for them. I guess since I was bullied myself at times it has made me super sensitive about it. If I did have a brief moment with the girls that used to torment me, I would tell them, "you might not remember what you did to me in high school, but I do." It is something I have never forgot.