|Art by by ~pro-vidence at DeviantArt.com|
Thinking back on my childhood I can remember being bullied. Regularly. In elementary school I was a target for bullies. Not sure why. Maybe because I was small and quiet. I started school a year younger than most due to a late December birthday. I was also a minority in my classroom so I stood out from the rest. Yes, you can be white and be a minority.
Most of the time it was verbal abuse, but there were two boys who took it to a physical level. One boy was in my class and the other at my bus stop. Nothing too horrible but enough for me to remember them thrity-something years later. I remember their names too. Makes me want to look them up on facebook and see what they've become.
They would throw things at me, pull the chair out from under me so I would fall, shove me into a wall every now and then. The bus-stop-boy threw a basketball at my head and it hit my earring just right so that it stuck into my head behind my ear. Can you say ouch? I cried and it was bleeding. Everyone at the bus stop just stared at me.
There was one time when in the fourth grade I went to use the restroom. There was a girl peeing with the stall door open. I didn't know she was in there until I started to look for a stall to use. I walked by each stall looking for a clean one and I came across her. The girl cussed me out and I didn't know it, but she waited for me. When I got out of my stall she jumped me and dragged me to the stall she was in and shoved my hand in the toilet then forced it in my mouth (she hadn't flushed). That had me so upset I didn't go back to class for a long time because I couldn't stop crying. When I did return, as soon as the teacher looked at me I busted out in tears all over again. I didn't know the girl or her name though. She was in an upper grade. I didn't see her again until a couple of months later, and she just looked through me. I don't think she even remembered me or the incident. But I did.
I wish I was brave enough to tell on them. Why didn't I? I feared they would bother me or hurt me more than they already had, and I didn't want to look like a chicken in front of everyone. I know better now. After awhile they must have gotten bored with me, they eventually left me alone, but the damage was done. Even recalling these situations I can remember the fear and anxiety I had over seeing these kids in school and on the bus every day. So when I read about bullying or see it in a movie I can really empathise with the characters. But bullying isn't just fictional. Bullying is a real part of everyday life for some. Whether being bullied, being the bully, or seeing someone go through it - it all needs to stop. Today. Now. If you need help with bullying, and don't know what to do, ask someone close to you for help, or click the STOP BULLYING link below.
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