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Through Your Eyes
“You know, when you get married, your husband will wear a chastity belt because he won’t want to sleep with you?” He said to you.
You laughed, but on the inside you tried to squash the hurt that threatened to bubble up inside of you – to take control of you again.
But let’s back up – you’re getting ahead of yourself.
Let’s rewind back to preschool, so I can tell you about your first encounter with them. Your encounter with one girl in particular right now. She had the same name as you so therefore, you guys would be best friends, thought the teacher. That would make sense when thinking about four-year-olds, right? You thought that was great, but she? Not so much. The two of you would become friends for a while, but then you would be deemed as “not cool enough to associate with.” So she left. But that was just one instance.
Just let the years blur by – from the hatred you received to the ridiculing you endured. And now, let’s take a look at second grade. We’re talking about a boy this time – but no, you didn’t have a crush on him. He was having a birthday party – a pool party – and for each kid, he sent a personalized invitation. Your very small private school had an “unwritten” rule that pretty much said if you had a birthday party, you had to invite every kid in your grade. On each invitation, the boy drew something for each kid. You don’t know what he drew on the other kids’, but your parents saw what he drew on yours. He drew a picture of you, drowning. Your parents wouldn’t let you go to the party, in fear of what might happen. Even in second grade, your parents were afraid that the kids in your grade would try to drown you.
By third grade, your parents were afraid that they would have to have you prescribed for anti-depressant medication. Picture this: trying to prescribe anti-depressant medication to a third-grader who would only be about 148 pounds by the end of third grade with long hair, freckled, glasses, and crooked teeth. Of course it could be done, but it wouldn’t be easy – emotionally or physically. It was just so hard for your parents, watching you come home crying almost every day. But you always bounced back; you had always been known for your smiles, after all. Now let’s fast-forward to fifth grade – things get really interesting here.
The straw that broke the metaphorical camel’s back, the camel being you, starts out with something really stupid – in fifth grade, you all liked to “bond” and sit on the floor together in the classroom and eat lunch. How cute. So one day, you left your lunchbox on the floor and went to the bathroom to wash your hands. When you came back, it was gone. Being the ever-sensitive child you were, you demanded to know who had stolen your lunchbox. When no one owned up to it and you’d become visibly upset, the teacher intervened. Turns out, the kids had hidden your lunchbox under a stool.
And then it just got worse from there.
But do get me wrong, it wasn’t all sugar, spice, and everything nice before this. When kids used to make fun of you that year, you’d run into the bathroom. Then girls would follow you there and barricade the doors, taunting you by asking you with mock innocence “what’s the matter, why are you crying?”
To make a long story short (for this, at least), you had one “friend,” but another girl (your “friend’s” cousin) called you a liar, saying that you had NO FRIENDS.
After years of those and many more words thrown at you in ignorant hatred, you just…snapped. And she happened to be the one to snap you, to push you past what you could handle. So you grabbed onto the lapels of her sweater and just….
You didn’t hit her; you didn’t kick her or punch her or anything. But when people broke the two of you apart, you ran to the bathroom. And the same thing happened as the other times you ran to the bathroom. Finally, a different teacher came and took you two to the principal’s office. You were supposed to be suspended, but the mother of the girl said no because she was happy you’d stood up for yourself. Not even your parents could be mad at you because of that. Parents of the kids in your class went up to your parents. And do you know what they said?
“Good for her. She’s finally standing up for herself.”
Now let’s look at middle school. People didn’t like you, don’t get me wrong, but it was middle school, and the classes (though just as small) were at least mixed up a little. Now we can go back to where you skipped ahead to. If you thought that was bad, compared to what you’ve been through, that was nothing. In fact, like I told you before, you laughed it off. And looking back now, you’re kind of flattered. I mean, they implied you’d get married. It hurt, but you bounced back pretty fast.
And now there’s you today, after ten years of bullying. You aren’t bullied anymore, but there are still definitely people that don’t like you, I’m not going to lie. You have friends, a good amount of friends, but that decade of bullying sticks with you – it’s not going to go away easily. When people who are walking behind you start whispering and giggling, the paranoia takes over you and you immediately think that they’re talking about you. Upon reasoning with yourself, you know that’s foolish, but your gut reaction has always been that people talk about you (and you were right), so that’s how you think, even today.
You’re trying really hard to get past it all, but it’s harder than anyone could ever imagine. You know that one day, it will get better for good, but you don’t know when that day is.
You really hope it’s soon.