Yesterday I wrote a post in which I disclosed that I was bullied and then went on to talk about my experience with a helicopter parent.
We all want the best for our kids, and that can sometimes turn into some unsavory behaviors on our parts, like helicopter parenting. Where you hover and control so much of your child's life you begin to smother...
I hope someday my kids don't write a blog post titled:
You put the S in smother!
My experience with bullies came in 7th grade and got intensely worse in 8th.
All through out elementary school I enjoyed school. I usually had a best friend that I spent most of my time with. In second grade I discovered I liked boys. Peter was my first crush and Jody (my bestie) and I would do things to drive him nuts. Like be the first to get the football at recess so the boys had to play with us! Ha.
In third grade I switched schools, I was nervous but then I found a new bestie, Kim and she was AWESOME! She had red hair, oh, I just LOVE red hair! She had horses. Oh, I just love horses! and She had a crush on Kyle, who it so happened I had a crush on too! We were besties through 5th grade, because in 6th grade we moved and I once again switched schools. Up until this point, I loved or liked all my teachers. 6th grade I HATED my teacher. He was CREEPY. with a heaping side of pedophile. The guy touched me and it sent shivers through me, not the good kind. The warning kind, like NEVER EVER be alone with this guy kind. He caused problems for me at home. I got to the point where I would ignore him, and or "disobey" him in class. I refused to sit near him at reading group when he told me to sit next to him, it was bad enough creeper made me sit in the front with my desk next to his...I wasn't sitting next to him where he could rub my shoulder or God forbid touch my leg! I also stopped asking permission to use the bathroom and just went, because every time I'd ask he'd withhold his permission. I wasn't the only one he did this too, but I was one of the only ones that talked back and stood up to him. (It's the little rebel in me!)
My friendships grew out of who could I trust, some of the kids would try to get others in trouble, and snicker when that student had to go up to his desk and get "talked to" which always involved some sort of petting. (usually shoulder touches or back touches) He creeped everyone out, but he had his favorites, and for whatever reason I was tops on his list and there were kids that loved to see me squirm. He would send home negative reports that I then had to have my mom sign, which got me grounded for misbehavior at school. I learned quickly that A) she didn't believe the things I was telling her and B) I needed to learn her signature!
Every week I'd give him the signed paper and every week I would continue to be "disruptive" by telling him "Don't touch me!" loudly in class or "I need to use the BATHROOM!" Walk out and come right back when I was done. Funny I never got sent to the principle...
Nor did my mom ever get called in for a meeting...
I wonder if this guy is on the sex offenders list?
Ah, now we are up to the good stuff eh?
I knew nearly everyone at school because I had gone to 3 of the 4 elementary schools in the district.
Man, was it an awkward time for me! Glasses, in need of braces and lets not talk about the body changes. I just wanted to be cool! knowing everybody and being in the "in" crowd are two totally different things. Luckily I had a cool older sister right?
She was in with the "pretty crowd" in 9th grade.
I did my best to get good grades and tried to make friends with others in my classes. My Bestie for 7th grade was Ginny, a tall funny red-haired girl who helped me with my school work. God bless her!
Swimming unit in gym was.the.worst. Girls could wear t-shirts over their swimsuits but everybody could see who had "developed" and who hadn't.
Guess which side I was on?
And Ginny, well she had some big ol boobs! Which made her "likable" and the butt of some cruel jokes I might add. We were peas and carrots.
In 8th grade swimming unit came early and guess how summer treated me?
Boobs baby, boobs. Not nice handfuls, but little bitty bumps. Or as I was nicknamed Mosquito bites.
Oh, yeah, glorious nickname...
Half way through the unit my boobs decided to grow and that was the beginning of the bullying.
I was teased that I "stuffed".
Frankly how does one "stuff" a swimsuit? Doesn't kleenex melt when wet? Stupid idiots.
So my gym teacher took pity on me and said "Well, if they think you stuff, lets show them stuffed!"
To which she stuffed my bra and had things hanging out the top and sides and had me walk into class like that. Laughter ensued and then came her speech about our changing bodies and she got nice and gory with the boys and gave us girls a few "secrets" about how just because we couldn't "see" there parts didn't mean they weren't growing and changing too and how the boys needed to be more sensitive to girls or she would institute speedos for the boys, who got to wear swim trunks.
One kid snickered and the next day they were ALL in speedos...
I will never forget watching them all walk in to the pool! can you guess who jumped in first and got out last? Love you Mrs. Shannon!
My cool sister had moved up in the world, to High school and dated a 9th grader. He was a a JERK. He had a couple jerk friends and since my sister often complained about me, he took it upon himself to make my life hell. It started with laughing. Every time they saw me in the hallway they would laugh. This disgusting, maniacal laugh. Then came "nickname". They called me "Muppet" (as I said I had glasses, I was terribly skinny and I did not have "fancy" hair)
I'll owe it, I was a geek. But I was trying to find my own style...I didn't look any different from the others really. I just had glasses and I needed braces.
So the laughing and name calling escalated into locker shoveling and knocking the books out of my hands. I was beginning to be late to classes. I tried telling teachers but they hated excuses.
It came to a head when I was surrounded at my locker and pushed between the 3 of them as they nipped and grabbed at me in private parts. I went ballistic and hit each one of them in the face with either my hands, elbows or feet! I got hauled into the office for fighting.
(Yeah, itty bitty me beat up those 3 idiots that were at least twice my size!) Laughable.
My mom was ticked, to say the least, but not as ticked as she was when I refused to go to school for the rest of the week. After meeting with the principle I was allowed to leave classes early to go to my locker and next class without having to deal with them in the halls. The only time that didn't work was lunch. again it started slow, as they dared to try things, and when that worked without trouble they did other things. Once they spit in my food which I threw at them.
Big trouble...for ME.
It wasn't until the came to our house and attached me that the situation resolved itself. By that I mean, they hurt me, touching parts that were not theirs to touch and after they thought I was too distraught to fight back I raced upstairs grabbed a knife and went after them. I chased them out of the house and told them I would cut them if they ever came back, even to visit my sister, I would cut.them.
I think I good and scared them. Not that I was trying too, nor did I want to hurt them...it was more out of my need to protect myself then my want to hurts them. I think for some people it's the making others hurt that is dangerous. For me it was protection. I was weak, and could not fight off 3 grown boys and nobody seemed to want to listen or do something about it, so I did what I could. I am thankful that they took me seriously and left me alone and I didn't need to protect myself.
The laughing continued, and My sister told my mom about me chasing her friends with a knife, that got me grounded for 3 weeks. But I owned that too. I said yes I did.
She didn't care to know why, and I didn't tell her, until recently. When she found out the truth she was pissed at me for "not saying anything."
Yeah, okay. Good one. Just another dent in the house that built me.
It wasn't just these boys that bullied me, my sister called me stupid and ugly every day. She enjoyed mocking me and swearing at me. She allowed her girl friends to pick on me and humiliate me. One girl had a brother whom I had a crush on and my sister found out about it, she told her friend who told her brother who ended up telling me I was gross and if I ever looked or talked to him again he'd tell everyone I was a freak. (I have no idea what he was told, but I only thought he was nice and cute. Apparently he thought I had a picture of him that I kissed at night...) nope, never did that, nor did I ever write in my diary again. I could not give my sister anymore information to use against me.
This was her downfall, her words...I began reading her diaries. Not to use it but to "know" her. Why did she hate me? Why was she so mean to me? What did I do?
It was never about me, she was extremely insecure. I felt sorry for her, but I wasn't going to let her bully me anymore. I made sure certain people were in certain places at certain times and let the cards fall down.
It was around this time my parents divorced, My sister went with Dad because he was clueless and she could continue her life uninterrupted and Mom put me in a new school district.
In high school I made sure I kept a low profile, I did not want a target on my back.
That worked out well until I decided to date the tallest boy in school. 6'6" and I was under 5 feet.
He was my best friend and we made it through the next 2 years together. He graduated. By senior year everybody knew me and nobody cared. I was a nobody, which was perfectly fine with me.
It gave me a chance to be ME safely. I liked writing and speaking so I took classes on writing and speaking. I ended up giving my high school graduation speech.
To this day, I think more about the people I went to school with growing up, then the people I graduated with. I had formed bonds with those kids, in high school I was extremely guarded.
This brings us to date and what I've been thinking about these last couple years...
More to come on this.