Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Survived Being Bullied

These days I have a very nice life.  I have a wonderful husband and three beautiful children and I enjoy being in church and helping out.  What most people don't know is that in middle school and ninth grade, I was bullied. 

I was the odd girl going into middle school. My mom had been married to an abusive man and he was not nice to us and I didn't know how to handle it and had a vivid imagination and I loved to sing.  All of those things and a penchant for talking made me a social pariah.  

I hated middle school.  I would walk down the halls and boys would bark at me, I was told by fellow students that if I looked in the mirror it would break.  One boy's favorite thing to do was kick my knees from behind me causing me to fall and my books to scatter everywhere.  The girls weren't a lot better, they made rude remarks about how I dressed and looked. 

I was 12 years old, in a single parent family, we were broke, I had those terrible huge Clark Kent sized glasses from the 80's and braces and to add insult to injury my well meaning mom kept giving me perms so I looked like a poodle on crack.  I was awkward and gauky and I hated everything about myself.  It was so bad by the end of 9th grade that my mom and her best friend had come up with a plan to get me out of there.  

Mom had finished her Master's Degree in Chapter One Reading (YEAH MOM!) and she and her best friend, Ginny had decided they'd pay for private school anything to get me out of the school system I was in at the time.  I was depressed, tired of the crap and suicidal. 

But there were two things that helped save me; books and music.  I discovered a love of books early on, but I really got lost in books in middle school.  I became friends with the librarians at school and after while they'd see me and help me find a new book or they'd set one behind the counter for me that they thought I would enjoy.  Music was an outlet and a way to be someone other than an awkward girl who didn't fit in.  When I sang I was someone, something and I could do something that not everyone else could. 

My mom did get a job and we did get to move and I still loved books and music.  I even became friends with the librarians in my new high school too, but I was able to make new friends.  No one knew me and no one knew anything about who I had been and we kept it that way.  And by college I realized something.  I love to sing, but I didn't want my voice to define who I was as a person.  Until then I'd been the girl with the amazing voice, I wanted to be a different person who still sang but I did it on my terms and it wasn't how others would see me. 

If you are being bullied in high school, middle school or elementary school know that you are not alone.  There are other kids who are bullied just like you and that people care.  Tell someone, if they don't listen keep telling until it stops, and know that the people who are bullying you are more than likely being bullied too, maybe by another kid or a parent or an adult in their life.  You don't have to feel badly about who you are, it isn't really your problem, the things they are saying aren't really true, they just say what they think will hurt you.  If you are being cyber bullied, report it to the website - that is considered an offense and a lot of states are starting to crack down on cyber bullies.   

I hope you all have a good week.
In Christ,
Maureen

1 comment:

vette said...

You could not of said it better. My son has gone through a lot of this and he is in 7th grade now. We had to move to a bigger town to get it to quit. He is ADHD and has Aspergers syndrome. So people would not accept him, it started to get violent before we finally moved him.