My mind is blown every time I see a bully or mean girl from my time in school post some anti-bullying stuff on Facebook.
One posts how she can’t believe her daughter would bully someone. Another posted this story about two boys, a nerd and a jock, who became friends on the day the nerd haf intended to kill himself, and how we should all be nicer to the people around us.
I know many of them are remorseful, and several probably don’t realize or remember the havoc they brought on to people, but the peeps on the receiving end didn’t forget.
I am anti-bullying. I was bullied hard as a child. And as a teenager. Probably still as an adult but now I don’t know or care what they say.
I remember, in fifth grade, and group of girls teamed up on me and tied me up with jump rope. The troop then proceeded to drag me around the playground, arms and legs dragging across the blacktop.
I remember how they would point and laugh at me fot my hair, my hand me down off brand clothes, or whatever excuse they made up to tease me for that day.
I remember when one of the mean girls complimented a shirt I wore, and chatted me up like she was a nice person. She asked to borrow the top, and I agreed. I went home and got it all washed up, and brought it into school for her. She and her friends surrounded me, and laughed and mocked me. She shouted “why would I EVER want to wear something of YOURS!” And they all proceeded to say how I was lice and flea infested and dirty. “How stupid are you?”
In high school, I had a girl threaten me with violence. She kept at it, saying how she would bring het friends along and they’d all kick my ass. One day she said “today. After school. In the parking lot. We’re gonna kick your ass.”
I was tired of it, so I looked up from the basket I was weaving in art class and said “see you there.” I think she was surprised that I showed. And I was surprised by her lack of lackies. But she was hell bent on fighting me for some reason I couldn’t fathom, so I gave her what she wanted. She fled with tail between her legs, shouting something about being on probation.
I was something of a scrapper coming up. I got into 3 fights at school:
First grade, with Kenny P*****. He looked like this was probably his third time bring in first grade. Big guy. Tall and lanky but he wasn’t wimpy lookin. I came in for the first day of class and Kenny got up in my face at the coat rack.
“That’s my hook!” He shouted. He was so tall I had to look up at him. “Move your stuff now!”
“I don’t see your name on it.” I replied coolly. “Just find another hook. My stuff is already here.”
“Move it now!” He screamed, then he shoved me hard. “Move it!”
I moved it. I moved my fist into his neck just as the teacher came in. I had two brothers, and three sisters. No kid’s gonna try to force his will on me like that. I never started a fight. I just finished them. Off we went to the principal. Kenny left me alone after that, and I used a different hook so he wouldn’t end up so upset again. It didn’t matter which hook I had.
Next – fifth grade. This boy, Josh McL*******, had been bullying my little brother. Josh was in third, and Tyg in kindergarten. Again I say “kindergarten! ” Josh had his friends hold my bro down and they’d kick him, usually focusing on *sensitive areas*. I came onto the bus, and Josh was leaning over the seat back in front of my lil brother, and Tyg sat there, wiping tears ftom his eyes as Josh threatened and harassed him. I hurried over and hot in the seat next to Tyg.
“Leave him alone. Don’t you lat a hand on my brother or even think about picking on him again, or you’ll deal with me.”
Josh laughed, “I’m not scared of you…” then he swung out, snatching my glasses from my face and throwing them to the front of the bus. He and his friends laughed.
I made use of my patented move and fist met throat again. Josh sunk in his seat.
“I mean it, Josh…never again. You stay away from him.” The driver stepped back on the bus just as out exchange came to an end.
“Alright WWF, off the bus and to the principal.”
He left Tyg alone.
Last was the altercation in tenth vs. Probation girl, Angie O*****. I still have no idea what her issue with me was to this day. This one was more of a knockdown, drag out fight…except it was between a cat and mouse. She would land blows that didn’t hurt. She started the fight, again witg my glasses, so it was more of blind fight for me, but as I said, many siblings who were bigger and stronger.
I wonder if she really was on probation when she ran.
Hindsight says I could’ve handled these things differently. And it’s true. And to Kenny, Josh, and Angie, I’m sorry for laying the smack down upon you, but your behavior and harassment left the younger me with no option that I could see then. I hope you’ve all grown bryond the pettiness and the hurtful things you did when you were younger.
I hope that for all these bullies. But don’t front like you’re a shining beacon of anti-bullying. It’s like trying to save face. It’s bs and I’m not buying what you’re selling. Maybe if ya got the stones to apologize to the people you hurt instead of hiding behind your societally pressured shame? Otherwise it just seems like an act.
I do hope your kids don’t treat people cruelly. I even understand putting on this show for their sake, but I intend to be upfront about my life to my kids. I hope the punishment I endured teaches them to be kind to others and to not deal with anyone who mistreats you. I hope the mistakes I’ve made teaches them to look for other options and to think before they act or speak. But I plan to be honest.
My second year at my new school (8th), I saw a few girls who always were sitting alone at lunch. They sat alone but never sat with each other. I sat with my girls and there were six of us.
One day, probation girl and her pack circled around one of the girls. They called her names, told her she smelled and such. The girl looked to be on the verge of tears.
I pivoted from my normal lunch path and set down next to her. I told the girls to go away. Surprisingly, they did (maybe this is why she got so mad she wanted to fight me. IDK) and each day I sat with Lori. I waved my friends over, and invited the other girl who sat alone all the time (who also got picked on a lot) yo join us too.
So then our six was eight. And it stayed eight for years to come. During lunch we were all together and safe. I loved my friends. I still hold these girls dear to my heart, despite time, distance, and history has broken the airtight bonds we once had. I don’t know how I couldve survived without them. Megan, Wendy, Lori, Rashelle, Kristy, Kristin, Rana…I love you guys. Thank you for being there for me.
And to the bonus friends, those who joined us from time to time – the Taylor Twins, my cousin Amanda (I miss you so much, every day. I’m tearing up now just thinking about you.), and the others. ..we had some good times. I miss you ladies too. I even miss Chris (despite our friendship getting a little rocky when you dated Kristy in high school buy I knew you just weren’t that into her and I didn’t want you to hurt her. Glad that you’re happy with Steven the lawyer. ;p).
Case in point – grown-up bullies need to own up and stop ignoring their behavior and use that as the lesson to their kids, not to do this “holier than thou” act condemning people for doing what you have done yourself so often. It’s hypocritical.
Put positivity and kindness out and one day it will return to you.
I forgive you, bullies and mean girls. I wish you happiness in your lives. I know I found happiness in mine. And you all helped me become stronger and more confident as an adult. So in the end, I guess I should thank you…but an apology would go a long way.