Being Bullied ... Really

October is a crowded month.  Hispanic Heritage and Breast Cancer Awareness is but two of the many causes being touted.  It is also Bullying Prevention Month.  Something I know a little bit about.

Me at 3.  How awesome are those red shoes?

All through grade school and high school I was bullied.  I guess I could list the "usual" reasons why I was bullied.  I was small for my age, I was scared and cried easily when I was picked on, but there were other factors involved, too.

My mother didn't allow me to bathe for several weeks.  I washed my hair maybe once a year.  I was not allowed to wear clean clothes or deodorant.  Even adding those factors to the mix, I don't think you can imagine what I went through.

Me at 6 with "Lady."  Apparently I didn't own a mirror at this time.  Good thing this photo is in B&W!  Those plaids together will make you dizzy!

Over the years the name calling escalated into physical violence.  I was pushed off a five foot porch.  I was able to break my fall somehow and I wasn't injured.  I was physically attacked on the bus coming home from school.  I knew then that I might die if this kept up.

I called the police and they notified my school.  I was never bothered again.  It took years for me to truly recover.

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Yes, the little girl in the pictures is smiling.  The Lord blessed me even back then with a happy outlook.

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I'm still known for my smile.

I didn't want to write about this because it's still so painful that I can't really express it.  My hands are shaking a bit and I'm trying not to cry.  It was a long time ago.  It shouldn't still hurt.  But maybe my smile is the best revenge.

 

Click here for another story by a former victim and fellow blogger here at ChicagoNow.

Comments

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  • Thank you for sharing your story.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    ;-)

  • 'But maybe my smile is the best revenge.'

    these words are the most beautiful one that I've ever known.
    I feel like you're the purest example of human strengh. You're an alive proof that despite we're vulnerable the goodness in us can be protected only if we want this.
    I hope you'll have a wonderful life, i wish you have !

  • In reply to mysza:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful and heartfelt words! I will take your words with me on the rest of my journey. I have been blessed to have a wonderful life, and I continue to be blessed.

  • I am so sorry you were bullied as kid. My daughter is an only child and she too has been bullied at school. When I asked her why she thinks she was bullied she replied "Because I'm weak". I have an adult friend who is an only child sort of (her sibling is more than 10 years older than she) who also was bullied as a child.
    I've started to think that one learns to bully from one's siblings or to put into other-words, one learns how to fight back from one's siblings.
    I'd love to hear about others' experience with bullying, both as a bully and as the bullyied. Though your smiling as the best defensive is advice I will definitely encourage my daughter to use. Than you for sharing.

  • In reply to Lubp:

    It's tough to be the "only." I hope your daughter finds strength in your parenting and in her real friends. Thanks so much for commenting.

  • In reply to Lubp:

    Lubp, I think you hit the nail on the head - dealing with siblings helps you learn to defend yourself.

    Kids are cruel. I was bullied for being the new kid after I moved in the 5th grade. It lasted until I moved away after 9th grade. Once you're labeled an easy mark...

    Kids that bully are a product of their home environment. How they are treated by parents and siblings dictate what is acceptable treatment of others. As a kid you don't recognize this and even if you do, you can't do anything to change the heart or mind of the bullied bully.

    You can only hope that one day they grow up and act like a human being. Hopefully they don't become the governor of New Jersey or host a talk show that's fixated on missing little girls...

    Siblingless, stay strong! Thanks for the sincere post - it takes courage to share painful memories. Keep sharing!

  • In reply to Brent Cohrs:

    Thank you Brent! The response I got from people about this post was a healing experience.

  • I am sorry. I am sorry nobody helped you. Working in Law Enforcement, I encounter children going through what you did on a regular basis and am always left wishing there was MORE I could do. Secretly I wish I could shadow them and protect them 24/7. Your story is yet more fuel to the fire that burns inside me to END this kind of horrible torture of our most vulnerable and impressionable citizens - our children.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • In reply to MandaPanda:

    Bless you and the work that you do! Thanks for the comment.

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Siblingless :) I find it unfathomable that your mother refused to let you bathe or wash your hair--what parent would do that? Perhaps the qualifier should be, What *sane* parent would do that to their child?

    You have such amazing strength to report the bullying to the police, and I am so glad they called the school. You also have amazing strength to share your story :) Again, thank you.

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