From the age of 9 and pretty much ending at the age of 17 I was a bullied kid. It was the loneliest I ever was. I do not really know how to tell the story. I was in public school as a kindergartner then at 3rd grade I had to transfer schools so I could go to the same school as my sister in a different neighborhood. It was a private school. I was pretty popular in public school in Chicago but then in private school in Chicago I was somehow hated. What the hell happened?
Was I a quiet kid? I was for sure. I never learned how to handle new settings. I just figured I was liked in my last school so I will be liked here as well. I was a nice kid. I did not know how to fight verbally or physically because I never had to. The closest I came to fighting as a kid was when my cousin and I would circle each other until we just passed out from exhaustion. It seemed like most days I would get my ass kicked and demeaned just so I could get home.
There were different routes to be taken. Sometimes I would take those different routes but if they want to bully you enough they will find you. My stolen bike was just a trap. Do I dare retrieve it on my own? I did and I sure did pay for that decision.
It has and still does affect my social life. All of my friends were a grade younger than me. I did not care so much about that. I was just happy to have friends. I never wanted to go to far from my house because What happens if something happens? The phrase “kids will be kids” still echoes in my head. BULLYING IS NOT KIDS BEING KIDS! STOP FUCKING SAYING THAT! Kids being kids is not wanting to eat broccoli or spending too much time on the computer. Parents of the ones who bully need to take it seriously. They need to open their eyes, Stop it before the damage is everlasting.
I am 38 now. I have gotten over the bullying in the sense that I do not hold a grudge. I forgave it a long time ago. I decided to let it help define my character. I don’t play the popularity game. It is empty just to like someone based on social status. Sometimes there is a glaring reminder that I am not completely over being bullied.
I have come to realize that acceptance by my peers will affect my mood. If I begin to think that someone does not like me.I get sad. I am sure sometimes it can be overwhelming to those I am trying to impress. I know that not everyone is going to like me nor am I going to like everybody but there is a wall that blocks that thought from making real sense to me. In my head I am always thinking do these people like me? What can I do better to make these people like me?
I believe as an adult I am affable. I know I have a lot of faults but I think I am pretty okay.
My head likes to play games and is in cahoots with my heart. Okay maybe not that dramatic but sometimes it seems that way. I can hear that smaller version of me crying out so the hurt stops.
I do not do well with conflict. Be it a stranger or someone I love I would prefer to fast forward through the ugliness and hit play when it is all smiles and laughter again. I am a people pleaser. I will do almost anything for someone I care about just to be sure they like me.
I over apologize. I apologize for things not in my control. I find dissatisfaction with me where it does not exist. I am happy most of the time but there are moments when I am hard on myself. I am my own worst critic for sure. For a lot of these reasons I find it surprising that I became a comedian. Sure I get instant gratification but I also get instant rejection.
It might be unfair to blame it all on bullying but my theory makes sense to me. It saddens me to look back on my childhood and remember mostly being bullied. I wish I could go back in time to that young dude and bring him pictures. I would show him pictures of his fiancee and his future family. I would show him pictures of friends that are quality friends. I want younger me to know it will get better.
Sticks and stones may break my bones and words DO hurt. The wounds heal but they leave scars. I have a hard candy shell but gooey inside so be kind and I will be kind to you.
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