Dealing with bullies

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Hey, I’m back.

Coming up with topics to discuss becomes more and more difficult. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this, but my life isn’t that interesting. But I do have stories to tell. I have my thoughts and opinions so, here’s something to discuss.

Bullying.

Now, my story is nowhere near as bad as most people. I hadn’t even realized in the moment that my bully was treating me as badly as she was. I didn’t know how truly miserable I was. Funny thing is, she used to be my friend.

It started with little things that no one really thinks about. She always had to be above me. Even her boobs had to be perkier than mine. I shit you not, she literally said to me, “your boobs are bigger than mine but mine are perkier.”

Insulted the music I listened to, the celebrity crushes I had, while also getting pissed off when I did the same. She listened to shit like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. To this day, the song “Teenagers” by MCR makes me cringe. Basically anything by that band makes me cringe.

Anyways, then it turned into anything she could insult, she did. She also had some kind of obsession with my boobs because she insisted I needed a pushup bra. We were fourteen at the time. What fourteen-year-old needs a pushup bra? Although…it seems fourteen year olds these days are trying to grow up quicker than they did when I was at that age. I’m amazed by how much things change in just a few years. BUT ANYWAYS, we’ll discuss that issue another time.

She made fun of me for wanting to see my dad instead of her. My parents are divorced and at the time, I only saw him every other weekend. Those weekends were precious to me and I didn’t want to give them up considering all she wanted to do was smoke weed and have “kick backs” as she called them. I would’ve been given such hell for not wanting to take part in those things.

She made fun of the clothes I wore. My school had a uniform. You could only wear white, khaki, or navy blue. I don’t know about where you guys shop but it was impossible for me to find anything in those colors that was cute. The only khaki skirt I could find was this awful corduroy thing that clung to my legs. I wore it with this surprisingly cute navy blue blouse that had this cute little belt that came with it. Put on my favorite pair of boots and I felt so good about it.

And what did she do? She said it wasn’t flowy enough, it was ugly. In the ninth grade, I had a crush on this guy and she knew it. She says to me after completely tearing me apart for wearing this skirt, “Don’t you want [crush’s name] to love you?”

I was totally crushed. At the time, yeah, I wanted that guy to like me. I never wore that skirt again. It hung in my closet for the next four years. My senior year I thought I’d wear the skirt as a big middle finger to the bitch but by then, it didn’t fit me anymore. I’d gained at least thirty pounds between 2009 and 2013. Oh well. At least the idea came to me I suppose.

She never put her hands on me, thankfully. Although one boy in that group kicked me, ridiculed me, and he did touch my boob a few times. He was…handsy and weird. He had problems. But anyways, as I was saying, she never put her hands on me but she did fling a meatball at me in an attempt to stain my white shirt. The meatball hit my boot which luckily was (fake) leather and I could just wipe it off. Even the people who hung out with her that hated me were made uncomfortable by that. I said to her, “These boots are expensive! What the hell are you thinking?!”

Her response?

“Why would you wear sixty dollar boots to school?”

“Well, I’m not exactly expecting people to fling food at me!”

She made me feel disgusting when I told her I’d attempted masturbation (TMI? Yep.) I didn’t go anywhere near my crotch for years because she made me feel stupid. She also made me afraid of breaking my hymen with my finger but that’s a whole separate issue involving a lack of education on the female body.

She made fun of me because I wasn’t as wild as her. I sought that group’s approval to a point where I made up a boyfriend just so they’d like me. I begged my best friend to go along with it because they asked her. I’m pretty sure they knew I was full of shit but for a moment, they were nice to me. I hated going to school. I felt worthless, I felt ugly, I felt stupid, I felt weak. I tried so hard to be liked by them. I had one friend tell me she didn’t want to get involved in “Drama between her friends” and my other friend still took me to their hangout spot when I asked them if we could not hang out with them at lunch. I was ignored. I had one best friend through it all that went to a different high school. I considered transferring to her school for a while but I didn’t want to leave my one friend who couldn’t give me that break from those people at lunchtime. One of my biggest regrets is not transferring and getting away from it sooner. I could’ve saved myself the trouble.

The friends I had saw it as drama. And they made me see it that way too. I thought it was just a couple of friends fighting a lot. I wanted to hurt them and that wasn’t normal. I had this idea of what their friendship was, I didn’t realize that my desire to hurt them wasn’t normal. I had no idea what they were doing to me.

Eventually, that girl dropped out of school, did one of those homeschooling things. I forget what it was called but it was one of those drop-out kinda deals. She did try to fuck with me sometime in junior year but by then I (and everyone else) had pretty much gotten over her bullshit. She claimed that the guy I liked in ninth grade wanted to hook up with her to “piss me off” whether this is true or not I’ll never know. I said, “I haven’t even liked him since the ninth grade. Have at it. Congrats.”

She mentioned it a second time. I’ll never forget it. I came into the hallway in the morning before first period and as I came around the corner, she was talking to one of her friends. She turned to look at me and the moment she laid eyes on me, she stopped talking and started grinning. In the back of my mind, I knew what she was doing so I simply smiled back and said, “What’re you so happy about?”

She said, “[former crush’s name] is coming over today.”

I responded with, “Oh that’s nice,” and then I saw my friend outside sitting at our hangout spot and I left her. She never mentioned hooking up with that guy again. She lost control and I think she knew it. I couldn’t be hurt by her anymore.

It wasn’t until senior year, close to graduation when I realized how miserable I was back then. It brought me to tears. How in the world had I endured such abuse? I’m not entirely sure. Hell, you could be reading this story of mine thinking I’m so overdramatic. With all the terrible bullying most people go through, what happened to me isn’t nearly as bad. Was I bullied? I’m not sure. I don’t feel comfortable answering that. That’s up to those of you reading this to decide I suppose.

My friend that “didn’t want to get involved in drama” is still friends with that girl to this day. I haven’t laid eyes on that girl since I was seventeen. My friend and that girl are now living together. She told me that the girl is a totally different person now. I said to her, “That’s nice,” but said nothing more. I hope I never have to lay eyes on that girl again. I’m not sure if she realizes how manipulative and mean she was. I wasn’t the only person she did this to. I’m still friends with someone who was once in that group. She told me that this girl was in fact manipulative and treated her friends like an army. She kinda just went with it. Does that make it right? No. But on some level, I understand it. That girl that I’m still friends with today…we didn’t get along when we first met. We were already tense around each other at the time. That girl made it a hundred times worse. We’re great now, but I’m relatively certain that this girl played off that tension.

Now…have I overcome this? I still think about it a lot. I still think about what person I could’ve been if this had never happened. I’m a naturally submissive, passive person. But I’d like to think I’m a lot stronger now despite what my mom might think.

I’m not one to get physical. I think the best revenge is simple. Happiness, success. I have a job with coworkers I love. I’m…well…working on getting my life together. She’s nothing to me now. Do I care that she’s a different person now? A little. At least I know she’s no longer treating people the way she treated me. At least the next person to enter her life won’t endure what I did. But that doesn’t mean I want her anywhere near my life. I have friends now that I don’t have to try and make them like me. They poke fun at me for the celebrities I like or the music I listen to but it’s all in good fun. It wasn’t fun with her. It was miserable. And I wish I could tell her all these things so she could live with the misery she caused. But, I have to grow up too. We have to realize that there are just going to be people like that in this world. The world is rough, full of bumpy roads and ways to trip us up. Twists and turns, plenty of ways to get lost. There are going to be people that test us, that try to distract us. But we have to fight back. It’s easier said than done. But as long as you’re alive, you’re winning. As long as you’re trying, you’re winning. And no one can take that away from you.

For more information on bullying, head over to stopbullying.gov

And as always, if you see someone getting picked on, don’t hesitate to stand up for them. It doesn’t matter if it’s people your friends with. Don’t ever play it off as “drama between two friends” LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS. Listen to everyone. It may sound silly when your friend asks you to hang out in a different spot at lunchtime. But don’t ignore them. I was ignored. And it’s the worst feeling in the world. Always listen, stand up to bullies when you can. If you can’t, tell someone, tell an adult. You could save someone’s life.

Thanks for reading.

 

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