Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bullying Is Never An Option!! Part 1

I mentioned I have joined a new site, CafeMom. I am in a group called Moms of Adult Kids, and one of the other ladies asked the question if anyone had ever been bullied. She did this because she noticed it happened in a posting earlier this week. This is not allowed, yet it happens.

A lot of women responded. It is so heartbreaking to read the same stories, different faces. I do not understand WHY someone feels they need to bully.

I, myself, lived through some major bullying, but writing it out just got too long. So I posted instead:

Yes, I was bullied badly as a kid. Badly, daily, tortured. I grew to really hate school.

I started to write about my turning point, but it just got too long. Suffice it to say, I found my power, with the help of someone who cared enough to kindly guide me. He didn't judge me or put me down. He saw what I needed, then provided a way for me to find it for myself. And since that time I have tried to pay it forward. We do all have voices, just some of us loose them in the roar that goes on around us. I pray I will never be part of that roar in someone else's life.

She responded back that she would really like it if I told my story. So I figured, what the hay, you know me, the writer, I can do that.... I think it turned out too long, but I accidentally hit a wrong key and it posted before I was ready... oh well.... I don't intend to write another long story there.... I think I was save those for here.

Fourth grade, new school. We had moved from CA to OR, and didn't know the new school did not provide school supplies as our old school did. Second day of school. A math assignment had been given, there were 4 addition problem, and we were to add, subtract, multiply, & divide, so 16 answers in all. My mom had been at work all day and did not know we needed paper, and we were still not unpacked. I misunderstood the assignment, and only did the adding, on a small piece of scratch paper I managed to find. When the teacher asked for our papers and I turned it in, he started laughing at me and my tiny piece of paper. He announced to the class how stupid I was. I started to argue. I knew I was smart, I had been in TAG at my other school. I told him so, my IQ was over 130, the old school had told me so. He laughed again, and said he had seen all our scores and I was the dumbest student in the class and my score was way less than 100. This was in front of the whole class.

The next day he called me to the front of the class, and told me to stand with my face to the chalkboard. He then asked the class, "Who wants to see me make Sandy cry?" Then he goaded the class, I don't remember what all he said, but it went on for several minutes. Then he said "Ok Sandy, turn around and see who your friends are." Every hand was raised but one. JK was the only one who didn't raise her hand. Yes, I started crying. He then told me to go to my seat and he called JK to the front of the class and repeated what he did to me. I cannot remember what I did, whether I raised my hand or not, I do know I was pretty numb by then. I think he goaded me that I would have to come up again if I didn't raise my hand.

Home life wasn't much better. I had to be very careful around dad, one never knew what would set him off. I know I did complain at some point about not liking my teacher, but dad talked to him at parent/teacher conference and the teacher told him I just wanted too much attention. Later, my younger sister got this same teacher and I BEGGED my parents to put her in a different class. They didn't listen, he did the same to her, but she was forwarned so her refused to look. That teacher set me up, and the bullies in the class caught on really fast. I was called names, grabbed at, pushed down, and humiliated almost on a daily basis. It also followed me through the grades. Any complaining I managed at home fell on deaf ears, and it would have been very guarded.

My body developed early, so by the time I was in the 6th grade, I was well endowed, not fat, but big breasted. Their favorite thing to do to me was "titty twisters", oh how that hurt! I was so afraid of my dad, I didn't dare tell, he would have blamed me anyway and punished me for it.

A couple of those boys JH and SF, lived across the street from me. I had to catch the bus at the same stop. That was torture, but I got good at timing myself so I would get to the stop just in time. I had to be careful about it though, because if I missed the bus I would have to face dad. I finally talked my parents into letting me catch the bus at a different stop. But those boys still rode the same bus. I tried to stay away from them, but the bus was always pretty full, and the kids on the bus would set me up to have to sit near them.

7th grade began as the rest, but there was a new bus driver, and it was a different school. This driver saw how I was being treated and talked to me about defending myself. I said I couldn't, I was too afraid of getting into trouble. He could not convince me that I had the right to defend myself. I could not defend myself at home from dad, it just seemed so foreign to me.

One day I was called into the principal's office after another torturious ride, and I was so scared I was in trouble. JH and SF had bounced their basketball off my head to each other. I had such a headache by the time we got to school. The bus driver was there. The principal asked me why I wouldn't defend myself and I told him I was afraid of getting into trouble. It took some time and talking, but he finally got me to believe I could fight back and not get into trouble. He said I could do whatever I had to, say whatever I wanted to say, and fight as dirty as I needed. I was dumbfounded over that, but a spark began to glow inside me that the torture could be stopped.

Next day, JH from across the street, and his little brother started in on me. I stood up (first rule broken), and hit one with my bag that had my gym shoes in it. (second rule broken) I got him right in the groin. As he doubled over I grabbed the other by the hair and smashed his head into the back of my seat. Now he was the one with the headache. (3rd rule broken). I sat back down and couldn't believe I had done what I had done. I was shaking. As I left the bus the driver smiled at me.

I was again called into the principal's office. The boys were there. They were smirking cause they thought I was in big trouble. The principal asked me to tell what had happened. I told what I had done. He turned to the boys and asked if I had told the truth. They smirked again, yes! I had done those horrible things to them. The principal turned back to me and said "Good for you! I am glad you finally defended yourself, you are excused back to class". He then turned to the boys. "We are calling your mom, you are both suspended for three days!"

I floated for the rest of the day, and NONE of the boys ever bothered me again.

I do not advocate violence, but sometimes it is the only solution. Although I had not ever fought back, I had told them to stop so many times it was useless.

I sometimes wonder about those boys. Do they remember what they did to me? Do they care? If given the opportunity, would they apologize to me for the past? They were forgiven a long time ago, but I still wonder.

I feel bad for my mom when she hears stories about my childhood. During all that time that Dad was being a horrible parent, she was killing herself working to keep us warm and fed. My mom was the breadwinner, not my dad. The roles were reversed, even though she didn't like it. She really had no idea of what was going on at home.

So sorry Mom, and I love you.

(continued tomorrow)

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