History of being Bullied

Growing up with bullies was never an easy thing.  Though there was one thing that I realized at a very young age, I never wanted to hurt any of these bullies.  Yes, they did hurt me a lot.  Though it wasn’t in my nature to think of hurting them back.  I just wanted the fights to end.  Since I posted “A Tale of Long Ago”, people have brought up the bully stories more to me.  So I’d like to share some of the history from my years of being bullied.

Going back even farther than the last time, it was kindergarten when I first learned of bullies.  I was new to Ferndale, and just got into the class.  I went around to try and meet people as I’ve always been one looking for friends.  Though I learned from a teacher that I had a relative in the classroom.  When I tried to tell him we were related he got upset saying he’s got no girl cousins.  But when he learned the truth, he decided to not like me.  He got his friends, they got their friends, and they got their sisters and brothers.  This was all it took to become a target at school.  Trying to make friends with someone who was related to me.

Through kindergarten to second grade, the children picked on me.  Though it was all words and the words hurt, it didn’t stop me from going outside and playing during recess.  It did not make it so I feared school.  It was just annoying.

I realized I didn’t have to many friends, but there was one girl who would hang out with me.  I was still into the same stuff that most girls my age was into, Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Rainbow Brite.  Though the more I became isolated from people at school, the more I found myself staying in what the kids on my street were into.  These kids were years younger than I, and most of which were boys.  So we were watching He-Man, Ghostbusters, ThunderCats, etc.  The stuff that girls would be picked on even more so if they were fans of it.

In third grade, I learned that the friend that I had did not want to really be my friend anymore.  She did not like being picked on.  So she was like a yo-yo, only my friend when it helped her.  Meanwhile, the other children learned that they could beat me up and I would not fight back.  So the gang fights started, with about 10 to 15 kids.  They would chase me through the playground.  I knew a few good hiding spots and I would run until I lost them and got into my hiding spot.  If caught, I was really hurt from these attacks.  This was only the beginning.  Though the worse time for me was when I saw my friend one time, and hid while she was watching me. She pointed out where I was hiding to the other children, letting them beat me up in front of her.

This is when I learned that you can’t trust anyone.  The teachers were the only ones I trusted, but they never understood.  I would try to hide near them during recess, but they would keep sending back out to play.  Not wanting any of the children near them during this time, it was like they were treating it as a break time.  I learned to fear going out to play while at school.

Fourth grade was no better, as the kids got worse.  I learned to lie to both my mother and school to try and protect myself.  My dad worked a full time job during the day at a factory.  My mom worked nights at a Group home, so while we were in school she would be at home sleeping.  There was no one around at lunch time to take me away from this nightmare of a school. Though I still felt I had to get away.  So when asked what I was doing for lunch I would say “Home Lunch”.

Once the bell rang for lunch time I would start running from within the school, with a group of kids chasing me.  I would run off of the school grounds, once on the other side of the grounds I would drop and let them beat me up till the Lunch ladies would come to pull them off of me. We were divided by if we were home lunch or staying. This was my chance to go down to the other park, opposite of the school grounds, and hide there alone during lunch time.  A few times the Lunch Ladies would venture over and ask me what I was doing there, I would tell them I ate lunch earlier, or I was going to head home when they went in for lunch.  It always worked, as long as I said “Home lunch” they had no say in what I did with that time.

Though one day, I was really hungry at lunch time, so I decided to try and sneak home to grab something to eat.  I was very surprised to find my mom awake, and this is when she found out about my lies I was telling the school.  She took me back to school, to the office and we talked there.  Now the school knew that I was not ever really a home lunch child.  So my lie would no longer work, but they also realized that the bullies were bad enough that I would go that far.  The janitor of the school, a wonderful lady, did not want to see me be forced to go out at lunch time so she made up a fake job for me to do at lunch time.  I was to sit on a bench in the hall the Lunch room and watch over the girl and boy bathrooms, if I heard anyone playing in there I was to get her.

This became my escape from attacks at lunch time, but did not help with recess.  In fact the fighting was getting much worse.  The groups would sometimes turn into 30 or more kids after me.  No one was my friend.  I was alone.  One time a kid tripped and pushed me into an iron bar in the hall way to where I needed stitches, kids were now throwing me in front of traffic. It went from a group of kids just beating me up to the point where I feared they were out to kill me.  I was so scared of school and people my own age.  Though even with this fear, I never wished any harm upon those attacking me.

In fifth grade, the bully Pain took a lead role.  But she was not alone. There was other leaders, stronger ones.  I realized that if I knew someone’s name in my classroom, it was usually because they were the leader of these attacks.  To be honest I know there were some kids in my class who were not part of these attacks, but they did not stand up or protect me either.  If there was a sub teacher, I would be attacked in the class room even.  The kids behind me were so bad that I could no longer sit at a normal desk and was moved to a table in the back of the room so none of the other kids were right near me.  Just going from the school to my mom’s car was dangerous, to where the principal was walking me to my mother’s car.

When I started to fight back, inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I still was not aiming to hurt anyone.  I just wanted to end the fights.  So I wouldn’t use any weapons, I would drop my books and backpack as soon as the kids would surround me.  But the gangs got bigger, and the people attacking me got older.  I even had High School Students attacking me!  I was only in fifth grade, how could they even feel good about themselves for beating up a child?

The police was something I always wanted to see, if the cops were near by the fights would not happen as bad.  And if I was in the middle of a fight, the police would break up the fights.  I wanted adults around, I wanted people to help defend me.  I hated being alone.  And with both my sister and brother no longer in the school as they moved on to Jr. High and High School, I truly was alone.   My mom was doing everything she could to get me out of these fights.  She knew who the leaders were, the parents of those children would yell at my mom that she was making this up and that it was all my fault there was these fights.  The school realized that I was not doing well and the principal said for sixth grade he would have me transferred to a different school.

So when sixth grade rolled around my mom went to the Principal and said “Let’s do this Transfer” his response was to give me a week try at that same school where this nightmare has been going on, to see if it would still happen.  This angered my mom, she took me away from the school and tried to get me into different schools.  She had to go as far as changing my address to my grandparents address to get me into a school closer to them.  Which in turn was the best school year of my life, but it was when I realized how different I was from people my own age.  I made friends with the first, second and third graders, while I got along with most people in my class I had nothing in common with them.

In seventh grade, though, I was merged back with the kids from my old school, and they started to pick on me as soon as they could.  The nightmare was back, and yet still I just wanted to be left alone.  I was not looking for a fight.  But it was coming down to fights again.  My mom realized we can not keep running from this, so she put me into Karate classes.  As soon as the word got out that I went into Karate, people stopped attacking me for the most part.  Which gave me time to learn some stuff in Karate before I got attacked again.

After getting in Karate I had a handful of fights going through school.  Some were with the same people who use to try and kill me in school.  And I found myself more than proud as I was able to walk away from each of these battles without getting hurt and best of all, I did not hurt any of them.  Just because someone is bullied or hurt does not mean that they want or need revenge.  Sometimes the best revenge is just being the better person and walking away from those feelings.

While I remained a school nerd, was picked on all the way through High School, I still grew up to be who I wanted to be.  Not shaped or molded by those at school.  Not forced into liking things I did not like, or to stop liking things that I enjoyed.  I was not going to copy what those around me were into to try and be someone I’m not.  I remained who I am, I have friends who like me for who I am.  And now I do not need to see those faces from school anymore.

There is a little follow up to this.  After the VH1 show had me on there a lot of talk shows were calling me up to come be on their show.  From Ellen Degeneres to Tyra Banks.  While I would love to be on these shows for who I am, about my collection, and or the happy stories I have to share which is so many that I’ve lost counts.  They wanted things that I would not give out, they wanted the names of those same bullies that use to beat me up.  They wanted to do those shows where they bring you on to confront the bullies years later, to try and get them to say sorry.  Because of this I turned these shows down.  While I do not want revenge upon the bullies, I do not want to give them any spot lights or credit for being in my life.  I will never share their real names, nor do I want them to say ‘sorry’ to me.

These fights were of the past, they’re long and over.  I took my lessons from them, they got their thrills out of the idea of beating some one up.   I hope that they have grown up and have good lives now, where they have seen the errors of what they’ve done.  Though I do not need to know what is going on with their lives. I also know that even saying ‘sorry’ will never really help heal the scars of the past.

Have you been bullied?  Are you being bullied now?  Are these people you have to see all the time?  How do you handle it?  Did you or do you want revenge?  Or are you just happy when it’s over?  Please share your answers to these questions and more in our comment section.  And remember if you are being bullied try to help Stop Bullying!  Speak up and try to get help.  It’s out there, just not always easy to find.

 

Here are some Anti-Bully videos from Youtube:

This is from someone who's been bullied, a message that he posted to Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Upv9EhMav4

This is a Music Video about stopping bullies, showing  just how bad it can get.  This one has strong content - very graphic near the end of the video.  Be advise...

 

You can find many more videos about bullies on youtube.  This is a major subject, if people can just stand up and help, they can save lives!

Entertainment Earth

 

Comments

I so agree with you on not giving the bullies anymore time in your life. I was bullied in school and had to learn to defend myself. After my dad was killed the junior high school took up a collection to help our family out, and the bullies in school harassed me so bad that they pushed me down a flight of stairs and it broke my back and my knees so from then on I dealt with disability issues. They can not say they are sorry to fix the damage. As a result I have tried to help those who haven't learned how to stand up for themselves, as an advocate, social worker and minister.
I am very proud to see the wonderful things you have done Michelle, keep it up kiddo, you will go far.