20 Years Later & I'm Still Suffering From The Effects of Bullying

My name is Todd and when I was in school, I was tortured right from the beginning. I really didn't fit in with other kids and I have severe learning disabilities, so right away I was the dumb kid. Elementary School wasn't too bad, because the teachers were always around, but Middle School was a different story and High School was the worst. If I spoke up and told someone it made the beatings worse, but I took a chance and did it a few times, only to hear, it's your own fault for not standing up for yourself.

People will tell you that it's only words and kids will be kids. I always heard that I'd grow out of it and get passed it. I started therapy when I was 8 and I'm still in it. When I hit 17, the sadness finally hit me and after a series of events I was put on anti-depressants, I'm still on those. As far as growing out of it goes, well, I'm still not very good at making friends. I hate being in a crowded place, even a half dozen people at a party make me feel uncomfortable, so most nights, I stick to myself. I couldn't hold a job, because again, I didn't really fit in, so I bounced from job to job, doing just about anything to not have to go to college, but eventually I did, at the age of 32.

When I was in school, I had to be tough, I had to be on alert at all times and show them it wasn't getting to me. It bothered me sure, but no one knew to what extent. The Bullying ended at age 18, but since then I've been to 8 psychiatrists, tried over 40 different anti-depressants, I gained over 100 pounds, been single pretty much my entire life, and smoke a pack a day.

Today, I'm 35, I still don't have a whole lot of friends or really fit in. I'm still uncomfortable around people and still single, but I am in my Junior year at Long Island University and have managed the same used record store for over 4 years now. I finally feel that I am semi-functional and do have some self-confidence, but being 35 in college and working at record store, I REALLY don't fit in and I'm okay with that.

They say bruises heal and words don't hurt, but when you're told the same horrible things, from a whole bunch of people, year after year, and day after day, you really start to believe it yourself. The dumb kid is at a four year university with a 3.0 and is a year away from being a teacher. I feel that ONLY when that happens, will I feel better. Only when I am there and able to help kids from going through what I went through and am truly making a difference, only then will I be able to really move on.


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