I am a 27 year old woman and I have experienced bullying since I was a small child. I was tormented due to my social stature due to the fact I was raised in the bush with virtually nothing...had a roof over my head, clothes but it was always hand me downs, nothing new, no running water or electricity for 10 years of my life. I had bucked teeth and was picked on for that because I spoke with a lisp. Then when I was 10 years old, my family got evicted from our own house and was forced to move to a little town even further in the middle of no where. This is when the bullying escalated and became even worse for me. Moving to a town where I knew nobody, having to go to a new school where half the kids that attended were all somehow related to each other and being the "new kid" in the school. Got picked on for the fact I was a new kid, with bucked teeth and a lisp. I got beat up in Grade 6 by a male and no one around to protect me. In Grade 7, I was out of school for a few months due to a bad case of head lice. I ended up getting called lice head by several other kids, I would get clearance from my family doctor to return back to school and the school nurse would check my hair again for lice and be sent back home again for more treatments. I spent many recesses inside the classroom writing lines for what reason, I have no idea. I was bullied and tormented and I had to waste my time writing lines? Every single day when arriving to school, I had to go outside and pick up my desk and bring it back into the classroom. I had things thrown at me, kids spitting in my hair, I retaliated back by throwing stones at some of the bullies and I ended up getting suspended for three days when the bullies did not get any punishment at all. It eventually got so bad where the principal was labelled as the trunch bull and my parents ended up withdrawing me from the school. For grade 8, I returned back to the school where I originally had attended, but the torment from the previous school did not stop there, the bully that beat me up in grade 6 ended up following my sister and I back to the school where we came from. The school bus was probably the worst, the place where most of the bullying goes unnoticed simply because the driver is too busy trying to operate a school bus and yell at a bunch of rowdy kids on the bus. Kids that were younger than me picked on me, a woman that had two children of her own and was 22 at the time tormented me, made the bus driver write me up so I got in trouble at the principals office meanwhile I did nothing. It got to the point where kids in the town would come to my parents house and torment my sister and I when my parents were present and have the bullies parents harrassing us and kids toilet papering the trees on the property. I eventually had enough, had enough of the bullies on the bus, the abuse I seen and endured at home and put myself in a foster home for 15 months, at this time I was diagnosed with a disorder called trichotillomania and for those who don't know what it is, its a hair pulling disorder. High school, in grade 9 I was called fugly because of the bucked teeth and the disorder. I walked in the halls and people were snickering behind my back calling me a bald barbie. I put up with it for years and when I was in grade 10, I almost attempted suicide by slitting my wrist with a razor. My mother called the cops on me, and was escorted to the hospital in a cop car and having a crisis intervention counsellor talk to me in the hospital. The counsellor made me realize that my life is important and that suicide is not the easy way out. Years progressed and as I got older and getting into the age of dating, I dated this one guy who cheated on me then got into a relationship for three years and it was probably the worst three years of my life. At first things were good, as they always are then things escalated, I was controlled, abused mentally, physically, emotionally, sexually. It took me several years of people telling me to leave until I found the strength and courage to say I deserved better than that. I was in counselling, on anti-depressants etc having it brainwashed in my head that I was the crazy one and realizing after the fact that it was my ex the whole time. I was young, vulnerable and stupid. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I learned it, rebuilt my self-esteem back up and had to find myself again. I rarely talk about my childhood and these are miniscule details as to what I can replay over and over again in my head. I rarely talk because of the shame, and the embarrassment that my life has given me. I do talk to people I know and trust it helps with the healing. I am a huge supporter of Barbara Coloroso and her stand against bullying. I think everyone should read her book, the bully, the bullied and the bystander. Lets all do one thing together to put an end to this viscous cycle of violence. Bullying is also a learned behaviour and it is a behaviour that needs to be broken at a young age so it does not escalate into something much worse such as a teen taking their own life. And remember the saying "sticks and stones will break my bones and names will never hurt me" is a complete lie. words do hurt. think before you speak.
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