I Still Remember

I was bullied all through elementary school simply for being different.  I am hard of hearing, which meant I took years of speech therapy to help me speak properly.  At that point in my life, I talked funny and I was extremely, painfully shy.  Most of the abuse was verbal, such as name calling, being picked last for games, that sort of thing.  Once I got hit in the back of the head with a plastic toy.  I would cry a lot, but outside of that I never did anything.  The one friend I had was more concerned about being popular, and she left me in middle school for the popular crowd.

I never told anyone, not even my parents. If they knew, they never said anything.  If my teachers knew, they turned a blind eye.  I never thought to hurt myself or those who bullied me, though in my mind I held grudges and hoped they burned in hell for the damage they did to my self esteem. 

I gained close friends in middle school, which helped with self esteem and most of the bullying.  Still, some unkind rumors did start about me and a guy I liked.  Very dirty, unkind rumors.  At that point though, I did tell someone.  The girl spreading the rumors denied it, but for the most part she left me alone after I told someone.

I am 26 now and engaged to be married, but I still remember how hurtful the kids were 20 years ago and how no one seemed to notice or care.  What they said and did to me impacted me greatly and a part of me sometimes wants to show them how far I have come and how I am not the shy, strange speaking little girl they picked on so long ago.  I want to show them that being different doesn't mean I am stupid or that I cannot be like them.  I want to tell them I graduated with honors from college, that I have a job, and that I am getting married.  But mostly, I want to ask them why? Why pick on someone because he/she is different? What do you get out of it? 

Bullying is a huge problem and it needs to be stopped.  Kids have the right to feel protected at school and to live a life that isn't shadowed by bullying.

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