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.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.