I always hear people say how they wish they could go back and repeat their school days. I look at them and admire them for that. I cringe at the thought of repeating those years of torture. Torture might sound extreme but to me, at that time, and even now looking back, it WAS pure torture, everyday.
8th grade, early 1980’s, and I was awkwardly tall for a girl, 6 feet 1 inches tall. I was by no means one of those cute, skinny, petite cheerleader types. In fact, I was really no type. I always had a hard time fitting in. I was painfully shy and always uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I had a handful of what I thought were friends. I had always been made fun of for my weight or for being awkward but the bullying came around in the 8th grade. Two girls, whose faces and names will forever be embedded in my brain, felt it necessary to launch a campaign of hate that would bring me to the brink of wanting to end it all.
It started one afternoon in 8th grade gym. Everyone was assigned partners for a game of one on one soccer. I was never athletically coordinated and my partner was a full on tomboy. I did the best I could and went to kick the ball. As I kicked the ball, my partner tripped over my ankle falling and knocking out her front tooth. I asked if she was ok and she just walked away. It was right after gym that day that the bullying started. Her and her best friend at that time insisted that I tripped her on purpose when I didn’t even know this girl and never spoke to her before. Before long any friends I had suddenly turned their backs on me due to their influence. I had nobody. I would walk down the hallway of the school and everyone, including kids in other grades, would yell “Hold your teeth!” over and over again.There were other things they loved to do to me humiliate me and embarass me. I was pushed into the boys bathroom and locked in, the two girls would follow me as I walked home from school and threaten to beat me up, have other boys and girls follow me home and threaten me as well. There wasn’t a day that went by where they didn’t threaten and torture me. I would find notes stuck in my school books, from her and others, calling me horrible names or asking why don’t I just die. I woke up in tears every school day and in tears on the walk home. The bullying even showed up on my doorstep at home with notes on my front door or kids yelling that phrase, “Hold your teeth” banging on the door and yelling. There were days I just wanted to die. Thinking of how I could put an end to all this. Teachers and counselors told me to just ignore them. Kids will be kids. I did horribly in school because I couldn’t concentrate on anything but was going to happen when class was over.
This went on for several more years into high school. If I did make friends with someone, it wasn’t long before that girl and her best friend would talk to them and I wouldn’t have a friend anymore. We finally moved to another city and I was able to switch schools.
I managed to graduate school a year behind. I wouldn’t repeat my junior high or high school years for anything.
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