Sometimes it Pays to be the Nerdy Kid

Hi everyone. I just want to shout out to anyone who may be having a rough day because they are being abused. I will not use the euphemism "bully" in this, because I really think that softens it up and makes it easier for people to accept it and look the other way. But that is in no way a criticism of this site's goals, or anyone's for that matter.

I'm a 27 year old Canadian, and I experienced a decade of constant abuse from others when I was younger. I experienced it first at home, from my brother, then again at school. At school it didn't happen until about 5th grade, but at home it goes much further back. At school it was not only kids, but a few teachers too. One teacher in particular was very fond of putting me down. But the two worst abusers of all in school were Greg and Jason.

Greg would grip the back of my neck and squeeze, and if I fought back, he would kick me. He had been my friend from Kindergarten to Grade 4, but for some reason, in Grade 5, he started abusing me in this manner. I didn't get Greg out of my life until Grade 7, when my parents divorced and we moved to the other side of the suburb. But moving only seemed to change the people who were abusing me. By grade 8 I made a new circle of friends, which revolved around a guy named Jason. Jason was a great friend at first, but after knowing him for about a year, he basically turned the whole group against me. Just one day, out of the blue, he suddenly decided that he hates all white people. The group of friends was about 80% Southeast Asian, so me and the two other "white kids" of the group were abused and had our possessions stolen and basically pushed to the breaking point.

At this point I was 14, and my grades were in the low 40's, I was failing all of my classes, and, well I wanted an escape. Somehow, I managed to barely pass all of my courses. I spent that entire summer at my cousin's apartment 3 hours away from all of the people I needed to remove from my life. Then, when I got back to school for grade 10, I didn't talk to anybody for the first month of being there, and ignored everyone who tried talking to me. But in spite of this, one awkward, nerdy kid in my programming class sat next to me, and talked to me constantly even though I was ignoring him. And I suppose it's because I'm also nerdy (and proud of it), but we became best friends, and still are 12 years later.

The worst of the abuse was somehow over, and I could move on with my life.

I've dealt with some awful people since those days, but I've been able to manage, and prevent people from walking all over me as an adult. Continuing in high school, my grades went from 40's in grade 9 to 80's and 90's in Grade 12. I was accepted into the universities I applied to, where I studied Theatre, and did quite well.

Since then, I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which made a lot of sense looking back at the emotional rollercoaster that my life has been. Right now I'm living on government assistance, and trying to figure out what direction to take my life in.

My advice? However bad it gets, don't kill yourself. There are great experiences ahead of you, and there is a lot of potential in you. Seek the help of others, as much as possible, and try to let go of resentment. I have a lot of resentment for people in my past, but I try to let go, and that's enough for me. I've long since forgiven my brother, and we are now friends as adults.

Peace and love, Josh

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