Hello, my name is Elisabeth and I am 18 years old.
When I was in grade school, I was bullied. Harshly. And in a sad twisted way, it has made me become a better person. Because I have the personal experience of being the victim and can relate to so many kids.
I remember being shunned, hit, ignored, picked last in gym, called names, betrayed by friends for popularity and punished by adults for self-defense.
Because there were days when I couldn't take anymore and took a stand. And when founded by teachers, they accused me for "asking for it". Or for "doing something to give the child a reason to bully me". It made my blood boil whenever my bully, Patrick, would just get a tap on the hand and I would get detention. The reason why he was let of so easily? Because it was KNOWN to ALL THE ADULTS that Patrick has a short temper because of things going on at his home. They KNEW he had a violent temper and took pity on him for it, and it was ME who was the bully because I angered him.
There are many things I can remember, but the one I remember the most was when I hit him back. It was recess, and I was with my "friends" and Patrick came behind me and started punching me in the head.
As a victim, I was told by all the adults to "ignore" bullies, to "walk away". And feeling that the adults advice was only the wisest, that it what I did.
Punch after punch, I ignore him, I braced myself for it every time, but I ignored it, my "friends" would just stand there and watch him, and I tried my best to continue our conversation, while Patrick and his buddies would punch me over and over in the head. Then I remembered the rule "walk away"... Still ignoring him, I suggested to my friends if we should go somewhere else, so while we were walking away he followed, then came the shoves, slaps, pulling hair - he followed.
That's when I had had enough, the advice was not working and I couldn't take it anymore, so I turned around - not saying a word.
And I slapped him across the face.
No words said.
No violent hand gestures.
After all that punching, slapping, shoving, screaming names right in my ear, I slapped him once.
And I was given the same amount of detention as him "because I too, was being violent".
This document brought back to that dark place, and ugly burn in my chest came back, after all these years. Because I felt the injustice again. The feeling of being betrayed by the people who promised you that they'd protect you. That told you they understood your pain. And did nothing.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.