Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The other day my mom's friend told me that her granddaughter's best friend committed suicide because she had been bullied for a long time. It was then that I thought about making a post about my own experiences as a teen and being bullied, but it took me a few days to think of what to say. I mean did I really want to relive that time in my life?
In that picture above I am with my younger brother, I was 16 and he was 14. I picked this picture and this age because by the time I reached 16, I had had enough of being bullied, being made fun of, being picked on and put down that I started standing up for myself. I pretty much woke up one day and said enough, I'm not living like this anymore.
In Elementary school I was chubby, shy and awkward. I was made fun of because I was shy, was chubby and had long hair. I was called tubby, fatty, rapunzel, and geek.
I spent most of my free time in the girls bathroom, crying...during recess and lunch time. I didn't have a lot of friends and the friends I did have were also picked on for being chubby and awkward.
By the time I got to high school I was used to being picked on, but Freshman year instead of taking a regular PE class I opted for ROTC and Weight Lifting class. I dropped a few pounds, had a sense of confidence I hadn't had before and when I realized I was able to press 200lbs with my legs...I became more confident and less awkward.
After that first year of high school, things changed a little for me. I was no longer the short fat, gawky kid I had been and I wasn't going to let anyone push me around anymore. I stood up for myself and for the most part..that's all I had to do. Bully's don't like to be make fun of someone who will fight back. They are weak in that way. They pick on the weak, awkward and those who won't fight back. Once you start standing up for yourself, bully's are less likely to make you their target.
Then one day, I was walking around in the courtyard during Lunch break and one of the girls who used to mercilessly pick on me in Middle school saw me and came over to me with her friends. She started calling me all the names she used to and even went to far as to put her hands on me and push me when I got up to walk away. She was at least 4 inches taller than I was. I'm still only 5'6" but I knew if I didn't stop her from thinking she could push me around..it was just going to start up again.
So I threw down my backpack and pushed her back. Now don't get me wrong, I don't advocate violence..but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.
Her friends egged her on and she came at me again. She was mad because I made her look bad in front of her girls. She hit me right in the face. I wasn't expecting that really, but I figured if she was going to go that route..so was I. I punched her, broke her nose, gave her a black eye and she lashed out..grabbed my dangling earrings and pulled. Ripping out the second piercing in each ear. The teachers came and broke us up right then. We both went to the hospital. She had a broken nose and a big black eye and I got a few stitches in each ear to close the wounds left by her pulling out my earrings. I ended up with a black eye as well from her punching me.
We both got 2 weeks suspension for fighting,,,but when I got back to school...funny thing happened..I was never picked on again. I think it was because the bully's knew I would fight back.
When I had a daughter and she started getting picked on in Middle school, I told her to stand up for herself. When that didn't work with one girl, I stopped her outside and told her to leave my daughter alone or I would pay her another visit and next time wouldn't be as pleasant. Yeah, probably not the smartest thing to do but she didn't bully my daughter again.
Kids have always bullied, they probably always will. That saying about how things get better...it does. If it's not looking like it will anytime soon, find a way to make sure it does. Take a karate class, go to the gym and learn to defend yourself. Don't take the bullying lying down. I know this is not what most people would tell those being bullied to do, but I know from first hand experience that bully's don't pick on people who defend themselves. They pick on the weak, the shy and those who sit and take it.
This bully situation needs to be dealt with. if you see someone being bullied, stop it. Don't let someone being pushed into a corner and do nothing about it just because you don't know the kid. The more bully's are pushed back and stopped the more there will be less bully's.
Too many kids are committing suicide because they don't see any other way of getting away from the bully's...try this method and see if it works. Stand up to the bully's.
Posted by Mary Kirkland at 3:30 AM