Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Bullied

Wow, I am on a roll this week. Three blog posts in three days, I guess vacation is good for my blogging.

I saw this video on Facebook and it sparked a post that I probably should have written awhile ago, but it doesn't really relate to swimming, biking and running at all.

Please watch it.

 

Amazing, right? I'm sure that almost everyone can relate to that video in some way.

Growing up, I was bullied. Again, I'm sure we all were in some way but it started very young for me. In Kindergarten some of the boys would pick on me and then later some of the girls. We had two "cliques" in my elementary school (remember I went to a K-8 in a small town so I had to deal with the same people for a long time).

One girl in particular would constantly bully me. I was actually friends at some point with all of the other girls in my class, but this girl was one that I had to keep my eye on.

I even remember crying in our upstairs bathroom when I was in fourth, maybe fifth, grade that I wanted to be home schooled. My parents couldn't do that, and my mom did look into having me go to a different school on the island (Mount Desert Island), but the taxes would have been too much.

My eighth grade year was one of the happiest times in my life, not because things got better but because I graduated. I had a different "family" that loved me, my swim team.  I would be joining all of those kids in high school and I'm sad to say that as soon as I got there I did cut all ties with anyone that I went to elementary school with, at least for a little while.


I thought high school was going to be so much better. It was for a little while and then this group of girls started picking on me. Saying that I "stole their boyfriends", that I was a "slut", a "bitch", etc. I was afraid for my life at times, especially since one girl threatened my life.


She came up to my locker and said, "if I ever catch you outside of school alone I will beat you with a baseball bat". My mom and I went to the police station to get a restraining order, but we never ended up getting one for some reason.

The only year I felt like I could "breathe" was my senior year. Most of my bullies had graduated and there weren't too many left.

I truly hope that the people who bullied me growing up have changed, but because of the magical world of Facebook I know that for some this isn't true. I'm honestly glad that I didn't grow up in the technological age that we are in right now, because I don't know if I could have handled it. The bullying that I received was far less than what kids are dealing with right now, which is scary.


One reason I am sharing this with you is because of one line from that video, "so we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us, that we'd be lonely forever". My wedding vows, that we wrote ourselves, even stated, "most importantly, you have taught me to love in a way that I never thought possible and that I deserve to be loved in return".

If people think that bullying doesn't affect you, I'm pretty sure I'm proof that it does. It has hardened me, but for the most part that has gone away.  More importantly, I don't take crap from anyone now, I do not let myself become a target and I won't ever again.

Please feel free to share your stories, either here or you can email me at fromcouchtoironwoman@gmail.com.

13 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, Jamie... what a story! I feel so sheltered, I (thankfully) never had to deal with this, but it makes me so sad for kids in school. And as a mom, definitely makes me wonder what my daughter's experience will be like. You are one strong lady! Thanks for sharing your story- as difficult as it was, I'm sure it's made you a stronger, more compassionate person today.

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    1. Thanks Laura! I'm glad you never had to go through it.

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  2. I admire you so much for sharing your story and the video. It breaks my heart to read about your bullying and that so many are bullied. I hate bullies more than anything. Hugs to you my girl!

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    1. Thanks Jen! I definitely dislike bullies.

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  3. When I was in school, I was in the "honors" classes, and we were kept separate from the other kids all through elementary and the beginning of middle school. When I became a 7th grader, I tried out for the soccer team. Girls called me names and spit water at me and tried to get me to quit. I cried every night until I decided to quit--Coach called me that night and told me that he wouldn't let me quit, that I was too good, and they'd learn to get along with me. I went back to practice the next day, and I loved it and it became my whole life. In 10th grade, I was the JV co-capitan and the girls on the varsity team spent an entire bus ride throwing bologna and making "chinese eyes" at one of the girls on my team. I threw a fit when nothing happened to the girls AND we were told they needed girls to go up to play "just in case" someone on the varsity team got hurt. I refused to go, so my team refused to go. Coach was lit--he told us that if we didn't go to play for varsity, we'd sit in our game, too. I said fine and most of the other girls on the team did as well. We were proving a point--that bullying is not ok. Schools need to start taking a hard line against bullying, but we need to teach kids how to be assertive and not fall into the bystander trap. Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story Sheila! I agree that we need to teach kids how to be assertive, it's not alright to bully or to not say anything about it.

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  4. Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through that bullying, Jamie. One of my sisters was bullied a lot, so even though I didn't experience it myself, I do know how tough it to do the little things--wake up, go to school and not feel afraid, etc.

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  5. I was teased often as a kid. I can remember the first day of eighth grade, a classmate said to me, I thought your goal was to lose weight this summer. You're just getting fatter.

    I can remember being a senior in high school and having my neighbor unroll his window to scream at me in the school parking lot, 1-800-Jenny!

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear that you went through this Jamie. I can't imagine anyone speaking a harsh word to you or being so hateful. You are such a sweet person!

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you Jamie. I can't imagine anyone saying something hurtful to you or threatening you that way. You are such a sweet person!

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  8. For me it was worst in elementary school, but it got a little better as we moved to jr high/high school. I felt much more alone in those early years. I still had times I felt bullied in HS, but I had more of a support network of friends by then. I worry about my children growing up in the age of social media. I pray that I can teach them to stand up for themselves.

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  9. I have been 5'10 since 5th grade so I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was always a bit bigger, dorky, and kind of a nerd. I got teased like crazy. I didn't get asked out on my first date until I had graduated and was working in Indy that summer. I was 18 and thought the guy was teasing me at first because I was just so shocked anyone could think I was anything other than a loser. Being a teenager is so tough. Thank heavens we grew out of it.

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  10. I was bullied through out my young life. It wasn't until I got older that I put a stop to it. I also got my ass kicked numerous times - it definitely made me stronger. Let's just say no one ever hit me again, because I learned fast that most people only wanted to pick on people that were scared. Once I started standing up for myself and threatening back it all went away. It's not really the right thing to do but instead of insulting people;s looks or such I'd insult their behaviour and things they could change. It worked for me. If anyone picks on Logan I know I'll go to jail because I will kick the shit out of them :)

    Sorry you had to go through that. People are mean.

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