So, being a freshman was very exhausting. Having only one really good friend helped, don’t get me wrong but, being picked on and bullied made me just want to die. I hated my home life, as did most teenagers do, but my mother liked to chase me around with a wooden spoon and occasionally break one or two on me. When I would come home from school, I would run upstairs all happy to see and talk to my mom and she would either slam the bedroom door on me or the bathroom door. She would tell me to go away or she was going to tell my father and I would be sorry. Each day I came home from school it was the same way. I never stopped trying to get her approval. I knew she hated me I just couldn’t figure out why. I mean when I woke up on Saturday mornings I wasn’t allowed to watch cartoons like the other kids. No, I had a chore list that she would attach to the kitchen light. I felt like a Cinderella. I did all the cleaning and laundry but I made sure that I did my very best so that she would notice I was doing something good. I wanted to get positive recognition so badly, I never did though.
Lo and behold that even though I was having a difficult time everywhere I turned, I still went out roller skating with my little sister or my girlfriend. Thank goodness there were two rooms to skate in. I wasn’t welcome in the larger room where all the popular kids hung out. So I would go into the smaller room where, well the less popular kids were. I recall there being a ramp where kids could practice their skills on skates and I had noticed that one guy kept looking my way smiling. I smiled back not thinking anything of it until a slow dance came on and he came and asked me to skate with him. It was the first time that someone had acted interested in me, especially a older boy. I was so excited and floored that someone would take a second glance at me. We skated and then talked and he asked if I would meet him at the rink the next weekend. I agreed and he kissed me goodbye.
That one evening turned into a two year relationship. I went to the junior prom with him and his senior ball. He was on the track team and I started working as a coach on the girls team so we got to go to meets together. We had fun together and loved to eat pizza…..lots of pizza. There was only one problem with our relationship, he was very abusive to me, both mentally as well as physically. I never really thought anything of it. I was very familiar with the way he treated me because my mother did the same thing. He would tell me that I was lucky to have him as a boyfriend and that I would never be able to get anyone else to date me because I was either ugly or fat. I remember one day, after he had his license. He was driving a really nice cougar and he decided that it would be really funny to tell me he was going to kill me while he drove 85 miles an hour and laughing like a crazy person. I was screaming in terror while he continued to laugh. It was something that truly shook me up but I knew that I couldn’t tell my parents anything. They really didn’t care about what I said so I kept it all inside. I really thought that for those two years I had an older boyfriend that the hazing would have stopped but it didn’t. I was cornered in the hall way or on a stairwell where the girls would say really nasty things to me or threaten to beat me up after school. I was so afraid to go to the bathroom so I used the nurses. I would hear that I was ugly and stupid or that my eyes were so big that I looked like a cow or frog. I would try to do up my eyes with liner and the girls would tell me that I looked like crap or a whore. The funny thing was is that the next year they were wearing eyeliner like I had done the year before. I hated being home and I hated being at school. At one point I just really wanted to die. I knew that my parents didn’t want me around and everyone hated me at school. The only person who seemed to love me was my grandmother. I used to call her every night and she would tell me that I was beautiful and that things would get better. She was my only support back then. I couldn’t imagine life without her. I would get stomach aches every day due to nerves and she would buy me Pepto Bismol. That stuff tasted like crap but I felt so afraid of throwing up that I drank it every night before bed. My nerves were tangled in knots all the time and its not a wonder that by the time I was a senior in school I was starting to diet and so that I could basically disappear or so I thought.
My abusive boyfriend was gone and I was getting thinner by the day. My friends were still very few but I managed just the same. The girls in my class were relentlessly nasty and one day while in the parking lot, a bunch of them decided to corner me and start screaming at me. I don’t know what got into me but I was so sick and tired of taken it, I started screaming back. No one could believe what was coming out of my mouth and I can tell you that from that point on they somewhat laid off of me. I was so sick of being picked on that I finally let loose. It’s funny that you get more respect when you fight back. I was always told by my father to be the bigger person and apologize to my mother even though I didn’t do anything wrong just to keep peace in the house so I kept silent in school too.
Bullying isn’t funny. It hurts more than I can express and if any of you out there have been picked on you know exactly what I am talking about. I have found that usually the kids that are bullies, have parents that were the same way. Unfortunately, the same goes for the kids that get bullied. Their parents were usually picked on too. I really don’t know the facts to why that is, all I do know is now schools are recognizing how imperative it is to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Children are committing suicide or going AWOL on other classmates. The zero tolerance rule is the best thing that ever could have happened.
How do you feel? Do you think there is anything else that can be done? Please feel free to email me or comment. I would love to hear from what others have to say.