Friday, September 14, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 7, BULLYING

I guess you could describe me as being the epitome of a nerd (still am) as a kid. I rocked the stereotype. I couldn't find a picture where I'm wearing my glasses. I'm probably sitting on them. 

Picture round, coke bottle thick lenses. When I smiled, I had a gap and crooked teeth. I was also so thin my rib bones stuck out (kinda wishing that hadn't changed, shrug). 

I was a tomboy so I wore patched, bell bottoms. Even though in the 80's the Jordache jeans were in style. Oh, no. It was Sears Surplus for me because I was too hard on my clothes. I climbed trees, caught minnows, ran through the woods like a wild child. I still have PTSD symptoms from those hideous pants.

Kidding. I didn't really care until about 5th grade. Up until then my friends were boys. My best friend was my sister, who rocked the same pants. None of them really cared about my appearance. 

Then, I moved to Guam. I was enrolled in the public intermediate school--6th through 8th graders.

Man, were those 8th grade girls huge in comparison. Huge and mean.

I was the shortest girl in my class. I didn't own a Members Only Jacket or parachute pants (I may be mixing up my era's now). I didn't own a Cabbage Patch doll, but I got a generic one from Korea. One of the ginormous eighth graders took a hate on for me. I don't remember why. I only remember how she caught me in the girls locker room and pinched my nipples. All you ladies out there, remember how sensitive you were at that age? She also kept stealing my lunch, so I starved all day. 

Source
When my mom found about, she almost broke the school admin. My mom's scary tough. She also pulled me out of this school and enrolled me into Trinity Christian School. I got to wear a cute little uniform. My parents also refused to sign the form allowing the school to paddle me if I misbehaved. Thank you very much, Mama and Daddy.

They also put me into karate, Shōrin-ryÅ«, and in college, Tai Kwon Do. I also went from being the shortest girl in my class to the tallest by my eighth grade year.

Needless to say, the bullying stopped. I think it's because I wasn't afraid of the bullies any more. I knew if they messed with me, I'd take them down. Hard. Knowing I would fight if pushed, I found I no longer had to fight. I also learned not to care what random people thought or said about me. It's only the people who you respect whose opinions matter.

The times I've had difficulty holding onto this philosophy have been when someone messed with someone who couldn't protect themselves. That's when I couldn't stay quiet. That's when I got in trouble, and I didn't care if it was in defense of someone else. That's who I am. Who I will always be.

On Monday, I'm bring back Sharing Our Voices (SOV). I met a nice author on Facebook, who wrote about injustice. She's the one who inspired this post. You'll get to meet her and learn about her source of inspiration.

Also, if you would like to participate in SOV by sharing your source of inspiration, please leave a comment.

10 comments:

  1. I was bullied growing up as well. I just wish it would stop and more people would care more about each other.

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  2. Great post, Angie. Nipple-twisting - eeeeouch! Girls can be SO mean-I'm getting to relive all that through my daughters. I did think of someone inspirational from my own school days who taught me the value of even minor acts of compassion.

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  3. This brings back memories. I was bullied when I was 5 in the first grade. By teenage brothers who sat on their porch on waited for my bus to arrive. I can remember the fear that caused knots in my stomach and throat as I prayed that I could slip by while they were not looking.

    I was afraid to tell my family about my torture. I told this story to my 4 children, because one day I became bold enough to yell out for help... I mean literally screaming in the middle of the road.

    My teenage uncle heard me and ran to my rescue, needless to say those boys never bother me again. The lesson I taught my kids and would encourage to young kids today is, no one can help if they don't know. Dig deep inside find the courage and strength to tell someone.

    Like you Angie, anyone who knows me knows I don't tolerate any type of injustice, bullying on any age level. I will fight for someone whose experiencing this more fiercely then I would myself. For this reason my kids and I haven't eaten at McDonalds in 2 years(oh the grief I get from my 8 year old. If stares were daggers I would be dead 6 chicken nuggets ago:)).

    I'm sorry I got a little carried away, but I'm so passionate about this subject.
    This is a great thing you're doing Thank you Can't wait to see the post and share it.
    Thanks Angie

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  4. Hi Kate, Rhiann (I love your name), and Paula. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your stories. I agree it's important for the younger generation to learn that they aren't the only ones who experienced bullying. That there are adults who understand what they may be going through, and will help them.

    Paula, you are so right when you say that "no one can help if they don't know."

    If you are experiencing bullying, physical or sexual abuse, please find someone you trust. Tell someone before it's too late. Please.

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  5. We moved to another state right in the middle of my 7th grade year. Traumatic! I also had all the wrong clothes. No Izods, no Nike. I didn't get bullied the way you did. Just ignored.

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  6. Wow, the story you wrote could have been written about me. Iam also a recovering nerd/tomboy. But I guess it made us both stronger, right? Looking forward to reading more of your posts, and good luck int GUTGAA!

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  7. Michelle,
    Being isolated is like a mini death. In some ways, for the person being ignored, it would almost feel better to be bullied. At least then you know you exist. We'll nobody can put Michelle in a corner, lol. Dirty Dancing reference for all you youngsters. Geesh, I sound like a crotchety granny.

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  8. Cheryl,
    It's sad how many of us have shared the same experiences, but while we're living it we feel so alone. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be wearing my judging hat come Monday. I can't wait, lol.

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  9. Great post, Angie, and beautifully written. Love the character sketch of you as a youngster, and your philosophy on not needing to fight except to right injustice.

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  10. I was bullied growing up as well. When I first got my glasses, I wouldn't wear them because I was humiliated to be even more of a nerd than I already was. Now I love them.

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