I don’t think people who have not experienced being targeted by bullying truly understand what those of us who have been are forced to endure. This is a two-part post, and it will still be a little long, so please bear with me…
When it comes to living with bullying, I want you to know that nothing—and I mean NOTHING—is far-fetched, and no story is unlikely.
Imagine that you’re in Middle School or High School. You wake up in the morning and have breakfast, your mother busy preparing to go to work while you eat. You stare at your mother, wanting so badly to tell her what’s happening at school and how much you hurt inside. If you do tell her, will she put her arms around you and reassure you that it isn’t your fault and that you still matter? Or will she tell you that it’s all just a part of the school experience and that you should just “stick it out”? Will she give you loving motherly advice or blame you, saying you must be doing something to piss those kids off or they wouldn’t be bothering you? Will she listen to you, or will she just dismiss you, telling you to ignore the bullies?
You ponder these questions and what your mother might say and then decide that \opening up is a bad idea. You also feel ashamed, ashamed of being bullied. How can you tell your family you’re the pariah of your school? That you are number one must wanted among your peers—and not in a good way? What will your family say? How will they react?
Too soon, it’s time to head to the bus stop. You go, reluctantly. You stand there, waiting for the school bus, hoping that maybe it broke down on the side of the road, had a flat—anything to delay it. When it finally appears, you feel only a sense of absolute dread as it approaches. A lump has swollen in your throat and it’s extremely hard to swallow. You know what’s coming and all that will start the moment you step onto that bus and it takes you to school. Just like every day for years, you know you will be ambushed, an onslaught of ugly names, taunts, digs, cruel pranks, and probably shoves, kicks, and punches. Your limbs are numb and your stomach churns.
As the school bus nears, your heart sinks. You wonder if the torment will ever end. You wonder when the day will finally arrive when you can be like everyone else and stroll easily through the hallways at school, enjoy friends the moments with your friends, laughing it up, and having the time of their lives.
You wonder, “Why not me?”
The bus groans to a stop in front of you and the doors swing open. As you step on, a hush falls over everyone already on board. “Oh God! Not her again!” is the first sound to break the unnatural silence, then “Hey, bitch! How does it feel that nobody likes you? Nobody will EVER like you!” or “You should have been aborted at birth!” or “You’re such a waste! Why don’t you kill yourself?” This has happened every day for so long.
As you look for a seat, a boy gets up…and spits in your face. As you turn and move on, you feel a pair of hands land on your shoulders and shove you so hard you almost fall down.
At last you find an empty seat and take it. As the bus lurches forward, a girl behind you pours glue borrowed from a nearby first-grader and pours it in your long, shiny-clean hair. At the same time, another girl beside her pours red food coloring down your back staining your nice white blouse and brand-new jeans. Mom’s at work and can’t bring you home to wash your hair and change your clothes.
You’re stuck at school like this all day.
When the bus finally lets you off of course everyone notices the glue in your hair and the red stains streaking your cloths. They point at you and laugh. They call you horrible names. Some even lay hands on you.
BY the time lunch time arrives, your stomach is so knotted up that you can’t even eat and your head pounds so bad you think you might get sick. The nausea is intense.
Around you, girls flirt with their boyfriends and the boys snake arms around the girls they like. Others laugh, punching arms playfully, planning birthday parties, slumber parties, camping trips and dates. Their eyes sparkle.
Until they come across you. Then their eyes harden, and their happiness turns to scorn.
At one point, you desperately wanted to be part of the happiness you see all around you. Then you told yourself you should just be happy for them and their good fortune. You want to be happy for them, but you no longer have it in you.
“Why can’t I have that?” you wonder. “Don’t I deserve friends, too?” You want to cry. You want to scream but you can’t. You can’t let them see you cry, see you as weak, Not just for possibly exposing you to more ridicule, but also for your own self-pride—it’s all you have left. You don’t want to let them see they’re getting to you, that what they’ve been doing to you hurts the way it does. You don’t want them to have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve succeeded in grinding you underfoot. They’ve already killed every opportunity for you to make friends…they’ve squashed your dating opportunities…they’ve trampled and spat upon every accomplishment you’ve had for years.
They’ve made you alone.
And it’s only lunchtime. Not even halfway through the day.
Cherie White, both a writer and author, joined the team after being discovered by Brian through her own personal blog and through social media. She has been writing ever since she was ten years old and has a love for writing articles, short stories and novels. She became intrigued with the new Pyngby app because it helps victims pinpoint victims and their harassers for easy protection and litigation if need be. Because she experienced severe bullying from sixth grade until changing schools during her last year of high school, she has a passion for spreading bullying awareness and helping those who are bullied and abused today. Her goal is to bring down the suicide rate among bullied children, teens and young adults. Her debut novel, “From Victim to Victor” is available now at LuLu. Cherie looks forward to helping victims through Watchdog Creative.
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