This week, as National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month draws to a close, we’d like to shift our focus to a bit of a different perspective. We’ve shared several stories this month about the origins of bullying, what people think it means and what some of the consequences are when bullying happens. So, to open this week, I’d like to share my own story about bullying.
When you look back on the past sometimes you don’t really realize just how adversely something has affected your life. In my own life, I have come to understand that at different points in my childhood I had been both a victim and a doer of bullying. I remember being 9-years-old and attending a small private school in my hometown. That year I wanted to be part of the small popular girl crowd, so I joined in their ridicule of the new girl in our class. Flash forward two years and you will find me in the brand new environment of a public school where I’m the odd one out. I became the new girl in this part of the story and, for no real reason that I can remember, was the object of mockery that year. I remember being scared to ride the bus to school, dreading gym class because I was always picked last and wishing that vacation would never end so that I didn’t have to go back to class.
In retrospect, I wonder if that other little girl who was the object of my scorn years before, ever felt the way that I did my first year in public school. I know now that the year of bullying that I endured really harmed me in ways that lasted for years. It hurt my self-esteem and self-confidence, made me scared to talk to new people and for a long time less likely to try out new things for fear of how people would react to me. Yet, I wonder again if that other poor girl suffered in the same way and where she is now.
I just want to share my own short story about bullying to get the conversation going. How many of you have been bullied in your lives? Or were you the bully yourself? How has your experience impacted your life?
We’d love to hear your stories! Keep checking the blog this week for more stories and tales about the bullies and the bullied.