I was watching the news morning and there was a story about a very pretty woman, a Green Bay Packers cheerleader, who was called very hurtful names on a facebook page. She is very pretty but all these people were commenting things like “how ugly.” I just thought to myself, seriously?
I can’t help but think to myself when I hear things like that, “if they think she’s ugly, I could only imagine what people would/do say about me behind my back.”
I’m NO stranger to bullying. I was bullied most of my life in fact. The first bits of being bullied I remember was in4th grade. There were 3 girls who lived on the next street over from me. I had been invited to come and spend the night and was excited to do so. I went there and it was not fun. Their Mom had been drunk, and as far as I can remember, that was my first experience with someone being drunk. It made me nervous and scared. I asked to call my mom to come pick me up and they said I could but I wasn’t allowed to tell her about their Mom being drunk. Well, my Mom picked me up and I remember sitting down to dinner with my family and I told my parents. I wanted them to know why I wanted to come home. Well, a week or so later one of the girls came and asked if I wanted to go to the park to hang out with her and her friend. I agreed. We rode our bikes to the park and I sat down on a swing. The girl’s friend wasn’t there and she came up to me and pushed me off the swing into some mud and I hit my head on a rock. She picked up my bike and through it on top of me and left. A woman and her son from down the street heard me crying and took me home.
Since that day that girl and me were at odds.
Once her and her sisters stole our picnic that my friend’s Mom had put together for us.
In 5th grade. Kids in my class would say things to me like “why don’t you call Jenny Craig, Jenny.”
In 6th grade this girl invited me to her house and the following Monday told everyone I ate everything in her house.
In 7th grade the boy I had a crush on asked me if I was a lesbian.
8th grade didn’t seem too bad.
9th grade I was called scummy.
10th grade is when I changed everything. I joined a sport the summer before 10th grade. I started playing field hockey. I stopped caring what people thought about me and did my own thing. I was weird, loud, obnoxious, funny, silly and smart. I was nice to EVERYONE. I joined every extra curricular activity I could. I found a great love of music and writing. I had a wonderful group of friends who I would still hang out with often providing I still lived in Buffalo. I probably wouldn’t have survived school if it weren’t for people like Caity Locking, Nicole Swallow, Diane Wilson, Michelle Higgins, Erin Eisensmith, Val Alba, Beth Rafanowicz, Andy Snyder, Dean Buonamici and of course, my sister Sheryl.
I want everyone to know that being yourself is important and you can win against these bullies. I know that bullying is much different now then it was when I was growing up. I want everyone to know that there is someone out there who can help though. Someone will listen as long as you choose to open up.
I made it out, unscathed and happy. You can too.