Bullying. It has been getting a lot of press these days, but it has been around since we evolved/created (don't want any drama). Has it gotten any worse as the years go by? I believe it has. Society has changed over the years. Today's society is not as wholesome as it is. Our society now runs on violence, sex and money. There isn't any kindness to our fellow man. Everyone is out for themselves. (This is a generalization, don't take it literally because there are people out there with heart). Bullying has taken on a more sinister effect. Kids who haven't even experienced life are cutting it short to escape the madness caused by bullying.
I decided to reflect on my past. There are many things I don't wish to discuss, because it was very colorful, but I do remember I've had many distinct experiences with being bullied. Never were violent but the psychological type. I decided to open up and discuss them in this post. Maybe someone can read it and take something from it.
I'll start in elementary school. I would get teased mercilessly on my body. You see I come from a very voluptuous family; both sides. All the women have ample boobs and butts. I was not an exception. However, even though I was skinny, my butt was more pronounced. I remember the girls would grab my butt and ask if I stuffed tissue in my panties to get a butt like mine. The more this happened, the more I felt ashamed of it. I would beg my mom to buy very baggy pants. Nothing really covered it. So I was pretty much doomed. I remember telling my mom that when I get enough money that I was going to get a butt reduction. My butt has been my sore spot most of my life. I've never really embraced it. I now tolerate it and can deal with it, but I still have the nagging inner mind telling me that my butt is an eyesore and it should be removed. Will I ever embrace it? I don't know. It's all the rage today to have a big butt. People are even going thru cosmetic procedures to get what I have naturally. This still doesn't make me feel any better. Try finding a pair of jeans that fit perfectly.
Next is growing up on my block. There were many of us the same age growing up. I used to hang out with a lot of them when my mom permitted me to play outside. There was a set of fraternal twins, boy and girl, who everyone believe to be the most pretty. Everyone wanted to be their good friends. Let's call the Kiki & Ken. Kiki was close to my friend who lived across from me. She was nice to me. I usually played a lot with 2 other girls on the block. I remember Ken always made faces at me or said mean things to me. I never really played with him because he was mean to me. I did play with the other boys on the block. A new family moved onto the block who had 2 boys. They were cute, but I wasn't interested in them like that. Ken came up to me one day and told me that neither of the 2 boys would want to be my friend because I'm ugly and have "N---a naps". Of course that hurt me deeply. He would hammer that point in every time he saw me. I hated him so much. I still don't care for him. In JHS I started seeing this Puerto Rican guy who everyone in school clamored after. How I got him is still a mystery to me. Well he came home with me one day to meet my mom. We were pretty close. I would say he was my 1st love at that point if time. He was there for me thru a lot. Anyway, I digress. After Ken saw my boyfriend, he decided to confront me after he left. He never did say anything to me when my boyfriend was around. He said he doesn't know how the idiot liked me. It must be because I was breaking him off a piece. I was a virgin and only thing me and my boyfriend did was kissing. How could Ken say that? My sister told me that he was just jealous. I don't believe that he was. If he wasn't putting me down, he never paid me any attention. He was just mean spirited. His remarks and behavior really did take a toll on my esteem. I felt ugly and unlikable. I never understood why the guys I dated liked me. I wasn't gorgeous. I still don't see what my husband sees in me either. This is the lingering effect of Ken constantly telling me I'm ugly most of my childhood, my most impressionable time. We all set up how we view ourselves in adolescence.
I was deeply scarred growing up. I was the ugly girl with a big butt. This self hate has been deeply etched into who I am. Could I do without it? Yes. I wish I was more confident about my look and my body. I wish my mom help instill me with self confidence. I had to learn to be confident on my own. It's a struggle that I have to this day.
I just learned that somebody almost killed my nephew at college because if bullying. They put baby oil on the floor in front of his place. When he came out he slipped ad banged his head really hard. Could've killed him. This didn't faze him. He's never let bullies take away his confidence. We've raised him to be confident and self assured. If your meet him, you'd fall in love with him. Everyone remembers who he is where ever he goes.
I understand the torment our youth are facing daily. What they are experiencing can last in their psyche for the rest of their life. Once a youth is bullied, as a parent, all you can do is try to make them overcome them and hope that all the torment they've endured will make them productive and not let them turn into despair. Make them feel special and loved.
Everyone can get more information on bullying and how to protect yourself and their kids at the Trevor Project. Please support our youth and stop insensitive and senseless violence.