An Answer to the Bullies

I just posted a blog post as a kind of answer to the bullies I faced in high school on The Girl in the Boots and I truly surprised myself.

High school was not “the time of my life” as some have told me before. “Embrace these years because you’re gonna miss it.” Lies. All of it.

High school was much like the experience dolphins have in the aquarium. I was on display to be judged and all did judge me. I was forced to preform tasks outside the normal academic routine, I was laughed at, judged by my superiors, and then left alone until it was time to be on display again.

What I have since gathered from all of this is that the comments about my size, hair, voice, and body shape have been received and remain within me; however, I rose above them.

The damage they have caused can still be seen on my body today, but in the end the figurative ghost created by their taunts has diminished.

The girl who was displayed for so much judgment let the words crash with her spirit, but in the end, my spirit has only grown stronger.

A Bully and the Bullied.

In a  few previous posts I talked about my experiences with a few different forms of bullying. Being someone who didn’t exactly fit into the mold of the average female girl in middle and high school, I ended up facing many issues with making friends, being accepted by my peers, and dealt with constant behind the back rude comments in relation to my size, complexion, grades, and lack of social skills. It was a hard few years where I ended up losing friends and being known as the girl who couldn’t read and would receive terrible grades. As one can imagine or has experienced themselves, being on that end of bullying is something that can change you forever. The people who hurt me so much in school may become coworkers or acquaintances down the road, but the fact that they given me so much anxiety is something that i will never be able to erase.

Yesterday my family decided to go visit my grandmother who is spending some time in an assisted living home after a health scare. My dad has been more than proud to flaunt the fact that his daughter has started a blog–even though I’d rather my family not read it because…. well…. you know… awkward–and began reading my NEW New Year’s Resolution post… you know the one where I talk about falling off the working out bandwagon and end up back in a relationship with pizza and vodka… yeah not something my grandma needs to know about.

But anywho, my grandmother got a kick out of my blog and began requesting posts that she saw would fit. The topic she kept referring back to was on bullying, a topic that sparked my interest. Turns out the little old lady who gets more kisses from her six children, eleven grandchildren, and new great grandchild than any woman I know, was once the bullier in school.

Maybe with age comes a sense of guilt from your past decisions, maybe she just thought I could make a good post on this topic, or maybe she is tired of hearing about the increase in bullying in schools and wants to tell her side of the story.

Whatever her reason was that she decided to share insight on such a topic, I was confused and honestly surprised. How is the woman who bakes me three bags of chocolate chip cookies before every semester a bully?

As she stated, she teased her fellow classmates because it was a way for her to show her superiority. She had a desire to be part of the popular crowd and lowered her morals in order to achieve that title.

It’s pretty much the oldest saying in the bullying books–‘the bullies only bully in order to make themselves feel better.’ I’ve heard that saying so many times in middle and high school that I thought of it as cliche and annoying. It wasn’t until after hearing my grandmother’s story did I actually feel that that phrase was true.

It was hard to wrap my head around the idea that someone I was related to was on the other end of the middle and high school torture that I’ve experienced–nor the fact that this woman is the kindest person I know. And if this has proved anything to me it’s that everyone has the ability to change. The phrase ‘once a bully, always a bully’ actually may be busted because we will all have time to reflect on our past and when we get older, if we start having kids and grandkids, it will come and hit us full speed ahead how terrible and life changing bullying really is.

There’s no way to downgrade any form of bullying, be it cyber, physical, or mental, bullying is bullying and it needs to stop. Yes schools have taken a huge step in the right direction to end or at least prevent many forms of bullying, but I know there is more to be done.

This topic isn’t really something that is addressed in highschool because ‘you’re old enough to handle things yourself’ and ‘nothing should be taken too seriously.’ Even with that being said, bullying is still a huge problem that can and has put people in a deep dark place where they feel completely alone and worthless. It shouldn’t have to take some horrible incident for bullying to become a worthy topic in schools. It’s important for administrators and students to be proactive and think ahead in order to prevent any of these instances from happening in the first place.

If grandma Judy thinks it’s time for a change in schools then gosh-darn-it it’s time for a change. I hope this post was as interesting for you as it was for me. Let me know what you think in the comments below!