- Posted July 18, 2014 by
By a Lake, Minnesota
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
I Was Punched, Kicked, Mocked, & Laughed-at.....By Wolves (teenage girls)
You bullied me mercilessly from 7th through 12th grade. It took its' toll on me. For almost all of my middle school experience, I would hide-out in the hallways after school hoping that you would be gone. In fact, there were many times when the janitor would need to kick me out .... and l would be placed outside amongst the wolves (aka you). .....and there you were, waiting. You and your friends would be just off school property where the adults couldn't see them. I'd try to cross the street in order to avoid you - often times you all would cross it right along with me.
After hiding out in the hallways once school was done, you followed me home almost every day of middle school. About halfway through my walk, I'd duck into the corner store ... scared, crying and begging that the store owner let me call my mom at work. Of course, I'd have to eventually leave the store ... and the times you were still there, I cannot tell you how long the rest of that walk seemed.
You pulled my hair; tripped me; pushed me; screamed-at me, humiliated me, and spread horrible rumors about me....that weren't true. You called me a 'sl*t' even before I knew what that meant.
I know that some people thought I was funny and kind; they also thought me kinda cute. Some boys even liked me because I was mellow and nice. Yet, that is where most of the bullying stemmed from. When a boy liked me and one of you happened to be interested in him, you would rage against me and drag my name (and me) through the mud ...... and boy, was I in trouble then. I didn't have to do anything. Just because some boy thought I was cute, you figured you had reason to make my life a living nightmare.
My mom knew about it, but I BEGGED/PLEADED/SCREAMED for her not to do anything. I was so deathly afraid of what you girls would do to me. However, in the middle of my 9th grade year, the middle school principal realized how unsafe it had gotten for me at school and especially off school grounds .... where he said he could not help me. Therefore, I was told that in my best interest that I'd need to switch schools to one across town. THAT'S how bad you made it.
Unfortunately, it didn't stop once I switched. Again - a boy thought I was cute and because I was desperate for friends, I befriended him. Little did I know that some girl already liked him (I didn't - I just considered him a friend, but apparently he liked me) .... and the cycle started again.
I went through every identity switch possible trying to 'find' myself. I tried to be in a Mexican gang girl in 7th grade, preppy in 8th, New Wave chick in 9th, punk rock girl in 9th/10th, ska girl in 11th and rasta chick in 12th. I just never really fit in .... and although I had many friends, there were even more of you who detested me. I'd walk around high school on lunch break - all by myself - trying so hard to make that seem cool. There is also a very sad, horribly damaging and untrue rumor that was spread about me during that time by one of the 'popular' guys at school .... a rumor that took me years to grasp upon its lie. To be date-raped and then blamed for it (by one of you who liked the guy that date-raped me)....there just aren't the words to describe how low, confused, and disgusting I felt.
How dare you take away the innocence and hope that I had. How dare you make yourself feel 'better' by ruining someone else. It's sick, sad, and stupid. SHAME ON YOU. You hurt me to my very core and your actions scarred me for years.
I am now grown and thankfully can look at my past for what it was. I do not hold anger toward you (well, only a little), nor do I wish you harm. There is so much more to this story and the years that it has taken me to become the happy and confident woman that I am. I guess my hope is that you would realize the magnitude of the damage you did and raise your children differently. My children are taught to be kind to people, however they are also given tools to stand-up for themselves or just walk-away as needed.
We all change and I hope that as an adult, you are able to think back on your actions and reflect on the damage you wrought. I was robbed of my teen years because many of you didn't like me. I wish I had spoken up more, but I can't change that now. I wish I could have refuted the rumors you spread, but my voice seemed nothing compared to yours. I was small, timid, and scared.
I don't think of you guys very often, however, when I hear stories of girls being bullied, it brings up an anger in me that is deep. I want to go to these girl's parents and shake some reality into their brains! The reality is that their 'precious little girl' is creating years of torture for an innocent child - all to make themselves look better (they think).
I'm not on Facebook anymore, but when I was, you guys would 'friend' me. And a few times, I accepted that request. Why? I guess I still wanted you to like me. How sad and pathetic is that?! You know, I could see what your lives had become and most of you still seemed stuck in high school - sans acid wash jeans and Reebok high-tops. You never progressed past your teenage popularity and oftentimes hung onto it as though it's still in existence. It's your safety blanket. And it's sad.
I like to think that if you were sent back in time with the info you know now, you would treat others (me) differently. I wonder how much of it you even remember. Are you ashamed? Man - I would be mortified to think that I caused someone harm for my own enjoyment.
My family is incredible. I have a lot of friends and am well-respected in my chosen industry. It took me going through years of counseling and a spiritual re-birth where I let go of my past, lay it (you) at the Cross, and moved forward. That was 20 years ago.
So, I write this letter to you and want to say that I forgive you. As an adult, I can look back and see the reasons behind your doing what you did; why you thought they were 'right' - even though they were totally wrong and skewed. It might even be helpful to some if you actually apologized and acknowledged your wrongs. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who was graced with your pathetic attempts to get a boy to like you. I've learned that bully's were often bullied at home and that's where they get it from. If that was the case in your home, then I'm truly sorry you had to grow up with that as a role model. No matter how much you bullied me, I'd never wish that back upon you.
I hope that if your children are bullied, you will make every effort to put an end to it. My mom really tried....but because I was so afraid of you, I would have gone ballistic if she had actually done it. If your child is the aggressor, STOP THEM! You never know what sort of damage they are inflicting on a peer.....and to what extent that damage may cause a child to do to themselves.
Please don't mistake this letter as a plea for you to take responsibility for your actions because I'm ok now. I can see it for what it is. My only question is: can you?