I’ll be honest, I think the word “bullying” gets thrown around a little too much these days. It really does. Saying something that someone doesn’t like, disagreeing, stating an opinion that indirectly hurts someone’s feelings, calling someone out on their shitty behavior, so many things that aren’t actual bullying are called bullying and that drives me crazy.
That being said, when I was a kid I experienced both sides of bullying. I was the bully. I was also bullied. I usually refrain from putting my 10 cents (I think I have more than 2 cents to offer) in because the things that happened still bother me when I think about them now. I just keep it all to myself because who wants to admit to making someone else’s life miserable for months? Who wants to admit to being cornered and taunted and threatened on the school bus?
Driving home yesterday I thought about how I would write the “I was the bully” post. Then I thought about how I would end it… by saying that karma got me because the following year, the tables were turned on me. So badly that I changed schools… Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of “Me The Bully, Me The Bullied.”
I could say that the things that happened in 6th and 7th grade contributed to my insecurity, social anxiety, assumption that people don’t like me, and all of that, but what I learned from a psychologist I saw about 5 years ago is that the problems started when I was much younger than that. Hurt people hurt people. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get into the real root of things, but I want to talk about the middle school stuff because I think it’s important.
It pains me to think about putting in writing the horrible things I did to another child. I don’t know what I would do if another kid ever made my child feel the way I must have made this girl feel. I don’t know what I would do if one of my kids ever said such hurtful things to someone else’s child.
I’ve obviously forgiven myself because I was just a kid. I had things going on that I wouldn’t even begin to understand or even realize until I was well into my 30’s. I can’t remember exactly what happened that made me decide to see a psychologist but I went for a few months and figured a lot of stuff out. It was like a light bulb went off and it put everything I’d struggled with for years into perspective. It actually wasn’t an easy cause-and-effect scenario to wrap my head around at first, but at least I know I wasn’t just born evil.
As for why I think the “universe” is telling me to do this… It’s been on my mind, first of all. Every time I see a bullying story I think about it.
The other day I saw an article about a 16 year old girl who just invented the “Sit With Us” app. It’s for kids who don’t have anyone to sit with at lunch. It’s for kids who want to welcome others to say, “we’re here for you, don’t sit alone.” Sitting by yourself at the lunch table is absolutely terrifying. You are a sitting duck with a “pick on me” target on your back. I know because I’ve been there and it was awful. It was so bad I started eating lunch in the guidance counselor’s office.
Then last night I opened “Carry On Warrior” to continue reading where I left off before “Love Warrior” arrived and it just happened to be the chapter on bullying. Glennon talked about how she was teased for her greasy hair. I know a lot of people have said this about her books, it feels like they are speaking directly to me!
So I can’t get into it all today… Thursdays are my long day at work because I have to do the weekend music logs. I also want to take my time with it and make sure I say everything the way I want to say it and tell the story as honestly as possible being that it all happened over 25 years ago. I’m going to start working on it though.
Thank you for reading.