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I Never Realized

Posted: 10/10/2011

When I was in elementary school. I think I always felt the need to belong. I had to belong. I couldn’t be an outcast. I had to feel important. In elementary school I ended up verbally abusing some kids in my school. I never thought anything of it. I thought it was the cool thing to do. When some kids would pick on me, for example this boy called me ‘fat’, I would put on this front that I was ‘tough’ and bully them back. I never realized how much it could hurt the other person. I never realized how much I was destroying someone’s pride and ego.

When I went to middle school me and my friends were being bullied in school by this girl who was held back one year in the 6th grade. I remember her making fun of me because I was wearing a Santa Clause hat around the holidays. I was embarrassed but I pretended it didn’t phase me. Me and my friends would secretly plot our revenge on her. That same year, my best friend Mandy was bullied because of her eyebrows. They weren’t like everyone else’s. I remembered they chased her 5 blocks from our school just to point and laugh at her. I ran with her. I cried with her. It hurt me so much. I remember that same year, a lot of people ganged up on my best friend, Chrissy. They would make fun of her nose and call her a ‘lesbian’ and slacker behind her back. I always stuck up for her, being that she was my best friend. She and my other best friend Mandy were frenemies. They would act nice to each other and do lots of things together, but would secretly talk about and make fun of each other behind each other’s backs. It was becoming weird, eventually I had to pick a side. I know now that it shouldn’t have gone down like that, I shouldn’t have had to make a decision like that. But I did. I chose Chrissy.

Me and Chrissy sat on a separate lunch table from my class. We called it ‘The Cool Table’ and everyone from the other table quickly left and joined us. Mandy stayed because she knew we were officially enemies. She cried that day too. I stopped caring. I became heartless. At the end of the year, I remembered I’d walked into a different classroom, to hand a student something. I remember all the kids saw me and said ‘she’s ugly’ I heard them laughing. I heard what they were saying. I remember later that day some girl’s in my afterschool club were whispering about it. It hurt me a lot. I felt so ugly that day. Unfortunately, I put up this ‘tough girl’ image so I made it seem like I didn’t care and anyone who talked about it was going to get ‘beat up’.

The last year of my middle school. I started bullying Mandy again. I was mean to her. I would make fun of her constantly. When I saw Sherald on the street one day, I walked up to her and beat her up. I was just a horrible person. In class we had been discovering about cyberbullying. I didn’t realize that I was a cyberbully or a bully period. It felt normal to be this way to people. It felt like the ‘cool’ thing to do. I never realized I was actually hurting people. I graduated from Junior High never knowing the horror I was.

When I went to High School, I realized that it was different from Junior High. Bigger. Scarier. Me and Chrissy went to the same high school. Some how we’d stay real close best friends throughout all Junior High. During my freshmen year I had gotten into an altercation with some girls. They would threaten me. My friends never defended me. I felt helpless. I started cutting school everyday. Eventually, I couldn’t deal with it. I left. I didn’t even realized I was being bullied. I didn’t realize bullying drove me away from school. I ended up going to 4 different high school until I felt safe enough to go to school. I tried a lot of times to get homeschooled. That didn’t work out though. In a way the emotional and verbal bullying, and sometimes cyberbullying made me slowly suicidal. I began cutting myself. I was going crazy.

Later during the summer of my sophmore year, my friend Mandy returned in my life. I cried and told her all my problems. She was sympathetic and understood. Chrissy had betrayed me for the new girl at my school, we were no longer friend, still aren’t. Me and Mandy talked about unresolved issues we had and the way I would bully her. I realized it was more of my insecurites getting the best of me and the need to be cool and to stick up for Chrissy. I didn’t realize I had hurt her so much, even when I did see her cry. I thought she was just doing it to get sympathy from people.

I realized now Mandy was better than me. She was stronger than me. She was ‘tougher’ than me. She roughed it out in school everyday –perfect attendance (she has the award to prove it), even while she was getting bullied.

Me I was a coward. I ran away. Repeatedly. Even now I find myself giving up when the going gets tough. I know how it feels. I know how it feels to be a bully, a bystander, and a target. I was all 3. I’m sure most people are. I know now it’s not ok to be any of them. If you’re a bully obviously you have some insecurites built up in yourself that you’re just taking out on everyone else. Trying to make your self seem better, when you’re actually not. If you’re a bystander, you’re a coward. You can’t take a stand for what’s right and speak up. It helps a lot to know that some one has your back. If you are a target, you have to speak up also and let the world know what’s going on, before you start succumbing to the lies and hurting yourself for it. I succumbed and hurt my self for some of things I was told. Not even by friends and schoolmates, family too, but that’s a different story. Bullying has obviously been a major factor throughout all my life. It’s funny how it took me until recently to realized that. I guess I just never realized...I know better this time. I’m taking a stand this time.

I graduated from that school, never realizing how many people I hurted. It was despicable.

By: Anonymous

 
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