When I was younger, I could never find the words to stand up for myself. Now, I call people out when they're not treating others right and it's about dang time this came to light.
My ExperienceFile:Round Landmark School Icon - Transparent.svg - Wikimedia Commons File:Round Landmark School Icon - Transparent.svg - Wikimedia Commons
I went to the same Catholic grammar school from Pre-k to sixth grade. It was quite honestly a terrible school and I am so happy that my parents pulled me from it when they did.
For as long as I can remember, I remember hating school and always dreading the end of summer and having to start school again.
If you met me now, you'd quickly pick up on the fact that I do not tolerate BS and if you wrong me, I will say something.
Back then, however, I was constantly tormented and it felt like I had no escape.
Here's a few highlights of the people that made my life a living hell.
K is one of the most prevalent bullies I had as a kid.
I vividly remember her physically trying to block me out of circles of the girls talking at recess and mocking me for playing with my American Girl Dolls at recess with another girl. Why? I'll never know.
K and I were close friends at one point, and then we weren't. Which is totally normal when it comes to friendships between young girls. As a young girl, there is a very overwhelming pressure to fit in and be popular. Therefore, you kind of go through friends until you find the ones that stick. When K and I were friends, she was mean to me. When we were no longer friends, she tormented me every chance she got.
I vividly remember making an Instagram in about 6th or 7th grade and one of the first things I saw was an Instagram post by K of her at our First Communion and a few other girls in the background. Someone had commented "Is that Catherine O'Connor?" to which she replied something along the lines of, "Yeah, that ugly lesbian hahaha." I am not a lesbian, but either way that's a terrible thing for a kid to open up Instagram to see.
S was a boy in my class that I didn't talk to very much. Or at least I don't remember talking to him very much.
In grammar school, the teachers move around students' desks quite often to keep our minds fresh and prevent too much talking. At one point, S and I were moved to sit next to each other and one day he told me to tell my mom I was feeling sick when I got home so that he didn't have to see me in school the next day.
How does a kid even respond to that? It still stings to this day.
N and I were friends, through a mutual best friend.
N had a problem with sharing 'her' best friend with me, so she and a bunch of other girls all started to leave me out with plans.
N at a pool party one time asked me to take off my shirt so that her and all of the other girls could see my body and judge it. I know this because I saw them all look me up and down and then heard them talking later on. I still curl my body in a little when I think about that.
To My Old Class
Among the people I've listed, there were many other instances and situations that I honestly don't remember too well anymore. I've spent years trying to block it out of my memory.
What I do remember is that I felt alienated. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere and I was constantly reminded of it. The teachers I had were of no help as they were either ignorant to what was going on or they couldn't care less to intervene.
So to my old class, and you know who you are, you made a little innocent girl feel like she was a waste of space and didn't deserve to be alive. I was left out, and when I wasn't left out I was made fun of. That is a situation no kid should ever have to face and I wish for nothing more than to be able to go back in time and stand up for myself and for others that were also bullied.
You might be wondering why I'm still so worked up over this and wasting my time writing an article about it. I am wasting my time writing an article about it and getting mad all over again because I think that bullying is something that needs to be better addressed.
I was bullied for years and nothing was done about it. It got so bad that I had to switch schools going into 7th grade. I lived in a constant state of misery during the years that are supposed to be the happiest and most innocent of our lives.
I beg you, stand up against bullies. No matter what age and no matter to what extent. Belittling and hurting others is not right and no one has the right to do that to another person.
Also, hey to my bullies! Hope you're all doing well! I'm graduating early, I've worked umpteen jobs with various levels of responsibilities that I am astronomically proud of and I am making something of myself. What are you up to?