- Family and Parenting
Memories of Being Bullied
I haven’t really told anyone before but I did write a poem about it once. When I was a child in Scotland, I was bullied. For some reason most of my classmates took a dislike to me and they did their best to make my life miserable. I had friends, but occasionally they would side with the bullies. I never felt like I had a true best friend as a child.
One incident jumps out in my mind the most. I don’t know what precipitated it or how it happened; all I remember is being chased through the streets of our small town by a large gang of kids. I have vivid memories of running past two women talking in a doorway. I was sobbing and screaming and they just looked at me and shook their heads. Neither of them thought to help me. I somehow got away from the gang and made my way home. I never told my parents, I never told anyone about it. I was ashamed that it had happened.
There were other occasions of bullying. I remember complaining to a teacher and getting in trouble for being a tattletale. One event I am not proud of is that I picked on a kid weaker than myself once and beat him up. I somehow thought it would make the gang like me. It didn’t, they all took his side and thought I was terrible for picking on someone else. I never did that again.
The year we spent in Glasgow was a good one. I got on well at school and I had lots of pals after school. I was actually a part of a group of friends who played together every day. But, that year was an exception in my young life.
I thought things would improve when we moved to Canada, but they didn’t. I didn’t fit in at my new school; they made fun of my clothes, they made fun of my accent, they made fun of the way I walked, calling me “duck.” One boy in particular made every day a living hell. They traumatized me so much that one day when we had to read an essay in front of the classroom I couldn’t do it, I froze, I kept thinking how they laughed at my Scottish accent; which is funny because in Scotland I got in trouble because I couldn’t roll my R’s. My father was Canadian and I did not have an overly strong Scottish accent. Again, I never told my parents.
Thankfully, I was only at that school for grade 8. I made some new friends when we moved to another area and was part of a group who played together in the park across the street from where I lived. The bullying stopped by high school, but I was just basically ignored there. I made 2 friends around that time who are still friends today. I don’t think anyone else from my high school even remembers me.
The hurt does not go away
When I hear stories of children being bullied, I am thrown right back to those days. You really never get over it, no matter how hard you try to tell yourself that it is in the past and that it can’t hurt you. But it does hurt you; that hurt never goes away. Even writing this I feel the fear in the pit of my stomach. I am glad that schools and teachers now take bullying seriously and not blaming the victim anymore. It must be taken seriously because being bullied can, and most likely will, influence your entire life.
Are you being bullied?
Are you going through something like I went through right now? Don't handle it the way I did. Tell your parents or another responsible adult. Thankfully, teachers are told not to ignore bullying these days.
And remember, it's not you who is in the wrong it is the bully. You have done nothing to deserve this!