Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bullying - Pink Shirt Day - February 29, 2012

I thought because Pink Shirt Day is February 29th in Canada for Bullying I'd write about bullying as I was bullied as a child.  My name is uncommon where I grew up and that is what I was bullied about.

Bullying - What Can Be Done?

 Bullying hasn't changed much over the years.  The only change that I have observed these days is that it has gained another avenue; the computer.  Bullies use name-calling, hitting, ignoring, and writing nasty things as ways of bullying.  This leaves the person being bullied feeling uncomfortable or scared and sometimes even sad.  People think that bullying only makes us stronger but it hurts us, it beats down our self esteem.  Bullying is repeated, intentional, aggressive behavior toward someone more vulnerable than the bully.

I moved four times while going to school, twice in the same grade.  I was halfway through grade three when we moved from our farm to the city so I went from a class of 15 to a class of 36.  I was the subject of bullying as I was the NEW kid and I also had very dry skin.  The kids made up this game of "I had fleas".  It was a game of tag where I was always "it" and whoever I touched got "my fleas" and was "it" with me until everyone had them.  I didn't feel like I was getting bullied until our teacher asked the class who was playing the game and asked the class to stop playing.

From that day forward, I played alone on the playground and was made fun of all the time until some of the girls started to ask me what I liked and found out I wasn't any different than them.  I just grew up in a different province.  I wanted to be a fairy princess when I grew up, I listened to Celine Dion and I LOVED playing with marbles.  I had two younger sisters who bugged the *ell out of me and another sibling on the way.  I was hoping for a boy so when he was older, we could beat the other two up.  They were quite a bit younger and SMALLER than me and with a boy, he'd grow to be bigger than the girls.

We moved again six weeks after my brother was born and six weeks before the school year was over.  Back to my home province and hometown.  I was happy, my old friends, my old school and my old classmates is what I wanted after the year I had in grade three.  I had passed grade three but my mom and dad had decided to keep me in grade three again because when we got home, which had a shorter school year, I was behind.  They only had two weeks of school left.  I had only started to learn how to do handwriting when we had left.  Everyone back home had been handwriting for two months already so I was behind in that aspect but that was the only way I was behind and the only reason I was kept behind.

The only way I was ever bullied was verbally (name-calling, teasing).  The only reason I was bullied was because of my name.  It's different and nobody in the town I grew up in had it.  Its that unique to that area.  I began to hate my name because the kids were making fun of me for it.  I lost count of how many times I asked my parents to change it as a child.

When I was fifteen, I moved in with my father and grandmother.  I had known at a very young age that my dad was my step-dad but he raised me and he is my dad and always will be because I only spent four years with my father and grandmother.  I was bullied at the school there too, but it wasn't because of my name.  It was because I liked to write in my spare time.  One recess, I had left one of my stories out on my desk  while I went to the washroom before class started and one of my classmates had got hold of it and when I got back to the classroom, he started to make fun of me for it.  I was so embarrassed, I left the classroom in tears and went and hid in one of the two girls washrooms in the school.  One of the girls from the classroom, who just happened to be really nice came to check on me minutes later and we sat down on a bench there because it was the change rooms up my the gym.  She talked to me and calmed me down and told me to ignore him.  He was just jealous because he couldn't write as well as that without a topic to write about.  She made me feel better and I never let him get to me again when it came to my writing.  I always got better marks than him in Language Arts all through High School because not only did I do my assignments but I wrote stories all the time so my writing was always better than his.

I was also bullied at home by my grandmother.  I look a lot like my mom and my grandmother didn't like my mom for some reason or another.  She never told me why.  While my mom was dating my father my grandmother would call my mom "purple tooth" (my grandmother told me this).  My mom had a dead front tooth back then and that is why it was purple, it is now a false tooth and has been a false tooth as long as I can remember.  Whenever my grandmother was mad at me she would call my "old mare" (just like your mother), "Cow" and she would also ignore me when I talked to her.  She wouldn't talk to me either and she would turn her back when she was walking by me.  She wouldn't look at me at all.  This hurt more than getting bullied at school because it was coming from family.  I never let her see that it got to me though.  The first time I did because I didn't know what to expect but after that I never did.

Some Ways To Combat Verbal Bullying Are:

  • Ignore the bully and walk away.
  • Hold the anger.
  • Don't get physical
  • Practice confidence.
  • Take charge of your life.
  • Talk about it.
  • And find your (TRUE) friends.
I hope this has been informative and has shown you that bullying really does hurt.  It hurt me while growing up.  Am I a better person for it?  I don't know but I do know one thing, when I see and hear about other kids or my own child being bullied I jump at the chance to stop it because I know of the impact it will have on their lives later in life.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post.It shows what a great mom you are by stoping the bullying.Your grandmother had no right to treat you like she did and by you speaking out about your bullying will help others deal with samiliar problems.You a awesome writer,awesome mother!