*NOTE: This blog post is going to suck. I am using my blog to do a little deep psychological cleansing. If you have a weak stomach (or just don’t give a sh*t about things that happened to me over 25 years ago), skip this one. I will understand. Actually, I won’t know the difference. This is just some sh*t I had to get off my chest. It has been weighing me down for a while.
A long while…
I can hold a grudge. I was bullied in school, and I am still bitter about it. It is something I still can’t let go of.
Today I noticed that the documentary “Bully” was available to watch on streaming Netflix. I told my husband, “Oh, throw that in the cue. I want to watch it.”
One beat of time passed.
“You know what, nevermind. I lived that. I don’t want to watch it again.”
Bully is the documentary that the Weinstein Company argued with the MPAA over the final rating of the film. The MPAA originally rated it “R” for language. You know, the language kids hear and use every day at school. You know, the whole point of the documentary. (The film was slightly altered to eventually earn a PG-13 rating.)
And that is about all I know about the documentary.
Once I hit middle school, my life was hell.
Sixth grade. All of these cliques formed. I didn’t even know that that word existed until that year. I never had many friends in school. But suddenly that became a terrible curse, instead of just an inconvenience.
I was teased. That is how it was referred to around 25 years ago.
Yes, I can hold a grudge.
I will not discuss what I was teased about, because, well, I am not there yet. It wasn’t anything that deserved all the attention that it got.
I had my own nickname.
The other assholes kids would say it to me in class. In the halls. On the bus.
Oh, don’t get me started on the bus. It was its own particular brand of HELL.
There are several openings in my county for school bus drivers. Why are they not being filled? Maybe everyone has memories of bad experiences on the bus like I had.
Imagine getting on the bus in the morning, and all the kids visibly slide to the edges of the seats, closest to the aisle. Most of the seats have just one student in them. You walk toward the back of the bus. When you are brave enough to ask if you can sit by someone, they all respond with “This seat is saved”. By this time, the bus driver has already put the bus into motion again. You have to hold on to the edges of the seats to not be dumped on the floor by the sway of the bus. The bus driver starts barking at you to “Sit down”. But you can’t. You can only stand there, holding on to the seats. You can’t even manage to be thankful that there is only one more stop before you get to school.
In that moment, you just want to die.
There is one particular girl I always thought was the ring leader of that. Although, she wasn’t really smart enough for that. Maybe I just blamed her because she had an ugly f*cking face.
I broke down every morning before school and begged my mom to not make me go to school. She always made me go. There are several photos she took during that time, of me before school in some outfit she wanted a picture of. In all of them I had red rings around my eyes from crying.
I won’t scan them in and display them here. Too depressing to display how much they all got to me visually, even though I am writing about it.
If only they had had Internet home school then. I would have been an ideal candidate.
My nickname, in part (the part that didn’t specifically include my name) was published in the school newspaper. No one seemed to find this disturbing. Except for me.
Two boys in my class had to do a skit in English class. They did it as Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live (yes, that was popular then). They used my nickname in the skit. To her credit, the teacher did actually ask me if that one bothered me. But that was actually so funny that I couldn’t complain. And they were two guys who usually didn’t bother me too much.
Others’ were worse.
There were more events in middle school. So traumatic that I have blocked them from memory. The few above are the ones that stick with me.
Once I got to high school, almost everyone had given up that sh*t, unless they were particularly juvenile.
And there was one boy, who never gave up teasing me. I hated him. I wanted him dead. It’s a good thing at the time that I didn’t realize that high school kids actually could do such things to each other. He said terrible things to me in class. Obscene things. It wasn’t fair.
Why couldn’t one of the cute boys I ACTUALLY LIKED say obscene things to me in class!
When I found out years later that he had died in a car accident, I shed no tears for him. I was actually a little happy about it.
I know. That makes me a truly terrible person. But in his death, I knew I would never have to look upon his evil face again.
Now he has a skateboard park named after him.
If I had killed my self due to all his tormenting, I am sure I would not have received such an honor.
And sometimes I did contemplate that.
And my mom will remind me of things I said or did at that time, things I have blocked out. Like one time when she was doing the dishes and I apparently threatened to cut my wrist with a knife.
Which begs the next question: If your kid does that, why wouldn’t you get them some help?
And another question: Teacher, if a kid in your class choses to do a report for your class on suicide, shouldn’t you take them aside and make sure they are OK? (It may have been for Psychology class, but still…)
Have you ever seen the movie “Never Been Kissed”? I find the high school flashbacks in that movie really relatable. My not-so-secret crush never invited me to prom and threw eggs at me, as happens in the movie. But when it was time to vote for who would ride on the Homecoming float, sometimes they would vote for unpopular people, just so they could ride it and be laughed at. Obviously it was meant to be an honor for the most popular girls. One year they did vote two sisters in who were not popular. They wisely declined from riding. One year I heard that I ranked quite high in votes as well. Thank you, assholes.
We were all stuck inside those walls together, sharing experiences. We all knew so much about each other. Why couldn’t we have embraced that? Why did we have to use that to cut each other down?
I had a dream, years after I was out of college. I dreamed I was in the Waldenbooks store at my local mall. (FYI—at the time I worked for a company connected to Waldenbooks.) In the dream, there were lots of people in there from high school. Some of the people I hated the most.
I began yelling at them, and telling them off. Telling them what I thought of them. I pushed bookshelves over on top of them, to hurt them physically as they had hurt me emotionally. And when I woke up…
I felt good. I felt like a little of the weight had lifted.
A little while later, I had a similar dream, where I was in the local grocery store. I was face-to-face with one of the guys I hated the most. A guy that my asbestos friend did hate the most. I yelled at him and told him off.
I also felt better after that dream. But, eventually, that relief passed. And now I write this post. To try and achieve some of that relief. To try to wash away some of the extreme hatred I have had for these people for decades. People who, I am sure, don’t remember me at all. They don’t remember they teased me. They don’t remember that I existed.
Some of these people have tried to be my friend on Facebook. I laugh at them and ignore their friend requests.
I will admit that I am not even sure I remember all of these events accurately, because time and hate have most likely warped them in my head.
I have SO MUCH HATE for these people. The ones who were the worst.
I still struggle with self-esteem issues to this day because of their name calling. Because of them snatching my stuff because it seemed amusing to them.
Will I be going to my 20 year reunion next year?
I not be thinkin’ so.
And all the bullying laws around today aren’t going to keep these things from happening. I was a quiet person (Oh, don’t ever call me “shy”. UGH! What is with adults and their mother f*cking labels!). I would never have reported that stuff to anyone.
Hell, at my job I had a girl make fun of a physical attribute I have, and I didn’t report her to Human Resources. But I totally wish I had. To this day. Ten years later.
God, I can’t imagine what kids today go through…
With cell phones and social media, they can’t even get away from bullying when they get home! At least after school I could nap on my couch to Ducktales and hide from it all.
Do I feel better after all this? Can I move on?
Meh. Probably not.