I suddenly had an urge to write about being bullied and how much it really traumatized me. The bullying took place from kindergarten to 8th grade I think. I don’t remember everything about it and that too— the blocked out memories— I think indicates how it did traumatize me. I’ve wrote something about it here. It mostly consisted of being totally isolated in a small place and thinking something was horribly wrong with me and I was a worse human being. I didn’t tell anyone because…I thought somehow it was my fault— something was wrong with me, I was overreacting. I occasionally made tiny mentions or had crying fits and my parents would say, ‘do you want to switch schools?’ and i’d say, ‘no’ because that wouldn’t help because it was my fault people wouldn’t like me no matter where I went. And the next day I’d just tell my parents I was overreacting, it really wasn’t that bad, I was fine. So they figured it wasn’t serious. I don’t know why— I didn’t want to disappoint them, I wanted to make them proud— that was part of it. Once I wrote in a journal for an English class about how depressed I was. The teacher read it and I hoped that she’d help. She didn’t take it seriously and basically said, “everyone feels these things”. I’m still angry at her. Other teachers saw. It was 9 years…other teachers SAW. I’m still angry at them as well. And I’m angry at the bullies and the fact that they never confronted it at all. But if they did they’d just have said, ‘we don’t know what you’re talking about.’ that’s another thing. Part of the bullying was that whenever I tried to stand up I was put down and belittled. So saying something only made it worse in the end.
I think the first time I really told anyone about it was in my junior year of high school, when I was visiting a college with my dad. Several of the girls who had bullied me happened to be visiting at the same time. They said hello like nothing was wrong. They said we should hang out sometime etc. Like they hadn’t done anything to me. Like we were best friends- and they hadn’t ignored me and left me out and talked behind my back constantly. I was angry that they could act like that. Angry at what they did. I told my dad something that day I don’t really remember the extent.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told my parents the full extent. I feel bad. They were trying to get me a good education by sending me to that school. It wasn’t their fault. I tried to hide it from them cause I felt…ashamed. I think my mom thinks the same thing is happening now at uni. She sometimes comments like, ‘Yay you’re graduating you’ll get away from those snobby people.’ I guess cause she sees I don’t really have friends here. But it’s different. It’s a huge campus. In school, it was a small school and it was EVERYONE consistently rejecting me. Here, because of the anxiety I have as a result of the bullying I haven’t put myself out there enough to be rejected. Granted, no one has really reached out to me, either. But I could reach out and, in general, the interactions I have had with people have been friendly. It’s not the same…it’s not even almost the same.
It surprises me sometimes how much it affected me. Sometimes I feel bad about it— like it was just bullying, sometimes I don’t. But the fact that I held it in for so long, told myself so many lies and excuses as well— like ‘oh they do that to everyone, we’re friends’. Which wasn’t true. And the fact that I can’t remember half my childhood. I mean, I remember it but there’s blanks and everything’s pretty hazy. I sometimes want to get at those memories, I wonder what they are.
I wonder if it would have helped if, for example, the It Gets Better movement was around then. Maybe I could have found more people like myself. I think, though, that the girls that bullied me are the kind that will support that movement— all the while oblivious to the fact that they are bullying and isolating someone on a constant basis every day for nine years. I guess it’ s over now. It’s been over— for years, maybe seven or eight. But it’s left this legacy of anxiety and panic attacks and social anxiety. And it’s left a lot of anger that I still haven’t gotten over and …I don’t know how to.