Archive for January, 2016
I thought writing about my classmate dying and how she bullied me yesterday would help. I think it did, but I’m not done yet.
I feel so guilty today about comments I made yesterday to friends. Ellen hasn’t impacted me in nearly 50 years so why can’t I let it go?
I remember going home from school and telling my mom what was happening. Her response? She taught me that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Boy, was she wrong. It is much easier to recover from sticks and stones and almost impossible to recover from hurtful words. I also remember that I quit telling my mom what was happening. I just turned it all inward, assuming that it was me and no one else.
I hope we are teaching our children differently today. Bullying is real and always has been. It shouldn’t be swept under the rug. It also isn’t the person being bullied’s (or taunted or whatever) fault.
Kindness, my friends. We need more kindness.
I haven’t blogged in ages. Guess I haven’t had much to say. But something happened today and I really need to talk about it. I actually posted something on facebook and realized it would sound insensitive and cruel so I deleted it.
Here’s what happened:
I got a text from a high school classmate that one of the girls in my elementary school had died. Her name was Ellen. Not sure what happened but I understand she has had some heart issues and collapsed in a parking lot. When she got to the hospital, she was brain dead. The family turned off the machines yesterday.
Just hearing her name brought forth a rush of childhood memories. None of them pleasant. Ellen was a bully. She teased me mercilessly, tormented me and even punched me. She was the biggest girl in 5th grade and I was the littlest. I was also fairly new to the town and school. I remember when I started wearing a training bra (not sure what I was training for though). She was constantly snapping the back and making fun of me. I went home from school crying on a regular basis. Back then you would say she was picking on me. Today, she would be labeled a bully.
I will never forget the time she took my clothes and hid them in gym class. Seriously, I was in the shower and my clothes were gone. What does a tiny little 10 year old girl do (one who already feels insecure and shy) when she has no clothes to put on. She stands in the shower room and bawls her heart out until a teacher comes to find her.
I never hated Ellen. I was afraid of her and did everything I could to hide from her. A friend of mine told me today that Ellen and her friends beat her up in high school over some boy. She was not a nice person back then. I hear she has changed but all I know of Ellen is that she was a bully.
I heard the news of her passing today and I can’t quit crying. It is sad that she died so young. I’m sure it will be hard on her family. But it brought a rush of bad feelings to me. I cried because of the way the memories made me feel. I cried because I remembered being felt to feel like I was nobody. I cried because I remembered what it was like to be scared. I cried because I can’t feel bad that someone died because they were so hateful to me.
Bullying has long lasting effects. Even the fairly mild bullying I experienced. I’m sorry for the loss of someone so young. But I’m more sorry for all the things this brought to mind today.