Friday, November 23, 2012

Anti Bullying Week 2012: Part Four And A Half

     This marks the last of my personal posts for Anti Bullying Week, the second half of my story. Tomorrow, as promised, I will post any links you email me (pertinax_puella@hotmail.com) with full credit given in a post and on a new page. Trust me, I know how scary it is to speak up, but it's better to speak up and potentially help somebody than not.

     Like yesterday, there are a few things I would like to make clear before continuing on. I do not want sympathy, pity, or anything like that. If you feel bad, then write a post and email me the link to it. That is the only kind of sympathy I will accept. I'm not doing this to gain attention for me. I want attention about bullying and the victims. I just want to help somebody.

     In yesterday's post, I explained that I have blocked memories and sometimes things will trigger them, and that is basically never a good thing. I talked about how people would make comments to me, and others, about my skin condition and how insanely self conscious I am of it. I talked about how even the person you think is your best friend can actually be a bully. I talked about the hell it was, having a group of kids harass me at school every day and try to make me relive one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a kid. I talked about how it affected my emotions so badly, I would start fights with my mom because I was sure she would eventually hate me anyways. I talked about how an old friend saved me, but I failed to stick up for a boy and last I heard, he was a recovering drug addict. And finally, I talked a small bit about how my dad screamed and cursed at me until I cried for an hour for not telling him that Mom and I moved, when she had full custody and he was overseas.

     Before I go on to talk about seventh grade, where the time frame would pick up, I'm going to talk a little bit more about my family. Families can be some of the worst bullies there are. Anyone who has read my blog since September, should know that I do not have a good relationship with my dad. I never have and I've come to accept the fact that I never will.

     My dad was in and out of the country a lot, for various reasons I can't post here. I understand that and I know that's not entirely his fault, so he couldn't be present for everything. I don't blame him for that. What I'm talking about, is how he lived two hours away and always promised to visit but never did. What I'm talking about, is how when we lived with him, I would beg him to play games with me or watch TV with me or just talk to me. He would yell at me and usually send me out of the room to entertain myself, if he didn't straight out pretend I didn't exist.

     When I was in school, he would randomly ask for report cards and I would proudly tell him that I was on the A honor roll or the A-B honor roll. My name was in the newspaper a couple of times, along with other students, because of our high grades. I got an 84 in math one time, when I was in fourth or fifth grade. He yelled at me so bad, for "getting a bad grade" and "not doing good enough" that I stressed myself out every time he wanted to know my grades. That made it harder to keep my grades up.

     Nothing I've ever done has been good enough and I don't think I'll ever do anything good enough to please him. I spent seventeen years of my life trying to make my dad happy and make him give a damn. All he's ever done is push me around and tell me it's not good enough. Then throw in an "I love you" or an expensive present or something to make sure I won't stop talking to him.

     His mom used to be somebody I was insanely close to when I was a little kid. She was always trying to do the right thing to make my mom happy so that I would be allowed to visit. Then my dad got transferred and she stopped trying. So did my dad's dad. I talk to them on the phone maybe three or four times a year. I haven't visited it about a year and a half. I used to try but they never tried to do anything to help.

     No, instead, they would make the visits to their house hell. Memaw made dinner one night and after eating, I took my plate to the kitchen. They don't buy tissue so when my nose started running, I went to the bathroom and even left the door open. I was gone less than a minute. Memaw pulled me aside and demanded to know if I had just thrown up my food on purpose because I was "too skinny".

     About a year later, I wasn't hungry one hour after eating a big breakfast and she accused me of being anorexic, in front of my entire family. That same trip to her house, I was having a bad week with the psoriasis and sometimes, with the skin getting so dry on my face it will cause it to become too oily and I'll get a zit or two. Every person on the planet gets them. It sucks but it's not a crime. Apparently, she thought it was, because she let the thirty something people in the nail salon know that my face wasn't perfect.

     She's yelled about how I shouldn't dye my hair because my natural hair color is too pretty. She hadn't seen me in a year to even know what my natural hair color was anymore, since it had darkened up so much. Two hours later, she sat with me on the couch and started playing with my hair and telling me it was pretty. She yelled about me dying my hair again later.

     I could go on for a while about all of the things that she's said, done, and accused me of, but I'm going to finish with this last one and then move on. For those of you who don't know me, I am nineteen years old and I've been dating my first boyfriend since the middle of July. Please note the words 'first boyfriend'.

     I have never hidden the fact that I refused to date because I would not lower my standards. If somebody asked me why I wouldn't date, I would tell them exactly why. Most people encouraged me. Of course, my family (outside of Mom) didn't believe me and they would ask me several times a visit, just to be sure I was telling the truth.

     When I turned about fifteen, Memaw asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said no. She asked why. I told her why. This is what she told me, "Well, one day you're going to meet a boy who's just so cute that you're going to think you're in love with him and your just going to drop your panties for him. Make sure you use protection." If that's not a subtle way to call somebody a whore, I don't know what is. She has done that at least once a visit every time I've got to see them since then, even in front of my little cousin and Pawpaw.

     That probably all just sounds like family drama and trouble. Technically, you're right. What you have to understand is that it literally does not matter who is bullying who, it is still bullying. There is no way around that fact. Memaw isn't the only one in my family who has treated me like that but she's the most blunt about it, so it's the easiest to give examples on. Think about it this way: If a stranger told you those things, it would be bullying, so why would it only be considered family trouble if somebody you share DNA with said the exact same thing?

     Now we're going to pick back up at seventh grade. Even though we stayed in the same state, we moved about an hour away because of my mom's dad and stepmother. They could probably have their own post, just like Memaw could, but I'm not even going to go into that because I have to sleep at some point in the near future. They're the ones who moved us to the city, even though I finally had a school where, even if  I didn't fit in, I had friends and I wasn't being harassed every day.

     I started school and that was where it all went to hell. From then on, people would talk about me behind my back and to my face, people would shove me against the lockers or walls, and trip me while I was walking. I was pushed on the stairs, which I was on roughly six times a day between classes. Thank goodness I never fell more than two or three steps.

     I was grabbed and smacked in the ass. I only ever caught one person who did it. The entire cafeteria heard me completely lose my temper with him. That didn't stop somebody else from doing it- it just made them careful to only do it in crowded hallways so they could disappear.

     My gym locker was broken into and everything was stolen, including my deodorant. The teacher yelled at me and accused me of leaving it unlocked or losing everything in the locker room. She never made an effort to listen to what I had to say. She also used to punish our class for what the class before us would do (she literally told us) and we would have an hour of jumping jacks, push ups, and sit ups without a break.

     The reading teacher was probably the worst. Every time she had something bad to say about a student, I was always the one she looked at. She literally told the class, "Don't trust the school councilors. They'll tell everything to the rich kids." She looked right at me and from then on, people though I was a gossip and a snitch, so things just got worse. I have never been rich in my life and I have yet to know who the councilor was for me to have ever spoken to him or her.

     I was absent one day and didn't have time to read the entire short story plus write the essay, but she wouldn't allow me to take it home. I read all except the last page, which had three paragraphs on it. I wrote the essay and finished it as the bell was ringing. Because I didn't include one sentence about the last page, she gave me a 64 on it and a 64 of the report card. I was the only one in the advanced reading class who could read and I was the only one she failed.

     Things were so bad in that school, that I would come home with new bruises basically every day that I went. I ended up with horrible stomachaches that were so bad, I wouldn't be able to move at all. I was in and out of the ER. They had me do all sorts of tests and scans and x-rays but nothing was physically wrong. The school was so bad, that I had incapacitating stomachaches.

     So I left. Winter break came and I just never went back. Considering my advanced English class was the only class where I was actually passing (with an A, if can point out, to prove that I am not stupid when it comes to reading), I wouldn't have been allowed to go to eighth grade anyways.

     The only homeschool system in my city was connected with that school. I would still have to go in for testing. We couldn't even find the building until the summer came and they weren't accepting anyone to enroll. Not only that, but we couldn't afford a few hundred dollars for books, and nothing could make me go back to the school.

     Even the school cop tried to keep me out. He came to check on me after I had been 'absent' for three weeks. He never came inside like he was supposed to. He knew who I was and he did his best to watch out for me in school, but he couldn't just escort me. So he told the school that I wasn't home and couldn't be found.

     I was literally bullied out of school in the seventh grade. I'm in an online highschool now. That means, in order to get my diploma, I have to skip two years of knowledge (not that I was learning in seventh grade, if I may point out) and go straight into subjects that I wasn't ever taught about. We've already paid way too much money for me to just go get a GED and we can't afford a tutor, so I haven't done any school work in about a year. If I hadn't been bullied in school so badly, I wouldn't have the problem of going on twenty years old and not having any sort of diploma.

     I haven't stepped foot in that school since the day I just stopped going. I never even planned it. It just sort of happened but there are three possible outcomes at the rate it was going: I would have failed and had to repeat the school year. I could have been jumped and probably had the shit beat out of me. I could have been killed. That was going on six years ago and every time we go by the school, I still remember and feel everything as if I'm supposed to get up and go to class tomorrow morning.

     I'm lucky enough that I got out of the school before I was seriously physically hurt, but they did a lot of emotional and mental damage. I haven't gone to see a therapist, but I can tell you right now that I've suffered with depression for years. I don't really know how long. I've wanted to hurt myself and I've wanted to kill myself so that I could make it all stop.

     The lowest part was about two years ago when I was on the edge of doing something drastic every single day. Things have gotten much better, yes, but there are still hard days. I haven't had suicidal thoughts in over a year, give or take a few months since I didn't exactly write down the date, but I'm terrified they'll come back. I'm finally learning what it's like to be happy and what it's like to have people who actually give a damn about me, but I don't think I will ever get rid of the fear that it'll just go away and I'll be bullied and hurt again.

     I'm lucky enough that I survived, not only being bullied, but the depression that came with it. I found my real family, my Sissi and my Brother, and my Sis when she's not being a hermit. I have amazing friends- some of whom will be sharing their own stories tomorrow. I have my mom and I actually understand that now. And I have an amazing boyfriend who understands that my emotions are fucking insane and has made it his personal goal to keep me happy.

     Not everyone is that lucky. Stand up for somebody, write a post, just do something to make a difference and help people who are being bullied. Nobody deserves it. I wouldn't even wish it on the ones who bullied me.






**Due to news stories talking about people going overboard, trying to stop bulling, I feel the need to put a disclaimer here. I do NOT encourage, endorse, or support anyone doing anything illegal, harmful, criminal, violent, or dangerous activity. This is about stopping people from being hurt. This is NOT about hurting anyone in any way, shape, or form. Any links involving anyone going over the top and handling things inappropriately will not be posted on my blog, Twitter, or anywhere else by myself. If I find a link that involves anything inappropriate, I will delete it, and if possible, I will report it. Also, I am not an expert on this matter. I have included the links to the sources I got my information from and give full credit to whoever did the actual research, that I am using here.**

8 comments:

  1. Now I understand better why you don't have your degree. I have full faith in you that you will get it, though. It won't be easy, but there is no question that you are intelligent and capable. And you have the dedication. Just look at how you've kept up with your blog and posting regularly...and now posting every day during November! You will get your degree and you will have the daycare that you dream about running.

    Whenever I hear stories like yours, I am just amazed at how these things can happen. What makes people decide that one person is the one they will pick on. I always wonder if those kids later feel sorry, once they are adults, for what they did. Or do they just become mean adults?

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    1. I hope you're right. I really do. I like working at the restaurant but that's not what I want to do for the rest of my life, and that's all I'll be able to do if I can't get my diploma. I have to ask though... What did you think, before you knew the story?

      I was smaller, weaker, quieter... But everyone can be a victim. I just seemed to have a target on my back wherever I went. As for what they become, I think the only ones who fully regret it are the ones who know they caused a suicide, but then again, some people take pleasure in that.

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  2. Wow, I am so glad you have persevered through all of that. You will succeed. I just know it. I think your posts will help others. Bravo for sharing your story!

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  3. It sounds like your dad acts the way he does because he grew up in a house that acts that way. He probably had a horrible time living with that awful woman he had to call 'mom.' That doesn't excuse him, but it explains a lot of his behavior. It's what he knows.

    I am sorry you had such an awful experience. I have no idea how to get past all that has happened to you. As far as education, get your diploma degree as quickly as you can and do whatever you have to do to make it happen. The sooner the better. It will make life a lot easier.

    Hang in there.

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  4. I honestly believe you're right. My grandfather wasn't much better when he was still drinking. My dad doesn't know how to love anyone or what it even is, but that doesn't make it okay, because he's never even tried to understand.

    I don't think there is a way to just get past it. I think it's something that I just have to keep learning to cope with, in a way, and try to stay positive. For my diploma, I'm really hoping to get it soon. The classes I've done, I have a 4.0 and that makes me insanely proud, but the math is really posing an issue.

    Thank you though, for everything you've said.

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