A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post.
It was the end of Bully Prevention Month and seeing all the PSAs and activities all month sort of triggered me.
I realized that, although I don’t walk around thinking about the fact that some guy taunted me by calling me JAWS when I was a kid, I do still carry the scars. I still cover the lower half of my face when I laugh. I still try not to smile too big in photos. I still try to suck in my cheeks sometimes.
So I decided to purge myself of that by bully shaming.
And it felt soooo good.
In the days that followed, I got to read bully shaming stories from quite a few other people.
All these stories made me realize that I’m far from alone in my experience. So many people suffer from bullying — some for a relatively short period of time, some for years and years.
One thing I noticed was that every story that was shared with me was about bullying by peers.
Kerri of the blog Elbow Deep in Someone Else’s Shit (bravo for the blog title, btw) sent me her story. The concept of bully shaming really spoke to her but she didn’t feel comfortable writing about it on her own blog for one very good reason.
Her bully was still, and always will be, a big part of her life.
Kerri wasn’t bullied by a peer. Here, in her own words, is her story.
“I spent my childhood thinking I was fat, because that was what I was told every day. I thought I had no value beyond my personal appearance and therefore felt self-conscious and undeserving of love. I was painfully shy, and lived in fear of forgetting for even a moment to suck in my stomach. I thought that if I relaxed everyone would see the rolls I was trying so hard to keep tucked back. I was told over and over again ‘you can’t wear that because you’re not skinny like the other girls’ and ‘you know you’re not a medium, take the large’ and of course ‘if you would only change your diet you wouldn’t have that extra weight.’ I let these horrible words define me for many years. You know what though? My bully echoed to me what she felt about herself. Mom, I’m sorry you feel this way, because you aren’t fat and neither am I. Your words hurt. Even now as an adult, they still come back to haunt me.”
I felt for her, and I wanted her to have the chance to share her story. Imagine the pain of being bullied by the person who should be your biggest protector.
Which leads me to this:
Every person who shared their bullying story with me is a parent now.
And for me, that’s the really, really scary part.
I don’t know what I might be capable of if one of my kids is bullied.
I’m afraid I’ll be like this dude and end up on the news after taking bully shaming to a new level.
Here’s wishing for a bully-free world. Can’t we all just get along?
If you’re tired of being serious, you might like The Berenstain Bears: Bitch PLEASE and 8 Signs Your Husband Might Be Annoying You Around The House.