Monday, November 21, 2011

We Hear You Series #3: Don't Feed the Mean

In the beginning of my 5th grade year a few of my good friends, from the previous years, decided to turn on me. I had no idea why. It started with not talking to me and staying clear of me at recess and after school. Then the name calling began. I had very short hair for a girl, so they'd make rude comments or call me names based on that. They'd make fun of my clothes, too. I can remember just getting home as quickly as possible to share this with my mom and bawling my eyes out. I didn't understand why these girls had been my good friends before and now it seemed they hated me. I will never forget one girl that stood by my side through all of it. She never said anything, she was simply there with me, which was so comforting to me to know that one person liked me and at that same time was not bad-mouthing the girls that were being mean. I would run home as fast as I could to get away from that atmosphere every day. My mom would listen to me and then she would always say that sometimes when people make fun of others, it's because they have something they would like. In other words, my mom thought they were jealous of me. I just had to tell myself that over and over and never shout or comment mean things back. My mom made that really clear- no matter what, do not do what they're doing to me. Ignore the comments as hard as it was sometimes. No need to call names back at them, etc. I can also say that being involved in a sport at that time helped tremendously, as well. It was not associated with the school, so I had different friends there to hang out with and take out my frustration through the activity!

The bullying continued and led to prank calls that eventually were almost 24 hours a day. It got so bad, we intervened with the police to find out where the calls had been coming from. We did find out it was the same few girls. They had to apologize to me and my family. After that all happened, I remember being friends with these girls again. Even though I was hurt deeply by their comments, my one friend that was always there for me and my mom, helped me understand that some kids can be mean, but usually they have some issues of their own that they are trying to deal with. The best advice was not to feed in to their "mean-ness", but to ignore what they said to me and move on. Be the best me I could and surround myself with positive people and positive activities (sports, clubs).

1 comment:

  1. You're braver than I am. I just started standing up for myself and I'm 53 this year. Thank you for posting your story.