Alive, But Shattered And Deeply Scarred

     At age 3, in a small preschool on the campus of NASA Lewis Research Center, I was first introduced to one of childhood's cruelest aspects -- bullying.  My earliest tormentor was named Christopher Sherry.  He was a pudgy little boy, at least as wide as tall.  His hobbies included football, eating chocolate cake and failing to wash off the evidence, and (naturally) hitting kids he deemed "weaker" than himself.  I was one of those kids.
      In elementary school, my status as bully's victim was firmly cemented.  In fact, midway through second grade, it was decided by a powerful playground coalition that I suffered from a particular strain of cooties, and thus ought to be avoided at all costs.
       For 7 years, I was tormented in ways that would have driven a braver person to suicide.  I was called names, threatened, and framed for all manner of troublesome activities. 
     Once, during fourth grade, a particularly cruel voicemail was left on my Mom's answering machine.  It suggested I kill myself.  The suggestion was repeated during a fifth-grade art class, when I was encouraged to leap out a third-story classroom window.  The proposal was made by one ringleader, but 25 or so bystanders observed, apparently interested in whether I'd take my own life.  No one came to my defense.  I had friends, but they were smart enough not to devalue themselves by standing up for a social pariah.  During one recess, I successfully ignored a particular bully for 20 minutes of straight name-calling.  Dissatisfied by his failure to garner a reaction, he kicked a rock at my skull.  It hurt.  I cried.  He laughed.
       By middle school, fear of my peers had become so intense that I'd taken to spending most of my recesses in the bathroom, doing homework.  Shortly before winter break in my sixth-grade year, recess was held indoors due to a snowstorm.  I deigned to show my face for once, hoping to encounter one of my few friends.  Instead I encountered one of my enemies -- who decided it would be the most hilarious thing ever to scream "What are you doing here?!?  I thought you'd be in the bathroom ************!"  I promptly burst into tears, fled the school, and biked home, without a coat, through the foot of snow.  I received an in-school suspension, while the instigator received an after-school suspension.   
      In seventh grade, I took a miniature tape recorder to school and set it in my pocket, hoping to gather evidence against my classmates.  Sadly, I was stupid enough to show one of the bullies a recording of his bullying, and he promptly reported my recorder to our teacher -- who confiscated it.  Once the tape recorder was safely stowed behind said teacher's desk, he resumed his torture session.
       A few days later, he gathered two of his friends, and the three of them gave me a horrible time during study hall.  For half an hour, they went on about my clothes, my weight, and my supposed lack of intelligence.  Their comments gradually increased in cruelty, and I cried.  At once, their demeanors changed.  They claimed to have been kidding.  After 10 more minutes, my tears dried.  The three began their harrassment cycle once more.  I knew they were engaging in cruelty for cruelty's sake, and that they sought a reaction, but I couldn't help being hurt.  I cried once more.  The bell rang. 
    By high school, I was a basketcase with no hope whatsoever of friendship, love, a decent career, or human happiness.  The bullying eased, and I found a few groups of friends...yet I couldn't help feeling seperate.  I was different; forever apart.  the rare moments of happiness I experienced came as a happy side-effect of writing, art, theatre, and other creative pursuits.  Only when I forgot myself, or slipped into another character, did I experience joy or peace.
      This general mindset, and the apprehensions resulting from my early treatment, persist.  I've managed, somehow, to hold a job and some semblance of a social life...yet I will always feel timid and incomplete. 
ScaramoucheBlack ScaramoucheBlack
2 Responses Jun 17, 2010

Bullying has become such a serious school issue. Guess who is to blame as much as the bully themselves? The administrators. It is their fault that kids these days commit suicide and even school shootings. Because the dumbass administrators take the bully's sides, let alone Columbine where the two shooters never told anybody. I too, have faced harsh bullying in school. In middle school, I was faced with the same situation - with a big fat kid who used me as his punching bag, his name was Tim Weiser. My school town system takes bullying very seriously, and they never take sides. Unfortunately, my pride turned from my friend to my enemy, this is what kept me from telling on Tim. For every nice thing and forgiveness I did to him, he did the exact opposite he even tried to fight me and called me a "******" on my birthday. I forgot about it, forgave. But let's foreward a few years later, my pride turned into my enemy. The emotional scars left by this eventually ate me alive turning into pure regret for not turning him in.

My experience was a bit like yours only much less severe. You still need to talk to someone about all these events. Thank you for being brave enough to talk about it here. <br />
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Your experience includes both verbal and cyber bullying and STOP cyberbullying org whose link is below can probably still help you.<br />
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or failing that look at the cyberbullying UK site listed below<br />
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or my own favourite, the BeatBullying site<br />
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You have survived this, which is all credit to you, even if it has left you untrusting and timid. Believe me it does get better in time, particularly if you begin to mix with people who are more nurturing.