I had my fair share of bullies growing up. To this day, I am 31 years old and I still remember their names, the things they did, and harbor a bit of resentment towards them. In my heart, I am trying to forgive and forget, but it seems a rather slow and extremely arduous process. I think I have forgiven much of the pain inflicted upon me, but the forget part.. probably will never be decimated. It is embedded in who I am now.
How grateful I am that social media didn't exist while I grew up. When I hear the stories of all the bullying that goes on now, I am indeed shocked at first that suicide could result. I think, pridefully so, I made it through.. why can't they? But then I realize.. the times are different. It's much more difficult now. I was bullied in elementary school... middle school... and shortly in high school.
Let's just cover elementary school for today.
Jade Chien. Tatiana Shalabi. Amanda Evans.
Yes.... I remember their names. I even know vaguely what they're doing now because the internet allows me such stalker creeper methods.
Jade Chien - My daughters will never be allowed to wear light pink thick rimmed glasses. And forever I will remember it hurts more to hear someone say "you are not even worth my time to make fun of" than to make fun of. She took the grapes my mom prepared for our after school Chinese program. Told me to play "slave" and do whatever she wanted. Made fun of my broken English (English didn't click for me until fourth grade.. I'm not sure why). Because of her, I will always say "FUNNER" and when I hear her first grade voice admonish me for using improper English, I will rebutt with "So what?!?!?!?!"
Tatiana Shalbi - She hated me for my height and ripped on my clothes all the time. Yes, my mother was a first generation immigrant to the United States. Fashion was probably not our first priority. Most of the time, I was dressed in stuff my mother deemed cute, the teacher thought was adorable, but probably not the coolest of the late 90's trends. When I showed up to school in a black and hot pink polka dotted matching shorts and tank top, she told me "At last you look decent today." What did I ever do to her? Did she feel like imparting her judgment on my dress would somehow elevate her own status? Did she feel sorry for me? Because of her, my daughters will taught that those who wear fobby t-shirts from other countries are not to be scoffed at.
Amanda Evans - She stole my Little Mermaid watch that would probably be worth over $500 today! When I accused her of taking the very watch she had complimented me on just weeks before, admiring it so, she said she just had the same one. Funny how hers also had the same scratches and broken parts as mine. Right? Because of her, my daughters will never be allowed to do AYSO or wear the bright red jackets that go with it. I am not a fan of soccer girls, especially blonde curly haired ones because of her.
Why now Daisy? Because I saw that AYSO has begun for most of the kids of friends in South Pasadena. I am sad that I have not forgotten and suddenly felt the need to share what it felt like to be bullied. To be tortured for no apparent reason. And I am praying that I teach my own kids by example that bullying is not okay. How I will do that, I'm not entirely sure... but it's part of the good parenthood conundrum I am faced with everyday. How grateful I am that Heavenly Father will be there to make up for where I lack.