Friday, July 03, 2009
One of you brought up bullies in a note to this blog and I have to respond because
I know what it's like to be picked on.
I was bullied because I was because of my appearance and extreme
sensitivity. In seventh & eighth grades, I was short, fat, wore glasses & braces and would burst into tears with little provocation.
The worst part was when "friends" turned on me.
Those facts aren't of much value unless I tell you how I survived, so here goes.
Besides reading & writing myself into better places, I became a Candy Striper in my local hospital. My mom drove me there once a week. When I realized I didn't have the worst life in the world, I turned into less of a teary target.
I began looking for chances to use my new favorite comebacks. They did solve anything, but they amused me and that's way better than skulking off to hide.
One was silent and you may have read it in one of my books. When someone stared at me in an ugly way or gave me a mocking look, I'd stare back, fixing my gaze on the space between the person's ear and shoulder. It makes people uncomfortable, and sometimes they even look behind them :) It's a primitive response that undermines most tormentors.
And if anyone asked me an unkind question like "Why are you wearing THAT?" I'd turn it around and say, "Why do you ask?" Not all bullies can think on their feet.
Did I instantly "get over" being ignored, and uninvited? No!
When I was in high school, I joined forced myself to be brave and joined clubs and groups. There, I made friends who liked me for who I was. Even then I had to take a few swipes at the "bad guys" by submitting an anonymous short story to the school literary magazine. The story was titled: MY FRIEND, BENEDICT ARNOLD (a famous traitor). And now, still, I'm working on a story full of betrayal of so-called friends.
But THOSE people no longer dominate my life. I won't let them.
What's changed? I'm better at sensing who I can trust and only take criticism to heart from those I love.
Have a wonderful day, all.
I'm on your side,
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 9:31 AM
Champion advise Mrs. Farley. Its hard not to care what other people say, but sometimes it really hurts. But then i ask myself; is what they say realy going to ruin my life, i mean why should i care what they say or think? I don't live to please man (or woman for that matter), but to please God. I have friends all over the world, and i know that im never alone
Great advice! I wish I'd been given that advice when i was in high school. I was regularly picked on to, and just like you i was really sensitive about it as well. All through high school people teased me and made jokes about me for all different reasons, but mainly because I liked horses. I couldn't understand it though because the 'popular' people who rode horses too never got picked on. I never had lots of friends, I did have a few close ones though. And after I while when the teachers didn't help out with the harassment I just turned to them and tried to forget the bad things. And wouldn't you know, the reason i was being picked on become the thing that helped me the most through high school. Horses. I never once considered ever giving up on them through all the harassment just for a bit of peace, instead I turned my love for them into my building block. I would get so stressed and worn out at school (especially with year twelve) but as soon as I'd go see Blondey I was fine again. Horses have always been my escape and i wouldn't give them up for the world. Once I was having a tough time with stress, bullying and just school life in general and I hadn't seen Blondey in WEEKS, but when I finally got to see her I just sat in the paddock with her, watching her just be free. And she slowly made her way over to me, taking tiny little steps (literally inch by inch) and before long i was sitting only INCHES from her front legs she she stopped eating and just stood there, with me under her head and neck and dozed, as if she were protecting me in some way. She also rested her chin on my head haha. I could feel the setting sun on my back and i just sat there in the grass with her standing over me. My riding teacher probably would have had a heart attack if she'd seen us! haha. It was at that moment though that i realised just how special the little moments in life are. Blondey and I shared in something at that time that made all my worries go away. Horses may have been the cause for the bullying i got in high school but it only made me stronger and horses SAVED me. I owe who I am to them and my close friends who were always there for me :)
Thanks so much for telling us about this! Your story proves (again) one of my life truths about loyalty. It's not always easy to decide who one should be loyal TO, because there are some false friends out there, but animals -- unless they've been horribly abused -- accept you on the basis of your actions, not how you look or who you know.
They're just great, aren't they?
Please give Blondey a kiss for me!