The bullying had happened before I kept a journal. I wish I would have kept a record but my mind recalls enough...
I entered grade one as a quiet child. There were no cliques then, I was accepted. The teacher thought I was slow though. The next year she placed me in the "B" class.
The grade two teacher liked me and could see that I didn't belong there.
In grade three, I was back with the original group. Along with gaining weight, I was really good at spelling. So what is the matter with that? Well, this impressed the teacher and besides that, she liked me too and would praise me from the front of the class, saying what a good worker I was. I don't think they appreciated that. I was the teacher's pet.
I had made a good friend though that year. She moved in from a country school. Her name was Laurie. (the same Laurie from the Excerpts of a Life) We became friends after the teacher asked her to help me clean my messy desk. I have always been blessed with good friends.
I remember the problems starting especially in grade four. I started developing early and some of the boys used to grab me. I was so fearful, as I never knew when this would happen. I've only recently realized that I was being sexually abused.
Grade six was in particularly bad as well. During this year, the popular girls joined in with the taunting. They loved to put tacks on my desk seat and watch to see if I would feel it. They would laugh if I didn't because I was overweight.
The teacher once put me in a row with all the native and misfit boys. We used to have math contests where we would go to the board and complete math equations. I was really good at math so my score brought ours up. I remember our group's elation as one of the native boys completed accurately and quickly his equation. How our team cheered! I loved the comraderie we shared in that moment. That was the highlight of the class year for me.
That grade six teacher was my favorite. He also put me in a special group of the "smart and caught up kids" to make a paper mache map for the class. I appreciated these little acts as they kept me going.
Grades seven-nine were the same. They cruelly put me down whenever there was opportunity. I remember once in Guidance class, the issue of bullying came up. The teacher asked us what we could do if we were bullied. I shyly answered, "Ignore it." One of my tormenters from across the aisle, whispered to me,"Now we will bug you all the more."
I was in an Industrial Arts class, when one of the girls came up to me, she wasn't one of the regulars, and said something, I don't remember what, and I replied to her, "What have I done to you?" I remember crying, but I don't know if it was in front of her. I hope not. I had been so strong up 'til then.
It is hard for me to fathom now the cruelty of children. This was not just a few, there were many involved. It was in fashion to pick on Carol. Like I said, I had a group of friends but they weren't with me in the same classroom. I met Mango as well in the summer before grade six so I had a strong support group.
I had to get this out and I cried as I wrote it. The damage that was done to my self esteem is still present but I have a feeling that 2006 will see more healing from the damage of these years. It is my hope and prayer.
Thanks for listening,
This was brought on by Barbara's post on bullies.