After hearing all the stories in the news about young women committing suicide after being bullied for weeks/months/years, I had to sit back and ponder. I was bullied. I was bullied for years.
I had a childhood that was normal. I had a normal upbringing with my parents (now married for over 35 years). I moved around a lot, why? My dad was transferred with his job a lot. Don't get me wrong, I loved moving around -- to see the things I've seen. From Toronto to Regina to California, then here.
One problem. I have never had a long term friend that's lasted since childhood. I have reconnected with old friends, and people I knew in school on Facebook (though most of them are pretty ignorant, or play ignorant, as though they had no idea it was that bad for me). But I moved around every couple of years until I settled in Ottawa for the last 25 years. Every time I moved to a new place I was ridiculed about my hair color (red), about my height (I was generally the tallest girl in my classes), where I lived prior ("you're not as hot as California girls, because California girls are actually good looking"), the fact I wouldn't conform to the cliques, and my body shape, etc. I hated growing up.
How bad did it get? Bad. Am I overreacting? No.
I was chased home by two girls wielding hockey sticks. I was crank called nightly. I was shoved into lockers. I had stuff written on my locker. I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 17, did it last long? Well let's just say I feel like I was used.
Bullying is something that never seems to go away. Girls and boys -- such as Jaime Hubley -- alike go to school every day and have to deal with other kids who feel this need, due to their insecurities, to be cruel, rude and vicious with others. It is WRONG. I fail to understand how it's gotten to the point that kids feel the need to "fix" their life by committing suicide. With how much I was tormented, it NEVER came to that point where I felt as though I needed to end my life.
But, it seems, that life has gotten crueler and kids have turned into bigger bullies. Yet another example that parents who were probably bullies have had their own kids who are probably growing up thinking that it's OK to be mean. Wrong. So wrong.
Why do parents turn a blind eye to their kids' behaviour? Why do parents of problem children think it is OK for their kids to be this way? As a former kid was who bullied my answer may not be an isolated response. If the parent was cruel and insensitive to other kids, then chances are they will raise a kid who is just as rude, if not ruder.
Bullies from childhood seem to think that how they behave towards others has zero effect on the victim's future. Well they're wrong. If it hasn't affected the victim during the process of being bullied, then it definitely affects their future.
I, in fact, am still affected today. I still feel like the awkward kid/teen of yesterday. Will I be accepted? Will they in fact 'like me'?
One thing for sure. I am not standing by if my son comes home in tears because of one of you "bullies" out there. (And in some cases, some of these former bullies are still bullies -- to their employees in some cases.)
This post originally appeared on my blog.