Picked On

Thursday again. Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop again. This week’s chosen prompt:

4. Describe a time you saw someone getting picked on.

I witnessed a girl being picked on from the time I started school until I graduated.

“That girl” had always been very close to her mother and didn’t want to leave her mom to go to school. In the first grade (no kindergarten then), she cried every morning as she boarded the bus.  This earned her the nickname of “cry baby”.  The more the kids teased her, the more she cried. And the more they teased.

As the years went by, she didn’t cry as much. But the kids always seemed to find some reason to tease her. It began on the bus, but quickly spread to the classroom. Some of the bullies were younger than her, so the teasing continued through all of her school years. When she was in high school, one “imaginative” kid even composed a nasty chant, to be sung on the bus. I’m sure the victim, to this day, remembers every ugly word.

For some reason, the taunters were never reprimanded. Perhaps the teachers and bus driver never heard them? Perhaps they didn’t think the issue was important enough to address, even after she and her mom reported it to the school officials?

“That girl” was so fearful of being teased that, if called on in class,  she remained silent, most often knowing the answer. Receiving a poor grade was easier than being made fun of for the way she pronounced a word, or phrased a sentence.

Christmas break and summer vacations were heaven to her. She lived for weekends because she didn’t have to deal with being picked on at school or on the bus.

Thinking back to this time, I can completely understand why those who are bullied are sometimes driven to suicide, or to injuring or killing the ones who make their lives miserable. “That girl” once slammed a school book down on the head of one of the boys. Another time she dug her fingernails into his arm. That only added fuel to the fire.

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that “that girl” was me.

In the years Motor Man and I have been together, he has taught me to stand up for myself and not to be intimidated.

 Oh, if only he’d ridden my school bus…..

Mama’s Losin’ It

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42 responses to “Picked On

  1. Sorry to hear this Dianne, that’s really sad. Kids can be so cruel, especially when they travel in packs and gang up on people. I can specifically remember two boys who always picked on me, and it turned out that one of them had a crush on me. Ugh. Some way of showing it.

    Well you would never know you had been bullied by your personality now! Way to not let it tear you down.

  2. I, too understand the pain. I am so glad you have someone who has helped you overcome the effects of this bullying…kids are so cruel. Nice piece of writing today…I knew it was you as soon as I saw the first photo of course. I remember “that girl”! You were such a cutie – and you turned into a beautiful woman! Hard to imagine people teasing you, but, then it is hard to understand teasing anyway!

  3. My heart breaks for the little girl in you .. in all of us ..who suffered. MM would surely have come to your defense and that of any other who needed a kind heart and some broad shoulders.

    MJ

  4. Oh so sad. I’m so sorry you had to go through those times. And the picture of your hero husband! He looks so noble and good — just like the knight in shining armor that would have swept you up and carried you away from all that bullying.

  5. Oh Dianna….I’m so sorry that happened to you as a child. It’s tough to overcome those experiences but you certainly have – I wish MM had been on that bus too! The pictures are sweet. Both you and MM grew into lovely people inside AND outside and are together lovin’ life in spite of the past. All is as it should be! 🙂

    Pam

  6. Kids can be so cruel and I am sorry it happened to you. You are such a sweetie today, caring for everyone and being a good friend. MM certainly would have taken care of the bullies.

  7. I can somewhat relate to that girl because I was extremely shy at school. I experienced some of what your described too which is why I’m always reminding my boys not to give in to peer pressure and pick on other kids and to even take it one step further and take up for them!

  8. Dianna I had a feeling. I am so sorry you had to experience the pain of being bullied. I spent one year of being bullied by a girl in second grade. That was enough for me. I wish Motor Man would have been on that bus too.

  9. I stopped by from Mama Kat’s. I am so glad that people are finally starting to talk about bullying. It has gone on forever (I’m 54 and suffered too long and remember it all too well) and it just needs to stop.

    A few years ago I decided to go to a reunion. I had avoided it for years and years. Now, I am thrilled that I went. The “power” that those bully’s had was gone. Some of them turned out to be lovely adults……others are still as nasty as they always were.

    The only upside of my being bullied is that it helped me to teach my children to be kind and caring. They have stood up for the child that is being verbally attacked and those moments have made me extremely proud.

  10. You know, by now, anti-bullying is a passion of mine. I am so sorry for all you had to endure. I just can’t stand when anyone picks on anyone.

    You won in the end. You are a wonderful writer, wife, mother and friend to all that know you. You found your prince charming. Yes, it’s sad he didn’t ride that school bus but he has your back now…and forever. You are blessed in that.

  11. I’m sorry for your experiences. I was never bullied. I grew up tough because I was bullied at home by a big brother. I guess he did me a favor. I also couldn’t wait to get out of the house away from my mother. School wasn’t my favorite place to be either but it was better than being at home during my teen years. I always stood up for the kids being picked on . I would have been there for you! I guess most of us had some difficulties growing up but it’s how we “turned” out that matters. I think we turned out pretty good!

  12. I never knew that went on for you from the beginning of starting school until you had told me recently. I experienced bus teasing as well from time to time, but never to the extent that you went through. You are such a wonderful, caring and thoughtful person. Just as many people have already posted, only a person who has suffered is able to be a support and encouragement to someone else going through the same experience in a way that no one else can. L/M

  13. Thank goodness, my daughters had older brothers so no one even considered picking on them.
    Unfortunately, I was picked on for several years and some of it was from a family member while at school. That made it even sadder.

  14. Dianna—i am deeply sorry that you were bullied. My son went through the same thing.And the teachers did nothing to stop it either. The odd thing was that some of the kids doing the bullying were the “golden boys” and “golden girls”—the straight A teacher’s pets. They could do no wrong. It was outrageous. it nearly destroyed him by his early teen years. He is so much better now. He is strong, compassionate, kind, loving. I am so glad that you have your beloved Motor Man. I am glad that you are now able to stand up for yourself and that you know that the bullies are the worthless ones.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that it will inspire people to stand up to bullies wherever and whenever they see them. ❤ – Kate

  15. It makes me so sad you had to endure what you did for so long.
    My beautiful Daughter #1 was bullied so bad we had to take her out of the school she was enrolled in and bring her to the school where I taught. Best decision we ever made.

  16. The taunts and jeers of school bullies can follow us for years. It seems the cruelty has escalated from what I hear from friends who have school-aged children. It’s sad and I’m sorry you had to experience it too. What a lovely and gracious person you are and I’m glad you’ve found your defender, MM!

  17. I was ‘that girl’ too….I found “acting” at a pretty young age, and escaped into that…but it took me forever to figure out how to not be ‘playing a part’ in realy life and to stand up for me as “just” me. HUGS.

  18. So very sad and all through high school too. Why is it that it’s some of the sweetest children on earth the ones this happens to? It’s not right and it’s not fair. And like Susie, I would’ve had your back too. I could never tolerate that crap. Still can’t.
    ~d.

  19. What’s really sad is that bullying and the same lack of attention from adults is still such a huge problem. I hate that you went through that. No child should ever feel “less than”, and I’m glad you have Motor Man to give you a little of your confidence back! Great post!

  20. and you were such a sweet little beauty. i wish someone would have protected you…

  21. Heartbreaking. Glad you were able to rise above it all. Blessings to you and all kids who get picked on. There’s too many of them.

  22. Oh, I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I can almost relate since there was a big girl all through my school years who threatened to beat me up every day. I was so afraid of her that I waited after school until all the kids had left before I would ride my bike home. Bullying is absolutely intolerable and it’s a good thing the issue is now gaining national attention.

  23. What a sad story. I really think that one of the positive developments in our society in recent days is the acceptance that bullying IS a problem. I was also the child who was bullied, and all the adults in charge (including my parents) just looked the other way. I’m glad that the world has improved (a bit) for my children.

  24. Brave post today .. these things cut deep; I know it. School was a battlefield, and sometimes the bus was the worst of all .. One day on the bus, I watched a friend’s face turn red as a bully picked on him from the seat behind. Next thing I knew, that friend darted out into the aisle, slipped in beside that bully, and pinned his neck against the glass. He then said “Keep it up, and you’re going out the window..” It stopped him that day, but not for good .. Anyway … Happy Graduation !!!!

  25. what a difficult story to read, you are a brave soul to write it. i think/hope that educators are more proactive today on these issues. children learn what they live, we need to educatute them more. there were times in my life that i needed protecting, no one was there to help me. i think it made me stronger, it made me a better person!!

  26. This makes me sad, to think kids would pick on such a sweet little girl. It happens much too often; I can remember two boys who were “teased” (we didn’t use the term bullying back when I was in school); one had a rash and kids said he had the “itch” and the other came from a family which raised goats; kids called him goat boy and said he smelled like a goat. I look back on it and hope I wasn’t in on the teasing.

    Now it’s wonderful you’ve found someone to help you overcome the sadness you felt.

  27. Oh, your post brought tears to my eyes. You are such a lovely person, my heart breaks that you had to endure all those years of pain. I too, since I was a young girl, picked on by other girls that I thought were my friends. I also lived for the weekends and vacation days So many of these girls would be soooo hateful. It has affected me my whole life. Now at age 47, I’ve allowed myself to trust a few special woman in my life but my mom is still my closest girlfriend. Besides my parents, my hubs is my biggest supporter and has helped me heal. Thank you for sharing, Dianna! Hugs, Meghan

  28. Very touching. I am glad that at least today bullying has become a topic we hear about and educators are trained to spot and deal with it. Still a long way to go but maybe someday……….

  29. I was hoping, hoping, it wasn’t you and fearing that it was. Sweet Dianna who has never left a mean spirited comment or been short with praise. It makes us all want to go back and kick butt for you. Thank goodness for Motor Man. We all like him even more than we thought possible.

  30. It is amazing how much the picture of you with short hair looks like me when i was younger,i think, so sorry you went throigh all that bully mess, so unnessicery, but am glad you got over it and will speak your mind now. iv always spoke my mind and sometimes maybe should have keep my mouth shut, but i felt it was the thing to do at the moment.

  31. Amazing how those early experiences stay with us, particularly the ones that were scarring. Sad! I wasn’t bullied, but of course I remember instances of feeling left out or awkward in school. I was a quiet, shy kid, didn’t really fit in, mostly because I was so shy. Nothing like myself of today. But as a child, I didn’t speak up. I found out years later that I was thought to be “stuck up.” Imagine my surprise to realize that was the view a lot of kids had of me, when the reality was so different! I would have been thrilled to have fit in. Just didn’t know how to do it then.
    Thank you for sharing! Very touching! Glad you found your voice, and your Motor Man! ~ Sheila

  32. So many sad bullying stories out there… glad it worked out, in the end.

  33. Oh gosh-this gave me goosebumps. My husband is a High School Agriculture teacher, and every year he addresses this issue. I am proud to say, he has made a BIG difference in our school and community by holding his students accountable, and giving them the tools to “find their voices”.

  34. Human children can be so cruel. I’m glad you’ve gained confidence and found your voice.

  35. Kids are so awful when left to their own devices!!! I’m glad you found someone who helped you speak up.

  36. There were sisters in grade school who were always being bullied. My mom told me I had to be their friend, when no one else would be. I didn’t like it much at the time, but it was the right thing to do. Sorry you had to be on the receiving end, but just look at who you’ve become. 🙂 We’ve both been blessed with wonderful, supportive husbands.

  37. Bless your heart. I hate hearing this. I know how you feel, there’s no words strong enough to describe the helplessness we victims of bullies feel. 😦

    I’m thankful that with the encouragement of MM that you’re strong and have a great self esteem. You’re a blessing to my life and so many others out here in the world.
    Thank you for sharing this painful part of your past. I know it must have been one of the hardest blogs you’ve written. (((hugs)))

  38. I can not imagine how difficult those years were for you and my heart breaks for that little girl and for those kids who bullied her because they missed out on getting to know an incredibly special person. ((hugs))

  39. This absolutely breaks my heart. It is my hope to raise children like Motor Man who stick up for others. You were a beautiful child and have blossomed into a wonderful and beautiful person. I admire you for sharing your story!

  40. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    I am sure you remember I was bullied also all through school. Kids didn’t like people different and with my stuttor I was eary target. I think this was the reason we were friends when I lived in Surry. We knew what it was like not being in the “in crowd”. Thank the good Lord and my wonderful husband I able to hold my head up head up high and speak all most as good as most people. Now people can’t shut me up!!!!!

  41. Diana, based on the number of comments you clearly struck a chord here. It is a horrible experience when it happens, and shouldn’t be allowed, tolerated or ignored. And while I know I am stronger for having survived being bullied, well, that doesn’t make it any better. But the time when the biggest bully of all got his comeuppance, yes, that was sweet. I wrote about it here: http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2011/10/09/comes-around/
    Sorry, tacky, I know. But sometimes what goes around really does come around.

  42. Shirley, It used to break my heart when you had to read in class. I always wished I could just wave a wand and make the words flow from your mouth.
    Dianna, I knew what was going on and wish I had had the strength and good sense to stand up for you instead of just listening and pretending to be so cool. But, as we have said before, I guess that was all just part of growing up.

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