Bullying happens not only by our peers but also by the people we look up to for guidance and protection. Teachers can be bullies too. We look up to our teacher. We expect them to not only teach us but to protect and help mold us.
For me some of my teachers were monsters that ripped at me just like my own classmates. They judged me without getting to know me. They formed opinions about what they did not understand and placed a label on me.
My first experience with bullying started in first grade. In that grade we are taught the beginnings of reading. I couldn’t pick up on that. While my other classmates were learning to sound out and read simple words I was unable to from the sound of letters.
When our teacher gave us a simple in classwork to do I was confused. I stared at the paper, but couldn’t figure out what to do. My raised hand went unseen so I turned to a friend for help.My teacher’s voice growled through my ears like a hungry wolf. “Ms. Eddy, I will not tolerate cheating.”
I tried to explain to her that I needed help, but she wouldn’t listen. No excuses were tolerated. I was told to move my desk to the corner. I would sit there until I learned not to cheat. My heart raced and tears threaten to spill. I could feel all my classmates’ eyes on me. All I wanted was to be helped and suddenly I was labeled a cheater in front of my whole class.
I moved my desk to the corner and sat there with my head hung low. I was too afraid to look at my teacher let alone my classmates. Then suddenly I felt the need to go to the bathroom.
How could I ask my teacher permission after she embarrassed me in front of my classmates? Would she yell at me again? But I really had to go. I crossed my legs and rocked back and forth. If I raise my hand, would she ignore it?
I looked over to the bathroom and there was a line. I had to form a plan. I watched my teacher carefully. She was busy grading papers. I got up and raced to the line.
I stood there with my head down and my legs crossed. Maybe she wouldn’t see me, but the line wasn’t moving. All I had to do is keep my head down and hope that she would not look up.
My teacher’s voice filled the room again. “Aimee, you didn’t get permission. Back to your desk.” I tried to explain to her that I really had to pee, but her finger pointed me back to my desk. I tried really hard to hold myself, but I couldn’t. It left a puddle under my chair.
I laid my head on my desk hoping no one would see. My soul sank and my heart pounded. I was so ashamed. Tears drizzled down my cheek and I quickly wiped them away. I couldn’t let anyone see me cry. My teacher’s awful voice, which I grew to hate, sent chills down my back. “What are you a retard? You can’t read, and you wet yourself.”
I wanted to hide. I wanted to go home and cry in my mom’s arms. Instead I stood in front of my classmates and my friend with chills crawling down my back. Their eyes tore holes in my skin. Even though I couldn’t bring myself to look at them I knew inside they were laughing at me.
It was bad enough I was ashamed of wetting myself, but my teacher also called me a name. A name that soon followed me throughout my school years and a name I didn’t quite understand.
“Retard” soon became the definition of who I was. It ripped me apart and even made me question my own intelligence. It was at the end of first grade that I learned I had a learning disability. My disability only confirmed to my teachers and classmates that I was a “retard.”
I repeated first-grade and then was told I would be pushed through elementary.
That one incident started years of bullying not only from my teachers but also from my classmates. I was called dumb, retard, stupid, brainless, and many other names.
The name-calling nearly destroyed me. In high school I decided to prove them wrong. During my senior year I was inducted into the National Honors Society and went back to tutor a student for that first-grade teacher, who then was a fourth-grade teacher. I tutored the student in reading.
My first-grade experience was one of the most embarrassing and humiliating moments of my life, but I rose above it. I did spend years in therapy as an adult to overcome the abuse, but I rose above.
I am editing my memoir about how I was bullied and found acceptance at the family garage, I’m assistant director to the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyber-bullying Taskforce, I have stories published, and I have my own blog.
I have succeeded beyond what anyone had ever thought I could.
I rose above bullying. I overcame the abuse and became a stronger and better person. You too can rise above bullying. If a teacher is putting you down tell someone. No one deserves to be abused by their peers or teachers. You are a unique person who deserves happiness. You can rise up from the anguish and shine like a star.
Aimee Eddy is an insightful overcomer who advocates for other strugglers. After conquering mental illness, bullying, cancer, and more, she has the life experience to encourage others through her writing. She is in the editing stages of her memoir, Escape to the Garage about her bullying experiences. She writes a blog called, Finding the Light at http://www.aimeeeddygross.wordpress.com
You will never see a bully alone. Why? Because they could never handle being by themselves. Peer-abusers are cowards! Wimps! Wusses! They always attack in groups because they need their wingmen as a source from which to draw and re-enforce power.
Without their backup, bullies are just as powerless as you are. A bully is too afraid to attack you one on one because they fear that you would bury them where they fall.
Yet, victims are (mistakenly) branded as cowards, although they are the ones who come to school or work and face bullies…alone, no matter how viciously they get brutalized. Through all the name-calling, the taunts, the brutal beatings, the threats to their lives, targets manage to reach within themselves and push through another day.
To endure that every single day for several years and still find the resolve to soldier on? Now that takes courage! These people are the real warriors!
It takes bravery to be a target of relentless bullying and remain standing tall. To be a victim of daily and constant abuse and make it to the finish line of high school graduation or the end-of-week paycheck?
To stay in the race, while most bullies drop out of school or quit their jobs when the going gets tough? That’s not only brave, it’s heroic! To be your own hero? That takes bravery bullies will never have!
Now, will the real wimps in the workplace or classroom please stand?
I rest my case.
If you are a victim, know that your bullies could never be half the man/woman you are! You have more heart, more soul, and more strength than they ever will!
This is a great bullying story by Dr. Gail Beck. It’s about how she stood up to her bully and made a friend of him. Thank you, Dr. Beck for posting!
I had my first experience with bullying when I was 5 years old. Struggling with my high energy and tendency to experiment with dangerous household items, my mother was able to convince the school principal to let me start Grade 1 early. I was noticeably shorter than all the other kids around me and by […]
It amazes me when I hear of targets of bullying, especially kids, being told to “toughen up.” Because anyone who endures long, miserable years of being bullied by everyone for everything and still finds it in them to get up and get on with it? These individuals are already tough.
I remember swallowing hard every morning at the bus stop. For any bullied kid, it takes a mountain of courage to step onto that school bus every day, knowing all too well what’s in store for them as soon as they get on and even worse once they grace the entrance to the school. For me, it was like walking into a mine field!
The daily ritual of being name-called, tripped in the hallways, having books knocked out of my hands, my long hair pulled, my head slammed into lockers, slapped, punched, kicked, shoved to the floor and a barrage of death threats…it was never-ending! But through it all, I never gave up!
I look at these kids today- the ones who endure the same as I years ago, and they have more heart and soul than all their classmates combined! They’re the strongest because they have no other choice but to be!
• The finding a reason to get up and go to school every day
• The holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you!
• The daily facing of your worst fear
• The countless insults and beatings
• The choking back of a river of tears that beg to pour forth
• The constant thievery of your pride and personhood
• The never-ending violations of your rights to safety and to learn in peace
To face all this, day by day and STILL find a reason to keep going??? That takes grit! It takes guts! Moreover, it takes balls of steel!
So, if you’ve never experienced what these kids endure, before you tell some poor, bullied soul to “toughen up,” ask yourself this question. Would you have the fortitude to hold up under that kind of pressure?
And if you’re a kid in school, who faces that kind of pressure every day, know that I understand, I hear you, and I have your back. Also know that you’re so much stronger and have more courage than you know! You have the heart of a lion!
This is a story from the perspective of a survivor of bullying and is very sad. My heart goes out to this guy!
Another piece of article that follows a long line after ’13 Reasons Why’ released on Netflix. This article details my experience with bullying, and how I coped up with it, or rather didn’t. I hope you relate and realize, that even if no one else, you have one person who is willing to listen to […]
Wishing everyone safety and wellness!
People may bully you now. They may taunt you, call you ugly names, physically beat you, humiliate you, and turn others against you. Those around you may make you feel sad, alone, unattractive, and rejected in the present.
But rest assured, it won’t always be this way. Take it from someone who’s been there.
I had no friends in middle school nor high school until I finally transferred to my new high school during my senior year. Once I left *Oakley High School and began attending *Roseburg High School, that’s when life began. And I took back my power and started rebuilding every part of me that my bullies from the old school had torn down. Leaving Oakley was the free feeling you get after walking away from a toxic and abusive boyfriend.
As an adult, my confidence and self-esteem blossomed. Today, I’m a very happy forty-something and have so much to be thankful for. I have a family of my own. I enjoy my job and am comfortable in my own skin. I’ve accomplished more than I thought I ever would.
I also have grown to love myself- imperfections and all. I don’t worry about what others think of me, and I permit myself to be me and to say no when I don’t want to get involved in or do something that doesn’t feel right to me. These are freedoms that I will never again give up. Not without one hell of a fight!
I want you to know that the bullying you’re subjected to now will not last, and there’s a beautiful life waiting for you once it’s over. So, whatever you do, don’t give up! Stay your course, and keep fighting. Hold on to your faith and your dignity with everything you have. Because it may not seem like it now, but the best is yet to come, and the right people will find you.
Today, I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and accept me for me, not only what I can do for them. I have friends I never have to explain anything to and who love my flaws and quirks along with my good qualities. I’m so secure with being myself that I can make fun of myself and have a good time doing it.
I’m relaxed, worry-free, and best of all, safe! I’ve found my tribe, and you will find yours. And once you find them, they’ll be well worth the wait!
You’re worth fighting and living for. Don’t give up now. Stick around! It gets better! Much better!