I have some thoughts in the wake of the Amanda Todd tragedy, and the spotlight being shone on bullying and its effects on people.
As someone that was bullied constantly during elementary school, and junior high, I wanted to share something I had written on those experiences.
It’s strange how no one notices the kid at the back of the classroom. The quiet one who rarely raises his hand. No one ever thinks to ask him how his day is, or how he’s doing. He just disappears, blending into the shadows under the coat rack. Is he invisible to the popular eyes of the other kids? He has dirty sneakers, and ripped sweatpants. Perhaps he’s camouflaged by the playground dirt, the other kids are to busy walking on him to pay attention. Kids can be so cruel, but so can adults. Why single him out? He can’t jump all of the hurdles, most of them fall. Why make him set them back up to do it again. Why make him do it again only to fail again?, and this time with an audience. The taunts at lunch will be merciless, “hey chubbs”, “can’t jump fatty?”, “you’d win at eating”. Their voices echo in his mind as he hides beneath the stairs. The insults knocking in his ears, shaking loose the tears in his eyes. How he wishes he could be like them. Slender, athletic, popular.
He can’t help but wonder “If I looked like them, would I be like them?, would I attack the fat kid or the poor kid if I had the weapons of popularity?”
His return to the classroom is marked by snickers and chuckles. He finds comfort when he sits down, feeling some security under the cloak of the shadows beneath the coat rack. And so he sits staring at the clock, waiting for end of day bell to ring. Each second brings him closer to escape.
The walk home is a lonely one, but that can be a blessing as the only company he would have would be the taunts and insults of the other kids.
When he gets home, and sits alone in his room he resolves that he will be better than those who mock him. One day he will be as popular as they, but he will be different.
He will be nice to the less popular. He will embrace them and by that he will be even greater than those he aspires to be like. He will be a better person.
He will live by the mantra, “May I learn forgiveness for my enemies, and be forgiven.” And perhaps one day he will look back at those days, as memories. And write about them……
To all who are bullied, there’s always hope, and though it seems like school is the whole world, it’s not.
Stand tall to those who would try and diminish you, and you will be far greater than they are.