The bullied

My Through the Years

So much on TV, radio, and FB this week about bullying and the bullied and not to mention the assaulted. It all just saddens me as I am sure it saddens many.

I was in 2nd grade. My parents had been fighting and I felt alone. I ate. I got fat. And all of my classmates noticed it.

Holly and Jodi didn’t like me and they started it.

I became extremely hateful towards myself from 2nd to 4th grades. So, I ate. My mom worked a good 45 minute from our house, just as I do now. {Wow.} I remember eating butter, real butter, on plain white bread. I would eat it and eat it and eat it. Peanut butter too, when we had it.

I tried to fit in, I just didn’t. I was a part of Girl Scouts and those girls didn’t like me either.

My 3rd grade teacher was a man. I don’t remember his name, but he hated me. He would give me horrible looks and make me feel like I was less of a person. I think his distaste of me made the kids not like me. That year, I remember many instances. First, I got out of my seat to go to the bathroom and I accidentally knocked over some model airplanes that he had brought in. He turned bright red and started yelling at me in front of the whole class. Everyone called me fatty patty. I was too big to fit around the planes and that is why I knocked them over. Not long after I remember that I dropped my pencil and as I was reaching down to get it, it was facing straight up as I went down to grab it with my hand and it went straight through my hand. I thought I was going to pass out but I slowly raised my hand to go to the nurse. He made me sit there with my hand up, the one with the pencil in it, until he was done with his lesson. I didn’t cry. I just couldn’t breathe.

The last year we lived in that house, 4th grade. My mom was dating at that point and my father was long gone. She had a date and I asked if, while she got ready for her date if I could go for a quick bike ride. She said I had to come right back. I went really quickly to go down the street, around my school and then back. It was a fast ride. While I was coming around the school to go back home, three boys from my class were on their bikes. They told me to come over to them and I said no, I have to go home. The came after me. Knocked me off my bike and beat me. I had done nothing. I got back up after they left and got home as fast as I could, knowing I was going to be in trouble. I was. I tried to tell, but my mom, whom I love to death and don’t blame her, was in a different place and didn’t believe me. This flashback came to me in high school one day and I had my first panic attack as I remembered it all.

For my 5th grade year we were finally moving. I was over joyed. This was a chance to change how people saw me. My mom and I had a conversation and I told her that I didn’t want to be Patty anymore. It rhymed with too much and it was not something I wanted to go into my new school being known as. That is where PJ came from. From 5th grade on I was known as PJ. I only went back to Patti in 2003 when I started my current job and could see them calling me PJ. And I spelled it how my mom wanted it spelled, Patti.

When we moved things were different. Things were better for me at school. I met a friend, Carrie, who is my lifelong friend that I will always be connected to, no matter what. We love each other and drive each other nuts at times… but mostly, we know that no matter, we are there for each other. Carrie made me feel loved and she was my first friend. And from there I made more friends and more friends and the kids weren’t mean at all.

Except for the kids next door. They were something else. They were of a different kind. They would taunt me and steal from me and my mom. But at school, all was well.

I can’t imagine being in this day and age where kids who once had two lives, school and home, now are connected all the time. They can never get away from it all. It is sad.

I also don’t get why people are mean to each other. Picking on people because of how they look, what they wear, how they talk, sexual orientation, religious beliefs. I am not saying I am judgment free, I think we all do it, but what good is it to say or do hurtful things to others?

Listening to the radio this morning, to the station that I usually listen to to unwind and feel pumped up, they were talking about some teens that sexually assaulted a 14 year old girl while others watched in a hotel room that was rented by the boy’s parents. Yes, that got me, don’t get it, upset me, frustrated about it. But that wasn’t what really got me. A girl called in and said that she was assaulted this summer. She had some alcohol and had fallen asleep/passed out. Some of the boys at the party decided it was a good idea to take photos of her naked, though she had fallen asleep with her clothes on. She went to press charges and the police told her that it would be in her best interest not to press charges because she was not supposed to be drinking at her age and she would also be in trouble. That really got me. I teared up. An adult in her town told her not press charges because she really shouldn’t have been drinking. Football players took photos of her and nothing happened to them. Just makes me so irritated.

Anyways… I just needed to write this out because I am so sad that teens are going through what they are. I remember the feelings, the sadness, the feelings of being alone. You are in school and a teenager for such a short period of your life, don’t let that define you. Move past, stand tall. When you move on and go to college, make a choice to be the authentic you. Those people will not follow you. You will grow and change and be successful. People grow up, at least the ones that are worth anything do. And you will not have to deal with them for long. If you can just hold on. Just hang in there. You are loved.

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2 responses to “The bullied

  1. Patti,
    I just came across your blog and I’m so sorry about your third grade experience.
    I also had a third grade year that was awful with a teacher who hated me because I was quiet and shy.
    It sticks with you and I’m sorry.

    Right now I’m watching Ryan struggle in school and its ripping my heart out BUT one thing I’ll do differently is advocate for him until I can no longer do so!

    You are a great mom – keep writing 🙂

    Susan

  2. PS – I should add now that Ryan is doing a lot better now with some help from me, another parent and his teacher……

    Its not all gloom and doom for him and I’m determined to have it stay this way.

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