Tag Archives: Bullying

Inktober Day 7: All Eyes On Me 

I am back! I know October is almost over, but I have been working hard all weekend to catch up with that Inktober to-do list I made. I am determined to be caught up by the end of the week. 


Day 7: Shy 

“All Eyes On Me”

“That kid who always sat by herself at recess, who went the whole day without saying a word, and who you saw in the halls that interacted with no one, that was always me. I have always suffered from social anxiety, but I never knew there was an actual name for it until I was older. As a child, I always thought there was something wrong with me. I never liked playing with the other kids, I had nothing to say to anyone, and I never quite fit in. I was always like a puzzle piece that got mixed in with the wrong set. There were a few kids who attempted to be my friend, but I always was too shy to speak. As a result, most people bullied me as opposed to trying to get to know me because it was so much easier to call the odd one out a weirdo and retarded. Though my desire to be alone subsided as I reached my adolescent years, I still had been too socially awkward to properly communicate with anyone. My years of isolation and being mocked to a point where I could barely utter a single word without being teased caused me to develop an inferiority complex so strong that I had been unable to speak without stuttering, shaking, and reflecting on everything I would say to someone afterwards. Even if they weren’t judging me, my mind would convince me otherwise. Though I have become much more self-confident thanks to years of being involved with theatre, being in college, and the various jobs working with people that I have had, I still struggle with being more sociable and with feeling like everyone is silently judging me. I hear the voices of those that had teased me growing up for being socially awkward in my head, and I obsessively overthink everything I say and do in my head. Thanks to social anxiety, I feel like everyone is always laughing at me internally, and like everyone’s eyes were on me.”

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Day 1: For somene from my Distant Past

It has been nearly seven years since we have crossed paths and seven years since I saw your face anywhere besides Facebook pictures and yet somehow you managed to impact my life in such a way that I have an inferiority complex when it comes to guys.

Seven years and still those words haunt me when attempting to pursue a romance or when I look in the mirror and see that overbite and those pimples that you reminded me of every day. To you, it all meant nothing. I was just that ugly, awkward girl in your class throughout all of middle school.

It didn’t matter at all to you how my innocent, naïve heart was crushed to a million pieces or how much I desired to down a bottle of pills because I believe every word you and your follower friends said. It didn’t matter to you how I would go to bed with a soaked pillow every night questioning why I was so hated by you. All I ever did was like you, and it resulted in cruel words that impacted me harder than the sharp edges of a thousand knives to my delicate heart.

If I could go back in time, my god how I would warn my thirteen year old self that you were not worth it. You were not worth pining after for my whole eighth grade year. Maybe I loved your dark eyes and your plump lips that curved into a beautiful bright smile, but those were the only distinctive features about you. On the outside you were a handsome, popular, brilliant athlete. On the inside, you were nothing but a cold, heartless bully who destroyed a young, fragile girl mentally.

Yet, where are you now? A nobody with dreadlocks that hopes one day someone will care about your mixtapes. If only thirteen-year-old me could see that this is what she was hopelessly infatuated with.

Yet, would I listen to my future self back then? Probably not. For I was living in a fantasy world. A world where you would be sensitive and kind-hearted. Where you would bless me with my first kiss and wipe away my tears. Where I would gaze into those big, brown eyes of yours and you would view me as beautifully as I viewed you. Where your words were much sweeter and comforted my damaged heart. Where you would stand up against those bullies, us against the world.

Perhaps, I fell for this fantasy version of you. Perhaps you were the embodiment of everything I desired to be with, popular and loved. That was something I was not for I was an ugly duckling that lacked social skills and the butt of everyone’s jokes. For this reason, my heart chose you and chose to put the fantasies in place of your horrendous personality.

I kept living that fantasy and desired a romance that never happened because in reality you were repulsed by me. You made it your goal for you and your friends to make my final year of middle school a living hell and not a day goes by where I wished that common sense would hit me that underneath those innocent eyes and baby face you were as ugly as you thought I was.

That boy who cursed me out then bragged about the next day to all his friends like it was something worth a reward, the boy who gagged when he found out how I felt about him, the boy who would tease my every movement and word, the boy who tried to spit on me and put dust in my hair, the boy who swore I was so repulsive that my slightest touch made him cringe, that was the boy you were.

When I looked at you again anytime after this epiphany hit me, I no longer saw those gorgeous dark eyes and that smile but rather an ugly little boy so overwhelmed by his own insecurities that he needed to follow his friends and pick on anyone below their pathetic little circle to fit in.

-Lisa Marie Wolf

 

 

My Reasons Why-Part 3

Part 3-“Jason” 

 When we are young, we are taught that when a boy is mean to you, it means he likes you. Most girls learn the hard way that this isn’t true. Some girls never learn. Why do you think that so many girls chase after assholes? If this, “guys being jerks to you because they like you,” was true, then a lot of boys must have liked me when I was younger. 

 Especially this boy we’ll call “Jason.”

 My first crush was a boy in Kindergarten. I didn’t understand what liking meant yet or how to handle it. That’s probably why I would kiss him on the cheek without permission, which would get me in timeout and the boy was pretty much freaked out after that by me. Every little crush I had after that I just kind of ignored because I was supposed to believe boys were gross. I was also too embarrassed to after what happened with that boy in kindergarten. 

 Then came Jason. 

 Jason was in my class fifth to eighth grade. For the first three years he was just another boy in my class. He and I never really interacted except for when he would occasionally joke around with me. Despite being in the same middle school class, us talking was rare.

 How Jason became the first boy I ever really liked, I don’t understand. All I know is that one day I noticed how attractive Jason was. He had the cutest eyes and he was a funny guy. Now that I look back at it, I question why I even liked him, but twelve-year-old me didn’t care. I would get nervous around Jason, feel butterflies at the slightest touch, and when he was around I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. I would think about what it would be like to date him. People would get tired of hearing his name leaving my lips constantly. 

 The only problem? As I stated, we never talked other than a few jokes here and there. To him, I was just some girl in his class. I was extremely shy and had no friends until eighth grade and I was really unattractive so it’s not like I could stand out. I mean I wanted to, but I didn’t know how to get his attention. When seventh grade ended and I knew we wouldn’t see each other for a few months, I made a Myspace with the sole purpose of talking to him. He accepted my friend request but still I was too nervous to speak to him. When I finally did, no response. I was disappointed but determined to grab his attention somehow that summer.   

 Jason and I had shared one conversation. One of my friends, who I’ll call Christian, had messaged Jason. At that time, I couldn’t understand why Christian had done it but apparently he was determined to prove that Jason was a jerk and decided to prove it to me in his own twisted Christian way. I woke up one morning to a message from Jason on Myspace. I remember Christian mentioned making a Myspace to talk to Jason but I didn’t think he was serious until Jason messaged me in capital letters telling me to leave him alone, why was Christian messaging him making fun of him and asking for his age and that he doesn’t know me well or want to get to know me. This crushed me. My first time liking a boy and already any chance of something happening was ruined. Christian did me a favor, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was too wrapped up in my infatuation and convinced that Christian ruined it for me. 

 Jason apologized after I sent him a message begging him for forgiveness. He accepted with a much calmer message and we talked a little bit so naturally I assumed everything was okay between us.

 Until he got a girlfriend. From there, it all went downhill. 

 It was the beginning of eighth grade, the year full of ups and downs. Ups because I became best friends with a girl in my class so I opened up more and began to stand up to bullies in my grade. This girl was a reflection of me and I find it a shame that she and I lost touch. She helped me get through eighth grade immensely.

 Since I started standing up to the bullies, the intensity increased. I had textbooks thrown at me, called every insult you could think of, and I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without being the butt of people’s jokes. I was always the quiet one so aside from my best friend I didn’t speak to anyone really. For this reason, I failed to understand why I was the target of severe bullying. I didn’t mess with anyone and before that year I didn’t talk to anyone. I would cry and wonder why I was so ugly and awkward. I believed these insults toward me. 

 The fact that a boy I liked joined in on it was even worse. 

 I honestly can’t remember how. I do remember that Jason began to dislike me because of the Christian situation. Even though he was okay with it online, he began to join in on the bullying in school. Jason would refuse to sit near me, force me to not look in his direction at all, and accuse me of being nosy. I remember one day this girl joked about Jason taking me to prom. At this point, I had done nothing to Jason to deserve being humiliated, yet Jason decided to take the opportunity to mortify me by screaming, “Ewww,” and pretending to gag. No one laughed and one girl even called him out for it, but I was overcome with a feeling I had never felt before. That feeling of defeat, of rejection, of self-loathing. This would intensify through the course of that year. 

 There was also the time where Jason cursed me out on AIM. Jason found out I liked him. Our whole eighth grade class did. Between my big mouth and the big mouth of a “friend” I told, Jason’s girlfriend found out. This “friend” also didn’t fail to leave out what I said about Jason’s girlfriend out of jealous rampage. Now, Jason’s ex-girlfriend was a nice girl. She was popular but not cocky about it and very forgiving toward me for my poor treatment toward her. Jealousy was new to me and I didn’t know how to handle it. I may come off as crazy in this story, but I was twelve. I was naïve and socially awkward.

 I didn’t deserve anything Jason did to me that year. I just liked him. I couldn’t control my feelings or what Christian did. I regretted not keeping my stupid mouth shut about liking Jason. He was my first real crush. Had I known telling a few friends would result in the whole eighth grade knowing, I would have kept my mouth shut.

 I knew I was mocked behind my back, but I had no idea that I was so repulsive and hideous that Jason was teased because I had a crush on him. Skinny, pale, pimply faced, awkward, weird Lisa likes Jason. Hahaha, let’s laugh at her. Poor Jason. 

 For a long time after I would keep my mouth shut about my feelings. When I liked someone, I never told them because of how badly Jason reacted and how humiliating it was. Even now if I develop the balls to be open about my feelings to someone when I like them, I keep my mouth shut to everyone except close friend who don’t know the guy so that I am not the butt of everyone’s jokes. 

 Okay, so I embarrassed Jason by liking him. Did I deserve him cursing me out on AIM? Did I deserve the first boy I ever really liked calling me ugly, scary, dirty, pale, weird and any other name he could think of? Did I deserve having jokes about part of my family being Jewish and being white thrown at me when I did nothing wrong? I didn’t even insult him. I tried to be nice and went as far as apologizing and pleading for this to stop. I know now that Jason didn’t deserve an apology but I liked Jason and my naïve brain tried to spare his feelings and needed his forgiveness. I needed forgiveness from a guy who called me a psycho and informed me that I was considered the ugliest girl in school. The next day, he gloated to his friends as if cursing me out was something to be rewarded. I didn’t matter. I had no feelings.

 This bullying resumed for my final year of middle school. One day I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and fought back. The insults, the cursing out and the humiliation all began to overwhelm me. I don’t remember how it started, but I remember this one day, Jason and I began dissing each other and I just started coming up with comebacks. Jason and I went at it for hours until it turned into a fight of paper balls and me smacking him with a book. I was proud of myself but the bullying didn’t end there. For the whole year, Jason and his friends made it their goal to make my life miserable. They would attack any little thing I did even if I was just sitting down minding my own business. When it came to class presentations, I couldn’t speak without one of Jason’s friends doing something to purposely disrupt me. Near the end of my senior year, almost all the boys and some girls hated me for no reason. A game was made where you had to avoid anything I touched because I was “dirty” and if you touched it you would become as dirty as me. Even people who I never even spoke to joined in on this sick little game. 

 The worst part? I still liked Jason. I don’t know what possessed me to keep liking him at all. Maybe these were early signs of my tendency to like guys who treat me like utter shit. Jason made my last year of middle school hell, but I still clung onto feelings for a guy that was repulsed by me and insulted me in ways worse than any other boy has. Jason would violently throw balls at me in gym class and make fun of the way I spoke even if I wasn’t talking to him. When Jason’s friend made me cry because of an insensitive holocaust joke toward me, all Jason was worried about was whether or not he was in trouble. Jason was the worst kind of asshole and why I continued to crush on him and hoped he would quit bullying me, I don’t know.

 Of course, that didn’t happen. After I graduated middle school, I never saw or spoke to Jason again. We were Facebook friends for a while but we never spoke. Looking back on Jason, I wonder what I ever saw in that kid and why I continued to harbor romantic feelings for him despite the severe bullying he did to me. 

 The sad part is that, even if I didn’t like Jason and he and his friends found another reason to bully me, it still would have hurt just as much. 

 They tell you that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you. Personally, I’d take getting hit with a dodgeball by Jason over him reminding me how ugly and weird I am every day. I’ve heard that bullying wouldn’t exist if everyone would just ignore it, but how would I ignore nearly half my middle school class calling me names and teasing my every move for no reason? I was already bullied heavily during all of elementary school, did I really need it to follow me throughout middle school? 

 For a long time, I believed that I deserved it. I believed that since everyone seemed to have it out for me, I must have been all these things there were calling me. Now, this isn’t true because I never did anything to deserve the bullying and a lot of them did it to fit in. However, that fact alone of being so repulsive that it became cool to bully me made me wonder why? Why did Jason feel compelled to bully me when all I did was like him? Why did anyone feel compelled to bully me?

 Even if seven years has passed since this happened, it still haunts me. I’ve grown to love myself a little more, but it hasn’t been an easy journey. Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, I still think of Jason’s words along with the words of the taunting middle schoolers and hate myself. 

 The worst part of it was that none of them would care about the long-lasting impact their cruel words had on me. They can just move along and sleep well at night, not caring that what they thought was just a little insult to them ruined a person’s self-esteem and perception of herself. 

Flawless

When I was twelve, I developed my first real crush on a boy. I had other little kid crushes before, but this one was the first to hit me like a big yellow school bus. (Cookie for you if you get the reference) It was the first time I had become aware of my feelings and, as a result, attempted to act upon them whenever he was near. As a result, I wound up humiliating myself and before long the majority of my middle school knew as well as the boy. His reaction? To send me hurtful messages online as well as inform me that I was considered by everyone, ‘the ugliest girl in school.’ To add insult to injury, he bragged about telling me this to kids in our class the next day. 
As one can imagine, these word hurt me a great deal. Not only did I cry myself to sleep that night, I would stare at myself in the mirror and believe it. I would believe that I was indeed the ugliest girl you can meet. As a kid, I never quite fit in. Not only because even then I was quiet, but also because I was not as physically attractive as any other girl. While many girls at that time already wore makeup, tight clothes, were developed, and had good skin, I stuck out immensely. I always wore my hair in a ponytail, my acne was so bad I had to wear my hair in bangs, I wore baggy clothes, I have always had a bad overbite, and I was as thin as a stick. I also was more pale-skinned in a school where no one else was, which was something I did not know I had to be insecure about until middle school. 

Kids can be mean, yes, but I was positive that this boy had not said it just to be mean. I believed it, simply because many kids had severely bullied me and made sure to point out all the flaws I mentioned above.  

I hated the girl in the mirror for long after this. I always questioned why I could not just look like other girls. Why my face couldn’t be clearer, why my teeth could not be straighter and whiter, why my hair was so out of control, why I couldn’t have a body like other girls, and why I always had to stand out in a crowd of girls. 

Years passed. I started getting thicker out of no where. My acne, while still existing today, cleared up more. My hair is still a knotty tangly mess, yet I can comfortably wear it down. I became more comfortable with my teeth, as it is just a part of who I am. Most people have accepted me for me and the bullying has subsided. 

And yet when I look in the mirror, I still don’t like who I see. 

And why is that? Because of a mean comment some bully made seven years ago? Maybe. 

Because I see other girls and wish to look more like them? Maybe. 

Because I allow the rude comments I still receive affect me? Maybe. 

Because society’s perception of beauty and what a woman should look like has corrupted my mind and thus made me believe that I should look a certain way? There you go. 

Think about it, if we were not conditioned to believe we had to look a certain way, would we care about our appearance? 

I know I would not care about my acne, my teeth, my hair, or my weight. It’s all imperfect, but it’s who I am. I believe I can still be beautiful even with all these physical flaws. Yet because of what I see other girls looking like, or striving to look like, and because of the comments I still receive, when I look at myself all I see is a pimply-faced, messy-haired girl with an overbite. Most recently, I have started getting shit about my weight. 

Comments I receive: 

-Have you ever thought about getting braces? 

-Ew what happened to your face? 

-You used to be so skinny, what happened to you? 

-Did you let yourself go because you broke up with your boyfriend? 

-You should do something about those pimples. 

And so forth. 

So, in the simplest terms, we can conclude that no one believes they are ugly. They are taught to believe that they are ugly. 

I want to believe that I am pretty. I want to look past my physical flaws. I want to quit feeling like I am the only girl who looks as imperfect as I do. I want to be able to feel comfortable I my own body. I want to believe a guy when he calls me beautiful. Most importantly, I want to believe that I am beautiful.

Yet with images of what we are expected to look like, for both men and women, that is nearly impossible. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. 

It’s not just Hollywood, magazines, and commercials enforcing this artificial image of beauty, either. It’s little comments made by people we face in our every day lives that influence our perception of ourselves. Little comments such as that one by the boy from middle school about me being ugly, to a woman in a clothing store commenting on my weight just because I am not a size two, to a friend making a rude comment about me letting myself go due to something that happened months ago is enough to mess with someone’s brain. Even pointing out someones flaws such as pimples, overbites, and so on when it is not necessary is a form of insulting someone else’s appearance. You may think you are helping when you tell them to go use some acne cream or go get their teeth fixed, but in reality you are just bring attention to something they are already aware of and probably insecure about. You don’t even know if they are trying to take care of it or if it’s something they can’t help. 

Not everyone can have straight teeth. Not everyone can be the same weight. Not everyone can have clear skin. Not everyone can have flawless hair. Yet everyone could still believe that person they see in the mirror is beautiful if they view the person through their own eyes as opposed to the eyes that society wants them to look through. 

So stop perceiving yourself as ugly because of a few flaws. Realize that you are beautiful and having flaws are what make you even more beautiful. You are unique. 

You are you, and that’s okay.