Old 07-31-2014
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Hi, I would like to share a story of my experience of bullying that occurred when I was 12 years old. As a result of the bullying, the course of my life was affected in such a negative way that I developed social phobia and other anxiety problems that would plague me throughout my life.

In the fall of 1979, I was a wide-eyed seventh grader attending the first day of class in a new school. I was filled with an array of thoughts and emotions that ranged from the excitement of starting a new school year, to the apprehension of being in the company of so many unfamiliar faces. Even though the school was multiracial (blacks, whites, Hispanics) I was only one of a handful of Asian students there.

When class began, I was assigned to sit in the front row. Since I was too shy to take a peek at the rest of the class behind me, I kept my gaze in the direction of the teacher. Students introduced themselves, class schedules were revealed and the syllabus explained. Then the lunch bell sounded. As we made our way towards the cafeteria, other students quickly formed cliques, since many of them were already familiar with each other. The cafeteria was much large the one in my old elementary school. The sounds of nonstop chatter and commotion from hyperactive students permeated the crowded room. I found one of the few empty seats where I ate my lunch alone. I felt a sense of relief when the school bell rang at 3pm signaling the end of the day. The next few weeks were uneventful. The regular schedule for our class included two periods of homeroom (in the beginning and end of the day) and four periods of world history and other basic subjects. The entire class took the same classes, except for the one period of electives (this period was in the school band playing the clarinet). I developed a daily routine and tried to become more accustom with the environment of my new school.

Then one day in October, the tallest kid in the class misunderstood what I said to him and thought it was something offensive. He angrily walked from the rear of the room towards the front and sat in the seat behind me. Others sitting nearby were anticipating a potential fight, they goaded him by saying, “Simon was talking bad about you”. “Are you going to let him get away with that?” The “offended” student then hurled one nasty insult after another. Anyone within an earshot heartily laughed and encouraged him to continue the barrage of name-calling. I felt humiliated and fearful, as I was unable to respond to defend myself. The next day, since he already released his anger, I thought yesterday’s incident would be forgotten and everything would be cool. However, he continued where he left off the day before and bombarded me with new insults. Soon, a total of six other students joined in the verbal assault. “Skinny-bones, midget, roach eater, skeleton, chink, ching-chong, slanty-eyes, flat nose,” words that serve no other purpose than to harm and degrade my character. When the rest of the class (35 students) heard a particularly humorous insult directed at me, they would all laugh in unison. Most of the abuse took place in this class, the homeroom/English class, where we would spend a total of two hours a day. The teacher in this room was fully aware of what was happening. She’d momentarily paused her lecture and waited for the laughter to subside, and then resume teaching as if nothing unusual occurred. The homeroom/English teacher who I remember being in her mid 40s, had a reputation of being self-absorbed, with a habit of frequently looking in the mirror during class time to apply her makeup.

The bullying would become a daily routine until the end of the school year in June. I found no one in the class who was willing to stand up and speak in my defense. Perhaps they were afraid they would be victimized as well. When I was in elementary school, I witnessed many bullies abusing their victims. Quiet indifference was the way I viewed seeing fellow classmates suffer from being bullied, not once did it cross my mind to intervene on their behalf. I just felt lucky that their torment wasn’t happening to me. Ironically, it did happen to me. I never told anyone outside the class of what was occurring. I was afraid if I told the school’s staff about it, the bullies would get in trouble and they would retaliate by increasing my suffering even more. Neither did I want my family to be involved because I was concerned for their safety. Moreover, in my prideful adolescent mind, I felt I would bring shame on myself if anyone outside the class knew that I was a victim.

The verbal abuse ultimately escalated into physical abuse. It started with thumbtacks that I found on my chair. When I avoided all of their attempts to have me unwittingly sit on the tacks, they resorted to another tactic- sneaking up from behind me and stick me with a safety pin. Laughter would ensue as I jumped out of my seat in excruciating pain. If they didn’t have a pin, they would slap the back of my neck or slam a heavy book on back of my head so hard that it produced dizziness and disorientation. In the schoolyard during lunch break, one of the tormentors would often challenge me to a fight. Being much smaller and weaker than he was, I was at an obvious disadvantage. I made sure I protected my face from the blows. However, the body bruises I hid with long sleeves shirts, even when the weather was hot. Every day before class started, I would be terrified thinking about what new type of abuse awaited me. One bully from the gang kept insisting I would cry from their harassment. As one of my few acts of defiance against them, I set in my mind I would never give them the satisfaction of seeing me cry. Ironically, this bully was the one who cried in class, when he found out he was not going to be promoted to the next grade. The school year finally ended and emotionally I felt as if I was lower than dirt. The daily verbal and physical abuse made me view myself as an inferior sub-human who wasn’t worthy of a drop of respect.

During the next grade and throughout the rest of my schooling, I was plagued with memories of what happened. I would regularly cut class or be absent for several days, fearful that eventually one of my new classmates might bully me too. My avoidance was a faulty method of self-protection. This anxious mindset only intensified as I entered high school, when I eventually dropped out in the 11th grade. The physical damage healed, but the injury and scars to my psyche and self-esteem remains until this day. For decades, I was stuck in an emotional holding pattern, unable to make any significant forward progress, because the trauma has not fully healed.

I’m in my 40’s now, and just recently, I have finally made practical steps dealing with my emotional difficulties (through professional therapy, meds-buspar, self-help research, etc.) I hope that I’ll finally be able to overcome my anxiety problems with God’s help, along with diligence and determination.

Thanks for reading.

Simon
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Simon
I am so sorry you had to go through that, kids can be so cruel. The torment doesn't effect them so they don't realise or just don't care how it effects the one/s they are bullying. They don't think how or if it will effect the abused, if they will come out of it a stronger person, or if they just sink inside themselves, becoming a shell of the person they could or should be.

My bullying experience started when I was about 8, maybe a little younger. Things at home were becoming tough as well, dad was at mums throat all the time, nothing was good enough and he just became unbearable to live with. I suppose with everything going on at home I became an easy target, not having a lot of money and being chubby didn't help either.

Middle school was horrible. A boy a year or two older than me thought it was hilarious to run past me during classes calling me pig and oinking at me. Three quarters of the way through the year my mum noticed I was really down and always tearful. She and the teachers got to the bottom of it and the lad got a total telling off from three teachers, my older cousin who had cornered him in the playground, unbeknown to me my older brother and a kid I grew up with who when riled was like the Tazmanian Devil lol. I thought, and prayed, the bulling would be all over after that, and it was, from him. Then little things would happen with my friends, normal girlfriends falling out and the such, but by the last few years at middle school my cousin, who is my age, and my friends were talking about me behind my back, saying I had given them head lice and such. The last time I had them I was 7 and my cousin had given them to me and the other girls in my family. One friend said she heard me whispering racist comments about another friend in the cloakroom. Her parents were blonde and she looked Hawaiian, but I had never even given that a thought, to me she was just my friend and I thought the world of her parents.

I got stuck in their class when we started high school, but I had already started to mentally shut down. This made them mistreat me more. The other half of our friends were in a different form room but we had most of our classes together. Lets just say things got worse on their front too. I stuck out a year and a quarter of high school before mum pulled me out. I broke down to her on my 13th birthday and told her I was skipping school atleast 3 days out of 5, and I had been sitting on top of some cliffs most days. That terrified her. I have never told mum things started to get physical apart from a slap I had gotten one day and a time when a load of melted ice cream was thrown over me. It was so gross.

I try to put those things behind me now but it is so hard. It is always in the back of mind. I don't think I'm still holding on to it all but then it will all come out in dreams and however hard I try I just can't wake up. It can be exhausting.

I'm glad you have taken steps into getting help. I hope you will find peace of mind and things start looking up for you. Take care, Stacie
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Old 08-03-2014
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Stacie,
Thanks for reading my post and for sharing your bullying experiences with me. I’m very sorry that you had to undergo the bullying and mistreatment by other people. What they did to you was wrong, so you’re not to blame for what happened. Since you never asked to be bullied, you’re completely innocent. Perhaps by simply surviving the injustices and unfairness of life it can somehow make us stronger, if we can learn from it with clear rational point of view and not allow it to break us.

Presently, I’m trying to stop the bad habit of constantly dwelling on negative memories (such as being bullied). For years, I’d allow these negative memories to define my character and affect the decisions I made about my future. Doing these things only made me more withdrawn and increased my anxiety especially in social situations. So now, I realize the benefits of no longer seeing myself as that scared 12 year old victim. I’m trying to develop a more confident attitude, so I can directly face my irrational fears. I also try to keep my mind focused on the present moment (being mindful), while having a hopeful outlook about the future. As well as, remembering the good memories and letting go of the bad ones. Although changing my unhealthy thought patterns has been very difficult at times, I have seen positive results so far. I wish I‘d learned these techniques years ago, I’ve wasted so many years, but I guess things happened for a reason and it’s really never too late to start.

I do hope and pray you also find peace of mind and that you’ll be successful in overcoming the things that still cause you difficulties.

Take good care and God bless,
Simon
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Thank you Simon.
I'm so glad you are finding positive outcomes in the things you are trying. I am tired of beating myself up for the way others have treated me. Things are looking up though as I am looking into a home business in which I can sell my cakes and bakes, which is something I love doing and makes me happy.

One step at a time, right? Good luck again, mate and take care, x
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If only it never misunderstood,then all of this would have never occurred.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrusaderSimon View Post
Hi, I would like to share a story of my experience of bullying that occurred when I was 12 years old. As a result of the bullying, the course of my life was affected in such a negative way that I developed social phobia and other anxiety problems that would plague me throughout my life.

In the fall of 1979, I was a wide-eyed seventh grader attending the first day of class in a new school. I was filled with an array of thoughts and emotions that ranged from the excitement of starting a new school year, to the apprehension of being in the company of so many unfamiliar faces. Even though the school was multiracial (blacks, whites, Hispanics) I was only one of a handful of Asian students there.

When class began, I was assigned to sit in the front row. Since I was too shy to take a peek at the rest of the class behind me, I kept my gaze in the direction of the teacher. Students introduced themselves, class schedules were revealed and the syllabus explained. Then the lunch bell sounded. As we made our way towards the cafeteria, other students quickly formed cliques, since many of them were already familiar with each other. The cafeteria was much large the one in my old elementary school. The sounds of nonstop chatter and commotion from hyperactive students permeated the crowded room. I found one of the few empty seats where I ate my lunch alone. I felt a sense of relief when the school bell rang at 3pm signaling the end of the day. The next few weeks were uneventful. The regular schedule for our class included two periods of homeroom (in the beginning and end of the day) and four periods of world history and other basic subjects. The entire class took the same classes, except for the one period of electives (this period was in the school band playing the clarinet). I developed a daily routine and tried to become more accustom with the environment of my new school.

Then one day in October, the tallest kid in the class misunderstood what I said to him and thought it was something offensive. He angrily walked from the rear of the room towards the front and sat in the seat behind me. Others sitting nearby were anticipating a potential fight, they goaded him by saying, “Simon was talking bad about you”. “Are you going to let him get away with that?” The “offended” student then hurled one nasty insult after another. Anyone within an earshot heartily laughed and encouraged him to continue the barrage of name-calling. I felt humiliated and fearful, as I was unable to respond to defend myself. The next day, since he already released his anger, I thought yesterday’s incident would be forgotten and everything would be cool. However, he continued where he left off the day before and bombarded me with new insults. Soon, a total of six other students joined in the verbal assault. “Skinny-bones, midget, roach eater, skeleton, chink, ching-chong, slanty-eyes, flat nose,” words that serve no other purpose than to harm and degrade my character. When the rest of the class (35 students) heard a particularly humorous insult directed at me, they would all laugh in unison. Most of the abuse took place in this class, the homeroom/English class, where we would spend a total of two hours a day. The teacher in this room was fully aware of what was happening. She’d momentarily paused her lecture and waited for the laughter to subside, and then resume teaching as if nothing unusual occurred. The homeroom/English teacher who I remember being in her mid 40s, had a reputation of being self-absorbed, with a habit of frequently looking in the mirror during class time to apply her makeup.

The bullying would become a daily routine until the end of the school year in June. I found no one in the class who was willing to stand up and speak in my defense. Perhaps they were afraid they would be victimized as well. When I was in elementary school, I witnessed many bullies abusing their victims. Quiet indifference was the way I viewed seeing fellow classmates suffer from being bullied, not once did it cross my mind to intervene on their behalf. I just felt lucky that their torment wasn’t happening to me. Ironically, it did happen to me. I never told anyone outside the class of what was occurring. I was afraid if I told the school’s staff about it, the bullies would get in trouble and they would retaliate by increasing my suffering even more. Neither did I want my family to be involved because I was concerned for their safety. Moreover, in my prideful adolescent mind, I felt I would bring shame on myself if anyone outside the class knew that I was a victim.

The verbal abuse ultimately escalated into physical abuse. It started with thumbtacks that I found on my chair. When I avoided all of their attempts to have me unwittingly sit on the tacks, they resorted to another tactic- sneaking up from behind me and stick me with a safety pin. Laughter would ensue as I jumped out of my seat in excruciating pain. If they didn’t have a pin, they would slap the back of my neck or slam a heavy book on back of my head so hard that it produced dizziness and disorientation. In the schoolyard during lunch break, one of the tormentors would often challenge me to a fight. Being much smaller and weaker than he was, I was at an obvious disadvantage. I made sure I protected my face from the blows. However, the body bruises I hid with long sleeves shirts, even when the weather was hot. Every day before class started, I would be terrified thinking about what new type of abuse awaited me. One bully from the gang kept insisting I would cry from their harassment. As one of my few acts of defiance against them, I set in my mind I would never give them the satisfaction of seeing me cry. Ironically, this bully was the one who cried in class, when he found out he was not going to be promoted to the next grade. The school year finally ended and emotionally I felt as if I was lower than dirt. The daily verbal and physical abuse made me view myself as an inferior sub-human who wasn’t worthy of a drop of respect.

During the next grade and throughout the rest of my schooling, I was plagued with memories of what happened. I would regularly cut class or be absent for several days, fearful that eventually one of my new classmates might bully me too. My avoidance was a faulty method of self-protection. This anxious mindset only intensified as I entered high school, when I eventually dropped out in the 11th grade. The physical damage healed, but the injury and scars to my psyche and self-esteem remains until this day. For decades, I was stuck in an emotional holding pattern, unable to make any significant forward progress, because the trauma has not fully healed.

I’m in my 40’s now, and just recently, I have finally made practical steps dealing with my emotional difficulties (through professional therapy, meds-buspar, self-help research, etc.) I hope that I’ll finally be able to overcome my anxiety problems with God’s help, along with diligence and determination.

Thanks for reading.

Simon
I'm really sorry that you had to go through experiences like that at school, some school children can be wickedly cruel. I know how it feels. I was bullied five days a week for three years. There was no physical bullying, but i was mocked, ridiculed and humiliated about my appearance and called nasty, hurtful names. As a very quiet, shy and sensitive kid, it did a lot of damage. It was this bullying that brought on my severe social anxiety and also resulted in me developing a fear of people.
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Hi Simon, That's an all too familiar story. I'm sorry that you went through that. It's easy to give advice on how to get through it, but it's hard as it really sticks with us.

The toughest part is that logically we know that the bullying was done by a child, with the minds of children. We're adults and the only adults that still resort to bullying....well, theyre the ones who stand out, and not in a good way!

As luck would have it, one of the guys that picked on me in grades 5-7 just installed my parents kitchen cabinets...we've moved past it, but I'd bet there are parts of my anxiety that I could trace back to it.

Keep up with the treatment and keep us posted!

Good luck.

For what it's worth, I have good friends that are from China, Japan and India....and all walks of life. Had I been in your class back then, you'd have had me in your corner.

Ryan
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