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Day 5 Being Bullied in Middle School

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by NolaGal, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. NolaGal

    NolaGal Peer Supporter

    I actually wrote this journal entry a few days ago, but here it is. Obviously I'm not going strictly "day by day" in the program, although I'm definitely doing some of the work every day.

    Today I want to get out a whole bunch of pent-up emotions related to my bullying experiences as a pre-teen. I just remember being so afraid to go to school. Friday afternoons were so great because I could set my worry and fear down for a little while. Of course, this made Sunday nights horrible. The girls who were constantly bothering me were almost all older than I was, and seemed to be so hard and tough, like they had given up on life. I really thought I had dealt with this a long time ago, but the fact that bringing up past memories is making my shoulder/neck/back pain almost completely vanish is evidence, to me, that I still have a lot of stuff to deal with. It was starting to tighten up and bother me a little bit today until I read an article about celebrities who had been bullied. A couple of their stories really hit home, and the tension soon relaxed in my shoulder area.

    One of the worst parts about the whole bullying experience... btw, it started in seventh grade, pretty early in the school year. We were on the playground and these girls just started giving me crap, picking on me and saying really insulting things. I never had more than a couple of friends anyway (I was pretty quiet), and this one girl I was sort of "hanging out" with, she just joined in on the bullying. Another girl I thought was a "sort of" friend did the same thing (not sure if it was that day or later. A lot of this runs together.) Somehow I had become a target, and it continued for months, in all areas of the school. Other people joined in. Finally my mom got my classes changed, which helped a lot, but I was still treated very badly by a lot of people, and the damage was done to me. It's obviously still with me to some degree.

    Anyway, one of the worst parts was just the feeling of helplessness. I remember my grandmother telling my mom that someone needed to teach me how to throw a good punch, but my mom was PETRIFIED of me getting into trouble at school. Her advice was to just ignore it, and to tell a teacher if I was afraid for my actual safety. I know she loved me a lot, and I know she couldn't have realized how much it was tearing me up inside, but I still feel abandoned by my parents because my younger self still feels that they didn't do nearly enough to help me. As for telling a teacher, well, a lot of good that ever did. One time in PE class, a boy that was hanging out with the girl bullies kicked me in the back of the head while we were all sitting on the bleachers. The "coach" did nothing when I told him about it. It was constant horror for me. I know a lot of kids experience bullying, and I had experienced some minor issues in second grade when some girls picked on my while we were out on the playground, but it wasn't constant, relentless, afraid-to-walk-down-the-hall-by-yourself kind of bullying like what I went through in middle school.

    It got to a point where I was afraid to go to the store with my mother, or anywhere in public, because I was so afraid I would see these people. They threatened very graphic physical violence. One of them slammed me hard against a bank of metal lockers one day. She got shipped off or locked up shortly thereafter, for something else. I just wish I could've fought back. I wish someone HAD taught me how to throw a punch. Big deal if I had gotten suspended for fighting, or even if I had gotten a broken bone or something. I think it would've been better than decades of feeling helpless.
  2. StevieG 2013

    StevieG 2013 New Member

    Similar situation for me. Bullied early in the equivalent of middle school. Terrified in many ways. Wish I had stood up for myself. Very accomplished now & probably have driven myself harder to make up for defending myself better as a kid. I find it hard to grasp the emotions I felt as that kid, but I feel the are close to the surface. I am someone who has repressed their emotions & is probably the reason for the relapse I have now.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds really familiar to me too. 7th grade had to be the worst because our bullies were the big future juvenile delinquents who were held back in 8th grade until they were 16 and could just drop out of school all together. In the meanwhile they must have felt very out-of-place surrounded by 7th graders, many of whom were only 11 or 12 years old. There's just something very awkward about middle school in the first place where people are going through puberty at they same time they're trying to formulate a sense of adult identity. The result? A bunch of people who don't really know who they are in the first place trying to define themselves by creating submission-dominance hierarchies based on mutual disrespect. You could possibly get through such a situation unscathed psychologically if you had a very stable home life so you wouldn't be fighting a two-front war, one against an unstable family, the other against your tormentors at school. Makes you wonder whether engaging in a dialog with an inner bully is a hold-over from those conflicts in middle school?
  4. Hilary

    Hilary New Member

    I was in 5th grade and at boarding school. I was beaten up regularly by the older girls in my dorm...one girl, whom I reconnected with a few years ago and she apologized, this was 50 years later(!), broke her finger because she hit me so hard. I wasn't able to tell my mother about this until college when had some therapy(had some more later!). These kinds of experiences never totally disappear from our memory and I think my TMS is directly connected to this time of life. My mother spent a lot of her 30's and 40's trying to escape from her abandonment by my father. Even though I know the rational explanations, the resulting emotions are still lurking.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Hilary, the way we rationalize past events in our logical adult minds are often woefully out of sync with powerful emotions we've retained and/or repressed in our unconscious primitive child-like minds. Now that you mention it, I can recall going off to work at a ranch in Fresno where the owner and one of the ranch boys got me drunk and beat me up, largely because I was the only one who could get a GF. Certainly not those guys! They tied me up in bed and then hit me in the face repeatedly. Adolescence, such a fun time of life! Talk about repression: I didn't really remember that great summer vacation until you mentioned your experience in 5th grade. We must all have shared memories from a period of life that is ballyhooed by the media as such a wonderful time of life. Come to think of it, I must have really felt abandoned by my parents when they drove me up to the pack station up in the hills in back of Fresno and dumped me off with a family of rednecks! Of course, I started the whole process by writing to the pack station and asking for summer employment, thinking in a vague way that it would be nice to spend the summer horse packing in the Sierra!
  6. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    It's good to hear that journaling made your pain vanish. That should help with your belief that this is emotional/psychological if you have any doubts (I'm still working on this).

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