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Monday, 16 May 2011

Bullying and bullies..part 1

I was bullied in secondary school! Many years ago and I can still remember it!

I recall it was my first time having a period and I was scared of what to do and had no one to talk about it.

I was in a boarding secondary school. A federal government girls college 4hours from home and comfort. I recall it as a flux of rules and energy and lots of bullying and punishment and very few genuine friendly face.

It started at the general assembly. I felt faint and soon noticed blood trickling down my legs to stain my white socks and brown bata* shoes. I kept cleaning it up with fear running through me. Where is it coming from? I was scared and felt like I was less than human and didnt know what to do. We eventually had siesta and some senior girls noticed the state of me. They commanded me to come to their 'segment' as it was called. I felt all eyes on me, as my heart beat faster certain now that I was dying. At that moment all I could hear was an avalanche of insults on me,in between sentences like 'did you pack a sanitary towel'? I nodded with tears in my eyes and snort in my nose. Ah so thats what its used for?? I thought to myself. I wanted it to stop!

Well I finally learnt in between the derision, how to use a pad, I used two for double protection but didnt know how to dispose of it properly. Remember I said secondary school wasaflurry of activities? well before I knew it, a prefect had marched us for prep time (study time).
During prep I was still ill (a feeling i would learn was called dysmennorhea) and felt uncomfortable with my pad, deciding it was time for a change. I finally went outside to take the pad off, I tied it in a bag and threw it in a bin while using a fresh pair for Then came back to class.

Not knowing a bunch of students trailed me. They got a stick, took the pad out of the bin and brought it to where I was sitting. They threw it on my books, insulting me, laughing, saying how a witch will take my blood and I will never have children. I remember crying my eyes out. I also remembered the girls that did it even till this day..I remember that the more I cried, the more they laughed. At that moment, they were the cool kids, I was the outcast.. Years later, I cant figure out why they would do such a thing?

That memory brings me to my guest writer of the day, KitKat and her tales on bullying/bullies....Enjoy

I’ve always had a problem with my English professor. She gives too many essay homeworks and is so strict in grading!!..she’s also very talkative and loud and sometimes it gets a little bit too much. Most of the classmates are so rude to her and when she cracks a “not-so-funny” joke, they laugh at her and make it so obvious that they..well, think she’s a wee bit crazy. I am always surprised she never flips and is always oh-so-jovial no matter how much they push her buttons and make silly comments to her face. Infact she joins them to laugh at herself. Today she came to class, uber excited (as usual), and announced that her seven year old kid just said a complete sentence for the first time. As usual, some smarty mouth was like “ years old?? Isn’t that meant to be normal??”.. and then she goes on to talk about her son and how he’s suffering from autism. She tells us how its so hard to be a parent of a child with autism and how it took him ages to learn to crawl. She literally had to crawl with him between her legs even in public places just so he could learn to do it. She talked about how people make fun of him a lot and some even make rude comments about him right in front of her and being a mother, you can imagine how hard it is to hear another kid at a birthday party call your son a retard. She said there are so many times she wants to give up, but she just can’t give up on her own son, and that there was even a woman that killed her autistic child out of frustration and stress. To top it off, her second child, the elder sister, is suffering from OCD. Everything has to be straight, little things get the girl so worked up, she gets into panic attacks frequently because her mind sees things in a certain way and once something is different from the way her mind sees it, then she just can’t deal with it. So here she was, standing in front of her class of obnoxious students, sharing her real personal story with us, and she was totally smiley-faced about the whole thing. You’ll think she was sharing a real good joke. I don’t know anyone who didn’t have tears in their eyes, it was so emotional to hear what this woman was going through, and the fact that she always radiates such positive energy still eludes me. It just made me feel dumb for all the times I rolled my eyes at her jokes and fantasized about getting the teacher evaluation sheet were I could give her a poor evaluation (just cos I was mad she didn’t know who chimamamda was lool :p ) ..I have a renewed respect for her and I just wish I could have that much resilience in me. Like my biggest worry in life right now is probably how I’m going to sacrifice my sleep to read for my history exam and yet I don’t even radiate as much love and joy as she does… I definitely learnt a lif lesson today.

Sooo I finally finished reading “please stop laughing at me” and I have to say it’s a very emotional book and the fact that it’s a real life story makes it even more emotional. It’s basically the author’s story about her life in junior high and high school and how she had to endure so much torture and bullying from her peers. It didn’t matter that her parents took her from one school to the other to escape all the bullying, no matter how much she tried to avoid being picked on, her peers always made her life a living hell.
They hated her for being brilliant. They hated her for sticking up for other classmates that were being bullied. They hated her for having a deformity in her boobies. They just plain hated her.
She went through all sorts of hell from name calling, to beating, to preventing her from sitting next to them on the schoolbus, to getting snow forced down her throat, to having people spit in her hair and tie it up with chewed gum, got to a point were she was depressed. She never wanted to leave the house, she wanted to commit suicide.. and she was only a teenager. Fast forward to ten years later, she’s now a successful author and publisher. She has worked with plenty celebrities and dignitaries.. she’s sitting in her car in the parking lot of her high school where she’s supposed to be attending her high school reunion, and even though she knows her former tormentors and bullies are now full grown adults and wont be able to bully her again, a part of her is still too scared to leave the car. The scars and memories of her childhood still haunt her. She still feels vulnerable and scared, like the outcast that was dehumanized so many years ago. The most amazing thing is that when she finally steps in, her mates are so nice and sweet to her, and they honestly don’t remember doing all the mean things they used to do to her. To them, she was just one out of many other kids they must have picked on when they were kids. To her, they were the people that scarred her for life and made her question her self-worth.

That’s the thing with bullying and hurting people. The one inflicting the pain barely recalls doing it an hour later. To them it’s no big deal, it was just a way of passing time and having fun. But to the person you hurt, to that person that you took it upon yourself to make the butt of your cruel malicious joke, it’s something he or she remembers for a long long time. Also, it's not so much about the mean things that are done to the person getting bullied, but also all the things that they exclude the person from. Not talking to that one person, inviting everyone else but that person, basically ignoring that person. A quote from the novel says:
"The hardest thing about being an outcast isn't the love you don't receive. It's the love you long to give that nobody wants. After a while, it backs up into your system like stagnant water and turns toxic, poisoning your spirit"

The above piece, titled 'Please stop laughing at me' was written by today's featured author KitKat. Follow her on

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9jaFOODie said...

....I went to a federal school as well... I was bullied and taunted for lots of things.
I think kid don't really understand the impact of what they say to other kids.... WHEN I think back, I just think of it as a learning curb, It's all a part of what shaped me to be who I am today.

The Corner Shop said...

Wow! That experience is enough to traumatize someone. Kids can be so harsh to each other :(

I read Kitkat's post. It's really something!


Mena UkodoisReady said...

Thank you 9jafoodie its the right attitude to take. There are several levels of learning indeed!

Cornershop na wa, I just wonder why some kids act one way and other kids act in a more thoughtful manner though. Kitkat's blog was an eye opener, one of her best I have read!thank you

therealworld said...

That demonic spirit called 'mean' abides in some people right from infancy, u just wonder why some kids are plain cruel.
I feel ur pains for the bullying u went thru, such expriences are never forgotten. I only pray you meet those wicked hearts again some day at a time you're doing extremely well, success is the best form of revenge.

I was almost a victim of bullying too in my high sch days, but I quickly learnt the antidote: fight back, and till date, I don't give anyone the luxury of being nasty to me, who born them?...anuofia(s)