Okay, so as you all know (or maybe you don’t), it’s pink shirt day. What is pink shirt day? It’s an attempt to raise bullying awareness and blah, blah, blah. I don’t know if it’s world-wide or just Canada-wide, but there you have it. A wonderful blogger’s post inspired me to speak about bullying, it’s a very touchy subject for me. There is definitely going to be heavy cursing, if it offends you, don’t read it.
I also got my mind whirring when I wrote this on Facebook:
“Again with the pink shirts. Instead of following a trend, why don’t you get off your asses and DO something about bullying? Bullying fucking ruined my life, you don’t see me wearing a pink shirt, no, because it isn’t going to help. What needs to be done is people getting off their lazy asses and actually DOING something about it, administrators caring about their students. I don’t care if you smash that bully’s teeth in, send him to prison for a week! Expel him! Turn him into soup! Niceness doesn’t work, and wearing a pink shirt when you’re not popular makes you an easy target. What the fuck is wrong with society? Don’t just jump on a bandwagon because it’s easy. If you’re really THAT anti-bullying, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”
I sound cynical.
Surely, this isn’t right, is it? Someone that suffered at the hands of bullies, not liking pink shirt day? No, I am ALL for awareness, but I don’t like what it has turned into. Doing this is trendy, people that have never been bullied in their life, people that don’t even care, people that ARE the bullies, wear these shirts because it’s cool. All because it’s cool. What the fuck is wrong with you? You should be wearing a black shirt that says, “I can’t participate because I am the bully,” seriously, go fuck yourself!
I can remember the first time anyone ever called me a name. I admit, I was always a chunky kid, but I was healthy, I played sports, I was fit, I could run without my ribs hurting. I was 5 or 6 and this kid, who was my “friend’s” brother, came up and called me “fatso”. What the fuck is a fatso anyway? I’m fat…so what? No, seriously, what the fuck does it mean? And what made it even funnier, was the fact that he was probably 10 years old and he weighed more than I ever did!
And I understand that. Sometimes people that are bullied or are insecure bully other people.
That’s no excuse.
I think elementary school was the greatest experience for me. I was bullied, but to a lesser degree. Eventually, I started walking funny, so now, not only was I fat, I walked “like a retard.” In middle school, I knew everyone, everyone knew me, but they still made fun of me. This was a different breed of people though, they were absolutely great to my face, but once I wasn’t there, oh the things that were said. And after I got out of school with them, good lord, the things they said to me. These weren’t nice people, they were awful!
High school was the worst experience though.
I remember being scared to walk home alone. If Tim was there and he had to leave early, I’d fake sick just so I could leave with someone. Walking by that alley was the worst thing… My first year of high school wasn’t thaaaaat bad. I was bullied, but it was stupid things like, “oh, she’s fat” and “oh, she’s stupid”, just childish shit like that. Eventually, it grew to be worse. Much worse.
I attempted suicide multiple times throughout high school.
Yeah, I’ll admit it.
High school… well, it ruined my life. I lost all self esteem I had for myself, I’d hurt myself because it was the only way I could deal with things, I didn’t really have friends, or so I believed. Ugly girls don’t have real friends, you see. And the people that were my friends, only were because they felt sorry for me. Or so the story goes.
So aside from being scared to walk home alone, I was threatened quite a lot, laughed at a lot, and I attained a shitton of nicknames. My favourite, of course, being “the waddler.”
My friends heard things I didn’t. I had become so used to the abuse that I was able to ignore it and keep smiling. Of course, I never really ignored it, that’s not how it works, but I rocked that smile and boy did I fake it well.
I think one of my favourite comments was “she’s so fat, she broke her legs.” Yeah, because that makes sense. I loved that comment, I thought it was great, real original, you know? Not.
So we’ve gone through the whole, “you’re ugly, no one loves you, you’re stupid, you should kill yourself”, now’s where it turned physical.
My friends say that if they knew about it, they would’ve done something, but I thought they knew about it. I remember walking home with Tim after school one day and we got rocks thrown at us. I was pushed into things, I was hit. And guys, you always say, “no guy hits a girl, I’d kill them!” Well where the fuck were you when I was in school? Nobody stood up for me, nobody did anything.
I quit going to school because I was afraid. I was depressed, I was anxious, I was suicidal, and people kept on pushing. Me quitting school is what ultimately has ruined my life. I’ll be 21 with no diploma soon, and while I’m trying to get it now, it’s hard work. Sometimes I like to say that I should’ve just toughed it out, but how can someone deal with THAT much and continue? And don’t tell me I should’ve “told.” At first, I did the whole, “it hurts more if you tell”, but eventually I couldn’t take it. I was SCARED FOR MY LIFE! I can’t run away, how the hell am I supposed to deal with people trying to kill me? I told the Counsellor From Hell (I’ll talk about her some other time), I told my teachers, I told the principal, and lastly, I told the police. I was with Tim and the Friendly Giant the first time we went to the principal. I’m not sure they even remember that, or even know why they were there, but they were with me. The principal gave me a policeman’s phone number and informed them as well. The police woman came in and flat out told me that they were known to them and they’d do something.
Nothing was ever done.
I figured maybe they’d have to go to another school, or maybe the bullying would lessen. Haaaaa, no. In fact, it got worse. Nothing was ever done for me. Sometimes I wish I succeeded with suicide, it seems schools only pay attention when you’re rich or you’re dead.
Despite this being a shortened, less-involved story, you can tell just how much I hate bullying. I despise it. I’ve stood up for people (who later get mad at me, WTF), I’ve fought back, I’ve ignored, I’ve told people, I’ve kept it to myself… nothing fucking works. For the longest time, I wanted nothing more than sweet revenge. That is such a terrible thing to say, but these people made my life a living hell, why do they get to get away without paying any price, living happy, fulfilled lives? That’s not fair.
I’m the kind of person that believes everyone should be nice to everyone, even if you don’t like the person. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And definitely don’t punch the person.
It just angers me because this is such a popular thing, but it seems like no one’s really getting to the root of the problem. The administrator’s don’t care, and the parents of these bullies should be whooping their asses, literally, preferably with a wet leather belt.
Bullies are just going to keep getting away with it, the world will be in shock for a week when a kid kills themselves, and things will return to normal.
Bullying didn’t “toughen me up”, it’s different now than it was back in the day.
Pink shirts don’t solve anything. If you really feel strongly about anti-bullying, DO something. Go speak at schools, talk to your children, talk to other peoples’ children, even write a newspaper column. It’s just going to continue to get worse, so get off your asses and do something. Fixing it (though it’ll never completely disappear) isn’t as easy as throwing on a pink shirt.