So today along with about 85 other bloggers I am doing a post on bullying.
Bullying comes in many forms...physical violence, verbal violence, cyber bullying etc... It also spans every race, gender, religion and age. It's sad in any form. It's sad for those being bullied and it's really sad to me for those that feel so lost inside that they feel the need to hurt others. So here is my contribution...my personal story of being bullied. (Names have been changed except mine)
In Jr. High the church youth group I was a part of was pretty small about 20 kids at most and the core group was about 10. There were 2 boys in particular that everyone had a love/hate relationship with Ben and John. Ben and John were brothers. the middle children in a strict military family of 4 kids. An often absent father who when he was around was harsh and angry and a mother well...know one really knew. She seemed sweet and loving but also a little frightened. It seemed Ben and John tried to keep the kids in the youth group somewhat afraid of them, but also it seemed like the kids would also try to hang out with them and be part of their "cool group." I for one was never in any "cool group." I was me no matter what... sometimes kids loved me and sometimes they called me goody goody. But one thing for sure after a couple years I'd had enough of Ben and Johns B.S. They knew I was not a fan of them and their controlling and manipulating ways with all the other kids. One night it all came down...
We had just spent the day an hour away from town at our youth directors house. He had put us to work and then rewarded us with an evening bonfire and hayride. Ben and John once again were at it again and tried to pick a fight with a boy named David. I shouted at them to all knock it off...I'd had enough! "At least fight one on one you big jerks I yelled... this two against one crap is for wimps." WHOA!!! Had I REALLY just spoke up like that... their looks told me I would pay later. Girl or boy they really didn't care...
Unfortunately the hour ride home with one adult as the driver took a turn for the worst. They started in on me right away "So you think your just a great big goody goody...think it's your job to tell us how to fight." I replied only with a glare. For some reason they then left me alone but began berating the girl next to me a couple years younger than me. Ashley immediately began crying as they laid into her about being a little momma's girl that "nobody liked anyways" It was absolutely horrible and I COULD NOT sit there any longer. I leaned over and whispered to Ashley to just put her head down and ignore them... she did so and continued to quietly sob. Mind you this ENTIRE hour ride (which seemed like 10) the adult driving did NOTHING... the older brother of Ben and John did feebly throw in a "knock it off" once, but I was in awe at the pure hate flowing out of these boys mouths... Church kids mind you...supposed to know better, do better, believe in right and wrong and DO IT. Once Ashley had put her head down they took a swing at her and I threw my arm up to block their blow. This REALLY set them off in the verbal sewage. Most of what they said I CANNOT even post in this blog... but really 14 and 15 year old boys speaking this way to ANYONE is utterly horrible and wrong. One thing I clearly remember them saying is "Your such a good little Christian girl, but while we are partying in hell, God is going to be raping you in heaven." REALLY! Who says stuff like that? Eventually through my tears of both anger and humiliation. I told them I felt sorry for them. That all they knew was anger and hatred... of course they laughed.
When the van arrived at the church I grabbed Ashley's hand and practically dove out of the vehicle. I ran into the building while Ashley still crying went to her mother's car. My mom was there to pick me up and after I explained what had happened she literally kicked a chair across the office. My mom is the most laid back non-violent person I know. Another of the youth directors was there and gave me the typical "be the bigger person" speech...to which I in total anger replied "That's the kind of shit that let's these boys keep getting away with this crap!" Yes I said those words and in front of my mother... but I was pissed!
After all that they boys were banned from youth group for the next year. They could come to church but always had to sit with their parents who as far as I know did absolutely nothing. Ben eventually wrote Ashely and I an apology note while John grumbled something about being sorry.
Ashley's mother and father as well as our pastor dubbed me a "hero" for defending her. Little did I know how much that meant to Ashley who I found out later had already been the victim of sexual abuse by her biological father. I didn't really feel like much of a hero. I just knew I couldn't stand by one more minute and let these boys continue to tear others down.
I'm saddened that it took a 15 year old girl to finally stop them when countless adults could have stepped in long before. NO matter your age you can STOP bullying... don't be afraid... just follow your heart and DO WHATS RIGHT! I'm so glad I did.
To see others stories about bullies...