I once had a bully.
She was tall and had white-blonde straight hair. She was popular and walked around with confidence. She was one year older. She had striking blue eyes and was quite beautiful.
I had never hated anyone before.
Until I returned back to school shortly after my father had passed away and this girl, who had no reason to even utter a word in my direction, made fun of me for losing my father.
Of course she didn’t put it like that.
“Losing my father.”
And thankfully I have now forgotten the words that once hurt so badly.
But I haven’t forgotten her.
Her words immediately sent me to tears, hiding in a corner from the giggles and screams from the other children playing.
I couldn’t let them see me crying.
And she walked away, flipping her blonde hair in my face as she turned. Even looking back at my tear-stained, ghost-white cheeks before she exited the gymnasium.
I was stunned. Frightened. And only seven years old trying to figure out why someone could be so cruel.
I saw her again in high school and immediately felt anger and disgust. Luckily, we didn’t cross paths often. I am not even sure we ever made eye contact. Or if she even remembered me.
I can still see her in my mind.
If I saw her again today I doubt I would say anything to her. But I do wish she knew how much she had hurt me at that time. If anything to learn how just words can stick for a lifetime.
I have no idea what she is doing today. Or what she looks like.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if she were fifty or so pounds overweight, though.
Being the bully before, I know what it feels like to hurt someone. I have also been on the receiving end of being bullied and know what the hurt feels like. Both, are awful.
I continue to see articles in magazines and in the news of our youth being bullied. And it continues to make me feel sick every single time. Especially when the results are life-threatening.
So we as parents need to try our very best to teach our children what is right and just how wrong bullying is. What it FEELS like to be picked on. What the consequences on all ends could be.
Because can you even imagine your own little sweetie getting bullied?
Ugh, I can’t take the thought.
Here’s to hoping bully prevention is on the rise.