I’ll be guest posting on the Bullying  Stories blog in the near future. In the post, I write about the time I was bullied in fifth grade. Even though the bullying lasted ONLY ONE DAY and was relatively mild, I still remember how it made me feel and what words were used. If such a small bullying incident can cause so much pain, I cannot imagine how children who are constantly bullied, physically and verbally, get out of bed in the morning. I do understand, however, why some of them take such drastic measures to end the misery.

If you were bullied in school, how did you force yourself to go, knowing you were giving your enemy another chance to rip out your heart and crush it?

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6 responses »

  1. Tonia says:

    It’s something that stays with you for a long long time…

  2. Sara Tolbert says:

    I would like to share my story…

    It was an exciting time but scary all the same. I didn’t know what to expect. I was officially in the “High school” in this small town school. 7th grade. This was my 2nd year at this school. I had some friends and so on. The town I lived in was so small that we were bused to the next town for school. I had some friends in both small towns.

    I grew up fast… And I seemed to gravitate towards the “older” crowd. They were more at my level emotionally and mentally. I also went through my change of life early so I fit in physically with the older crowd as well.

    I also gravitated towards guys versus girls. Girls were in a different world than I wanted to be in. There was always drama! I could always deal with all different kinds of people though. It was pretty easy for me to conform myself to what others wanted or liked. I am still a lot like that today.

    Anyway, off to my 7th grade year. I had a few girl friends that I hung out with. I had sleep overs and all that good stuff. One night in the winter of my 7th grade year, everything was going normal. I was at Brenda’s, my friends house for a sleep over. Her Mom, Dad, and brother were home. My friend and I performed a dance for her parents, that we rehearsed over and over. It was to the song, Baby got back. Yep, it was the one by Sir Mix A~lot! The dance was cute. Took a lot of work for us to come up with the moves throughout the whole song.

    After the dance off that we did, we took it pretty easy. It was getting pretty late and we ended up sleeping in the living room.

    The next morning, everyone was still laying low. It was Saturday anyway. I got up to go to the bathroom and on my way back from the bathroom, my friends brother, Brad, had called my name from his room. I was pretty close to the whole family so I walked in saying, “Yeah”. Next thing I know the door was shut and he came up to me with no clothes on. And without going into detail, raped me. Even though I screamed for help, nobody seemed to hear me. I was in shock and so much discomfort that I called my mom to come get me. I just wanted to go home and curl up in bed. Which is what I did…

    I tried to remain “normal” and go on as usual when it came to my school life. I still talked to my friend Brenda but things did not feel the same. I ended up even dating a guy soon after this happened. Longer story shortened…My boyfriend and I were hanging out at a friends house and she lived close to the family I trusted and stayed at the night I was raped. As I was looking out the window and feeling horrible inside, my boyfriend came up beside me asking if I was ok. Obviously I couldn’t hide the few tears that I didn’t have time to wipe away. It was then that I decided to tell him a little bit about what happened. He talked to me that day and helped me feel better.

    Before I new it, a couple days past. The next thing I knew I was being pulled into an counselors office and my mom was sitting there as well. I was confused…my counselor explained that my boyfriend, Travis, got in a fight with Brad, the guy that raped me. That they were there because Brad talked to his mom about what I told him. Needless to say, my mom and the school was informed. I was devastated. I didn’t want to deal with this and just wanted things to disappear. However, this was just the beginning of the very worst year of my life…

    It really was a small school and word got out quickly. It was by the next day, that everything and everyone changed. Let me explain a little about Brad. He was a “jock”. He was a star player on the high school football team. He was very popular in school and in town.

    From this day on I was pushed around physically and mentally.

    I was talked into pressing charges on him, “to save other girls from having to go through this.” Little did I know that was the worst choice of my life. I now had to make it through a court proceeding as well as learn to live with being treated horribly.

    Not only did I have students from all grades attacking me physically…I had teachers and staff in on the tournament. I wont bother you with every detail but would like to give you a taste of what my life was like during this time.

    First and foremost, my boyfriend wanted nothing more to do with me. As far as “friends” were concerned…I had a couple left. There wasn’t a day that went by without being humiliated. I was called every name you can think of. “Slut, whore, bitch, piece of shit” to name a few. I was called these names out loud all day long. But when that wasn’t enough for them, my locker became a chalk board of sorts. A group of students used bright lip stick to write “Slut, bitch, and whore” on my locker. They used chap stick to grease the combination part of my locker so that I couldn’t open it. This was all done on a day that I stayed home from school. I was called by a girl from school and told about this. So in other words, there was MANY who seen it, including staff members in the school, but they left it up for me to deal with the next day.

    I was tripped down a set of stairs so many times that I can still picture the tile my nose has hit very vividly. I was called names when I would raise my hand in class but no teacher would acknowledge it. I even had one teacher that told me I needed to stay after class to talk about some problem I got wrong on my homework. When everyone left, I walked up to the teacher. He was sitting in a chair at his desk. As I look down at the work he supposedly wanted me to look at, he was playing with himself. When I looked away he told me in a stern voice…”LOOK DOWN HERE OR ELSE”. I couldn’t hold the tears in anymore, so I took off. I ran to the bathroom. I cried as hard as I could but knew I had more classes to get through. It was useless to “tell” on the teacher. It would be taken as serious as the times I begged for help when students were hurting me. They, the school, didn’t care. Now it was just a matter of staying alive…staying strong…until I couldn’t take it anymore.

    I have always been able to take a lot! I tried to ignore random boys coming up behind me and sticking their hands up my shirt to touch me. I tried to ignore the time I walked with the 2 last “friends” I thought I had. I followed them to an area I later found out, was planned. There were many people, including guys, at this spot where nobody could help me. While they all took turns pushing me, hitting me, calling me names. I finally got strong enough and just started running! I ran for my life literally. I honestly don’t know how far they would have went if I would have just stayed there. I really did try and ignore being poked and scratched with sharpened pencils and the metal that holds notebooks together on the bus.

    I could go on for quite some time…but the point is that it was my hell. It couldn’t be anything less then hell. I was seriously beaten into the ground.

    My parents seen in me that I was done. I could no longer fight the fight. I was officially broken and not willing to go on anymore. Without going through all the legal mumbo jumbo…My parents hired lawyers and started fighting for a 6 figure win. At that point I was only concerned that NOBODY would have to endure that kind of treatment there at that school. We didn’t get to finish out the lawsuit the way I would now love to take on…But we did hit them in the belt. They didn’t get away with it but at the same time I don’t know if it was enough to do what I hoped for. I cut all ties to that town and school. I was lucky enough to make it through that period of my life. Don’t think I didn’t think or even try to commit suicide. I did try and I did sit many nights planning an easy way to end my life. I remember so many nights that I wouldn’t go to sleep without my lights on. I remember sleeping with my mom most nights. Luckily my dad worked nights. If he was home and I couldn’t sleep with my mom, I would hold my pillow and sit next to their door…falling asleep sitting up.

    I know what it’s like to want to take all that pain and just kill it. Without really “dealing” with what I went through I ended up with the “Who cares” attitude.

    Don’t get me wrong, things finally did settle once they removed me from this school. I was put through some home type schooling for a bit. And then was off to a new school in a different town. I was scared beyond words but I made it. I think the next year was as normal as I think I had in my school years.

    Either way…I made it through my hell. I fought myself over and over. I did put myself in some bad situations after I lived through this hell. I had the “I just don’t care anymore” attitude. I ended up in a relationship with a drug dealer for a year and a half. I skipped school, I helped make drug deals, etc. I ended up in a group home for troubled kids. I was put in a mental hospital. I really just didn’t care anymore. I finally ended up braking things off with him so I could make a go at changing my life. Soon after our split, he was murdered. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have been with him and laying dead right beside him.

    I am thankful that I had the Lord on my side with a whole different plan… He obviously had a different plan for my life because I am still here.

    I would love to help make a difference in our bullying laws. I obviously have been touched personally in this area. Not to mention my own daughter, almost 13, has been dealing with a lot of bullying as well.

    It really does break my heart that I can’t do more by myself. If I could do it all alone…it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I know what it’s like feeling empty and alone. I know what it’s like being ignored and pushed aside.

    I wouldn’t want anyone to endure what I did. And I honestly mean NOBODY! Even those that were apart of it. I just want it to stop. I pray for a day that these kids can all be whoever they choose without being treated badly. I pray for acceptance…I pray for peace and love. I pray that I can help stop the hate. Even if we just start here in the community…it’s a huge step. We only live once…

    This where my poem Beyond bullying comes into play:

    11 years old tryin to find her place…

    So many girls jealous of her face…

    Schools star football player has taken what he wants

    Teachers and students begin with the taunts

    Tripped down the stairs while they all smile

    The bump to the head will heal in awhile.

    Two “friends” walked her into a circle of pain

    Barely walked away from there feeling the same.

    Both boys and girls took a turn or 2

    hitting and kicking until purple and blue.

    Locker greased with chapstik galore

    Books in sad hands dropped to the floor.

    Stay after class cause he has something to share

    “don’t look away” as he touches himself there.

    Lucky for her she stayed really strong

    looking back today, so much could of went wrong.

    Bully’s all shapes, sizes, gender, and age

    make it feel like you belong in a cage.

    Parents question about all this rage and then blow

    it off like its some sort of stage.

    They all need to know it’s worse today

    weapons and guns have come into play.

    We need to find peace and stand up for their rights

    lets please put an end to all these bully’s and fights.

    ~Sara

    (My own personal experience of bullying)

    • Karen Coombs says:

      Thank you for having the courage to share your experience and your wonderful poem. I marvel at your endurance and hope you know how strong you are. I’m only sorry you had to go through it. Keep looking to the future and remembering how far you’ve traveled and how much you’ve overcome. And give your daughter a hug from me. She is blessed by having a mother who understands.

  3. aeisenbe says:

    First a thank you to Karen for sharing your story on my Bullying Stories site (http://bullyinglte.wordpress.com). It certainly takes a village to support each other and what you are doing in your writing and blog help to make that happen. When we release our stories of when we were bullied, they are truly now released from our subconscious, and the healing can begin.

    It is hard for some to imagine why these experiences linger with us long after they are over. For some it’s easy to forget and let go. For others it is not. I hope, in some small way, what you are doing here can make a difference and change lives. I believe it can and it does. Thank you.

    • Karen Coombs says:

      Thanks for your comment. I believe momentum is growing to raise awareness and possibly put an end to, or at least decrease, the bullying that damages spirits and changes lives.

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