Pick Pick Pick

This post picks up (pun accepted) where the last one–“Incorrect. Wrong. You Don’t Fit Here.”–left off. It’s still the first day of Miss Slack’s 3rd grade class.

Daddy had told me to take the bus home, and as class let out that afternoon, I asked Miss Slack which bus. She marched down to the principal’s office, dragging me behind. After finding out which bus I should get on, she shooed me down the hall, toward a backlit glass door, which looked like I would be walking into the light at the end of my life.

I sat on a seat mid-way down the aisle. The bus driver cranked the lever, and the door swung shut, but just as we were leaving, two girls ran up and banged on the door. The driver let them in and they quickly walked down the aisle. The brunette girl must have been a sixth grader as she was tall with an adult figure. The other girl was small, maybe my size but skinnier, with the skin of an albino and hair the color of a young pumpkin. They looked like misfits. I was eager to make friends with them.

When they got near my seat, the bigger girl noticed me and stopped. She turned to the other girl and said, “Get in there.”

The redhead moved into my seat, and I scooted over, but she didn’t sit down on the outside. She climbed over me, stepping on both my feet in the process, and squished down between me and the interior wall of the bus so that I had to move over a bit. The big girl then sat down on my other side and pushed heavily against me so that I was pressed between both of them.

I looked from one to the other, wondering what in the world was going on. “Uh, hi,” I ventured.

They ignored me, but nodded at each other. That’s when they each took an arm. The afternoon had gotten warm, and I had taken my jacket off at the bus stop. I had a thin long-sleeved blouse on, but that didn’t deter these girls. They each started pinching an arm in earnest.  “Ow!” I repeated ow over and over, looking around at the other kids for help or at least moral support, but everyone ignored us. It was as if we had moved into an alternate universe, and although I could see and hear the others, these two girls had whisked me away to a place where we had become invisible to the others. A dangerous place where I was totally on my own.

Scene of the crime

Scene of the crime

It seemed as if the four mile drive took an hour. Unfortunately, the girls got off at my bus stop. I had to follow the big girl off, while the redhead followed me, kicking at the back of my knees along the aisle. The minute my feet touched ground, I took off running, while I heard them laughing behind me.  I ran all the way down the street with tears rivering down my cheeks. At home, I ran to my bedroom and slammed my door shut. I ripped off my blouse and saw that the skin on my arms was shredded with their pinches. Wiping my face with my blouse, I threw it on the floor, and then flung myself onto my bed where my tears turned into sobbing.

By then I was crying at missing my friends Vivian and Michelle, as well as Miss Dixon. I was crying for my old neighborhood and my sandbox that I hadn’t played in for two years. I was crying because I hated Miss Slack and her horrible class of mean kids. And I was crying for myself, lost in a world which had suddenly become dominated by an intolerable bus ride to and from a place which had no room for me.

How did I go from being on top of the world to being one of the downtrodden? How did it happen that two different incidents of bullying—1) by the teacher, and 2) by the girls on the bus who were not in my classroom—occurred at the same time?

So I don’t leave you hanging, Miss Slack continued to ask the class to show displeasure at my inability to remember to box my answers, and I became well acquainted with the health room from all my trips to get out of class. Those girls on the bus continued to pinch me for about six weeks. I finally told my mother and showed her my arms. The girls stopped, and soon it was as if it had never happened.

Well, except that now I knew what it felt like to be bullied, an experience that left me more empathetic to others, but also insecure and less confident.

I don’t know if my mother did something to get the girls to stop or if the cessation of bullying was a coincidence. If I ask my mother today, she wouldn’t remember. She never remembers events of the past, choosing to focus on the day-to-day.

Did you ever bully another child?


I’m sorry if you were looking for a memoir review today. Next week I’ll do two reviews to make up for posting a two-part story this week!
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Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing

56 responses to “Pick Pick Pick

  1. This was a nightmare, Luanne! Poor you!
    These experiences have strengthened you, though.
    People are not born this vicious. What made Miss Slack and these girls act the way they did?
    You can guess my answer to your question: I didn’t bully anyone.

    • Luanne

      Karen, you are right. They did me a lot of harm at first, and I think it affected my confidence into high school and even college, although probably not these incidents alone, but in conjunction with other events in my life. But in the long run they helped to make me a stronger person.
      I have always wondered that and wondered what happened to the 3 of them.

  2. Lisa Ercolano

    This is so painful to read. Isn’t it amazing how clearly we can remember these kinds of incidents? My sister is a 3rd grade teacher and talks to her students about her own experience with being picked on in school, and how she can still remember the names of the kids. She tells her current students that they don’t want to be those mean kids who will be remembered for something negative all those years later. When I was in grade school, I was part of a dysfunctional friendship triad in which two would gang up on one suddenly. I remember with clarity suddenly being the one on the outs, but I am ashamed to say I also remember being unkind myself to the third girl when it was my “turn” to be part of the duo.

    • Luanne

      Good for your sister for fighting the good fight, Lisa! And thank you for your bravery to share when you were part of being unkind to another child. I am kind of fascinated by the dynamics of your friendship triad. It seems as if you must have felt some kind of hold of the group as a whole, even when you could have gotten out–when you were faced with cruelty yourself or when you decided to do it to another girl. Have people written (interesting)books about the psychology behind a relationship like that?

  3. Oh, Luanne, this is such a heartbreaking story. I’m surprised you ever went back to school after such a horrible first day.
    No, absolutely not, I never bullied anyone. My parents taught me to treat others as I’d like for them to treat me.
    I’m so sorry you were treated so terribly, it makes me sad.

    • Luanne

      Jill, I thought I was living in a nightmare, but I had no choice. The thing is, I learned to get to the bus stop at the last moment in the morning. Then I’d try to get to the health room in the afternoon and if my mother would pick me up I could avoid the bus ride home, as well as Miss Slack’s afternoon class. I have no idea why anybody let me live in the health room so much, but apparently they thought I was a really sickly child ;).
      In retrospect, I realize I was way too passive. But that’s both my nature and a learned response to life. I did learn to fight back (for one moment) in a later episode of bullying, but that one I’m writing to submit places (eventually) so I can’t post it on here. Oh, and I did fight back earlier than this when a friend said something about my brother being adopted. I’m a lot better at fighting for others than myself haha.

  4. Ha! Luanne, you called my last story so hard to read. This story broke my heart, possibly because I could relate to it but also because it happened to you, my friend. My first post ever, and possibly why I started blogging, was about the bullies on the bus. But when I read the story now, almost two years later, I realize fear kept me from writing it in a more real, gritty way (like you did). Kudos!

    • Luanne

      Jaye, did I ever read that one? Do you have the link? The bus is such a confined area–you can’t get away from the bullies and the bus drivers aren’t parents or teachers! I love Nina’s piece on DWLA about bullying on the bus–did you read that one? It’s really exquisite for how she was both sensitive to someone else and then cracked and became a bully!! http://dontwelookalike.com/2012/10/19/the-r-word/

  5. A couple of teachers like your Miss Slack were reasons I became a teacher. I knew I could do better and I would be kinder. And I was. My parents were of the “suck it up… you will get over it” mindset but I had an older brother who rode the bus with me, so I was safe.
    While I don’t remember much bullying as a child, as a teacher I was bullied by other teachers who felt that a “special ed” teacher had no standing in the world. It was just as humiliating and degrading as what you went through.
    I think you just gave me some topics to blog about…. if I choose to relive them.
    Great stories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Luanne

      Ruth, I hope you do end up writing about your experience, if you think it’s going to be good for you. It’s hard to believe that other teachers would bully a teacher. And for what reason? Because of her students? My goodness, how would they treat the children themselves???!!!! I’m so sorry you had to go through that!!
      I was taught “suck it up,” in many ways and for many reasons. And that suited me ok. I just want everyone to be nice and play nice. But it doesn’t happen that way often enough, I guess. Sometimes you have to fight back. I’ve learned that gradually and became a fierce Mama Bear for my kids.

  6. Luanne, thank you for putting this experience in words. In fourth grade there was a girl that I picked on. I’ve often thought how I would like to apologize to her. I am certain I was trying to impress my peers. I think too after much reflection I must have been an angry little girl. My parents were older as were my three big brothers who had a tendency to hit and tease me. That girl in fourth grade….by the way…had her redemption towards me. She told two very tough girls in middle school that I called one of them a slut. Heck, I didn’t even know what that word meant…let alone know these two girls. For two years I was punched, pushed, called terrible names, and cornered against a locker in a hallway after school. These girls were smokers. They had the long blue jeans that were tattered at the hems. No one would even think of crossing them…including a group of my long time friends who looked the other direction while I was being cornered. No, no one dared to cross these girls. I was afraid to tell my parents. The only way this ended was when the girls began harassing me on the phone and my mother intercepted a conversation. That very night my parents went to visit one of the bully’s parents. It never happened again after that “talk”. Many valuable lessons were learned over these 5 years. The biggest was empathy and the other was to be kind.

    Of course, when the boys were little I was always hypersensitive to any teasing they got. Having two boys who loved musical theatre was always an invite to a bully or two. Then having a son who had a difficult time with speech development prompted even more. It was a real test for me.

    You’d think my life all grown up would be bully free…but alas, a few years ago, right after Christmas I received an anonymous letter chiding me. I will always remember that day I received that letter. Paul and I had just come home. We drove past the mailbox…funny, there was an envelope neatly typed out to me…I never got personal mail. I opened it and read it as the garage door opened above the VW Tiguan. My eyes gazed over the typed words…my face flushed…tears ran down my eyes…I kept saying, “What? What? WHAT is this?!” No name. It crushed me. I was literally breathless.

    I’ve never shared this story outside my immediate family, until now. How could I? People would wonder about me…question my character as to why someone would send me such a letter of confrontation. My dear sons know me well, they were dumbfounded. Paul, who is with me 24/7 shook his head. Throw the letter away? I couldn’t. I kept it…in fact I framed it. When I read it, it reminds me that the bully is ageless. They aren’t just kids…they are adults as well.

    Love you Luanne!

    • Luanne

      Sue, it hurts me that you had such a terrible event happen such a short time ago–and seeming to come from a place close to you. It makes it difficult to trust to receive an anonymous threat by a bully so cowardly he or she has to disguise him or herself. I guess I always think of bullying as a problem for children and society, but to think that they are adults around us does give me a “double take.”
      Thank you for being so self-aware about the bullying you did as a child and the reasons why. You know my two kids. One of them did bully on two different occasions, and other one looks to find the person who is an outsider and make him or her feel more like they are on the inside. I think I know why each is the way he/she is, and it’s true that there are reasons why.
      And, yes, the bullying for boys in musical theatre or dance is tremendous. It takes brave boys to continue with their passions in the face of that pressure.
      Love you, dear!

      • Thanks Luanne….I appreciate your words, which are an embrace to me, more than you will ever know. I tend to be a loner, which I absolutely know is a product of my childhood. Bringing this out in the open is therapeutic, but at the same difficult as the feeling of vulnerability overwhelms me. I really need to draw this out….the cycle of bullying. Bullies aren’t born bullies.

        • Luanne

          Well put, Sue: Bullies aren’t born bullies. So true. I never realized that as a kid, I think. I thought the world had nice people and lots of people who were neutral and then some born bullies. But I now know that isn’t true. Many many hugs to you, dear!

  7. Terrible. Just a terrible story. I wonder what became of those bullies?
    My son is similarly passive. It doesn’t seem to be a problem now that he’s grown, but when he was a small, lithe, blonde boy, so fragile and scrawny looking, he really took a lot of guff.
    When he did defend himself, he’d get in trouble at school, but we’d support him at home, telling the bus drivers and principal, “We told you. He told you. If you couldn’t make it stop, he’d defend himself.” I never liked that he felt he had to, but I was proud of him for ending the bullying. It’s difficult to see children with bloody noses and bruises.
    I never bullied anyone, and was bullied only once, lasting a few weeks on the bus ride home. Our afternoon buses carried junior high and high school students. I, too, grew tired of it, and decided to stand up to the girl four years my senior. She threw a punch, I ducked, I hit her square in the jaw, she cried and went home. That was the end of that. I hated it.
    Unfortunately, the following summer, she was injured in a car accident and my mother made me take her a pie. I hated that, too.

    • Luanne

      You know, I always wonder what happened to those two girls.
      You have that same Mama Bear instinct I have. So glad you well supported your son in what he had to go through!
      That is just the PITS, being forced to take that girl a pie!! Oh man, parents. The stuff they think up! My dad used to make me write adults letters of apology if he thought I wasn’t well-mannered or didn’t have a good attitude. They were usually nasty people, so it was a double whammy to have to write the letter–and HAND DELIVER it and stand there while they read it.

  8. The part of leaving your old neighborhood really struck home in this piece. Partly that’s because my office is moving today from a place I love to one I hate. If there are bullies there I’ll make them very sorry!

    • Luanne

      Elyse, haha, I saw the pix of what you have been looking out at at work. Gee, what a place to work! No wonder it bums you to think of it! I hope there are no bullies, but something good to make up for losing your view!

  9. Boy, did that story make my stomach hurt (as Charlie Brown might say). I was bullied many times as a kid and I think I’ve successfully repressed many of the memories though I’m sure there has been an effect, especially when it comes to confidence in a group of new people. Thank goodness for the internet where I can speak up without seeing the faces of my potential judges and jurors. While I know that many people take advantage of the anonymity the WWW affords, I like that can articulate my feelings and thoughts in writing which is a medium that suits me so much better than face to face where I tend to bottle up what I’m really thinking. But that’s a digression. I don’t recall bullying anyone directly, but groups of girls can be very subtle with bullying by excluding and whispering and ignoring. I’ve no doubt I participated in that kind of group think. It’s hard to avoid. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it until after the fact. Wow. This post really got me going!

    • Luanne

      Susanne, yes, exactly! The groups of girls! So well put: “excluding and whispering and ignoring.” Sometimes it’s subtle and you’re caught up in the group and what someone in the group does reflects on you–or what they do isn’t overt enough where you feel forced into taking a stand or going along with the crowd. The going along seems like nothing. Does that make sense? I tend to get in the most trouble when I see somebody treated like an outsider (gee, I wonder where my kid gets that behavior from haha) and speak up for them. I open my mouth, throw down the gauntlet, and the person I’m protecting doesn’t even know what’s going on. Your comments about the internet made me think of this because the internet has not protected me from these situations. It’s created some of them. There is a line I am always searching for between speaking up for someone else and minding my own darn beeswax. It’s not always clearcut and that’s why groups can be very difficult to negotiate.
      By the way, I’m really sorry you were bullied so much as a kid. That really sucks, but you’ve turned out to be a beautiful lady–inside and out.

      • What a spark you’ve ignited with this post, madame. Look at all the experiences expressed here. Wowee. So interesting to read.

        I like your comment about speaking up for someone else to protect them when they aren’t even aware of what’s going on. This happens a lot with my kids. I read things – usually racism – in encounters they tell me about and that they roll their eyes in dismay and counter with “Oh, mom, it was just….” Sometimes I just have to bite my tongue or I fear they won’t tell me anything that’s going on in their day to day life.

        • Luanne

          Susanne, on that kid note, I tagged you elsewhere with a dilemma I have. Check it out and, if you’re inclined, let me know what you think!

  10. It’s so sad how kids can be so cruel. I’ve never been a bully. I do have a strong personality, and on many occasions would stand up to a bully who was picking on someone else. My mother used to call me her ‘justice seeking child’, because I was often in the middle of some drama at my elementary school due to me defending someone else. I know that sometimes kids are afraid to stand up to bullies because they fear the bully will turn on them. Which did happen to me sometimes, but I didn’t care. I just couldn’t stand seeing someone being hurt!

    On another note, I also remember a time when I was on the receiving end of bullying in the 6th grade. A boy was picking on me constantly and finally I told him off and said if he didn’t leave me alone I would fight him. He promptly punched me dead in the nose! I tried as hard as I could to fight him, but by that age boys were already stronger than girls. I was surprised when two other boys came over and did what I couldn’t: taught him a lesson about picking on those weaker than him. Now, I’m not saying violence is the answer, but I have to admit that as I sat there with a huge swollen nose and tears streaming down my eyes, it felt good to see my bully get a taste of his own medicine. And he never bothered me again!

    Wow, Luanne you have a knack for bringing back memories!

    • Luanne

      Faith, I love that: “my justice seeking child.” I can so relate to that! I am always wanting justice for everyone around me! It’s so annoying that life isn’t like that!
      That’s really awful that you were hit in 6th grade by a boy. I guess he never heard that he shouldn’t hit a girl–or didn’t care! What a JERK. Good for those other boys. There is something so heart-warming about boys who try to be heroes. I like to think I’m a feminist in many ways, but there is something special about boys helping out like that. And let’s face it, boys do tend to have a lot more body strength than girls. Haha, your story disproves the notion that vengeance is best served cold. No, served hot in this case!

  11. Kids can be so terrible. I suppose what they say is true though: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I love reading your stories, you have such a way with words!

    • Luanne

      Caitlin, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about this since issue since I posted this. On the one hand, I think we cannot and should not protect children (and adults) from everything. Some dangers and frustrations and problems simply must be experienced. We learn a lot from them. On the other hand, bullying has a debilitating effect on the victim (the bully, too?) too often. I know I did get stronger from the things I’ve endured in my life. But I also was “crippled” by these things, as well. It takes so many years to work through something like bullying. We only have so much time on this planet! And we’re always recovering, if that makes sense.
      Thank you for your kind comment!

  12. Oh, dear, Luanne. You’ve reminded me of how cruel kids can be. I wish I understood what causes kids to act that way. I wonder if your Mom found out who the girls were and talked to their moms. I can’t imagine any other reason for them to stop. I don’t remember ever being bullied like that, teased perhaps. And I’ve definitely been guilty of teasing, although I can’t remember exactly what I did. I only remember that I was publicly chastised by a teacher which immediately stopped my bad behavior. I think what disturbs me the most about your story is that the bus driver had to have been aware of what was happening.

    • Luanne

      Marie, your words make me look at the topic a little differently. Teasing. Is teasing bullying? Did you grow up in one of those families where people teased other family members “mercilessly”? Was there a safe place to land? Was there a safe zone where the teasing wouldn’t intrude? I am a huge baby when it comes to teasing. I really don’t like much of it. Why? I’m not sure. My mother is kind of a teaser in a cold/sarcastic way, and that might be it. She isn’t merciless about it, but she isn’t warm and loving about it either. I’ve heard myself say something like she would say it and want to just slap myself. I’ve seen other families where the teasing is a huge part of the family culture, and I’ve been so glad I wasn’t in those families! Yet the participants didn’t seem to mind and sometimes seemed to enjoy it. I also was an only child until I was 8; maybe that’s part of it–I didn’t have siblings to tease or be teased by.
      Interesting insight about the busdriver. I don’t know. The girls sat on either side of me all the time, and their hands and my arms were below the level of the seat in front of us. Would the driver have been interested enough to wonder why I was teary-eyed (but refused to cry) and would wince over and over again?

      • Regarding the bus driver: I guess I thought the first time you had cried out. But I do remember school buses being pretty noisy, and it would make for a long ride home if the driver stopped every time a kid was being picked on 🙂
        Regarding teasing: I think there is a fine line between teasing and bullying, especially if you’ve of a sensitive nature. I hate teasing. In my family, there was always an underlying meanness to it, like some delight was being taken in the other’s discomfort. The teasing seemed always to highlight someone’s shortcomings. The problem is there was little to no antidote to the teasing; that is, we weren’t an affectionate, loving family so I internalized much of the teasing. In contrast, a family of cousins were great teasers of each other, and yet they were also very affectionate and to this day they are all very close.
        As a kid, too, teasing seemed to be okay if you were close friends. My timing was always off; even teasing a schoolmate about whether “blondes really have more fun” would get me a cold stare.
        These days, with teasing, I only go as far as to say, “Really?” when a friend notes that she tends to rather intense when discussing politics. But this is a very close friend who knows that, while I agree that she’s intense, I still love and respect her.

        • Luanne

          Marie, I’ve been thinking a lot of about the contrast in the teasing you mention here. I think a lot of times that teasing in families is passive aggression and it creates a wall that is sort of anti-affection. It’s a way to keep someone away, at a distance.

          • Passive-aggressive is a great way to describe teasing. The act of teasing often puts the burden on the person being teased, as in, “can’t you take a joke?” I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but it makes a lot of sense.

  13. Stories like this are exactly why I never had kids. I was not overly bullied as a kid, but it happened enough that I always feared it, for myself and for others, and I swore back then that I’d not put myself through the fear and worry of it as a mother.

    • Luanne

      I am very unhappy to hear that you were bullied enough to fear it. It’s terrible as a mother when you find out your child has been bullied, but then it’s a good moment to rush in and act like a crazy woman. The only time it’s accepted in society ;).
      OK, I’ll tell you an anecdote about that (crazy woman). When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she was teased a lot by a kid in her class. He made comments about her race (she’s Korean) and nobody else would say this stuff to her. Well, he was the only other (I think) Asian kid in her class (very small class) that year, interestingly. I gave a presentation on folk tales in class one day and used a moment alone with him outside the classroom to tell him that he was making my daughter feel bad by teasing her so much and asked if he would please lay off. I suspected he was a nice kid. Sure enough, he never did it again, and by high school they were friends (and laughing about the incident). Thank goodness my craziness didn’t make things worse!

      • LOL! Another great story.

        I think I also simply was never maternal, and my lack of nostalgia for childhood just played into that. I do remember even as a child, though, thinking childhood was overall pretty awful, and having the conscious thought that I didn’t want to relive it through a kid once I was done with it. I didn’t think this in a tragic way as much as a practical one – I abhored the lack of freedom and respect childhood represented, at least in my world, and I just thought it sucked pretty much.

  14. Ellen Morris Prewitt

    Luanne, you know I’ve blogged about my experience of giving the Kick-off talk to a group of high school kids for their MLK Oratory Contest on the topic of bullying and the memories it brought up, but I neglected to mention: one of the first questions the kids asked—Can we write about being bullied by a teacher?

    • Luanne

      Wow, is that ever telling! There must be a lot of kids who feel that they have been bullied by teachers! Are we addressing this in our campaigns against bullying? What a dismaying question . . . .

      • Ellen Morris Prewitt

        I was impressed, Luanne, that when I relayed this question to the administrators of the contest, they said they hadn’t considered this but, if the kids wanted to write about bullying by teachers, they could

        • Luanne

          I love that they were willing to accept that it happens and that the kids have the right to write about it.

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  16. Thanks Luanne…I was bullied in junior high–ostracized, shoved, spit at, made fun of, every morning as I entered the school–it was, as you describe, a nightmare that lasted for weeks. To this day, I am not a “joiner” of groups! 😉

    • Luanne

      Sharon, it makes me very sad that you were subjected to such intense bullying at such an age (jr high!). How horrible. Did any adults know about it? Did you ever confide in anyone? You are right that being subjected to such bullying has far-reaching consequences.

  17. I always made friends with the new kids, since I moved a few times, too. I feel so badly about that horrible teacher and the students who were not too friendly either! I cannot imagine why anyone would pick on a shy and quiet, respectful girl! The pinching was really a bad way to pick on someone, since it would be considered ‘assault’ these days! Words can hurt every bit as much as the pinches, though. I wish I could ‘erase’ your memories, they are so sad to me. You were lucky to have a good mother, the health room to escape to and finally, friends along the way, later… Robin

    • Luanne

      Robin, I don’t know what I would have done without the health room. I always thought that my mother could have been a little more proactive about figuring out what was going on–in this case and in others. But times were different then. Parents weren’t as involved in their kids’ lives. Even so, it took me quite awhile to figure out my daughter had head lice when she was eight!

      • I had a time with that, along with fleas from a cat outside our house! I don’t know why I thought just washing the hair daily would eradicate and protect their precious heads from these things! My Mom was funny, being a teacher she always defended the teachers, even said we would have ‘bad bosses someday, so adjust accordingly!’ But she was sympathetic, but never went into the school to complain. I don’t agree with her being this way, but I do think that we survived, you and me! I wish that your Mom would have just spoken to Ms. Slack! Maybe this would have changed the way she acted towards you? Maybe not! Take it easy, Luanne!

  18. I felt for you when I read this, but my reaction (now, an an adult) was why didn’t you drive an elbow into each of their faces and climb over them to get out? I was bullied terribly for years as a child. I know what it’s like. It won’t happen to me again.

    • Luanne

      Anneli, I’m so very sorry you were bullied for years. Do you remember why you didn’t/couldn’t stop it? Really, you asked the $64,000 question. Why didn’t I stop it? I have no idea why I just froze like that. I did learn to put up with quite a bit at home, so there is that. And I am not an aggressive person still today–unless you mess with my kids. Then look out.

  19. That kind of thing just gets my blood boiling. I’m sorry you had to endure those girls. I figure somewhere along the line they probably got their come-uppance.

  20. What a horrifying story! It just seems unimaginable that children would learn to be so cruel so young. I’m so glad you told your mother and they finally stopped. But what is also so horrifying is that no one around you tried to help. In some ways that’s almost worse. To feel so alone and so hurt and no one caring.

    • Luanne

      That’s how I felt. I’ve been working on a piece about being bullied by a boy in junior high (much darker) for submitting and that was one of the most terrifying parts, as I relive the experience–that there were bystanders, observers, and nobody did anything.

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