Monday, August 29, 2011

My Pet Peeve - Bullying and Changing Yourself For Others

Growing up my biggest pet peeve was watching some of my closest friends change. Not in general, but for other people.  I never understood it and it drove me crazy.  I was close friends with this girl, we'll call her Rachel, who would always talk about wanting to be popular. Rachel and I became friends in middle school and we had a group of friends that we would have sleepovers with and always had a blast together. Though we had fun, we would always bump heads. When we got into high school, she made some new friends and "finally" made the cheerleading squad (for JV Basketball). So from then on we no longer spoke. I'm not saying I never changed. I have but within my own person. Not for anyone. For example,  my husband smokes. We have been together for 4 years and I have never even tried to smoke. Most couples you hear like this, they both end up smokers. I have kept the same friends throughout mylifetime.  I have become friends with some "popular" people at a few points in my life but never on a "hang out" basis. I don't see myself as being too different than what I used to be. Here is a perfect example of a situation I experienced in middle school that both represents bullying and changing for others. It happened right before my very eyes and in an instant I lost a best friend. (We will call her Kelly in this story).

I had a best friend named Kelly in middle school. We we're always together and loved eachother's company. We especially loved Hanson...the boy band? You know, MMmmBop? Anyway, this was our common love.  Well, Kelly had a birthday (I think it was a birthday I don't remember) and she invited me and two other friends from her previous school to her house for a sleepover. As soon as these girls came over I was the 4th wheel and I didn't find them amusing at all. As soon as they went into her room they ripped down all of her Hanson posters without even asking and started putting up Leonardo DiCaprio posters (This was back when Titanic first came out) and told her how Hanson was stupid or whatever. I looked at her like "Are you going to let them do this to you"?? Well, she did. These girls were that overbaring, bubbily, snobby type. They were very mean to me. They ignored me a lot. That night they thought it would be funny to pretend to be strippers (This is 6th or 7th grade keep in mind). So they strippped down to their underwear and started dancing on a stuffed bear. I just sat there in disbelief. This is when I should have called my parents. When it was finally time to go to bed us three girls were sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor while Kelly had her bed. Well, the other girls thought it would be funny to leave me alone and hop into bed with Kelly. I was so hurt from the whole day I tried to call my parents on the phone. It was so late I don't think they heard it.  I was so miserable and felt so alone I wanted to go home so badly.  I remember waking up in the morning and Kelly's mom could tell something was wrong with me. I don't remember if I told anyone at her house because I was just so ready for my mom to get me.  I never got an apology from Kelly, I don't think. If I did it was sometime in high school and  not very heartfelt. She became one of them to say the least. 

Although this was a bad situation it allowed me to never put myself in that situation again...on purpose. I went to a couple of birthday parties where the girl was "popular" and there were boys and girls there.  It just didn't feel right to me and it felt  more grown up than I was ready for. I enjoyed my group of girlfriends where we had fun sleepovers and talked about boys and would just laugh all the time. I was blessed to have several groups of friends growing up. These groups of friends made my middle school experience a blast overall.

Working in After School for years I also see bullying on the outside. I am a huge advocate for children being bullied or made fun of. Sometimes I get too passionate which can come accross as mad so I would have to keep myself in check. I am not afraid to stick up for someone who is being bullied. Are you?

Any of you been through a situation of bullying?

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  1. Definitely can relate!! I've been thin all of my life, it's hereditary. In middle school, I can remember kids calling me anorexic and bulimic. We were like 11 and 12! It was awful and made me so shy and self-conscious. It wasn't high school, that the bullying stopped because I started fighting back. With words, never with fists lol

    It's so sad and scary to think of what some kids are going through right now! With more and more doing things younger, like having sex and doing drugs, more kids are being made fun of for being normal, good hearts. Let's pray that they don't give in just to be "cool." In reality, they are selling out by selling themselves short!

  2. I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that, Jacy. I'm am glad, however, that you were able to fight back!