Oct. 3rd, 2011

fae_boleyn: (killer soulmates)
[Error: unknown template qotd]The odd thing is, the biggest bully in my life wasn't actually a bully, not really. But she was an enabler, and she was an enabler in power. I'm talking about my principal at my second grade school, Mrs. McCarthy.

When I was in fifth grade, I was bullied. Well, actually, I had been the target of occasional teasing by a couple of kids from first to fourth grade in my first grade school, but that was more kid squabbling than bullying. And I was teased and left as the outcast from the second I began at my second grade school in March of fourth grade. But fifth grade was the worst, because our teacher was chronically absent, and the closest thing we had to an adult authority was a parade of inept (and sometimes non-English speaking, which in an American school seems unwise) substitutes.

I kept quiet about the bullying until a couple of kids threatened to jump me when I was walking home from school. I was scared, obviously - picture a 4 foot 10, scrawny eleven year old with frizzy hair - and so I finally told my mother, who went right to McCarthy. Who proceeded to call me down to her office and explain to me how and why the bullying was my fault.

And for the next two years she basically treated me like I was a horrible person whenever she saw me, until I won a contest that made the school look good and then I was suddenly one of her favorite people.

What I learned from her was that the people who were supposed to help me weren't going to; in fact, they would blame me if that made things easier. I think that was in some ways worse than anything the kids said to me; I've figured out how to tame my frizzy hair, my pimples are gone, and I'm working on trying not to assume that my friends will turn on me the way my "friends" did back then. But not even being able to go to the people who are supposed to help? That really did a number on my faith in those I'm supposed to be able to rely on.

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fae_boleyn

January 2013

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