Like most of the people here, I was bullied, but it was the worst in jr high and early high school. I had been teased at an earlier age, but it wasn't to the point of physical abuse. It was mostly name-calling and people making fun of the size of my nose. When I hit seventh grade, however . . . .

Basically, at that age it seemed like most of the females decided to turn down their IQ points whenever a boy walked in the room. I think someone forget to tell me "the rules" because I didn't. Needless to say, I would walk down the hall and boys would trip me, call me names, through things at me, smush unwanted food into my coat pockets while it was hanging in the cloakroom. Any boy who broke rank and said that they didn't think I was a bad sort was immediately made fun of and said they were my boyfriend. It was a quick way to get them to back off.

It reached the point that whenever a teacher would leave the room, the boys would throw pens, spitballs and any other object they could get their hands on at me. It was kind of like being "stoned" with office products. All accompanied by "bitch" and other wonderful names. Oddly enough, unlike some people on this list, none of the abuse reached the point of sexual abuse (no "slut" or similar sexualized names, no threats of rape or feeling up in the halls).

Did I mention that not one female in the class defended me? Did I mention that teachers turned an absolute blind eye to the mess around my desk when they would return?

I, of course, did the "stiff upper lip" deal and refused to break down. After a year-and-a-half of abuse, I finally, after school broke down in the class of a young teacher and sobbed out my story. A two or three other girls where there and when it was clear that the teacher had decided not to believe me, slowly came forward and backed me up. It was clear she didn't want to hear it or do anything about it. But then, an older teacher who was near retiredment who had been listening in the hall (she had been walking by at the beginning of my tale of woe and had been so shocked that she stopped short and listened to the whole thing) stepped into the room and said she would take care of it.

A week and half later, we were in this teacher's class and she excused herself from the room. Naturally, the whole mess started up again. What none of us knew is that she had stationed herself at a window that would give her a clear view of the classroom but where we couldn't see her so easily. Right at the height of the the abuse, we all heard a loud knock at the back window. Everyone turned around and there she was waving at us with the most evil smile on her face. She then came into the room and informed everyone just how much trouble they were all in. She added that every teacher and the principal will be informed and that if they try to abuse me again, they would discover how sorry they could be.

The physical abuse stoped and the ignoring began. Frankly, I was greatful to be ignored. Miserable as I was to be a pariah, it was sure better than getting stuff thrown at me every day.

The abuse didn't restart until high school and that's because I crossed the wrong clique. This time a group of boys (if it wasn't a catholic school, they would've been the goths/new wavers) took pity on me (weird) and let me sit with them at lunch and stand with them in the school yard. The girls remained mostly nasty throughout high school, but at least I had a small group to hide in. I still can't get into detail about it.

As you can probably tell, the above accounts aren't terribly detailed. Part of the reason is that I blocked a lot of it out. I know it was bad enough that I still have a difficult time trusting anyone. At one point, I was pretty sure eveyrone hated me on sight and were laughing at me behind my back. This despite the fact that I went on to get a good education and a good job. However, I still have trust issues. I'm older than 30 and can count the number of poeple I've dated on one hand and still have fingers left over.

However, I am now in therapy, which has helped tremendously. I at least don't think people are just waiting to make fun of me any more (I was shocked to discover that they aren't). While I may be getting over the paranoia, I still am having trust issues in that I'm too afraid to actually join groups where I might meet people and make friends. (I've obviously given up all hope of being trustful enough to settle down with someone and build a loving relationship). I am working on it however. On some level, I feel bad for my therapist, because whenever a school shooting happens, I have flashbacks and am practically ranting when I walk into her office. I'm not saying I agree with what these children do, but I certainly understand the why. Believe me, I've drawn up hitlists several times . . .

I suppose what prompted me to write is that when I go home to visit my parents (I left my home city a long time ago with a strict vow never to return) I've started running into my classmates' parents. One parent asked for my phone number so her daughter (one of my tormentors) could contact me. I said that she could reach me through my parents if she really wanted to get in touch with me. Needless to say, my mother certainly has received no inquiring call. If she did, she's under strict orders not to tell anyone my phone number or new address. Today she ran into the parents of another classmate who, upon hearing that I was very successful, simply didn't want to hear it any more.

And my parents wonder why I hate my home town so much (much sarcasm here).

I know this is a long message and that I'm not making any sense. I suppose what I was trying to say is don't let them (your tormentors) win. Success is an awesome revenge, yes. I absolutely agree. But if you don't do something to heal the emotional damage, it's only half a victory. I suspect that this will be a lifelong battle, but at least I'm trying to wage it. So far, it's been very much worth the effort.

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