SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My High School Bullying Story

I have seen a few bloggers and people talk about their bullying experiences in light of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why. I thought I would share my bullying experience. In no way is mine as bad as the things I read today. But bullying comes in many forms now. Especially with the addition of social media.

When I was in High School, social media wasn't a thing. Barely anyone had cell phones. We mostly had pagers. I didn't get a cell phone until I was a senior in HS. I believe that social media has really amped up the effects of bullying. You can't escape it anymore. It follows you home and everywhere you go.

I fear for my girls as they grow up. I don't want them to experience even the slightest amount of bullying. That is why I am watching 13 Reasons Why. I want to educate myself for when my girls grow up and how to deal with these issues, how to be more aware of how your children are feeling and to be active in their lives...in a helpful way.

Now my story...

In HS, I was really skinny. Like super skinny. I didn't hit 100 pounds until I was in college. I was 5'8" and under 100 pounds. I was made fun of for how skinny I was. I know some are thinking why would I care or make a big deal that people were making fun of how skinny I was? Isn't it better to be too skinny than too fat?
Not the best photo of me, but this was at a friends house in high school. Those are size 00 pants.

I was in P.E. and there was this extremely tall, athletic boy who made comments on my appearance every single class. I would try to ignore it, but eventually, it got to me so much that I said things back to him.

He would say things like, "Eat something. Why are you so skinny? Parents forgot to feed you? Anorexia is not in." And I would reply with things like, "I eat all the time. Didn't you see me at lunch eating pizza? You should see how many plates of spaghetti I take down." To which he would reply, "So you are saying you are bulimic. Cool. I hope that pizza tastes good coming up."

He would walk by me in the halls and do the thing where you cough and say something at the same time. It was always things like anorexic or bulimic. Some people said he did it because he liked me, but that isn't a way to get someone to like you back.

It was a constant battle between him and I. Eventually, he graduated and I didn't have to deal with him anymore, but those little jabs hurt and made a lasting impression on me. I was so paranoid about people thinking I was anorexic or bulimic that I made sure to eat around people and wouldn't dare go to the bathroom after I ate. I always waited for awhile.

Obviously, I shouldn't have even have acknowledged him. I should have just ignored him, but after him saying those things day after day, I "fought" back.

I hate to think what it would have been like if I was in HS now and the same scenario happened. It probably would have followed me home and probably would have been worse. But thankfully, my bullying wasn't that bad. And hopefully, my girls never experience anything like this or worse than this.

26 comments :

  1. Oh sweeties, I hope your girls never experience mean spirited bullying either. Makes me so sad. No matter today because look how wonderful you are despite that crap. Strong and beautiful! I'm 5'8" too, well, I may have shrunk a half inch in my 40's, lol!

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    1. Haha. I don't think you have shrank just yet :) I really hope they don't experience it either. It is definitely a big fear of mine.

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  2. Ugh, I hate reading this! Any bullying whatsoever is NEVER ok, and it's so true how those words leave a lasting impression. But I'm actually glad you said something back to him! I think that's a strong example for other women and girls: you CAN defend yourself, and you did so in the right way. You were gorgeous then and are now. :)

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    1. Awe you are soooo sweet. Yes. Words do leave a lasting impression. I always think about it and hope it doesn't affect my sweet girls later on in life.

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  3. Oh Danielle, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I went through the EXACT same experience. I was always bone-thin even though I ate like a horse. I weighed just around 100 pounds all through high school and basically had the body of a teenage boy... no shape whatsoever. I constantly heard the anorexic, bulimic, you need to eat something comments, too, and it really hurt. I even went so far as to ask my doctor how I could safely gain weight because I had had enough. She told me I was just fine the way I was and that eventually the weight would come. And I finally did gain more weight and get a little more shapely after college and I'm finally comfortable in my own skin. And now I'm thankful for my slender figure because I'm not battling the middle age weight-gain like a lot of other people do. I'm sorry you went through all of that, but it's good to know that other people have felt the same way because most people thought I had no right to feel upset since I was skinny and not fat. Even still to this day I have to endure the, "Girl, I hate you - you've had two babies and you're SO skinny!" comments. I know they are just joking around but it still gets old hearing it!

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    1. I completely agree with everything you said. I am soooo glad I wasn't the only one who heard that and felt this way. It does hurt and I asked what I could do to gain weight. I tried soooo many things to make sure people knew I was eating. It is sad that we had to do that. I still get similar comments like you do, "you had twins and are that skinny. Wow."

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  4. Words hurt, no matter what the situation. Skinny hurts just as much as overweight often. And I fear what the world will be like as E and the twins grow up. So much hate and people that can hide behind social media. All we can do is teach them to love their bodies no matter what.

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    1. Yes to all of this. I fear it too. I want to instill that in my girls as well. That is why I never complain or say anything negative about my body around them.

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  5. I think it's hard to hear someone comment about you no matter what, especially about your body and at an age where those things are so front and center and what you worry about (how do I look, do people think I'm ugly, etc etc). So a comment about being too skinny or that you have an eating disorder is hurtful. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I, too, am worried about our girls growing up in the age of social media where people say things behind screens that they would NEVER say to someone's face. I've dealt with that even in my 30s. People are always big and bad behind their screens, it's just hard to deal with when you're a kid and don't have all of the coping skills yet.

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    1. It is hard to deal with and getting harder all the time. I hate the haters. Especially when they hide behind a computer. All bullying is awful. In all forms. I hope our girls never experience it.

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  6. There's always something mean kids can find to bully people about, being skinny is just another one of them. Kids used to tease me because I walked with my toes slightly pointed out - like a duck. I should write my bullying story too. One reason I don't like 13 Reasons Why is because (at least in the book) the things that happened to the girl weren't worse to those that happen to anyone else, but she used suicide to escape. It's like saying that if a kid teases you constantly, that's something you should consider. As far as social media, I know things would have been 1000x worse for me if it was around when I was young!

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    1. Yes. I hated 13 Reasons Why for that side of it as well. I wanted to watch it to be more aware for my girls as they get older. I think it helps point out things to look for, how to be more proactive in your children's lives, etc. But the suicide part is awful. I had friends commit suicide and it isn't fair. It is selfish and I hate when people turn to that. You should write your story. People do get made fun of for EVERYTHING. I would love to hear your story.

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  7. That guy was a huge jerk (to say the least). Do you ever wish you could click your fingers to go back in time and say, kick him in the balls, cough and say 'bet that hurt.' I think we all like to think we'd ignore it but I am not sure that works either. Hopefully that guy is now a grown up and feels awful about how he acted. You hear about bullying in the workplace along these lines, I wonder how prevalent that really is? By the way - you look AMAZING (as now) in those photos - you still look just as young! Like others commenting, people just can't help (women usually) on other's weight and I have found it can these days be more directed towards being skinny rather than overweight - sometimes I feel like I can't comment about toning up or feeling uncomfortable wearing something because the response is 'well how do you think I feel and I'm bigger than you' or being told to eat up - old men in particular can be very rude and outspoken in this country. I don't think I've much comprehension of bullying these days - for girls over here it is more of an issue than boys - in Caspar's class of 9 and 10 year olds last year some girls were calling each other fat on Instagram (yes, the parents let them have Instagram) and telling them to kill themselves. The whole school is constantly getting talks on safe social media use. It's crazy. Sorry - this is a great post that raised many great points and I could talk for ages!

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    1. Yes I do. I wish I had more confidence than too. I think it goes on in the workplace all the time. I see it and try to diffuse it or bring it to the attention of HR. I hate seeing people get dragged down like that. And thank you. You are soooo sweet.

      Oh wow. That is awful. At 9 and 10 years old. Calling each other fat on IG. Not cool. This is what scares me about my girls growing up.

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  8. I worry every day how others are going to treat Zoe. I hated high school. I wasn't directly bullied like you were, but I was shy and people always liked to mess with me because I didn't speak much to those I wasn't friends with. I just showed up, did my work and left. People would always comment, why are you so quiet? Do you think you are better than everyone else? Do you have some kind of speech problem? Thanks, way to make my anxiety way worse! Kids suck. It is strange looking back on how ridiculous I was about getting upset what others thought about me in high school. I always remember my mom telling me that things that happen in hs seem like a big deal, but they so aren't when you were out. I couldn't see it then, but I sure do now and wish I would have had a different mind set and listened to her! How do you tell your kids that so they will believe in it more, you know?!

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    1. Oh I definitely got do you think you are better than everyone else too. I was pretty shy as well. I am so sorry you got bullied like that. I soooo hope that something is done to help prevent bullying or our girls are strong enough that they can overcome bullying or not get bothered by it at all. I have no idea. I want help with that as well.

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I think about this all the time with little Miss A even though she's only 3. Maybe I'll check out that series too. Have a great week!

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    1. My girls are only 3 as well and I think about it soooo much. Ugh.

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  10. I'm so sorry this happened to you girlie. Why are kids SO mean?! I'm so thankful we grew up without social media, but bullying was still a very real thing. Can our girls stay young and sweet forever? Pretty please <3
    Green Fashionista

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    1. Yes! I want them to stay young, sweet and never go through this!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story. As you are, I am terrified to raise my daughter in the society we currently live in.

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  12. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. I was bullied for the same reasons as an adolescent and was bullied in high school as well. I am so glad you shared your story and I need the courage to share mine. It is so sad that parents allow their children to be so mean!

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    1. Yes. I am sooo sad that people are that mean in general. I hope my girls never go through it. You should share your story.

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  13. I am TERRIFIED for my kids in this social media age, I honestly pray about it all the time. I am so sorry you went through what you did, of course ignoring is best but as a kid that's almost impossible to recognize that's what you should do. You want to defend yourself!

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    1. Yes. I pray about it all the time too. It is beyond scary.

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