How being bullied affected my childhood…

stop signLike a lot of children, I was bullied as a kid. Fortunately, it was really only one kid and it was for a relatively short period of time during 7th grade, then he set his sights on some other hapless victim and I proceeded along with my own childhood. Still, I can vividly remember school finishing up and me dashing to my bicycle and pedaling furiously home to get back to the safety of my house and neighborhood before he could find me and harass me.

Unlike in the movies, there was never any imminent threat of death or dismemberment, but it was certainly upsetting, and I can remember being dizzy by the time I made it home, because I really got there at record speed. My parents were somewhat aware of what was going on and their approach was to enroll me in a karate class, something to build my self-confidence.

It helped. I’m hardly some ninja warrior now, but it gave me a boost in self-confidence at a moment when I really, really needed it.

Bullying is probably somewhat inevitable, unfortunately, and I’ve had brushes with other people who believe might – or anger, or fury, or a greater desire to manipulate – makes right, but none of the incidents ever matched that middle school period, and thank goodness.

I don’t think we can completely eliminate bullying from the childhood experience, but what would have made a world of difference to me would have been if some other children would have stepped up and gotten involved, said “Hey, man, lay off him!” or even pulled a teacher into the mix.

That’s why when I was invited to participate in the Put An End to Bullying campaign, I assented. We can’t create a utopia, but a world where we all do our best to help out the bullied and offer calm course corrections for the bully? That sounds like a great step forward and maybe, just maybe, we’d have less of these tragic school shootings and other terrible modern occurrences that all too often stem from someone who was a victim of bullying for months or even years.

That’s why I ask you to get involved and Take a Stand. Just a few clicks:

[embedit snippet=”linqia-anti-bullying-campaign”]

Disclosure: This article and discussion is financially supported by TakePart.

5 comments on “How being bullied affected my childhood…

  1. Here’s one for the food guys. I was bullied in 7th grade. Kid kicks the books out of my arms going down the stairs….between classes. At the bottom of the stairs punches were thrown…I ducked…he hit a metal divider between chickenwire glass. He shattered both bones in hia forearm. He got suspended, I didn’t.

  2. I was beaten up by two girls in 5th grade. They said I was to much of a goodie-goodie. I went home crying and when my dad asked what happened I told him. He left the house Immediately, I assume to talk with their parents and they never bothered me again. The thing is that there were no conversations, not with me not with the school nothing. My dad loved me and told me not to worry but there was no resolution for me. I think I was scared for awhile and then that faded. But I think a lot of events that were tense happened like that in my family. They happened, and then they were done. No conversations. It was North Dakota, very stoic people.

  3. It’s awful to be bullied. It happened to me for a short span, and I remember it vividly.

    That said, I’m a little confused by the sudden movement to end bullying even if the intentions are noble. Signing a pledge usually involves people who would never bully someone in the first place, so it doesn’t strike me as effective.

    One of the steps you mention is terrific — karate class. A child with a feel for self defense tactics and a budding confidence is better able to deal with a bully, no doubt. The key is to avoid physical confrontation, and being more self assured could help in that area.

    Would love to hear more from experts with success in this area. When is the right time to involve adults? Should kids recruit their friends to protect them? What responses best defuse a potential bully?

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