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I was bullied pretty badly in high school.
I didn't find any of the dudes I went to high school with even mildly attractive, but I endured torture for dating, or just hanging out, or even simply exchanging a few texts with any of them.
I’ve never had and never expect an apology from any of them, as I’m sure nobody would expect an apology from a car wreck or, like, I don’t know… cancer. They were just bad, unavoidable things that happened to me, I endured them and moved on
I hope for their sake that those girls are embarrassed with how they acted in high school. They might as well have gone up to "their" dudes -- they laid claim to anything with a dick in their grade -- in the middle of the cafeteria, pulled down their bell-bottomed Sevens, and pissed all over them to mark their territory. Either way they made complete asses of themselves -- acting that way over a bunch of teenage scrubs??? Really?
My vanity is not a result of a problematic ego, but my shield. I know that I am not made of it, and that it gives me no amount of importance or substance. But when I could look in the mirror at the end of a day filled with girls pulling my hair in the hallway and turning to stare and laugh as I walked by, and see that familiar reflection, I felt OK. I felt assured that there was nothing wrong with me as a person, the reason that I was bullied was because I was pretty. I was a threat.
Thank God for my looks, which turned out to be my saving grace looking back. Does it make sense that I will always respect and coddle them for that? I hope so.
But when you're 15, you go to school because there aren't a lot of other options. You drive there, despite knowing that you're really going to get it that day -- according to the flood of texts the night before from "John's" ex-girlfriend and her four cronies that want you to know that you're a fat ugly slut with no friends -- because you've used up your allotted absences that semester.
And tell a teacher? HA! No fucking way.
I wonder what it’s like for those girls that can’t take any more bullshit, that are so suffocated by the hatred and taunting from chicks that bully like it’s their most enjoyable hobby. I’m thankful that my inflated teenage self-confidence, despite the constant insults, kept me from seriously considering suicide, which I realize now at 23, I thought about far too often.
Can you imagine how embarrassing it was to know that my dad woke up early every morning to check my car for shoe-polished greetings from those trolls? He never told me, but I knew that he power-washed “sluts” and “cunts” from my pathetic little Jetta’s windows many mornings. Maybe he was embarrassed, too. It’s not like the neighbors didn’t see it parked in front of our house.
It was also embarrassing to have to tell him in the car after being picked up from a school dance that, “something happened.” He looked totally weirded out, I could tell that he was already pissed at what I was about to say. I started crying like a little pussy. “I got hit in the face.”
Yep, one of the trashiest of the gang took it there. I was going in for a friendly hug with a senior boy (SCANDALOUS!), and out of nowhere the coward ran up and smacked me in the forehead. (It wasn’t even that hard… I guess if your days consist of trolling Facebook and losing sleep just to shoe polish some chick’s car twice a week, you’re not building proper muscle tone in those formative teen years.)
She ran off immediately after, then stopped to turn around, arms raised to her waist like a mix between a T-rex and Gollum, grinning from ear to ear. Then she blew me a kiss. It was probably one of the most bizarre things that had happened to me up until that point in my life. It felt disgusting to even be involved in a physical altercation, even if I was the victim.
Not that I would ever actually go through with it, or even attempt, but I would be lying if I said that images of my naked body lying in a bathtub full of red weren’t a frequent occurrence. What would those bitches think of that? They’d be blamed for my suicide, everybody at school would talk about it as they walked down the hall, their moms would probably cry and wonder how they’d raised such venomous scumbags.
I thought about what I’d write in the note, just to underline the fact that they were completely at fault.
My dad had had enough and called the cops to file a report. They came to my house, looked me over, got a statement, and told me to come to city hall to finish the paperwork, which I did. Visions of restraining orders danced in my head (seriously, I was a 16-year-old fantasizing about retraining orders the way my peers fantasized about their new cars and penetration -- how fucked up is that?).
Unfortunately nothing ever came of it. I guess the Dallas court system had more important things to worry about than a dumb high school girl fight. Oh, and her dad was apparently some sort of cop?
The whole thing left me feeling dirty, violated. I’m better than that, I won’t hesitate to say that I absolutely look down on those chicks that think it’s OK to physically attack another woman. It’s trashy and unacceptable.
The story doesn’t get better, no justice was served. I was called into the principals office the next school day. (I was adamantly against going to the school for help, I knew it would only make things worse.) Both of my parents were sitting there with the principal, who was “all ears” to hear what I had been going through -- acting very concerned. I was fuming, super pissed and totally side-eyeing my parents for taking it there. I reluctantly told him what was going on, ending with, “Can I go now?”
A few days later, after he, the principal, had assured my folks that the bullies would be dealt with, my first period class was interrupted by a loyal page to the assistant principal’s office, announcing that if I didn’t come with him that, “I would be suspended.”
You guys. My bitch face was so on point at that moment that it hurt. I wish Instagram had existed -- Brannan would have really made my right eyebrow pop. I knew that something bad was brewing, so I stayed in class, you know… learning. And not dealing with the dramatic bullshit that was about to ensue.
Next thing I know, I’m being escorted by the school officer down the hallway, into the female assistant principal's (We'll call her Ms. Jones) office, right past her student assistant for that period, who happened to be one of the bullies. She was smiling at me.
The girl who had assaulted me was sitting in a chair on the far side of the room, the tall, athletic male assistant principal was between us, as if acting as her bodyguard. Ms. Jones had the most annoying tight-assed Judge Judy look on her face, demanding that I, “sit down.” She had clearly made up her mind about what had been going on between myself and the five demented girls who had been tormenting me for almost two years.
Apparently I was, in fact, the bully. I had bullied the girl on the left, who was fighting back giggles the entire time behind the hand that she used on my face. Ms. Jones wasn’t going to take any more of my behavioral problems. (Not sure what she was talking about… I had been sent home for having holes in my jeans once or twice. IT WAS 2007 AND WAY COOL, OKAY?)
I started shaking, staring at this ignorant woman, listening to her tell me that I was the problem. Even though I had gone through what were supposed to be the proper channels to resolve the problem, I wasn’t going to get any help.
When she told me to apologize, I got up and walked out of the office, past the twat outside who had been listening to the whole thing, down the hall, opening my cell phone (**flip**) to call my mom, with the assistant principal screaming, “NUH UN YOU GET BACK HERE!” behind me. The bell rang and in the swarm of students that filled the hallway, I disappeared down the band corridor to the parking lot, got into my car, and sped out of the student lot before the attendant had a chance to ask where I was going.
I can’t imagine what my mom said to the principal after that. I’ve seen freshly realized forms of shame surface on waiters’ faces for fucking up her order at a restaurant. He retired the next year, but had obviously already checked out when it came to solving what, looking back, was a serious and perpetuated problem with girl-hate at my school.
I wasn't the only one who had been bullied. It was a rite of passage into pretty much anything at my high school. Want to be a cheerleader? You had to be "initiated". I was initiated twice -- into cheerleading and the dance team I joined junior year -- which involved being "kidnapped" in the middle of the night by an older chick, a pillowcase over your head, to be taken to a field or a house, where they would then humiliate and lightly torture you. They'd pour disgusting mixtures of condiments and catfood all over you, or maybe make you eat it. Then you'd have to sprint a few laps barefoot around the block.
Maybe they'd make you take most of your clothes off, do a cartwheel and freestyle rap for them while they all laughed. No, they cackled. Or there was that one time we played a twisted version of Mother May I? where we had to, "Step forward if you gave James Smith a handjob," or whoever. They knew who did, and if you didn't fess up, they'd make you. Oh, this was all in front of a crowd of drunk senior boys.
I wish somebody would have told me that girls like that get trampled over in the real world, that after high school I could choose whether or not I’d have to deal with that shit. That they might be trying to make me miserable, but only I can choose to be that way.
I think the main lesson I learned from all of it was that I'm my own best friend. It's made it hard to befriend women since. Really hard, in fact. But I know the signs of girls with nasty tendencies and I tend to cut people like that off cold turkey. It's made my life exponentially easier.
The part that really makes me sad and still gets me upset is how the school dealt with it. You’re told as a teenager to let the “adults” handle stuff like that, but being an adult doesn’t make you any less stupid -- another thing I wish somebody would have told me.
But thankfully I was strong enough to deal at the time, (although the tormenting and “fat” comments exasperated my bulimia to where I was barfing like three times a day) and my form of revenge was simply to continue to be better than them.
And here I am, sitting 10 feet from fucking Jane Pratt, doing that. Honestly, being bullied throughout junior high and high school was probably the best thing to ever happen to me.