Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm In!

I am still a member of the Lost Daughter's, really!  I know I have slacked horribly with posting there, and here on my personal blog for that matter.

That all changes tomorrow.  I'm going to make a real effort to join up with my wonderful adoptee lady friends to post every day.  We even have prompts to help us along so there goes my number one excuse!

Stay tuned for tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Speaking of Bullies

Heeeeeeee's baaaaaack.  On my last post (yes, yes, I know it's been three weeks since my last post..haha..sorry), I was continuing my story of seventh grade.

Apparently, POWERDAD took issue with the fact that I was sharing my experiences as a bullying survivor.  Because, you know, he knows everything.  ::insert big ass eye roll::

POWERDAD said...
How could you dare to compare this with the bullying that kids go through today? Were you physically attacked? did your family feel threatened by gangs? were your sexually assualted?

Pick up a newspaper and read the horrific stories kids are really going through instead of trying to equate everything into being about or against you. It's sad and just a tad bit Pathetisad a word?

Let's break this down for you in simple sentences that even YOU, POWERDAD, can understand, shall we?
I went to for the below information.  Pretty cut and dry if you ask me.  I will write YES next to each line for what I went through in junior and senior high school.  Let me know if I'm going too fast POWERDAD.
Types of Bullying There are three types of bullying:
  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing YES
    • Name-calling YES
    • Inappropriate sexual comments YES
    • Taunting YES
    • Threatening to cause harm YES
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose YES
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone YES
    • Spreading rumors about someone YES
    • Embarrassing someone in public YES
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching YES
    • Spitting YES
    • Tripping/pushing YES
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things YES
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures YES

Not sure why what I went through wasn't considered bullying by Mr. Wonderful, but

Moving on...these are the signs that a child may be being bullied:

Signs a Child is Being Bullied Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
  • Unexplainable injuries YES
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry YES
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness YES
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch. YES
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares YES
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school YES
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations YES
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem YES
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide YES
So, even though I exhibited ALL the behaviors of a bullied child, that STILL isn't enough?  I needed to be put in the hospital, or have my family threatened by gangs?  And no, I wasn't sexually assaulted by anyone at school...that was left to my adoptive father to take care of.

No shit POWERDAD, you're a real ass.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Novel Idea ~ Part 2

The next few months passed by in a blur.  I am ashamed to say that the first note I wrote to Tabitha wasn’t the last.  Our mothers noticed that we weren’t hanging around after school and the most embarrassing day was one Sunday at church.  Tabitha’s mom saw our family at Coffee Hour after the service and came over to talk to us.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tabitha shooting daggers our way, wondering what was going on.

Well, apparently she wanted to ask how I was doing and then gave me a hug.  That did it.  The tears started again and she said, “I’m sorry.  She’s just…she’s just on Cloud Nine over junior high.   Give her time and she’ll come around.” 

She chitchatted with my parents and then walked back over to Tabitha and her sister.  When I glanced back over, they had left. 

The thing is, no matter how many times my mother told me that it wasn’t my fault…that it was Tabitha.   I knew she was wrong.

I mean, all you had to do was look at me.  Absolute wrong hairstyle, wrong clothes, ugly plastic glasses, stutter like you read about and I really couldn’t blame her.  I didn’t want to know me, didn’t want to BE me.   How could I expect anyone else to want to hang around me? 

It was a quiet life.  I went to school, dealt with the giggles, the stares, my locker being slammed on my hand every day when one of the boys decided to make me their scapegoat.  I dealt with always being picked last when it was time to break into groups during our classes.  And the worst was when the teachers noticed.  They would make one of the groups of three separate and would ask for a volunteer to work with me.  The dread on their faces said it all.  Some of them would talk to me after awhile during class but then I magically turned back into the joke when the bell rang.

Books were my escape.  I’d always make sure to bring one along to lunch so I could avoid eye contact.  Sometimes the tables would be so full that I’d have to humble myself and walk over to a group and ask if I could sit down.  More often than not, I’d hear “Sorry, it’s saved”…but I knew that was a lie.  I’d watch the table after I squeezed myself onto the end of another table and could see that no one else had sat down with them. 

My sister knew that I was hurting and would often seek me out on the couple of lunch periods we shared during the week and would tell me to come sit with her and her friends, but that was more humiliating than sitting alone. 

I suppose I could have gone to the office and said…what?  That I was being picked on?  This was before bullying was “a thing”.  My mother’s famous phrase that I shudder to think about now was “They only pick on you because they like you…it’s just harmless teasing.”

Yeah, that’s what she said about my father too.  What a crock.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Novel Idea

“Here’s a bone for you.”

I felt like I’d been slapped across the face. Surely, Kevin hadn’t meant to throw the stuffed dog’s bone on my desk, right? Right?? I looked up at him and saw a derisive grin spreading across his face as the other kids sitting around us in English class realized what he’d done.

I shouldn’t have really been surprised. So far, seventh grade had been horrible. It had started on the very first day. I’d been so excited to go to the Junior/Senior regional high school with the kids I’d grown up with since kindergarten. We’d finally meet the students from the other small town that would be transitioning over from their elementary school too. New faces, new friends…so exciting!

A few of us had gone to my best friend Tabitha’s house a week before school started for a sleepover. We’d spent the night dancing and singing and talking about all the fun we’d have in Junior High. Tabitha and I had made plans to save a seat for each other if we got to our classes first.

The first day of school dawned crisp and cool. I got dressed in my jeans and my sister’s hand-me-down sweater and walked down to the bus stop with her. She was in eleventh grade and had told me that things would be radically different from elementary school but I brushed off her warning and hopped on the bus.

There wasn’t any time to find Tabitha once we got to school. I had to find my locker, find my homeroom and get dismissed to my first class…English. Finally! We had compared our schedules at the sleepover and had been relieved to find that we were in a lot of the same classes. I rushed for the classroom and saw that she was there first. I walked over to the empty chair next to her and started to put my book down on the desk.

“That seat is taken.”

“Hahaha…good one T..”, I said.

“No, really. That seat is taken.”

I looked over at her but she wasn’t looking back. She was staring at the front of the room. It was in that moment…that horrible, gut wrenching moment, that I realized what was happening. I slowly grabbed my book and turned towards the back of the room, found an empty desk in the back row and sat down. My eyes welled up with tears as I watched another one of our friends, Sarah, greet Tabitha and sit down next to her in what should have been my seat.

I stared at Tabitha for a bit…wondering what exactly was going on with her.  We’d been friends for several years.  Her mother was our Girl Scout leader and I’d spent hours at her house, playing out in her backyard with her and her little sister.  We attended the same church and were in the same Sunday School class.  Just two and a half months ago we were passing notes back and forth in sixth grade, proclaiming our status as BFF-4-Eva.  Now, she was sitting next to Sarah, talking and laughing with Sarah, Bethany and Jessica.  What would I do now?

The rest of the day passed much the same.  There were more classes, more teachers who outlined the year ahead for us.  And then lunch.  I sat by myself, with a clear view of Tabitha and her table of giggling girls.  I spent that lunch writing a letter to Tabitha.  If I could just say the right thing, she’d HAVE to be my friend again.  Or so I thought anyway.

In retrospect, the letter I wrote was pathetic.  I was pretty much begging her to talk to be my friend.  Pleading with her to tell me what I’d done to make her turn her back on me.  I knew that we had Latin next period so I hurriedly finished the note, folded it carefully and left the cafeteria to find the classroom.

I stopped at my locker first to drop off some of the books I’d accumulated over the course of the morning and headed to class.  Tabitha was again sitting next to Sarah, whispering and laughing over something apparently hilarious.  I walked past her desk and dropped the note in front of her and headed to a desk in her row.  I watched her carefully as she unfolded the note.  She read it, handed it to Sarah who read it as well and gave it back with a snicker.  Tabitha stood up and with a flourish, dropped it in the trash at the front of the room.