I was asked about bullying in my past. I know bullying is such a hot topic these days and it happens to EVERYONE.
Growing up had its hardships. There’s bullying. And teasing. Lots of it. Daily.
Grade school was different. Once I mainstreamed, I was the only deaf student in the whole school. I was constantly pulled out of class to attend speech lessons and one-on-one tutoring.
Talk about kicking your self-esteem to the corner. There’s nothing like eyes on you and snickering every time you have to step out of the classroom. Kids will be kids. Damn…that was hard. But wait for it.
I remember being tripped in the hallways. Rocks thrown at during recess. Getting Saturday detention because a classmate on your bus pointed fingers at you when you were asked to repeat a word and you had no idea why. The name calling ha….Being called a “Deaf Mute” on your birthday two weeks into freshman year at a brand new high school.
Socializing had it’s awkward times where you’re always the quiet one not because you’re shy but because it’s hard to follow in a group. (It still is.) Especially in a loud cafeteria and you’re a flickering lightbulb due to lack of understanding.
How many of you stayed “friends” with people even though they were awful to you?
Life in school then was…difficult. It wasn’t really easy making friends and keeping them. It was like playing cards, stacking them up castle high till it folds on you because there’s no strength to hold it up and nothing to glue together. Those cards were dealt so many times.
Allow adversarial experiences to bring out the best of you, strengthening you, not bring you down. You’re more open-minded and face difficulties better than anyone. Look at it this way, the person throwing rocks at you doesn’t know why he’s doing it. Instead, you take the rocks as a reminder that it has made you a stronger person despite the tear drops streaming down your red face and the hurt it’s done to you.
BUT it’s totally okay! I don’t want to depress my readers. Honestly, I look back as a reminder of how it has shaped me up today. For the better.
To the young girls and boys of all shapes, sizes, disabilities, race, color, and gender today….always hold out your hands to the friend in need. And always reach back to those who is holding out for you. You never know you could be sitting next to. It could be a friend for a lifetime. I tell everyone this. “Always be kind.”
However, when you misspell my name on a post-it, you really had one job. 🙂