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How being bullied in school shaped me

Being teased and ostracized is not an easy thing to endure but if I were to look back I’d say that it did build character somewhat.

I was lucky in that I also came out of it unscathed in the sense that my inflated sense of self and ego was enough to counteract any harmful effects of what I had experienced.

I’d have liked to have not gone through it at all, but looking back, it wasn’t so bad.

I also wasn’t physically hazed, it was more of a mental, “oh you’re so weird”, sort of psychological torment by the other girls which any woman will tell you exists and is brutal, to say the least.

What was I teased for? Everything.

Weight, hair, skin, being smart, being quiet, loving to read, wanting to keep to myself, feeling awkward around boys (who wasn’t), feeling awkward in general, not eating the right foods, having the right clothes… you know, basic female hazing.

In the end, I am appreciative of having been teased because my defence was to grow a tough “I don’t care” shell when I very much cared deep down inside and ended up throwing myself into my studies and singular pursuits (geeky online gaming, not a cool thing for girls to do back then especially “unattractive pudgy” ones), and this led me ultimately to my career choices not to mention giving me a very real look at what it does to someone when you hurt them verbally.

It made me be more understanding and kind of root for the underdog in many situations and grew a kind of patient empathy that I doubt I may have otherwise cultivated given my tendency to be The Commander and steamroll over others.

I also feel very strongly for kids who are bullied and whom I see being bullied and stand up for them (or in Baby Bun’s case, will be teaching him how to stand up for himself but not necessarily in an aggressive manner).

All of this teasing also had a happy result at the end because I ended up growing out of my awkward Ugly Duckling phase (physically and mentally) and am exactly the person I have always wanted to be today.

I wouldn’t change who I am at all. For anything. I’d say the outcome is quite positive on my end but I daresay it isn’t the same for all kids.

Have you ever been teased or bullied? How do you feel about it?


  • PwedePadala

    Silence attracts chaos. Like you Sherry, I love reading, being quiet, listening more especially to older people. Well, I realized I have an old soul and I love it. Looking back, I wished I had been more a nerd with history and classic literature. If my parents would have bought me a laptop in elementary, I wouldn’t have gone to college. Ha ha. (That’s not funny for my parents but I approve of it.)

    Well things have reasons. In the end, things get better so here’s an advice from Jane Eyre “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” Can’t argue with.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    I always wish we could have a control version of ourselves to know how we would have grown up if we hadn’t had one trauma or another. I was bullied at every new school but primarily by boys who thought I was an easy target for harassment. Since my mom told me quite early on how she responded to that kind of harassment, it was really easy for me to spot it and react exactly how I needed to to get them to keep their hands to themselves forevermore. It also had the added benefit that even if the girls did think I was weird, and they probably did because all I wanted to do ever was read, they were very quiet about it since they didn’t want to piss me off. I learned to make friends MUCH later in life but it probably was a good thing I was wary of trusting people for so long.

  • Domonique

    I was bullied from the age of 5 until I dropped out of high school at 17.

    It caused me to have a very disenchanted outlook on life until 5 years ago when my oldest son was born. I had a lot of tragedy happen from a young age (orphaned by 13, suicide attempts, etc.), some events were no fault of my own and other situations were brought on by my own behavior, looking back now.

    It wasn’t until my son was born that I took control of my identity and decided to make a change for his sake so he wouldn’t grow up with parents like I did.

    Now, I work on deliberately improving myself with every decision I make. I have become courageous, articulate, curious, and very outgoing. I’m becoming a role model for all three of my boys and myself. It’s been a wild ride.

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