I believe bullying has a lifetime effect.
I was short. Fat. Wore glasses and had braces.I made a perfect target for a mean girl and the rest of the girls followed her.
And even though I’m now grown up, have done the therapy to get beyond it and for the most part okay with who I am, when I see her name come up on my Facebook feed (I’m not her friend, but we have friends in common) I get anxious, physically and emotionally.
Back then it wasn’t thought of as bullying, bully’s were boys who physically beat other kids. The classic kid stealing other kids lunch money.
At the time people didn’t address girls “teasing” other girls beyond telling the kids that were being “teased” that it’s jealousy (it’s not) and that the other girl/s feel bad about themselves…blah, blah, blah…and that it’s nothing big. Just girls being girls was what I got from it.
If I could go back in time and relive it, I don’t know that I’d change the fact that it happened – I believe it made me a better human being, more compassionate and aware of others emotions – but I would have changed how it was “explained” to me by the adults in my life.
I’d have loved to have been embraced by one of the adults and have them tell me that they get that it sucks and feels like crap instead of pooh-poohing it as nothing.
I don’t think this girl or her posse turned out to be bad people. Truthfully I doubt they even remember that these things happened. But they did, and those actions have had impact that continues to shape my life – even thought I don’t want it to.