At first, it was just money. A few cents then eventually became a few dollars. Yes, she always asked me for pocket money, through some concocted tales with crocodile tears which I fell for. Not long after that, she started pinching me. Whenever I said or do something she disliked, she'll pinch me. Mind you, it wasn't a playful pinch. It was a painful one which I'll always remember. A few pinches a day will keep you traumatized always. On and off, I even had to do her homework for her. So yea, I was the weak one... didn't know that I was being bullied... only felt that it was wrong. I did realized then whatever she did to me was wrong but didn't know the severity of it.
Eventually, mom realized something wasn't right and slowly got it out of me. I was fearful then, if she had found out I told mom and she would pinched the hell out of me! Yea, I was that naive! So mom brought me to school the next day to complain to my class teacher. Even had L joined us and when teacher questioned her, she denied it of course. But it was a relieved then as we unequivocally 'broke up'! Finally! We were separated, I found new friends, I was finally able to breath and not afraid of going to school. However, the damaged has been done and it has scarred me for life. It has been etched in my memory, stored in a frozen particle of my brain.
Until last week. Upon watching this episode from So You Think You Can Dance season 10. It's a beautiful choreography by Bonnie Story about an anti-bullying routine... wonderfully told, emotionally charged... brought out those unwanted memories! Hence, I thought of sharing my experience and also this routine to all...
Bullying as explained by Wikipedia:
Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or to aggressively impose a certain type of domination over others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target".
Mine may not be as severe but I do doubt people's sincerity until now. I always second-guessed them, always stay alert for any untoward exploitations. Even look-out for my kids, checking out their friends in case history repeats itself. I have not sought any counseling then, only tucked that untoward incident away. Even built a kind of invisible wall, protecting my inner self. I guess this has built a character in me which I feel is positive. Not sure if it's a good thing but also being loud now (yes, am still an introvert but came out of the cocoon of shyness) or creating another persona sort of protects me. It may sound paranoia but it helps me by, day by day, especially when dealing with suspicious people.
I honestly do not know the reason why I wanted to share my experience when I saw that routine but I feel it is the right thing to do. I do hope it does help someone out there. Don't be afraid and please get help! Fight it! Stand up for yourself! I know you are afraid, do consult your loved ones. They will irrevocably help you as they love you unconditionally. They will not laugh at you so don't be afraid. You are not in the wrong and you didn't ask for it. You are just a victim, acknowledge it and find help.
Honestly, once you are free, the trauma will eventually lapse and feels as though it's just a bad dream... I know it's easier said than done but it's for the better.
Last but not least, message for the Big Bullies, STOP the bullying!!! I've always believed this mantra "What goes around, comes around" so beware!