Bullying

‘Step right up!’ my teacher said. I half shook my head no, turning pink. I slowly rose, my legs glued together. The floodgates opened. I was 5 feet from the board when someone shouted, ‘OH MY GOD!’

“Queue the tears. Oh, those embarrassing tears. I was mortified. I’d never been given the period talk. My parents were too uncomfortable to explain. And to make matters worse… you guessed it. I was wearing white jeans. WHITE. I never expected what would happen next. Not in a million years.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘Dear ‘fat’ woman on vacation, my heart stopped as you got on stage for a couple’s contest. You live in a world not ready to accept your size.’: Woman furious after plus-sized lady ‘humiliated’ on vacation for entertainment

“You put up your hand to stop them. They didn’t listen. They didn’t care about your consent. They lifted you up into the position the other women were so easily lifted into by their husbands. Except it took 4 men to lift you. Your face was red. Your husband looked sympathetic as you whispered to each other. Did you realize you were part of the entertainment that night? I didn’t see you again, but I haven’t stopped thinking about you.”

‘I was 22 and wanted to feel feminine. My husband said breast implants would help ‘spice things up.’: Woman removes implants after plagued by Breast Implant Illness, ‘removing them gave me the confidence I lacked for years’

“No one could figure out what was wrong me. My hair was falling out in chunks, my joints were swollen, and I could no longer form complete sentences. Once I decided my implants could be poisoning me, I made the decision to get them taken out. ‘You’re going to be unhappy after removing them,’ my surgeon told me. I walked out and I knew he was not the guy for the job.”

‘You’d be SO MUCH prettier if you lost weight.’ I was 10. My siblings got juice, while I was only offered water. When we got into fights, ‘fatty’ was their low blow.’

“With a disgusted look, my own trainer asked, ‘Why are you SO overweight?’ I felt like I was just punched in my (fat) gut. I cancelled my gym membership and dropped out of high school. Ashamed and embarrassed, I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cry. I always felt in competition with my siblings.”

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