June 23, 2010

Mein Kampf (My Struggle)

This blog is titled "Mein Kampf" for a reason. It was the title of Adolf Hitler's book. He talked about his struggle with Nazis and how he overcame to become a leader. I do not support Hitler in ANY way, I just felt that the title was creative, and appropiate for the topic of this blog. This entry into my "blog diary" will talk about my struggle, and how I am continuously trying to overcome it.

I consider my blog very personal. The things I type and the things you read are close to my heart, especially this one. I've never told anyone about most of these experiences, but after a talk with God, I feel the need to share it. When I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes and pain to my heart, but it shaped me. It made me the person I am. It was another obstacle I tackled, another trophy on the shelf. Anyway, here it goes.

Being me has been hard. There were road blocks, bumps, and many detours along my route. I've always considered myself normal, maybe nicer than the average, but normal. I always wanted to blend in, and I always wanted other people to be comfortable with me. As a kid in elementary school, I was the type to try to befriend the new kid, the lonely kid, or the awkward kid that no one wanted to play with. As I grew mentally and physically, things changed. I became one of those shy kids.

Throughout middle school I was teased and taunted. I cried rivers wondering "Why me?". As I said, I became shy and I didn't speak unless spoken to. I could walk in the halls, and have people point and say things about me, when they didn't know me. Any type of chatter and laughter made me self conscious, even if they weren't talking about me, I always felt they were. I thought by the time I got to high school things would change, boy was I wrong.

High school was an emotional rollercoaster for me. From depressed, to regretful, to happy, to ecstatic describes my high school years. I thought I'd heard all the teasing and ridicule, and thought that nothing that anyone would say, could hurt me. After all, I heard it all before. Until a couple weeks after I transferred high schools. It was a rule that we could not wear jackets to school. Silly indeed, but because of guns and drugs, I guess it was precautionary. We could only wear black sweatshirts on top of our royal blue uniform shirts. When I transferred, it was the beginning of January, so I invested in a black sweatshirt due to the winter season. I started wearing the sweatshirt everyday, not only because it was cold, but because I felt it would hide me. I thought it would hide my size, and make me oblivious to everyone. Again, I was wrong. In mid February, I was walking to class. This girl I'd only spoken to once, called my name. Her name was Jalisa, I always remembered her name because of Jalisa from "A Different World". After she called my name, I stopped and she walked over. She was tall, heavy set as well, and walked like a tired mother would. I smiled as she approached me waiting to give her a formal greeting, but my smile and greeting was cut short. "You pregnant?" she asked flat out, no sugar coating. My smile faded dramatically, and I couldn't believe she was asking me such a question. I know teen pregnancy rates were high, but still. Some pregnant women feel insulted when some asks such a question, imagine a non-pregnant person. I said "No!" with a little defensiveness. She nodded, and turned back to her friends. I stood there until she arrived to her clique. They weren't laughing, but they were staring at me, as if I were some kind of spectacle or even an alien. As though, I was out of place, and larger than life. That day, I felt terrible. My freshman year I went through yet again, another long school year of teasing, taunting, and ridicule. I thought I'd gone through it all, but the worst was still yet to come.

As I zoomed through my tenth grade year, things became a little better. I was more well known, and those who did want to tease me, got in their jokes my freshman year. The teasing still continued, more specifically in my Physical Science class. I sat all the way on the opposite side of the classroom. I kept to myself, and only associated with my best friend Magan, who sat next to me. My first day in class I dealt with Darian. I didn't know him, and he didn't know me. We sat on completely different sides of the classroom, yet he still managed to make my life a living hell. I hated going to that class, especially when it was the first class of the day. It was bittersweet, because my best friend was also in the class. I'd never been directly targeted by a guy, so that was another thing to add to my list of questioning myself. When the class was quiet, the teacher stepped out, or there was a substitute were my worst times. He'd call out things from across the classroom. Some people laughing, some people looking over at me with sad eyes, and some people just pretending to ignore him. I was grateful for the ones who just ignored him. Thank God, he got suspended, then expelled. Even though he was gone, the jokes about me, and the laughter from my other classmates still echoed in my mind, and I still hated the class, but the worst was still yet to come.

Next my junior year. It was fine actually. I was more known, and I guess I was the old joke. I had a lot of friends, and associates, and I just think more people began to accept me. There's always one of course. My junior year I had to take a half semester of Spanish to fill the foreign language requirement of 2 credits. I thought it would be easy, and fun. Again, I lied. Two words: Gerilyn Jordan. A girl in my Spanish class. We sat on opposing sides of the room, but faced each other. She too, made my life a living hell. I hated going to class, and I would squeeze in my arms and legs to make myself appear less noticeable, hell I wanted to be invisible. She'd always just look at me and laugh in my face or she'd say things about me to one person, and tell them to pass it on to someone else. She never tried to hide it, she'd just simply look at me, point at me, anything to make me feel bad. I never knew pain before until her, I never knew what feeling like dirt meant until one day in class. It was about 15 minutes before the class would be over, and I was copying notes down from the board. For some reason, there weren't very many people in the class that day. It had been a good day because she slept through most of the class. When she awoke, and stretched a bit she looked at me and laughed. I'll never forget this, as long as I live. She leaned over to the boy next to her, I don't remember his name (Well I do, but I won't say it here), but I knew he was a sophomore that played football. She said, pretty loud for whispering if you ask me, "Would you rather take a bullet or sleep with her?" the guy replied "Who?" and she pointed at me. Some people on my side of the room heard it and gave me that "Oh my Gosh" look. I pretended to not hear her, and I kept writing thinking the joke was over. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see her telling the guy to tell the other guy on side of him, and the guy in front of him. They were all in laughter, and the more they laughed, the deeper my heart sunk. One guy even said bullet, although the others didn't really give an answer, I guess it was the same. Tears came to my eyes, and I tried my hardest not to let them fall. Hearing her compare me to death was the worst feeling imaginable. Good thing the bell rang. I quickly got up, and walked to the bathroom, which was only a couple steps away. I cried my eyes out and even skipped class. I kept asking why...Why did these people who didn't know me, and who never even talked to me, say something so hurtful, and for me to hear? I'm still baffled. That was the lowest I've ever felt. I was depressed for a couple weeks after that, and though I did recover it took time, and lots of praying. My self confidence was shattered, and I didn't know what to feel. I felt very strong hate. I HATED her, and all those guys. I wished the pain I felt on them. Now, I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.

After all these years of struggling to be accepted, I've come to terms with myself. I like myself, I LOVE myself. I still think about some of those bad moments, but I realized that they've shaped me. I will NEVER be like the people that made my life a living hell. I will teach my children this lesson, and hopefully they'll teach others. I'm also the most empathetic person ever. I never judge people solely on looks, because you never know what people go through. It was a VERY long road to even gaining an ounce of confidence. It takes lots of prayer and forgiveness. It's not easy forgiving the people who hurt you, but I have. I have forgiven Gerilyn, Darrian, Jerome, Adarryl, Bria, etc. All of the people who tormented me for their own pleasure. However, I have not forgotten, and I don't think I will. I am still slightly bitter, I admit. If I weren't my shirt wouldn't be soaked with tears right now. But, I am not done with this road to recovery. I am more open, more cheerful than ever before. I would've never been able to begin to write this a few years back, so I know I've come a long way. I give praise to God, and my family for helping me. Even if you don't believe in God, have faith in yourself, love yourself. It's much easier said than done, but you're stuck with YOU for the rest of your life. Stop pointing out your flaws, but what you're good at, what makes you special. If you need any help, I am here. Email, Facebook, Twitter, Call me! Just ask for any information you need.

**For those of you who may be thinking this is a sob story or a cry for sympathy it is NOT! I want whoever reads this blog to take something away from it. I do want you to be moved with my words, but I want you to be moved in the right direction. I want you to take what I've laid out on the table here and do something with it. If it's no more than speaking to a person who's a loner, or talking to a person who's been bullied, do it! The reason I wrote this blog is because SO many children/teens are committing suicide because of bullying, and it doesn't have to be. People wonder why would someone want to be dead just because they're bullied, but as you can tell from my blog, sometimes bullying can be severe. The things people say, the gestures people make can really hurt someone mentally. I was hurt mentally, so I understand. I am taking my own story and using it in my future. I want to be a Psychologist for all ages, because bullying, teasing, taunting doesn't stop just because you're an adult. I don't want people to turn to the guns, knives, drugs as their last resort to happiness and freedom from being bullied.

All is well. Thank you for reading :)

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