In the next two posts, I take a look at one of the more persisting issues of our world: Bullying. I’ll talk about it all the way from my kindergarten days to adulthood, as it has been a key ingredient in how I ended up and is something to be talked about – preferably as loud as we can. In this post, I will give you a look at my first experiences, and in the next installment of the Life Trap series, I will focus more on the things in my adult life.
While I wouldn’t say that the girl from my daycare was purposefully trying to be mean to me, it was still an incredibly painful blow to find my beloved stuffed husky mauled by her when I returned to the daycare the day after I had forgotten the toy. Patches of fur were missing, and the once so fluffy cuddle-beast was in shambles. Nonetheless, I kept loving it. In fact, It is still with me, a raggedy old toy, watching over me and my husband on top of the closet.
These days I often find myself wondering why people get bullied, their stuff destroyed at the hands of a toddler, and I come to the conclusion, that we have been bred to be a jealous bunch. We are like the dog that constantly tries to steal the bone from their fellow canine, thinking it will somehow be better than what they already possess. Or maybe it is just the feeling that we must have the best things, and even the ultimatum of ‘’If I can’t have it, you can’t have it either!”
This same girl managed to get away with other things too, such as waking me up with a toy recorder to my face. You know, one of those playthings with a radio-looking device and a plastic microphone that you’d carry around like an oversized loud handbag. Anyway, having my most priced possession desecrated and being submitted to this kind of behavior from a very young age was a rocky start to my life in this world.
Thing is, it wasn’t an isolated incident in the daycare industry. I remember in one of the more family-oriented places, the older kids liked to play games with me. They would switch out my lunch milk for sour milk, leaving me disgusted at the whole idea of eating with them. In that particular house, I also remember being locked outside after some time in the back yard making snow statues. I was terrified, and recall panicking at the doorstep.
I’ve always wondered why I changed daycares so much, and am beginning to think that this kind of behavior from my patrons might have had something to do with it.
Back in the 90’s we were still under the impression that boys and girls are separate being for the most part. This led to many confrontations in the classroom as we 7-year olds were fighting it amongst us, the boys doing their things and girls doing theirs. Never did the two overlap, at least not until they brought a computer to the hall and we all were so fascinated by the ‘’educational games’’ that came with it. It was the time of boy and girl bacteria. And one certainly did not want to spread either one of them!
Later on, smaller groups were formed, mostly on the girl’s side of the story. I’ve found that boys tend to be more on the ‘’bro’’ side of things most days, no matter who they were addressing. Girls on the other hand… oh my how toxic it can get.
If you are not a part of the stronger grouping in the class/school, you better get ready for some prepubescent hell. There is nothing quite like trying to do well at school all the while fending off the people you once called friends.
You see, when you are cast off from a girl group, especially when you are not that liked, to begin with, life turns into a weird place of unfounded threats and scheming, a very special kind of twisted adventure only a woman can provide. Now bunch up several privileged kids in their teens and give them someone to aim their issues at – voila! You have a group of bullies that won’t think twice about their doings as the whole group is behind them.
What this meant in my case was a series of insults about my clothes, some bizarre meetups in the hallways on recess regarding me spreading rumors that they couldn’t possibly tell what they were (two minutes after the first ranter the second one came up to me telling me to stop smearing her name to the first one, all the while I was sitting there astounded at their stupidity. Kids, am I right?), and even a physical threat and assault commenced by the seeming leader of the group one night when I was coming home.
I often wonder about the origins of these sorts of behaviors, with the borderline and all, and I can’t seem to find anything that would justify it. My childhood wasn’t perfect, it had its cracks and pains, yet I never once even thought about starting to pick on anyone. Not even when I was being bullied myself. I suppose I have a very special soul in me.
After my encounters in primary school and all the way up to the age of 15, I had learned not to trust people. I had one friend after I moved on from grade 9, And I have found that I don’t regret my decision to not make many more, especially not among girls.
I switched my approach to being solitary, an online dweller. Whenever I went to places I was mostly alone and liked it that way. I rather enjoyed being the mysterious chick that wiped out most of the guys in billiards and sat down into a shady corner to watch others play on the shabby internet cafe pool table.
I have kept this front up till today, and I must say that my friendships from my earlier days have pretty much zizzled down. Partially because of the weirdness we live in, death taking some of them, and no doubt also because of my living in the shadows. Yet, I reiterate, I’ve started to understand that this is the course of life. As the tides of time move on, so must we. And while I felt nostalgic and a little bit sorrowful of the inevitable dwindling of the flames I’ve once sown, I have new, stronger bonfires to upkeep for the future.