Saturday, July 19, 2008
Were you teased or ostracized as a kid? I sure was.
I was very shy, goofy, and had the social skills of a fireplug.
Seventh grade was the worst.
I had no friends. Kids hassled me all day. Most of it was verbal- name calling and catty remarks. I spent spare time writing stories and drawing pictures each day, trying to ignore pebbles pelted my way. My pop-up art project was sabotaged after the teacher put it up. An older boy flashed me. Sometimes kids would gather around me and ask why I was such a weirdo (or loser, or "skuzz" etc..) Once, in a home ec class, some kids put masking tape in my hair and ran my school photo through the sewing machine. They cracked up as the needle punched it full of holes.
I'm so glad I'm not thirteen any more.
It could have been worse. Nobody beat me up or extorted money. Nobody gave me a swirlie. Nobody shot me.
It left lasting effects. I became even more shy and withdrawn. And cynical.
There were benefits:
While the normal kids were hanging out with friends, I drew pictures and wrote stories. Would I be writing and drawing today if I didn't have the practice?
Another bonus: Since I know how much it stank to be bullied, I never became one. It could have happened. I have a smart mouth. I'm quick to make cracks about public figures. Without the "gee, it stinks to be ostracized" experience, would I be making cracks about my peers too? Am I shoving some poor sap in an alternate universe?