Friday, July 31
A Facebook Story
I heard this story last weekend and wanted to share, even though as a blog post it's from February. BernThis may not be your kind of blog, but I have to say as a panel speaker she's a hoot.
But her story really hit a nerve for me, when she recalled:
...a horrible experience I had in junior high, something which led me down a horrible path and from where I developed my sense of humor as it was the only "weapon" I had.
Just the other day, one of the girls who was especially cruel to me, wrote me on Facebook, asking to "be my friend." This from a person who thirty years ago, was gracious enough to show me that my head was too wide to fit into my locker and yet my initial instinct was, "of course, yeah, sure, whatever you want" Just seeing her name shook me to my core and in a nanosecond I was thirteen all over again. My breathing got shallow, I think I was even shaking a bit. Finally, after way too long the 43 year old me took the 13 year old me and said:
43 YEAR OLD ME: For the love of God, school isn't just out for Summer anymore babe. Move on!" ...and the next thing I know, I hit the "ignore" button and I swear I was giddy.
I too was bullied in junior high and high school. Life was miserable. I was a smart girl with college-educated parents. Definitely an outsider, definitely a social misfit. Without going into painful detail, going to school HURT in seventh and eighth grades.
I've pretty much accepted as "facebook friends" people from my high school class on the basis of Whatever. None of us are the same people we were at age thirteen, thank God. I know one of the reasons adults didn't come to my defense then as much as I would have liked is they saw a "this too shall pass" situation--my teachers clearly voted me "most likely to Evolve Her Way Out Of Town" early on, and my parents saw me as weird but resilient.
But one of the things I've finally learned in the past two years is how to spot a bully at seventy paces, and not let them in. And with that, I embrace that same giddiness BernThis found clicking on "ignore."
permalink 4:29 PM