In the next couple of entries I am going to share some memories with you.
I can't recall to have ever been a bully, or to have bullied someone. I was more the kid that took the kid that didn't fit in, for different reasons, by the hand and looked out for them or sat beside him or her to not give them the feeling that no one would want to sit beside them. I was a nice child and continued this in high school. I wasn't one of the popular girls, but I did hang out with the popular crowd, but also with the "nerds", "alternatives" and every other little group that was out there. I fitted in everywhere, but actually never was really a part of any group. I always felt I was looking in from the outside. I could have easily been a popular girl, if I would have dressed in Levi jeans and O'neill sweaters and such(that was THE thing to wear back than for that group), but I had my own style and that was one of the things that made me stand out from that crowd. I never mind, I was a happy teen for most of the time.
Then when I was 18 I went to Amsterdam to learn how to become a Graphic Designer. My best friend Gonda was there with me in the same class. We had a great class and a lot of fun with each other. Life was good.
I got my first "real" boyfriend, René, life couldn't been better at that point. And then on January third 1994, everything changed.
René died in an accident and was killed instantly. I never had experienced a death this close by and it shook my world to it's core. I was heartbroken. After the holidays I had to go back to school and tell everyone what happened. Lets just say that that day was horrible. Luckily at the end of the day my gym teacher said I should go home and stay home until I thought I was ready again to give school a try. I think I stayed home for almost two weeks, before I went back to school.
I became depressed and was angry most of the time. I had never learned how to talk about my feelings(we never did that at home). My grief was eating me up inside. At school things changed because I changed. They didn't understood what happened with the always happy and cheerful girl. Suddenly she was depressed, angry and not participating in any fun things they did. They began to avoid me and ignore me, talk about me.
I couldn't tell them how I felt so when it was night of the poetry, I decided I would make a poem about how I felt after René died. It was a very honest and very open poem, I laid my heart on the table when I went up to the stage and read it for the whole school. I broke down and cried a couple of times while doing it, but I wanted them to understand where I was at. Most of the people from my class cried while I was reading it.
I hoped it would have helped to open a door but never did anyone of them came to me and talk about it.
My best friend Gonda and I grew apart, another thing that hurt me a lot. We couldn't talk so I pushed her away and she let me. We broke up our years of friendship by a letter. I still regret this.
After the summer vacation I was finally feeling better again, not depressed and more myself. So I went back to my class, a bit more of the girl I was before René died. I wanted my life to be normal again. It was a shock to me that my classmates were still treating me the way they were when I was depressed, ignoring me, talking about me and pushing me out of the group. I felt very lonely. I had felt very lonely when I was depressed, but I also choose to be alone most of the time, to deal with my grief. Now I wanted to be around people again but still was lonely. We had some new people in our class and I tried to make new friends. My old classmates talked about me behind my back, they didn't wanted me to have new friends. Luckily for me, one of those girls talked with me and I told her what happened last year. She stood up for me and even went to a teacher to have them stop talking about me. She saved me. We became good friends.
I never became the carefree and happy bubbly girl I was before René died, but I guess this life experience made me grow up a lot faster.
My husband is the same as me, always rooting for the underdog. I try to teach my kids not to judge anyone let alone bully anyone. So far so good and hopefully they will never have the experience of being bullied like I was.