Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Enough is Enough.

 **I'm not writing this to garner sympathy. I'm writing this to share a story and I hope some of you will share your stories too. I'm also writing this spread awareness. I don't think I'm Oprah or anything, nor am I trying to be, but this issue is very significant to me and I feel a need to speak out.**

I've mentioned this before. I never intended to use this blog to talk about personal things or things on my mind non-related to nail polish, but sometimes I feel I have to.

I'm sure many of us in the US know about the 5 teens who committed suicide in the past 2 weeks because they were bullied for being gay. This is sick and sad to me. Those suicides were unnecessary and could of been preventable. I'm sick of homophobia. I'm sick of homophobic comments. Sorry to offend, but I'm sick of certain political leaders and religious leaders condemning homosexuals as inferior, sinful, and wrong.  I think this definitely contributes to the gay bashing/bullying. That being said, I really would like to talk about bullying in general today.

I feel like it has only been with in recent years and more so the past week or so that the severity of bullying has been disussed and recognized. However, not enough action is being taken. I hope that will change. I always hated how people pushed bullying aside as "every kid gets bullied" or "kids will be kids". In fact, when I was younger and being bullied I bought into that mentality.

I was severely bullied when I was 13. I had been bullied prior to that and even after that, but it wasn't as extreme as when I was that age. I remember it was 4th period history class. I sat in front of these 2 jock boys, and for the entire year that tormented and humiliated me because I was overweight. They'd call me names and ask me if I consume everyone's food. They'd throw things in my hair. They'd follow me around school and yell out things in the hall in front of tons of my classmates. The other kids in the class often joined in. I even would try to bribe these boys with gum and money to leave me alone, of course that didn't work. I would have full-blown panic attacks in that class everyday. I would hold on to my desk for dear life hoping that I wouldn't pass out or throw up. I wouldn't ever eat lunch at school because I never wanted them to see me eat. I even remember them telling me that if they were "turned on" by some other girl they could just look at me and I was disgusting enough to turn them off. They also told me I should never have children because they'd be as ugly as me. This was my life for 9 months of being 13.

I never told a soul. I never told my parents. I never told a teacher. I was embarrassed. I hid the pain very well. Looking back now, I wish I had spoken up. I had always had issues with anxiety growing up, but as the years went on my anxiety intensified and my self confidence was completely diminished. I visited a therapist a few years ago asked me if I suffered emotional abuse. I said no. She then asked if I had been bullied. I told her yes and my story and she said that is most definitely emotional abuse. I was confused because I assumed every kid gets bullied and you're supposed to get over it. This was the first time I recognized how deeply affected I was buy bullying, and how this bullying had manifested itself into my need for perfectionism, my fear people judging me, my fear of people leaving me, and my low self worth. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and it has been suggested I may also have some post-traumatic stress related to this. This all being said, please do not feel bad for me. I do not feel bad for myself. I'm sad this happened to me, and I didn't deserve it in anyway. I've learned ways to cope with anxiety and these emotions. I'm a strong person and in ways these situations have made me wiser and stronger.

That is my story, but it also hundreds of thousands of other kids/teens story too. Their stories maybe different but the emotions and outcomes can be the same or even worse. This is truly an epidemic in schools that needs to be remedied. There is not enough action being taken. If you are gay, overweight, thin, tall, short, smart, a little different, or whatever the case may be, you do not in any way deserve to be tormented. It's obvious to me why people bully now. It is to build up their own self esteem. People who have a strong sense of self, confidence, and high self esteem have no need to bully. I wish I had known that as a kid, and I wish there is a way to convey that to kids now in that situation, but it's difficult.

Bullying doesn't stop when you're an adult either. I know many bloggers have been the victim of bullies. I have been repulsed by some of the people in the blogging world who will go to ANY lengths to try and destroy someone's life. We are talking about grown women here. That is what is truly sick about all of that. Grown women some of them have their own children behave in this manner? No wonder we have bullies. People like that should be ashamed of themselves.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of Tyler Clementi, Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, and Seth Walsh. My heart also goes out to the parents whose kids have been or are being bullied and the victims of bullying themselves. My hope is that we can put an end to this torment. Kids and teenagers deserve to have a childhood full of joy, fun, and happiness. Bullying is real, it's dangerous, and should be taken very seriously. Enough is Enough.


  1. Thank you for writing this, Steph. I always feel suffocated by the prejudice that exists here in western PA. It was one of the reasons I loved living in Colorado so much. I am sick of it as well. Wrong is wrong.

  2. Thank you for this post. It makes me sad to be part of a society that punishes individual for being who they are. All because people don't seem to understand that times change and people change with them. No one deserves that kind of treatment. But I have hopes things will change. I mean if Women can vote and Slavery can be abolished (Big changes huh?) then Gays should be able to lead their lives without no one telling them that they are wrong for it. That was my rant. SRY. But thank you for this post.

  3. Thank you so so so much for sharing this and for speaking out about recent events. I really feel for the families of those young teenagers. I can completely relate with your experience and think that there is something that should be said about how much power words (especially hateful words) can have. I was listening to NPR this morning about a case before the Supreme Court now on basically whether a certain group of ppl (who were picketing in front of funeral) were not practicing freedom of speech but had intentions to cause emotional distress and harm. Here is the link to the story if anyone is interested.

  4. Well written, Stephanie. I know, way too well, about bullying. I also know, way too well, the emotional scarring that stays with someone even well into adulthood.

    There's no place for any bullying in our blog community. Personally, I will have nothing to do with bullies.

  5. I'm so glad you did this post, I too was bullied when i was younger by fellow classmates and teacher because I was the only black girl in my school. Classmates use to call me "buckwheat" told me to go "cotton pick" one girl beat me up and dragged me in the mud. I had one teacher that told me that God made black people by burning white people in his oven I had another teacher call me Nutella instead of my name which is Janella. Such comments even from an adult made me feel like I wasn't worthy it made me feel less of myself and I truly feel sorry for you and for those who go through it every day!
    Thanks for speaking up over the years I just began to supress my feelings towards things that were said in my childhood!

    This is by far the best post i've read for the day!


  6. Thanks for this post. I've never understood the point of bullying. I think almost everyone can relate to this problem. It's sad and stupid. Just let everyone be, and be happy. Why waste time on making others feel horrible? Sad to read you've been bullied that much, I hope in the end it made you a stronger person!

  7. Thank you so much for posting this. This is so terribly sad that it's gotten out of hand to the point that lives have been lost. As a kid I was bullied too and although I have always struggled with anxiety as well and it caused me a lot of anxiety, i thought much like you did. It's normal. But it's not and I feel that society makes it seem so.
    Although the internet and technology can be used for wonderful things like spreading awareness, connecting with friends, sharing interests/hobbies, I think a huge part of the issue is online bullying through social networking sites like facebook, mypace and even through texting. People should be mindful of the things they say to others as words have a powerful effect.

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I didn't know about those teens as I don't live in US, but that is just plain simple terrible!

    And I truly know what you're saying about bullying, I had too when I was in school. I was (well, I still am) overweight and I guess I was easy target in that way. Though it definately shouldn't be like that.. But anyway, I also thought that it was "normal" and I just have to deal with it and didn't tell anyone anything. Still today I can see in myself some results of that bullying, though I think I have come a long way from there and now I can but those ugly words to the place they belong. But as you said I also know now why people bully but I didn't know that as a kid and probably that partly why it was so terrible. And of course I didn't also deserve any of that, but it still today has an effect on me.

    My heart goes to anyone who has been bullied for any reason and I also hope that there is someway to do more about it. It's horrible that I can still today remember many of those horrific things that were said to me and I probably will remember them always, I don't want to, but I will. I wouldn't like anyone ever to go trough bullying in any way!

    (This was a long comment and I'm not sure it even makes any sence as English isn't my native language and it's sometimes hard to say what you want in foreing language, but I needed to say something...)

  9. I'm glad you wrote this, I agree with everything you said. I was bullied when I was 12, my first year of middle school. My classmates told me I was gross, people threw nasty notes at me on the bus. Besides that, nobody would really talk to me. And they were all people who had been my friends in elementary school the year before. I stopped doing homework and stuff and almost failed most of my classes that year. Then we moved and people at my new school weren't that bad, so yeah. I didn't really talk about it to anybody though. I don't want sympathy or anything, but I want people to stop acting like its all okay. I, like you, didn't realize I still had issues with what happened until I started going to see a counselor. Like you, I have a fear of people judging or leaving me. Also, I had only heard about Tyler Clementi, I never heard about the others. It's very to sad.. and now I can't really think of anymore words.. Anyways, thank you so much for posting this.

  10. I know that it was probably very hard to write this post and share it with the world - so thank you for that. Even though it's a blog about nails and stuff, it's always o.k. to do a different post - it's your blog, you know :)

    I was also bullied because I was the pale, overweight and brainy kid. People called me names, but still wanted to take advantage of me because I was good in school. Fuck them (sorry).
    I'm always scared that people will see me as fat or ugly. And I hate people's comments - e.g., one girl told me that I should be careful with drinking too much, as they wouldn't be able to carry me up the stairs; they'd just carried a girl, who's about 15-20 cm taller than me and she's not exactly light. That girl commented on my weight several times and I really, really don't like her now.
    Some people just don't respect others.

    Well, sorry, that wasn't very important. But I hope that you're feeling alright.

    - Sarah.

  11. wonderful post steph! its an epidemic that needs a stop put to it. I got the sexual harrassment side of bullying as a teen, and it sucks. I'm sorry you went through that.

  12. Thank you for this post - the more people bring this issue out into the open, the harder it is to ignore it or say "kids will be kids".

    I too was bullied - oh, pardon me, "teased", that's what they called it then - throughout many years of school. Unlike you, I DID tell adults about it - who did nothing or went the next step and told me it was my fault. I'm still dealing with the effects of the harrassment and utter lack of support some 30-odd years later.

    But like the others, I don't want pity. I want it to STOP. And postings like this are wonderful signposts on the road to that goal.

  13. This is such a powerful post, girl.
    Bullying is so serious, and no one cares.

    I was bullied all through elementary and middle school because I have mild Asperger's and it makes me weird. I was also a bad stutterer, a nerd, ugly, and a fat kid on top of it all. Yes...I won the childhood lottery. I'm not gonna go into it, because it still makes me cry, lol. But people who haven't been there just do not understand what it's like.
    It really sucks that it takes the publicized deaths of kids to get people to finally pay attention. And it makes me super mad, because people have been killing themselves because of bullying for a long time. Only now are people paying attention.

    I'm glad your therapist dealt with your being bullied's important to work that kind of thing out, because it festers. Maybe one day, I'll get on that.

  14. You are so RIGHT!!! Anyone who is offended by being kind to others and equality to all is the one with the problem!

    I was bullied as a kid, too. It was a nightmare that happened in 2nd and 4th grade and I've blocked out much of it.

    I will say that we seem to enjoy bullying as entertainment: reality tv shows, humor that is pejorative to people, and in our public discourse we allow it, too. Yet we expect kids not to emulate adults? It's a cultural nightmare right now to see this going on. I hope people can see the big picture and reject those forms of media that support bullying.

    It is a tragedy that these poor boys had to endure such terrorism. And to me it is terrorism for children.


  15. Bullying is wrong, no doubt about it, and thank you for this post...I'm writing one of my own on this very subject.
    I think we are lucky to have gone through our bullying when we did, because with the internet, it's exponentially worse.
    Imagine how they could have bullied you with the help of YouTube or FaceBook or Twitter or whatever...ugh.
    Glad to know another survivor. Hugs.

  16. I'm very sorry to hear about what you had to go through :(
    I was never actually bullied to my face, but I know that there were some girls that talked about me behind my back. They talked about their own FRIENDS behind their backs... certainly they were talking about me. Just to know that made me very paranoid and I had trouble making friends.

    Speaking specifically on the homophobia you mentioned, I am a Christian and I go to a conservative evangelical church (we go by the Bible). So of course when the subject of being gay comes up (though it rarely does) of course the pastor says that being gay is wrong, a sin an abomination, etc. Now I believe in God, I believe in the Bible, and I believe Jesus died for my sins, but I don't think Jesus would want us to have so much hate in our hearts toward a group of people. One reason why so many people hate us Christians is because some Christians have made it their job to go out and spread hate, picketing against gay marriage and calling them nasty names. It's really disgusting behavior and it makes me sad because I know people look at them and think all Christians are like that. But not all of them are like that ;)

    Anyway sorry for such a long comment! I just had a lot to say :)

  17. Thanks for sharing your feelings and your story. Bullying and harassment shouldn't be consider normal and okay like it is in society. I experienced bullying in high school, and it is astounding how much what other people do and say can wreck a person.
    I support people as a whole, and think that the differences we have make us more beautiful both as a whole and an individual.
    I think you are beautiful physically, mentally, and emotionally.
    I wish those teens had someone to tell them how much more they had. My heart goes out to their loved ones.

  18. Hey Steph!

    Thanks for posting so openly and honestly. I'm glad you shared your opinions on bulling.

    I feel strongly that each of us decides our own feelings and our own life. I also know that the subconscious mind absorbs whatever it's surrounded with. So when it's surrounded by attacks, that's extremely traumatic.

    I love that you say you've become a stronger and wiser person from your experiences. I know I can identify at least one major lesson I've learned from each hardship I've endured in my life, and that's the most important thing in my mind - to find the good in the bad.

    I have never had a huge challenge with self confidence, because I've always known who I am, and I've always had people who loved me. And I've also had HUGE breakthroughs recently when it comes to conveying that confidence to other people.

    When you're truly confident in yourself, you get to really be who you are inside, and who you're meant to be, and that's the best thing in the world!!


  19. This is an amazing post Steph, thanks so much for being so honest and open. I think by sharing experiences like that, it can make an issue more real to a person. I was lucky to have never suffered bullying in school or the office, but I am ashamed to admit that I have seen it going on and have never done anything about it. The fear of having the bully turn on you is strong, but I know now that it is just something you have to do. It's the right thing to do.
    So thank you again Steph, for raising awareness on an issue that is so often ignored.


  20. Thank you for this post, and for being so open. I definitely agree - enough is enough. Bullying is unacceptable, and its consequences are much more severe than most people realize.

  21. Enough is enough...but what a shame! My son was bullied through elementary school and everyone faild to help,sadly.
    Thanks for this post :-)
    I think that people should talk about it more often.
    Sorry for my bad spelling :-)

  22. jbrobeck- I agree. There are definite parts of the country that are less accepting than others. I was born and raised in
    Texas. I think that says a lot. It was pretty conservative.

    Let them have Polish- I'd like to think that people will begin to open their minds more. The world is different and you're right it's time to move with the times.

    applepark- I've heard about this story on the news. Those people who picket outside someone child's funeral with their hate messages truly sickens me. Sick demented people out there who have zero taste level and zero compassion. Very sad.

    Kimberly- I'm glad others are recognizing the long term effects of bullying. I'm tired of seeing people bully others on blogs. I don't get the point. Let blogging be fun.

    BoldNBeautiful Makeup- Wow, I am so terribly sorry for what you went through. My heart broke reading about your experiences. It's bad enough when other kids are bullies, but teachers? That is inexcusable and just plain wrong. I'm sure it was difficult for you to share this, but I'm glad you did. -hugs to you-

    Iris- I'm definitely a stronger person from it and very compassionate one. I don't get the point of bullying either.

    Amanda- Online bullying has definitely become an issue. People can be anonymous and that gives them more power. Words definitely are powerful. Words really hurt. I almost wish I was beat up as kid rather than called names. If that makes any sense.

    splattergirl- I think a lot of people care. I think people need to speak out about these issues more. I don't think anyone likes to admit they were bullied because it's embarrassing. However, I think when people open up and share their stories it allows for others not to feel so alone.

    Annie- Your post makes perfect sense and your English is good! Bullying does stick with you. I'm glad you've come a long way since then, and I hope you continue to move forward. It's not easy and no you didn't deserve it. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Tierney- I hate how easily kids develop a mob mentality against a person. Bullying does really effect your school work too. I had issues with school as well during that time. I'm sorry those things happened to you and I'm glad you have addressed them. Thank you for sharing.

    Sarah- Your post was important, don't dismiss it! You're right too fuck them! I find it interesting how we so clearly remember certain things that were said to us. They definitely stick with you. That girl was insecure with herself and probably picked on you to fit in. You were definitely not the problem she was. Thanks for sharing.

    Scandalous- I'm sorry you went through what you did as a teen as well. That is very sad and sick. Thanks for your comment.

    TropicalChrome- I want it to stop too. I'm also hoping like you said the more we openly discuss this the more people will being to take it seriously. I'm sorry you bullied in school and I'm even more sorry no one did anything to help you. Thanks for sharing.

    ChaosButterfly- Aw, I'm sorry hun. It does bother me too that it takes a string of suicides for attention to be brought to this issue. I'm familiar with Asperger's. My boyfriend has mild Asperger's too. I'm sorry you had to deal with bullying like that. Thank you for sharing. -hugs to you-

    Pailette- I'm sorry you dealt with bullying. I do also think you're right about entertainment and the media exploiting bullying as ok. Thanks for sharing. -hugs-

    Elizabeth- I can only imagine that bullying has intensified significantly with the internet. When I was in junior high/high school we had the internet but it was before facebook/myspace. I look forward to your post on this subject. -hugs-

  23. Deanna- I agree with you. From what I know about Jesus and his teachings this type of hate is the exact opposite of what I think he would of wanted. I don't think all Christians are like that nor do I hate Christianity. I do have no respect for those who use Christianity as means to spread hatred and intolerance like you mentioned. I know that was not the intention of Christianity at all and it makes me sad that people use that as an excuse to be so hurtful.

    Leslie- Thank you for your sweet comments. I'm hoping that the more people who open up about this the more seriously it will be taken.

    CarolAnn- Confidence has been challenging for me, but it has great improved. I definitely look for the opportunity in all situations where I can grow, rather than feeling sorry myself. I appreciate your insights.

    Rebecca- I'm glad you mentioned the fear of having a bully turn on you. When I grew up I saw other kids get bullied to, but I'd steer clear because I didn't want to become the next target. It's sad that things are like that. Thanks for commenting.

    Zara- Thanks for your comment. I hope that we all will start to take bullying more seriously.

    Zana- I'm sorry your son was bullied in school. I hope that speaking out will make some change. Thanks for sharing. :)

  24. I was bullied in middle school and I think part of the reason I'm okay now and not suffering any ill effects from it is that I didn't internalize it. I didn't believe the awful things she and her friends said to me and about me. I thought that something is wrong with them, not me. Instead I used to daydream about getting a shotgun and blasting her head off. She's damn lucky my father wasn't a hunter or gun nut, because I would have done it. I'm 47 now, so this is way before Columbine or other school shootings.

    I wasn't surprised when I would read about school shootings to find out that these kids were bullied too. Bullying can make a kid desperate and they just want it to stop. Sometimes suicide or homicide is all they can think of. No one will help them, the other kids ignore it, or worse join in, and the adults won't do anything either.

    The only part of your post I disagree with is where you said, "Sorry to offend". Those politicians and religious leaders are hate mongers and offensive themselves. Go ahead and flip them the finger, I'll join you!

  25. Thanks for sharing your story. I've noticed a lot of bloggers and vloggers that let their view and reader #'s go to their head and they try to sic their readers on anyone that doesn't agree with them. So sad.


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