Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bullying (Part 4)

The bullying and torment continued on through the rest of grade school. In 7th grade, my teacher (who was also the Mother Superior of that particular convent) decided that I had "the calling" and started talking to my parents about sending me to an all-girls Catholic High School, and then go on to become a Nun myself. Well, I did NOT want that, and told my parents so. But, she kept pushing and pushing, to the point where I was so miserable that they decided to pull me from the Catholic grade school and send me to the public Junior High for my 8th Grade year.

This? Made the Mother Superior livid. LIVID. She became very hateful toward me, and made the rest of the school year nearly unbearable; ridiculing me in front of the other students, condemning my parent's decision in front of the whole class, and more. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that I would soon be out of there and would never, EVER, have to see her again. (And? I didn't!) That school year could not come soon enough.

Then it was on to the Junior High, and a whole new set of issues....I did not know anyone there, and felt totally alone. I was already a very shy young girl, and I missed my friends, and I was so angry with my former teacher for making life so miserable that I had to leave them! So I was fair game for any school bullies in those halls, and they found me, with no problem.

There was one girl in particular (we will refer to her as "J") who decided that I was her target, and kept threatening me. She would torment, and threaten to "beat me up" and even went so far as to tell me I was to meet her after school so we could take care of things in a fight, which, of course, I did not show up for, hoping she would then realize that it was not going to happen. But this only fueled the situation; she kept on, saying that I was "chicken" and ridiculing me in front of others. I did my best to avoid her, but wasn't very successful.

Somehow I made it through that 8th grade year at Junior High, and on into my 9th grade (Freshman) year. This year also marked my Catholic School friends coming there. It was great to be there with them again! Also, it felt like now I had some "backup" and would not feel so along and "out there" by myself. It seemed to work; J stopped tormenting me so much. I hoped that it had ended, and for the rest of Junior High, it did. But, that was to change in Senior High.

During Sophomore year, there was still quite a bit of torment, but I just basically ignored it. This made some of them stop and leave me alone, but it seemed to make it a challenge for others.....

My Junior year, I had to share a locker with another student (we will call her "B") who was best friends with J. Believe me, neither of us was happy about it, but I was determined to make it work out, and show B that I was a decent person. I was also hopeful that this would, in turn, have her tell J this, and maybe I would finally get some peace. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case - -

My parents had bought me a really nice suede fringe jacket (those were SO "in" at that time). I wore it to school all the time, and just loved it! Well - - one day at the end of school, I went to my locker to get my jacket and head on home.....the jacket was gone. It was nowhere to be found. And, with it being wintertime, I had no coat to wear for the walk home. I went to the office, but no one had turned in my jacket. I went out to the parking lot to see if I could catch a ride home with someone, and the lot was basically empty. So I started walking home, as fast as I could, in the cold weather. Fortunately, we only lived a few blocks from the school, but it was a difficult walk home! I finally made it, and as soon as I got in the house (and thawed out), I told my Mom what had happened. I also told her what I thought the situation was - - I was sure B had taken the jacket, and probably was in it with J.

My parents talked to the principal, who basically said there was nothing we could do, since we had no "proof" that was what happened. Well - -considering that the only people who would know the combination would be me and B, who else could it have been? The one thing the principal did do for me, however, was move me to my own locker, at the other end of the building. That helped, but I was still pretty despondent - - I loved my fringe jacket, and no longer had it.

A few days later, I was walking downtown, and saw B and J coming around the corner. Just as I suspected, J had on my jacket! They saw me, turned around and ran back around the corner. As soon as I got home, I told my parents about it. I wanted them to talk to their parents, or the principal, or SOMEBODY, but they didn't want to make waves.....so J had my jacket, and I had a lot of anger that I had to swallow and try to deal with. For Christmas, my parents bought me another jacket, which while I did appreciate it, it did nothing to appease my anger. B and J were allowed to get away with doing that to me, with NO consequences! I did NOT understand that, and still don't to this day.

How did this all affect me? That comes next.....

To be continued

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