Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday- Bullying

A young girl took her life because of bullying. This is happening way too much today and something needs to be done. Reading about such a horrible tragedy got me thinking about my own childhood and how badly I was teased. I was a chubby kid, cute chubby nothing crazy since I was about 5 years old and I remember being so excited to start Kindergarten.  I was one of the tallest girls in my class and never thought about my body image or anything like that then it happened.  I walked into the brightly colored classroom where my teacher stood smiling from ear to ear, I was going to love this place, I knew it.  Then like a deflated balloon the happieness was sucked right out of my little 5 year old heart when the little girl sitting next to me said I was going to need a bigger chair because I was too big to sit in the little chair with my name sticker on it, now mind you I was not that much bigger than her, maybe 5 pounds heavier and my world just came crashing in on me by one idiotic comment by a 5 year old.  I remember be afraid to sit in the chair, afraid  I would break it and when the teacher asked me what was wrong why wasn't I sitting down, I told her the chair wasn't big enough for me, she said oh don't be silly it is just the right size for a little girl like you and I sat down.  Even though the chair ended up being too big for me, the instant questioning and loathing my body started on that very day in September 1983.
From that day on I was constantly being picked at and teased about my weight from other kids and even my own adult family members. There was something wrong with me, I was probably about 10-15 lbs overweight as a kid and I always felt HUGE.  Teachers pointed it out to me in gym class, a gym teacher told me he would have to hold my ankles because I would never be able to do a sit up by myself, I actually could do them quite fine thank you very much.  It was little digs like this here and there that would eat away at my confidence until by the time I was 18 there was nothing left.
By this time I had tried every diet known to man, from Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, starving myself so bad that I passed out on vacation with my family one year.
I hated my body and I look back at pictures of myself from that time and I realize how great I looked if I just could have seen it then, if I just could have loved myself.  I would try to ride my bike in the neighborhood and there were a brother and sister who would sit on the stoop of their house and wait for me to pass by, I was only allowed to go around the block and I would circle the block about 10 times and every time I passed by "Hey Fatty, hey chubby, hey fat ass." they would shout at me. I still rode my bike all summer but it got so bad that once I got to the corner of their street I would turn around and go back the other way so I wouldn't have to endure the taunting anymore.
So if other people hated my body of course I was going to hate it, so after all the abuse of yo-yo dieting I have done to my body it has rebelled against me, it is so hard for me to lose weight now.   It took me a long time to gain any kind of confidence in myself, I am still lacking confidence at 35 years old, I will go to the gym and feel like I am going to get laughed at, stared at, made fun of.  I was teased for probably 12 years of my life, I won't even get into it all, it would take 20 blog posts to get through it all.  I don't think kids understand what a horrible impact they can have on someone's life. I must say that as bad as it got never ever did I think of taking my own life.  I never want my children to have to go through any of this no one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. Please, please talk to your kids, stop the cycle now, stop bullying.