They Punched Me Inside (A Personal Story)

When I was a child and dealing with bullies, I figured it was only in the USA. To be honest, I really thought it was only where I was. See, there was no internet and even TV was only a few channels. We really had little knowledge of what was going on in the big world on a daily basis. When I started this site, I had no idea that I would communicate internationally and that we would share our collective stories. Then we also find it and we are not so different and all go through many of the same things. It is this story from Luzia, who grew up in Brazil, which sheds further light as to how we all deal with bullies, not matter what part of the world we live in. ~Alan Eisenberg


Bullying is a significant problem that affects many people on a daily basis. This is my adult’s perspective on the long-term effects that bullying has brought to my life.

I strongly believe that bullying comes in many different shapes and forms. My personal experience proves just that.

I am 30 years old. Born and raised in Brazil, I lived there for 24 years. Growing up in a house with 3 sisters and being the only “chubby” one, it’s not so hard to imagine the “verbal” bullying I had to endure. I call it bullying because it wasn’t just innocent, back and forth teasing between kids. It came from adults for the most part and it was targeted, recurrent and persistent. I was constantly criticized by some family members/relatives/family friends privately and in public. According to them, I was chubby, short, my forehead was too big, my face was too round, my hair was too thin, my breasts were too big, etc…In addition, I’d have them compare me and my so-called “flaws” to my sisters/relatives. That was extremely unfair since we’re all very different both physically and personality wise. Needless to say, such comparisons always ended with them determining or hinting my “disadvantaged” position. When I would go buy clothes, I’d always have what they said in mind: “you can’t wear this, you have to wear that.”

Years went by and I took extreme/unhealthy measures to lose weight (think throwing up and drinking hot water and soap). I got thinner indeed but the bullying never stopped completely. It was extremely detrimental to my emotional development and well-being. It affected the way I conducted all my personal interactions. For a long time, I even forced myself to avoid any possibility of having real relationships with boys. I’ve met a few and even though they were nice to me I simply could not believe that we could have a normal, healthy relationship. I would always question myself: ” why would they want to date me? That can’t be serious.”

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to move to the U.S and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. It gave me the chance to get away from all the bullies that were always pointing out my physical “imperfections”. Also, people here seem to be a little less focused on their appearance (it might be a bit hard to believe but that’s true – try living in Brazil where the sun shines all year and your body is constantly exposed and scrutinized).

I visit my family in Brazil once a year and even though I lost the extra weight I carried as a child, I still hear from some of those people: “You lost weight but your face is still chubby. You lost weight but you still got a little tummy. You look like you could use some tightening. You look thinner in pictures.” As I get older, they started adding: “Wow, are those wrinkles forming here and there?”. Once again, I call this bullying because I was always their one and only target and no matter what I do, they always find a reason to make recurrent, belittling comments about me.

Saying that bullying affected my emotional well-being is almost like an understatement. I don’t even remember the last time I wore a bathing suit. I was a kid, I believe. I know I NEVER wore a bikini, that’s for sure. Despite being an adult, I still avoid beaches, lakes, swimming pools…I know I’ve lost the weight but I don’t know when I’ll be fully able to look at myself as a thin person. I still go to clothing stores and look for the tags that say LARGE even though I’m a SMALL. I’m fighting on a daily basis to overcome these body issues that resulted from years of harassment.

Five years ago, I was lucky enough to find an amazing partner. He’s very nice, loving, sweet and incredibly kind. No matter how bad I wake up feeling, he’s always trying to convince me that I’m beautiful and he loves me just the way I am. After meeting him, a few of my insecurities went away. Unfortunately, not all of them but enough for me to realize that I wasn’t as fat/unattractive as they wanted me to believe I was. Enough for me to realize that I deserved to love and be loved. Enough for me to try to fight to be an independent, self-assuring, confident person. I’m not there yet but I’m trying.

This is my bullying story. Sure, I wasn’t pushed, shoved or punched like some kids who are victims of some very aggravated forms of bullying. But I guess they punched me in the inside. And those are wounds that take a very long time to heal as well.

It saddens me to know that there are many kids, teenagers and even adults who become victims to some type of bullying every day at school, at work, at home, etc. I just want those people to stand up and speak out. Nobody has the right to deliberately harass, threaten or put someone else down no matter what reasons they might think they have to do that. ANY sort, shape or form of bullying is unacceptable.

~Luzia

No One Did Anything (A Personal Story)

I was sent the below story and poem from Akira, who wrote, as many do when writing their stories, from their heart. It is always hard for me to choose how to edit and show these stories to the widest audience possible so that you can read and share this site. This was one story I debated sharing for many reasons, but mainly because the raw emotion Akira used in telling it includes language that many might not share. While I edited the language, I only masked it, but it is here. For that reason, I suggest this as a PG-13 Post. But I wanted to share Akira’s story and poem, because much like the current movie “Bully” that had ratings problems due to language, you can only edit reality so much. ~Alan Eisenberg


Hello everyone, I decided to share my story and my experience with being bullied. I hope it will help someone…

We all ask our self that same question, what for?

I started to be bullied as a kid in 3rd grade – nine years old.

Why? Because I wa sa different nationality, yes it started that way. Everyone was teasing me for Christmas and rest of holidays. I remember one time in my 4th grade there was some notebook where kids ask bunch of weird stuff for fun. One day I accidentally got that notebook in my hands. There was that question with that answer which opened my eyes. There were like all sort of questions: do you like, and what you think abt N.K., S.P and bunch of other persons, answers was like yas, she is cute, good friend, cool and other kid stuff, but under my name, everyone said NO. Comments were terrible. I was a kid, I didn’t know what that means, why they don’t like me. I was sad, but didn’t understand it too much…

With years they made more and more jokes on my name. And I was more shy with every time. Comments were flying till my 7th grade, than the REAL bullying were started. Every f$@king day I needed to listen and don’t say anything, even I felt like I’m going to explode literally. They constantly called me with all possible bad names, and put me awful adjectives. Thy embarrassed me in front of teachers, all students, whole school. NO ONE DID ANYTHING.

Gym was something terrible for me, because we always needed to be in pairs, and guess who always was left out. In classrooms was terrible too, when some teacher told to anyone to sit by me, whole class would lough, I was subject for laughing self-esteem was unbelievably low. Lowest it can be. Teachers ignored all of this of course, so when someone needed to sit behind me he moved his chair on other side of table. In eight grade it was even they were humiliated me, gossip me, throwing stuffs on me. I was NOTHING. I think in that point I lost my mind, because I remember I talked with my self in frond of school, and I imagined to my self like i live in some ”movie, other world, dream” I cried and prayed every night before sleeping, EVERY. Nothing happened. I started thinking abt drop some bomb or something to punish them, I was so crazy. In my case school wasn’t the only place where I was bully, father was very violent to. He called me names, and i was punished for every little thing. He hit me or slapped me when i get bad mar in school, but he never taught me, or helped me. He was also like that to my sister and mother. I can’t imagine how terrible that period was. I go to school and think what they will do to me now, what should i say when they do. But it never happen I always kept my mouth shut.

I wasn’t talked with no one in school at all. And than i come home in other nightmare and constant fights. Luckily I didn’t make nothing stupid.  Eighth grade finished soon and I finally was free, at least at school. But now high school was question. I hoped I will find someone who is ”quiet” like me. But no, I was alone again, I wasn’t talked with no one. I wasn’t bullied in high school, but I was judged. They gossiped me and talked behind my back. They called me weirdo, stupid, mute and all other stuff,, But nothing in my face. I was so alone that i stopped go to high school in my third grade. I was hide it from my dad. I was kinda cooperative with my mom, she was confused too, and she new how hard I was. My dad thought i go regularly to school. I started use xanax and painkiller so i wouldn’t feel so terrible. There was problems abt school way to much to write right now. But when I got another chance to do my tests in my third grade I would be on pain pills and xanax because of fear, so everything I learned I completely forgot, blocked.

Somehow I managed to finish school. Later I found good friend on Internet, so I kinda started to have social life. But when we went out i always needed drink, because i was to shy.

Now I’m 22 years old. Kinda manage to recover even now I take Xanax regularly and painkillers to lose my self sometimes. I still can’t go on party on some event without drinking, cause I am still with low self-esteem to open my self.

I hope I will soon go to my art academy like I planed.

This is one song I wrote about bullying:

F#@K OFF

I’m sitting in the corner of darkness,

no one’s here, just me so hopeless.

Keeping the sorrow in my head

making bigger confusion from it self.

”Don’t you know it hurt so bad

Didn’t you feel that razorblade

When you decide to become a killer

Destroyer, raper and molester…”

So I’m forcing my self for not to think

I want you to hear,

but my lips are sealed.

F#@k offf…..

I don’t give a f#@k.

I don’t give a f#@k.

You didn’t give a f#@k for my life…

Than get a hell out of here

I wanna disappear…

If you are attention seeker

stupid little kid with no brain

or just some other s#@t instead

don’t bother me anyway…

Even when i run away

far from you and your games…

I can’t see you,

I can’t hear you,

but i feel so lame…

I got hurt from this game…

You think I’m stupid, yeah i think it too.

I was stupid because i wasn’t cry.

I suffer now,

cause i wasn’t screaming for my life.

Because i was so fragile but strong

I thought i could hold it so long…

My way to cope

was God and hope.

But i felt so forsaken,

weird, rejected,guilt…

But must important i was alone

and NOBODY didn’t know….

I don’t give a f#@k.

I don’t give a f$#k.

You didn’t give a f#@k for my life…

Than get a hell out of here

I want you to disappear…

I don’t give a f#@k.

I don’t give a f#@k.

You didn’t give a f#@k for my life…

Than get a hell out of here

Let me live….

I were crying all night

praying, blocking

Looking for miracle

I hiding it , forgetting it

Most of them knowing it

but no one help it…

So it must be my fault.

I became so cold

angry, dispatched,

Are you proud!?

I’ll fight to chase of that fear

And you, get a hell out of here!!!

~Akira

They Took My Voice (A Personal Story)

Leah wrote to me this very powerful personal story that puts into perspective the personal damage that bullying can do to a soul. I felt her pain as I read the story she titled “They Took My Voice”. I think you will find it a powerful piece as well and see her soul and voice in each word. ~Alan Eisenberg


I was eight, and as the straw that broke the camels back, she took my voice. They all did. But none more than the teachers who did nothing. They heard her side. They heard my side. They may have believed I was choked, or they may not have. All they said was “well, you look okay, so you’re fine.” But the point was, they did nothing. Blackness had surrounded me from an arm that closed tight around my neck and they did nothing. Told me I must be mistaken, made me feel I was overreacting. From that point on, I always doubted myself, not others, but myself. I continued desperately to try to make friends. Always trying to make friends. I was spat on, painted, juice poured on, punched, freckles “picked off,” gotten in water with clothes on, had rocks thrown at me, and numerous other ridiculous things, all for the promise that they would be my friend if I did. Besides, to me, who for 13 years never had a true friend, getting any attention at all was far better than never having any. But why did it seem as though no one besides my parents knew this was not right?

I hear stories of children gaining depression from bullying. Dealing with depression while they are bullied. For 13 years I felt nothing. From the age of eight to the age of twenty I felt nothing. Four of those I was being bullied. I knew it, but again, that’s ALL I knew. The other years, I had forgotten. I’m twenty-one now, and beginning almost a year ago I thought regularly of ending my life. More recently, I cut. Only to harm, not to take my life. To show what they’ve done to me. Though while I’m in that state I do not think of that as the reason. I don’t think of anything really. I wake up and there is 50 tons of hypothetical weight holding me down to my bed. I skip classes to stay in bed. I eat all the time. I want to live now, but, I don’t want to deal with anything or anyone. When I’m alone I’m overwhelmingly lonely, and when I’m around most people I don’t want to have anything to do with them. I get really angry all the time, and I don’t make eye contact. Sometimes I get so close to leaving my seat in class and curling up in a ball on the bathroom floor just to get away from people. But then I’m too lonely.

((FYI- I’ve found other ways to cope with the urge to cut, such as petting my dogs, blowing up a balloon and then watching it fart itself around the room, pouring water on my head, and if all fails, putting streaks of red nail polish on my arm. Please try any of these as an alternative to cutting if you too get urges. Other options I’ve heard of from friends are exercising, egging your yard, gardening, or shoveling your yard. Even come up with your own thing. Some of these may sound crazy but hey whatever works.))

I’m getting help, I assure you. I have a counselor, a support group, amazing friends (finally), good, supportive parents, and most importantly a loving Savior who has already redeemed all this and is guiding me through. And I truly believe it is the combination of these factors that resulted in me finally feeling it all. But my point is no person should ever go through this. Whether they deal with it as a child, or far into adulthood. No child should ever lose his or her voice. And no teacher should let them lose it.

I want so much to be an Elementary School Teacher. However, I am still terrified of bullies, even if they are 10+ years younger than me. I want to be a strong voice and a comfort to those who are both victims of bullying and the bullies themselves. If you are a Christian, I ask for your prayers. I truly believe that if I heal I can be the best darn advocate for anti-bullying the school district has ever seen. But I need my voice back.

Thank you for reading, and if you have been a victim of any kind of abuse, I pray for your healing as well.

~Leah

aeisenbe:

Like I have discussed before, a group called “Peace First” believes the end of bullying comes with teaching empathy. This article discusses what this group is doing.

Originally posted on BULLY AT AMBUSH CORNER:

A great deal of thought goes into trying to come up with ways to prevent bullying. Some people believe charging perpetrators with a crime and holding them accountable in the courts might work. Others believe children should be taught to fight back and stand up to a bully. Others, that it’s safer to ignore the abuse and walk away.

Eric Dawson, leader of Peace First, believes the best way to end bullying is to build empathy in all children, to teach them how to be peacemakers and to also give educators the ability to integrate this type of learning into the school curriculum and social culture. As a fellow of Ashoka, an organization that envisions a world in which everyone can create change, Dawson hopes to do just that with students: to enable them to feel and act on empathy for one another and those around them…

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Choosing Sides (A Personal Story)

Taylor shared this very personal story of her time being bullied. It shows the pain that comes when people you trust break that through their actions. Imagine that it happens to you all the time. How would you be as you grow up? Will you trust anyone around you? How will you treat others? This can be a life long lesson from just these few years. Something we should all know and understand. ~Alan Eisenberg


I was bullied from 8 – 10th grade. By three girls. They made me feel horrible. It got to the point where I told the Guidance Counselors at school and broke down crying in the middle of gym class one day.

In 8th grade, two of these girls acted like they were my friends; They acted very good. I was dumb enough to believe them. Most of the problems came because they found out that I had a crush on a boy. They would say things to him that weren’t true. And they would do the same to me. They got my hopes up, making me believe he liked me too. But I should’ve known better. One day, I needed a pencil for class. They gave me one. I found out later that it was the guy I had a crush on pencil. I immediately threw away the pencil. The next day a rumor flew around that I put that pencil in a place where only Tampons should go…. A few weeks later, I forgave them…I knew they started the rumor..I knew it. They began saying next that I should come spend the night with them. I said “I will ask my mother.” I knew she would say no. Then the next day when I told them no, they began saying I only wanted to stay with them so I could see the boy. One time also, I was outside in front of the school, I said “Oh I hope the teacher doesn’t come.” Not meaning anything by it. In class, the teacher wasnt there. I freaked out. I told my friend. “Oh no! What if she got in a car accident and died because of what I said?!” I was so worried. But she came the next day, and I was so relieved. But in the middle of class those 2 girls yelled out “Yesterday Taylor said she wished you died!” They would throw stuff at me and little things.

I can’t really remember anything from 9th grade. I’ve pretty much blocked it out.

In 10th, the two same girls, and me had an argument. I don’t know why, but we did. And during Advisory at school. They were talking about me and sat near me. So I minded my own business and did my homework. Then one of the girls, she came over and stuck a sticky note on my back. It said “Kick me!” And she thought it was so funny! The next week that girl wasnt there. The other girl was there but not the one who put the sticky note on me. So that girl was talking about me, and I told argued with her during advisory and even we were arguing when the bell rang, and I walked out of the classroom and headed to my next class and she was following me and yelling at me, saying “Come back friend! I aint done talking to you!” Her and a new friend of hers, would talk about me to their friends (Which were also mine, might I add) And I couldn’t take it. I already had so much going on. So in the middle of class one day…I cried…I just couldn’t quit crying. The teacher tried cheering me up by making jokes, but it didn’t help. so he let me leave to the guidance counselors. I told them about it and they told the girls “She feels as if your bullying her. Now can we stop. Next time action will be taken.” (Something along those lines.)

They stopped for a while. I know we had little arguments every now and then. But nothing as bad as to make me cry.

That summer! They were being mean to my best friend! So I told them to stop. And threw it in my face that I had friends from India and stuff. And they got mad cause I stuck up for my best friend. They told me I had no friends, so I told them it too.

They use to always get jealous that my best friend would hang out with me and she wouldn’t hang out with them. So, recently, just Thursday Night. They asked my best friend “Wanna go camping?” she said that she was hanging out with me. And one of them had the nerve to ask me “Wanna go camping with us? I havent see you in forever!”
So I yelled at her…I threw everything at her that she and her friends did to me and I called them names (I know…the name calling was not right. It makes me no better than them…)
Because I was upset and mad and all these emotions, I sent her this message. She sent it to her other friends. The other bully from 10th grade went off on me. She was cursing at me. And I told her to stay out because it’s not between her. The message was between me and someone else. She was mad.

The next day at school, I told my close friend about the fight. And she told the bullies I was talking about them….so what happened. One of the bullies texted me and was yelling at me. And my friend said “You shouldnt tell everyone about that fight. You wouldn’t want them calling you rude names when you called them that and it was so long ago.” (Pretty much this)

I’m pretty sure she is upset with me. And another friend of mine is also upset with me because that bully is her best friend.
They say “We dont want to choose sides.” But they did. I told them “You choose sides because you want to. Because you want to!”
They don’t understand…they really dont…These girls made my life hell..and then they ask me to go camping? I got upset! I was so angry! All the memories of everything they did to me came flooding back at once! ((I’ll admit, Me calling them names was bad. I even told them that.))

But now It seems I’m losing friends left and right…except my best friend…but they don’t understand why I did what I did…and they just jump the gun and wont try to see…they just won’t see..

I’m not sure what to do anymore…I dont know why they ever thought it fun to pick on me in the first place…

~Taylor

Stronger (A Personal Video)

Megan contacted me to share a video that she created called “Stronger” about her personal experience with bullying. She shared some insights in an email to me as well, where she told me what drove her to make the video. In her email, Megan shared the following with me:

“Hi, I’m 15 and wrote this and made the video because of a personal experience. I was not going to let them break me.  Reality, if it shows that it bothers you, they’ll just do it more. I hope my song will help those that are starting to feel torn down — to rise up! Don’t let anyone make you a victim. They aren’t worth it.”

I’m happy to share Megan’s video here so it can be seen and heard by a wider audience. Please give Megan any feedback to her video and her message you might want to share.

aeisenbe:

My friend Karen Mueller Coombs and I have been talking to Doug Ratner, lead singer of the rock band, Doug Ratner and the Watchmen. Doug writes lyrics dealing with the issue of bullying and is very dedicated to making a difference through his music. I am reblogging his story on Karen’s site here to share the news with you.

Originally posted on BULLY AT AMBUSH CORNER:

 

On Monday I posted a blog called Down and Dirty Rockers Take On Bullying by my guest Doug Ratner, lead singer of the rock band Doug Ratner and the Watchmen. Yesterday, I received an email from Doug with the following:

“. . today we played “Bomb in the Backseat” on a popular morning show and … the management was not pleased. They kicked us off the show, and told us we’re not allowed back. … a lot of uptight people don’t seem to understand the message of that song and the current state of society. Talk about ‘bullying’ and ‘not accepting.’… It’s going to shine light into the fact that our music is serving a purpose and in no way are we condoning violence or terrorism.”

The goal of Doug Ratner and the Watchmen is to address issues such as bullying, depression, teen suicide, gender roles, and greed. “Bomb…

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