There are always stories that speak to us when we read them. This story, I thought, spoke clearly about the issue of female bullying and how it can affect someone over the long-term, particularly when it comes to relationships with other females. One central theme that long-term bullying victims talk about is a distrust of others and their intentions. This can lead to thoughts that can work against us. I think, as you read this story from Regina, that she speaks of that very issue with candor. ~Alan Eisenberg
In junior high I was chosen by a group of older girls that the populous of the school referred to as the “Fab 5”. I was pushed into lockers, called names, tripped, shoved into the boys restroom, had my clothes stolen at gym and these girls spoke badly about me to others while I was present in class or in the lunch room. I was bumped out of the crosswalk by these girls while crossing the street to the lunchroom and I remember several instance when these girls lined up in a doorway and prevented me from entering a classroom. Rather than stand up to them, I chose to hide in the bathroom too afraid to speak up and was then marked tardy from class.
I heard that most parents and adults would say “Tell a teacher, get some help” so I did. I spoke to my mother, we then spoke to the principal and these girls were reprimanded. Almost certain it was over I went back to school only have the bullying increase now accompanied by taunts of “you gonna tell Mrs. …..?” and “Why don’t you tattle to mommy on us.” The reprimand these girls received obviously carried no weight at all and succeeded only in adding to my misery.
As a child I was friendly, outgoing and happy. I had a best friend “Stephanie” and we spent all our time together. As we entered the 6th grade I began to notice that I was different, that I could not fit in as well as she. I did not wear make-up, fashionable clothing or talk about the same things they did. I was a tomboy trying to fit in with the cheerleaders. We grew apart and once I was singled out our friendship was never the same and she simply stopped talking to me. I regret that I had to lose so much because of those girls, also that I continue to let it affect my life today in my 30’s.
I have difficulty handling changes in my environment. I recently was moved from my large, private office to a very small, public work station to allow a troubled employee that I was told needed to be “babysat” to occupy my private office. Though my personnel department said my complaint was too small to matter, the loss of my private office meant something to me, the move caused me to break down. I was unable to cope with this feeling of being powerless, of feeling like I was being picked on and singled out again. A fear and panic struck me when I returned home and I cried for hours unable to stop yelling that I could not go back in to my office because I needed my walls.
The fear of the horrible tactics and manipulations of women have prevented me from having any meaningful relationship with another female. I simply cannot get along with women. I seek out other “tomboys” but find myself always finding some cheerleader like quality that sours the friendship. I feel that all women are whispering about me, and making fun of me.
My previous employ was the most fulfilling job I have ever had the pleasure of holding down, and I worked with an all male crew in a male dominated career. My divorce forced me to quit my fulfilling but low paying job and move to the city for a higher paying office position. I now work with all women and over the last 4 years have again become the “weird girl”, the anti-social one that they whisper about just in earshot of me. Again the female bullying began and I have begun to think it may be me. I am quiet, I speak only when spoken to and avoid contact with the women in my office however, with the men in the offices upstairs I am loud, boisterous and I have a good rapport. This has branded me with many untrue and cruel nicknames that I hear floating out of huddled, whispered conversations as I walk by.
The torment I suffered at the hands of the “Fab 5” has haunted me, even when I do not realize it. With men I have been branded the fun girl, really easy to get along with and like a guy with girl parts. With the females I have been branded as difficult to get along with, a b%&*h and weird. It is a cycle that I have been unable to break away from for the past decades.