So I woke up this morning as I was clenching my teeth from this dream that just hit all the nerves in my body. In the dream I was walking all alone and a bunch of girls passed me and were throwing some word daggers at me. To my experience one dirty look and bad comment can truly break down someone’s world. It brought back all kinds of memories and feelings from High school and I felt that this was God telling me that I need to share this story here. This is the second time this has happened to me that I woke up and I felt the need to write about something personal in my life. The first was about my decision to not have an abortion at 19 years old, and this one here about my experience being bullied. I feel these are those moments that God is telling me to write my story it will touch one person’s life. When I wrote about my abortion story, I received a response from someone months later from another girl about her decision as a Christian to keep her baby and that becoming an unmarried mother was never her plan. She got married and just had her sweet baby in November the same month that I had my unplanned baby. It’s amazing how God can use you to touch someone’s life like that. I think when we have something that weighs heavy on our hearts we have to speak about it. I think sometimes I don’t do enough to serve and how I wish I had more time or more ideas in ways to really touch people’s lives and be able to share God’s message. Well, here is one other way that I felt the need to wake up this morning and share something about myself that I don’t normally do. Decorating is my love and sharing that here fulfills so much for me, but sharing something personal is scary and overwhelming but if it can touch one person’s life that needs to hear it.
Well, I guess it starts off saying that being a female is tough! Women and girls are mean! Sometimes some female’s don’t ever grow out of this. I’ve seen and experienced bullying as an adult too so unfortunately we can’t always blame it on the immaturity of teenagers. Well, my story starts in April 2003! I had my whole life just comfortable before the day my dad announced his promotion and that we would be leaving my little home in the rural setting of Pennsylvania. At first, it felt like something that wasn’t going to really happen but then as our house sold and I had to say goodbye to my friend’s it all became a reality. This was the house that built me, the home I knew since I was born, and the friends and people that I knew my whole life. I grew up with most of the kids in my school that I remember playing blocks with in preschool, to watching them become class president, and then grow into their teenage bodies. My school and neighborhood were so different than anything else, it was Dingmans Ferry a place where most people never heard of and just a few short miles from New Jersey over an old vintage bridge that rattles when driving over. My plans were good though, I would still come back to visit and my new school which was close to the beach and only a two hour drive away from home wouldn’t be so bad. It would mean new opportunities and a ton of fun since there would be so many more things to do than being in our rural house in the sticks.
Well, to my surprise my first day of school was nothing like what I had imagined…I did not have friends immediately, and cute new boys to look at, instead…this was a “beach” town. People at the Jersey shore that thought they lived in California. Girls were different then I thought they would be and the guys all had long hair that I couldn’t quite get used to. The first day of school nerves I will never forget and though I had a few nice faces there were plenty of dirty looks and questionable motives. Moving to a new school just a few weeks shy of your 15th birthday was not easy. It just wasn’t….not only was it a scary situation to start all over again, but then the rumors and comments started quickly. My first few weeks at my new school turned into long drives home crying to my mother.
The bullying started with girls and then guys and then my own friend’s who I thought were friends. It was a long search to find good people, but I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to spend the next 3.5 years in this school and town and not make any friends. And so that is exactly what I did…I went out of my comfort zone and found girls that I could connect with. I just wanted to have friends that I could laugh with and make deep connections with. Just a few weeks ago I had a Christmas dinner with these girls and I teared up just telling them how much their friendship meant to me, and how I will never forget that day that I asked for their phone number and went out of my “uncomfortable” way to be sure I would make friends. I know God brought these special women into my life (he always has a plan). Here we are 15 years later and still making time to get together and celebrate our friendship. Months can go by with our busy schedules, but when we get together it’s like nothing has changed.
Well, I definitely made friends along the way and during those remaining years in High School, but I also made some pretty good enemies too. Let’s say girls are gonna hate…especially if you they feel threatened by your presence. I wish I could tell you the ridiculous list of moments that they tortured me during those four years. It went from wanting to fight me over some guy, to making jokes at me for selling tickets to the prom. I heard rumors like they would come up with a trivial test game and name their team after me and lets not forget month #1 at gym class having an entire group of girls sing the “camel toe” song in gym class on top of their lungs as I ran past them on the track. I know that one is still hard to talk about…but it’s all the truth and I think this is what girl’s today need to hear. I was called a slut, threatened by someone who claimed that she wanted to “shoot” me, and people who I thought were not my enemy even made me feel like I didn’t belong.
Some people want to take you down and break you down. There are all kinds of reasons for bullying, one is jealousy, the second is insecurity, and the third is just straight hate! It broke me down and it changed me a lot and who I am today because of it all. These girls I still know their faces and names and gosh I can say that going into Brick-town makes me cringe every time I walk into a Target or Costco just hoping I won’t run into one of them. It cuts deep still and I had to do some counseling over it in my young 20’s. I went through a stage where I had social anxieties because I thought people weren’t going to like me…and to this day I think people are automatically not going to like me when they meet me. It’s a tough thing to live with at times, but it hasn’t stopped me altogether. I still know who I am and who my true friends are. Not to mention my family…becoming a mom in my early 20’s and marrying my very best friend in life has made life so wonderful. You realize those moments of bullying in High School are so small compared to what a big world of Love you live in now. Like I said those moments still stick with me from time to time, but it made me who I am. I believe sometimes we have to go through tough times to come out stronger. It builds our character and makes us wiser and interesting. Take those moments and build off of them! You will have your moments of weakness, but to cave into them…will only make them win. You have so much more life past those small moments of bullying to live for. Surround yourself with what made you, you, and what will continue to make you, you. That’s what I did…I remembered all those moments of me growing up and how they didn’t know that Deb and I planned this big future for myself of working in Fashion and moving to the big city. Of course, God had other plans, but it got me through those tough times. Just like that Taylor Swift song, (which was not around when I was in High School)
With just one single blow
But you don’t know what you don’t know
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?