Do you remember the first time you were bullied? Do you have a bully moment that sticks out in your mind? I do. It kind of haunts me.
Why of all the things to remember about Middle School do I remember this one comment from a boy at the front of the after school bus line?
I remember it being a fall day of 7th grade and in my school district that meant Middle School. The kid in line, we had gone to Elementary School together since Kindergarten. He wasn’t a friend, but I didn’t think of him as a foe. I don’t think of him as a bad person at all. He was kind of awkward, and weird, and maybe that’s why the comment came out… more of a social awkwardness than intent to make me feel like a miserable person.
He said, “are you pregnant?”
And those words to a 12 year old girl was absolutely horrifying.
I was never a skinny person. I won’t ever be a skinny person. That’s just not the body shape I was given. My 2019 belly has birthed 2 babies, but it’s truthfully not much different than my 2002 belly. It’s pudgy, sticks out, and still looks terrible in turtle neck ribbed red shirts. I still look as pregnant today as I did 17 years ago because awkward 12 years also sometimes have bellies.
But that statement by some boy I kinda knew has lingered for 17 years and I just can’t shake it. I knew I wasn’t true, but it was the first body comment that really hurt and it still hurts today. It still stings because in many aspects it was true and is true. I looked pregnant and of course the nosey neighbourhood kid is going to ask if that’s what happened over summer holidays.
I’m not pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant.
I don’t have a good relationship with my body.
I wish this didn’t haunt me.
I fear for my daughter and all the stupid bullshit she’s going to hear over the years. I worry for her. Over the past few months, the trauma of my childhood is beginning to radiate through. I never thought I was impacted by bullies, but here I am as a full grown adult blubbering on the internet about a comment nearly two decades old. I think I did a really good job of ignoring it and now somehow it’s been decided that I should try to manage this right now in the midst of what feels like utter chaos.
How have you handled memories of bullies?
For real, I’d love to know below because I can’t really figure out how to shake this memory. There are so many better things than to feel self conscious of then a comment made by another equally awkward 12 year old in Middle school