Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My 15th year was the hardest

I have some news that is going to shock you.

I was bullied in high school.

I know this is very difficult information to swallow. After all, I'm fucking fabulous.

But in 1999, the world was a different place. Britney Spears was still a virgin. Friends was the hottest show on television. Bill Clinton was the president. And somewhere Jennifer Fabulous was being treated not so fabulously...

Her name was Sarah. She had a pinched face, like a bulldog. She wore low-cut tops. She hung out with the pot-head skater boys and she desperately wanted to be popular.

Without any warning, this crazy bitch randomly made it her mission in life to ruin mine.

Completely out of the blue, she started harassing me. She yelled racist names at me down the hallway. She made fun of my dresses during class.

I was very confused, because I had never spoken to Sarah before. I honestly didn't even know she existed until she started bothering me.

I ignored her rude remarks, but that only fueled her anger.

After a few months, she started slamming into me in the hallways, pinning me against lockers, and shoving me against people. Her racist slurs became intolerable. She then tried spreading a rumor that I had gotten breast implants in middle school, which thankfully, was so ridiculous, nobody believed it.

I spent almost every day sobbing in bathrooms over her cruelty. My friends were outraged and did everything they could to console me. A couple even tried confronting Sarah, but she started bullying them too and they got scared and backed off.

I went to the principal's office three times to report Sarah that semester. Nothing was done about it. Out of frustration, four of my friends separately reported eye-witness accounts of Sarah's physical and verbal abuse towards me. Still, nothing was done.

At the Spring Dance, Sarah tripped me down a flight of stairs and then she and her friends kicked me while I was crying on the floor.

Again, I went to the principal's office to report her. Nothing.

The following summer, my dad's job got transferred to Ohio and we moved. I think it was a coincidence which might have saved my life. I never saw Sarah again.

I never did tell my parents what happened sophomore year of high school. I was too embarrassed. Looking back, I know I should have told them.

But that doesn't matter. Because I personally went to the principal four times to report Sarah's bullying towards me. I was ignored. The incident was disregarded, no matter how violent it ended up becoming.

That, I believe, is a crime within itself. My school should have protected me. It did not.

It breaks my heart to know that my experience is just one of millions in this world. Middle schools and high schools are little mini-hells, no matter what country. Teenagers can be evil. And there are educators who turn a blind eye, because they think bullying is a trivial matter.

I keep thinking, what if I hadn't moved to Ohio? What if I had been a weaker person?

Teenagers make stupid, rash decisions when they're upset, you know.

Plus, there are more and more news reports of bullying spiraling out of control these days, causing tragedies.

I can't even imagine encountering bullying now, with Facebook and texting added to the mix.

Oh, and it's funny, but a few years ago, I actually was contacted by one of Sarah's closest friends via Facebook. She wrote me a message apologizing for taking part in the bullying and she also finally gave me the reason Sarah had decided to torture me all year long.

Apparently Sarah had discovered that the boy she liked had a crush on me.

Insert eye-roll here.


azu said...

Sarah sounds like a real asshole. And not just any asshole. A big sloppy pathetic asshole.

I think we were all bullied at some point. When I was in the eighth grade, this girl I didn't even know would make fun of me in class. She would call me "cow" because sometimes I would flare my a cow. LOL! I think it's pretty funny too. But at the time, being an awkward girl in a room where a sad girl and her friend would make fun of me, it was not so funny.

Some people just get bored with their lives. I recently deleted my facebook because of people like that. Some lame girl got jealous because she apparently has a major crush my boyfriend (I wouldn't blame her, he's pretty awesome). She decided to write a post about how I'm insecure and shit. I don't want to be a part of that crap because things like that happen a lot in this small town, so I deleted my fb. And that is that :)

I reeeaaaalllly like reading your blog. I should be in bed right now, but you always seem to write the most interesting and relevant things. Please keep it up lol ;)

Anonymous said...

very nice post .. so informative ....

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear that! This is just so terrible :( I am relieved to know your family had a chance to move before it went any further! But your school, wow... Did they not care at all? That is just plain disgusting!!

As for "no matter what country" comment, I will have to allow myself to correct you - although some sort of bullying may happen here as well, it's nowhere as bad as it is in the States. School is really not hell here, except for those who don't like to study. And even if anything happens here, it hardly ever gets to a point of a physical abuse and teachers always step in, on a daily basis if needed, until it is gone.

Belly B said...

Wow, that is just ridiculous. I can't believe your school didn't do anything about it! That must have been a tough year. I never got bullied (at least not till this point), but it must have just been terrifying!!

Sherin said...

How horrible!! She sounds like a crazy psycho, and what a crappy reason!!!
Hope karma bit her back in the ass! And I can't believe the principal was so useless about it all. It's appaulling that nothing was done. It's a shame, because sadly, this happens a lot.

Misfits Vintage said...

Oh love, I'm so sorry you were bullied. I was bullied (tortured!) too in school and it's incredible how it stays in your head forever, isn't it? I pity anyone who tries to bully me or anyone around me now - I do not tolerate it for a second.

I'm sorry that she was a Sarah too... we are not all arseholes, I promise!

Big hugs to you, Sarah xxx

Shannon said...

I was waiting for that last sentence. 9 times out of 10 bullying happens out of jealousy. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can't even imagine.

And I can only hope that with the media bringing more attention to bullying than ever before, that schools no longer ignore such awful situations.

Rachel said...

UGH. What a bitch. Seriously. I'm so sorry you had to deal with someone like her. And I honestly cannot believe your school did nothing about it. That's awful! I couldn't imagine having to deal with something like that. I've never even witnessed physical bullying like that in school. Any bullying that went on in my school was simply name calling. Even though that still hurts. Although, when I was in third grade a boy did stab me in the hand with my pencil since I wouldn't let him use it... I was more upset that I didn't get my favorite green pencil back... -_-

But her reasoning behind tormenting you is so ridiculous! I suppose it just shows how childish people can be. There was a girl in high school who hated me for the same reason, but fortunately she never bullied me. She was just a bitch. *rolls eyes*

I'm glad you were able to move and escape the problem though! Who knows how things would have ended up if you had to deal with her until school ended. Wonder where Sarah is now...

Some Girl said...

Ugh, it disgusts me how the school administration could just ignore a blatant instance of bullying and violence like that. Instead of intervening and making an effort to speak out against it, they just turned a blind eye. I hate how they can just defend their actions by saying that bullying is just a "part of life" or that getting bullied is a "part of growing up." That's bullshit and they know it yet instead of using their position of power within the school to initiate change, they just allow it to happen and set an example of remaining passive and doing nothing when bullying around them.

jos xx said...

i kind of suspected something, and was gonna tell you that she probably was jealous of you!

jos xx

julie fedderson said...

I'm so sorry you had to experience that, and it infuriates me that the people who are supposed to be protecting children turned a blind eye. Bullying is not something that's a rite of passage, it's an emotionally and physically damaging act. Everyone should take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear you got bullied, and as a former bully, let me just say, we all change and grow.
And we all have our reasons for what we do.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Sarah had(has?) serious mental health issues. How can liking a boy justify such behavior? Also how could your principal have turned such a blind eye and not confronted Sarah and her parents?
Stay fabulous and Sarah can wallow and gets hers in some beautiful act of karma.

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Josie said...

What a horrible, horrible girl. Jen, I'm so sorry that this happened to you -- I'm so sorry that it happens to anyone, honestly.
xo jsoie

Stephanie said...

This post makes me so sad. As a teacher (of littler people than you were, but still...) I assure you that I ALWAYS take bullying seriously. The "bullying" word gets tossed around a little bit too easily sometimes, but REAL bullying - like the awful torture that you had to live through - should be dealt with quickly and seriously. I'm shocked that your administrator ignored it. I have never been in a school that doesn't take bullying seriously...I hope that it was just because that admin was useless, and not because of something systemic in that area.

Anyway, I'm so sorry for what you had to go through.

BTW, got your email...I'm going to send you something next week! Yay!

Sarah said...

I am ashamed to share the same name as this Sarah bitch!

Mani said...

I feel so sorry hearing that but I can completely understand where are you coming from!
Now, she is a fuckin' asshole and you are fabulous!


hugs and kisses by Mani. said...

I figured she must've been jealous.
So sorry, Jennifer. That is pure hell and millions do face it. Most frustrating of all is that you stood up for yourself and went to the principal time and again (which took a lot of courage) but they did nothing.

Mouthwash said...

Ugh. This girl disgusts me. Really?! I mean, you could have BROKEN your neck after falling down a flight of stairs!!
I say sue that school. I mean it Jen! Hell, I'll be your lawyer! You've still got a case. What a pathetic principle! How could anyone stand by and allow that kind of treatment of a child?!
Sorry, but this really hits home. The abuse of a child, whether it be in a school, home, church or playground is never okay. That Sara should have been punished and placed in counseling. I bet her life at home was hell. And, that principle needs a link to this blog post.

Meri said...

Kids are always going to try to be awful, because kids are insecure bastards. But the school not doing anything? That makes me boil. I'm so glad you were able to move and move ON. Eff that stuff!

the nyanzi report said...

bullies are the most insecure people and so they make everyone around them feel like crap just to mask it.

if you can recognise them for who they really are, then you can stand up to and expose them.

Couture Carrie said...

I am so sorry, darling!
You poor thing!
Hopefully Sarah's life is very sucky.


Cafe Fashionista said...

Why does it seem like a boy is always at the bottom of torture? It's a sad fact. :(

Diego R. Wyatt said...

You absolutely are fucking fabulous! It's funny to think about how we were treated years ago or even treated others. Teenagers can be viscious. What's sad is that some of those bullies don't change. You got strength from it an turned into the awesome woman you are today. That's all that matters.


Gayatri said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that in school Jennifer. Teenagers can be nastier than adults sometimes. I have a very personal reason for absolutely hating bullies. Please remember that you turned out fabulous while Sarah is going to get what she deserves.


L.Voss said...

I had a sarah her name was Vanessa. My theory on bullying is a horrible one but one when I express many agree with. Bullying was not as horrible back in the late 90s for us as it has been and why because because our parents werent afraid to bust our asses when needed. there was no fear of going to jail, there were no fuzzy gloves that these kids are treated with. Bullies tend to have parents who are inablers of the bad behavior either they encourage it thinking its funny or they are fuzzy glove parents who walk on egg shells to not upset the kids. thats just my opinion of course

Marie said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this painful time of your life. That girl sure is pathetic, ruin someone's life just because of a boy? I have no words.

***** Marie *****

Anonymous said...

Great post, I read every word of it and I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing, it takes a lot of guts to publish something like this. Being a freshman, I know how far bullying can go, and the negative impact it has on people. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. xoxo, Veena <3

Nina Morena said...

Omg, I'm so sorry that this happened to you! That's horrible.
Being a teenager now is just as hellish, and cell phones don't help.
I mean, why should someone be able to take a crap on my day with a simple test message? It;s horrible. Some people are just heartless.

Shruti said...

That is just terrible. Bullies are the most horrible and dangerous human beings on earth. at 15 this was a li'll too much to go through. I feel bad that these things happened to you.
Let it all go away from your mind.. life is too short to remember bad moments. be happy for the blessings and keep smiling :)