When I entered middle school, I found myself in a war zone. I was immediately targeted for teasing. I didn’t really understand why or how it started, I just know a new girl rolled into my class and picked me to start harassing all day, every day.
It grew to a point that I would pretend to be sick or just cry hysterically every morning in hopes I didn’t have to go to school, but every day, I was dropped off to experience my own form of torture. Days upon days of turning bright red, sweating profusely and crying in bathroom stalls. My mom had enough and told me to defend myself. She told me to turn their insults back on them. To not cower but to fight back.
I did. But it didn’t go as planned. When the “new girl” hurled an insult at me, I hurled one back. She was taken aback. I thought, “it worked!” It didn’t.
Immediately the next day, I had a new label aside from nerd, dork, geek and ugly. It was not one I was expecting: BITCH. I was picked on further, but only to say how nasty and mean I was. It was so confusing. How could I be the mean one when I was just standing up to those that had been abusing me for months?
Thankfully, all of the teasing stopped when I went to high school and this girl went elsewhere. I never saw her again. Funny story? She added me on all social media a few years ago. I didn’t return the favor.