Bullying

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Sunday, April 6, 2014


I WAS bullied as a kid. I know it’s hard to believe now. With my personality today, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could ever intimidate me, threaten me or lord over me at any time in my life. But once upon a time, I was 5-year-old crybaby.

Looking back, I was really the perfect victim. I was afraid of everything and everyone.

It was like I was raised in the jungle and had never seen other members of the human race.

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And sadly, it was like the doctor had forgotten to cut my umbilical cord. I just could not detach myself from my mother. And I screamed like there was no tomorrow if I didn’t see my dad waiting outside the classroom at dismissal time. I suffered from extreme separation anxiety.

I had abandonment issues as well. I had nightmares about being left in school by my parents forever.

I know. It’s frightening to imagine now that I had so much distrust. I was born cynical. And even at five, I was already overthinking. I think that’s when my neurosis began.

Because I was basically a screaming brat at Kindergarten who seemed immensely ignorant compared to other kids who were perfectly fine being left behind at school by their parents, I was the perfect victim for bullies.

Three to four girls would pin me down on a chair and inject me with a perfectly-sharpened Mongol pencil.

And I would just sit there and take it. Physically, I was no match for three to four girls but I could have reported these bullies to the teacher.

But the thing is that I didn’t. I said nothing. I allowed them to get away with it. And so they did it to me whenever they felt like doing it. I never reported these incidents to the teacher because, believe it or not, I was also afraid of the teacher.

I experienced other types of bullying as well, mainly kids eating my baon (snacks). I always had the best baon since my mom prepared such yummy sandwiches.

I can’t forget this one particular drink she’d send with the snacks—fresh cantaloupe juice with freshly-shredded cantaloupe slices.

Unfortunately, there was this particular kid who also loved my mother’s snacks. She would sit next to me at recess and take my baon. Sometimes, she’d actually eat only half of my baon and leave the other half for me so I didn’t think she was as bad as the kids who regularly injected me with lead.

Looking back, I should have said something but I didn’t. I was constantly scared that no one would believe me and in a “they said, I said,” situation, I knew I would have lost. I was no match for these girls.

Did these memories scar me? I’m not really sure. But those incidents in my childhood might have contributed to my Type A personality today.

The bullying didn’t last long. As far as I remember, it only happened in Kindergarten. By grade school, I had found fast friends among the honor roll. By the third or fourth grade, I had gotten for myself a star athlete as a best friend.

Some of these bullies actually became good friends of mine in high school. Some of them are still friends of mine now. I decided a long time ago to let it go. We were all kids then. I’m not even sure they remember me in Kindergarten.
***

(Email: sunstarcebucolumnist@yahoo.com,
Twitter: http://twitter.com/melanietlim)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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