Friday, January 17, 2014

What Do You Do When the Adult is the Bully?

This past year the Bullying campaign really took off to protect all those children that had really been bullied by other young kids.  I think that is fabulous, bullying is terrible and those children can grow up to be something completely different than they hoped because of it.  But here's the deal...

What do you do when child is being bullied by an adult??  And the child has grown up and through their adult life still continues to be bullied by the adult?  Someone who is more than 20 years their age, someone who is part of the family, school or prominent society?  Someone who the child has depended on to be sheltered, fed, and schooled?

It is a terrible, scary and sickening combination.  A child who was bullied into thinking that there would be no other place to go even though they had a very rough childhood.  An adult who had tricked them into thinking that they would never see their grandparents, aunts, uncles or friends again.  An adult who teased them and taunted them at a moments notice for any situation.  An adult who did not want you to have friends unless they could benefit.  An adult who would do anything at the expense of a child.  An adult who let them know they were stupid for wanting to attend college or evening looking to attend the pre-college seminars.  An adult who physically threw things at the child when they were mad.  An adult who used their 200 plus pounds of weight to sit on the child to control 'it'.  An adult who never shared the loving thoughts or emotions to the child unless it was beneficial to themselves.

My heart goes out to those children who were bullied by an adult.  In so many cases there are not professionals to step in like there are in urban areas.  In rural areas, you got what you got.  You are stuck and from the 1980's to the 2000's in those rural areas you were more than stuck, you were a permanent fixture.

Compared to the above this story is minor, extremely minor.  BUT, I have always been haunted by it so it is time to get it in my journal and be done with it.  I do remember being bullied by my second grade teacher but not to the extent of the above.  For the most part, I loved my elementary school Beckemeyer.  I knew no different.  However, my second grade teacher would just attempt to humiliate me in front of the classroom every chance she got.  I remember one day she handed back our spelling tests.  In her class, if someone got an A-plus on their test then they got to stamp their paper with a pretty turquoise blue unicorn and star stamper stamp pad.  Well the day I received my spelling test she very strongly looked at me in front of the entire class and directly said "Angela, I am so very disappointed in you" and continued to scold me.  Now there were other students in this class that did not do well either but I was the only one who was picked out.  This is not the only scene I vividly remember in second grade but one of the only scenes that I will share.  Another time was when we had achievement testing and she had assigned parents to bring us a snack during mid-day.  Prior to the tests she had us all sign up for the type of snack we would/could eat.  It was peanut butter and jelly day and I hated jelly so I knew that I signed up for the peanut butter only list.  Well Melissa, the student whose mom had made the snacks was enlisted to pass out the PB & J sandwiches while another student was given the PB sandwiches.  As Melissa put the PB & J sandwich on my desk (and she was completely innocent, because why in the heck would this second grader know) I politely said "Oh, I signed up for the peanut butter only" in my meek voice.  Yes, I was meek....quite the introvert growing up.  A very much of a scaredy cat because I didn't know that it was OKAY to be myself or to speak up at that age.  Instantly, the second grade teacher went ballistic.  I mean absolutely ballistic screaming at me and carrying on as to how I should not be so selfish and picky.  It was absolutely awful.  It was because of my second grade experiences that my class saw me in a whole new light.  I was no longer the popular kid which was in fact the case in both kindergarten and 1st grade, the one on top.  In second grade this bully of a teacher made sure she changed everything.

~with Angela O'

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