This entry may be a little deep... you may not like it. That's ok. But with all the bullying appearing in the news daily I had to get some of it out. Maybe it will help someone, maybe not. I worked on it for days and debated publishing it... But it is my story regardless so I will.
Some days I cannot believe how lucky I am.
I cannot believe how lucky I am to have Ryan as my husband and in my life. To have someone love me so much and so unconditionally and to feel the same in return. I will see it in the look in his eyes when I catch him staring at me and hear it when he tells me good night and sweet dreams. From his text messages telling me good morning to the jokes he knows will brighten my sour mood. I cannot believe how blessed I am to have found the love of my life at a relatively young age and to be happily married (even if we are currently 3,000 miles apart)!
Well work today was a little slow and I had a lot of time to think. I saw lots of news stories, cyber bullying being a big topic lately. It made me think back to my time in high school. How can I put this delicately?
I was a total loser.
I really was. Middle school was worse believe it or not, I was teased and picked on and bullied, especially in my younger years. I was always a bit of a loner, I loved to read and I was definitely one to have one or two close friends. I wasn't popular by any means. I remember in middle school some of the "popular kids" got ahold of my AIM screen name and began an early onslaught of cyber bullying. They'd pretend to be the 'cute guy' in our class and get me to admit I liked him and then show him the chat and make fun of me. Or Mean Girl A would pretend Mean Girl B had been mean to her so I could say, "Yes, she is mean to me too, I don't like her." and Mean Girl B had been sitting there all along and could jump in and call me a bitch for "not liking her". Seems harmless and petty but when you're 12 or 13 they make you sob for hours. My face is still burning at the thought.
Even when I was in elementary school I cannot tell you how many times I ate lunch alone. It was humiliating. Popular kids made fun of me and I felt like I was under a magnifying glass. Even at summer camp it happened as some of those same kids went to the one camp in the area I went to.... it had bus transportation and lasted all day for kids whose parents worked. I once had my mom let me bring in my pet bunny to share in Nature Class. All the kids on the bus started saying things like I ate rabbits and I was a monster and my hair was really made out of wood shavings... and with that last part they would pull and yank on my hair as they said it. One younger girl did it so hard she ripped out a chunk of my hair, which was agony. So when I shoved her away and she began to cry the bus driver yelled at me for making a girl a year younger than me upset. With her crocodile tears and a huge chunk of my hair on the floor they didn't believe me.
High school was better scarily enough. I found my theatre school where I went every morning and made lasting and amazing friendships with wonderful people. I ignored the kids who tortured me throughout middle school and elementary school and slowly found my footing. I tried sports and did theatre and made friends in upper and lower grades and in my theatre school. I had people to eat lunch with, to hang out at the movies on Friday... but every now and then the snide remarks came back.
Loser. Freak. Weirdo. Fatso. I heard a lot of them.
I nearly reached my breaking point once. I got into some stupid behaviors (no not drugs, but I will leave it at that) and luckily my family was able to pull me out of it, smack me upside the head (gently) and set me on my way again. I am ashamed when I think of that part of my teen years. Selfish behavior hurts more than just you. I know that now.
I found faith and comfort at church... until I had my first boyfriend. It got rocky after that (basically he wanted me to do things I was not ready to do and dumped me when I wouldn't) as he started dating a friend of mine in youth group and I felt ridiculously uncomfortable for awhile. But I got over it. My faith kept me coming back and I still get so calm when I go to church.
After that one boyfriend in my early high school years (I was a freshman and he was a junior) I did not date in my high school. I had a few flings on vacation or when I went to a random club teen night with my best friend... but that was it. My reputation as that loser and how I was treated made me have zero romantic interest in high school.
College I definitely came into my own. I had friends and more hook ups, but no relationships. I didn't really want to admit my history to any guys I briefly hung out with and let's face it, being a theatre major did not throw me in with tons of straight eligable men!! Ironically the ONE girl who came from my high school to college with me was one of the worst offenders when I was little. We ended up on the same floor of the same dorm freshman year. I panicked, my fresh start may get ruined from the start.... but it didn't. I stopped letting it bother me. Aside from seeing her once or twice in the community bathroom I ignored her. She tried to talk to me once and I was polite but indifferent. I guess being far from home and seeing a familair face made her think we could suddenly magically be friends.... no thank you.
College was wonderful, that fact aside. I went through my few first years only getting a little jealous when I saw lovey dovey couples. I was way behind in experience and just not sure of myself. It probably was just not meant for me. For years I thought I would end up alone. I did. I would never find love, I would just go through life single and be fine with it. Mostly.
Then Ryan walked into my life. Literally he strolled right up to me at a Saint Patrick's Day party and asked me where I got the shamrock that I had painted on my cheek from. Guys that gorgeous didn't talk to me, so I thought he really wanted to know and pointed him towards the living room! Luckily he was persistant, I was so oblivious to a pick up attempt he could have honestly just walked off. But he didn't.
I cannot believe I ended up with an amazing man like my husband. He heard about my past, my experiences (or lack thereof) and embraced it all. Ironically I know he was the exact opposite in school... a popular, good looking social butterfly. (He'd never admit it that way, but I learned it over time :P) If we had been in the same high school the odds of him looking at me would have been zero. He would probably tell you otherwise but I think it would have been that way.
But I am so blessed. I never believed something like that could happen to me... that someone so gorgeous, kind, smart and amazing would even look at me twice let alone fall in love with me. I honestly believe I went from Loser to Lucky. I haven't felt like a true Loser in a long time. Ryan gave me self confidence and taught me to believe in myself more than anyone else in this world. He showed me I can be beautiful, smart, funny and make wonderful friends. Ryan helped me become the Allie I was supposed to be.
Sometimes on facebook a tormentor, (as a friend of a friend) will pop up on my newsfeed... still living at home, single, and hanging out in the same places they hung out in high school, and I can't help but feel a teeny tiny bit smug. I went on to bigger and better things that they told me I never would. I left high school behind and felt no desire to look back. I did not peak there. My life will always be an upward climb... I will never hit my peak. Every day is better than the last and will continue to be.
If you read it all, thank you. If anyone randomly stumbles across this through a google search with bullying or whatever.... life can change. It can take you places you never thought you would be. Amazing people exist in this world, just like some awful ones do. It gets better. Hold your head up, keep breathing, have faith.