My Bullying Experience

How it Started:

When you’re a kid your parents always have that other couple that they are best friends with, which somehow always has at least one kid your age. You always used to go on vacation with that couple and their kid(s), either at yours or their summer house, or maybe booked vacation packages at those big cool resort hotels. Well, not trying to squeeze myself in amongst all the other clichés but that was also the case in my family.

See my mom is a teacher which equals to her being extremely friendly and social, she has countless friends, but for a big period of our lives she had THE BEST FRIEND. You know the one who wins the title, the one you go shopping with and grab a coffee almost everyday, the one you giggle with and complain about your husbands together (at least in my wild imagination). The woman had a daughter my age and an older son and as I grew up as an only child my mom thought it as a blessing from God for her best friend to have a daughter my age, believing that we were destined to inherit their bffness. But things don’t always go as planned…

Meet & Greet:

I think I must have been about 9 when they first introduced us; it was in the park near my house, and their house as well. Of course we were also neighbours, our mothers met because they worked in the same school. I was riding my bicycle, and not to brag but I was a cute little kid, I was excited to meet another girl my age and I could see that it would please my mom so I had my wide smile on and said hello to the little girl, which was also sitting on a bike, with the difference that she had a blank face. Actually she was facing the ground and she barely said hello to me. I obviously wondered whether I did something wrong; of course I didn’t but what else would a kid think?

Several years passed and my dad also met the other dad and they became dadfriends. They went to watch soccer together, and had a lot of beers. Therefore the amount of time we spent together as families tripled. The big brother of the girl was even worse than her, he was extremely antisocial, rude to me, to my parents, but his parents as well. I remember going to their house and ordering pizza; he would come out of his house, get a whole pizza and close himself back in to his room. Note that he wasn’t a teenager back then, he was 13 years old. I tried very hard for them to like me at first, but of course there was something about me that was different which they couldn’t accept.

Why I Deserved to be Bullied:

Around the age of 10 I started becoming quite a chubby kid, I loved food, and as I’ve explained in a previous post I stopped ballet when I was still young after 9 years of dancing because of an injury, so it was only natural to gain weight. Those kids were honestly skinny by nature, nothing wrong with that, it’s not like they didn’t eat, it was just how their body was made.

Me being chubby is something they found disgusting. They used to call me names such as barrel, saying I was big and round as a barrel and made fun of my full first name which is Theodora (gift of god), calling me GIFT.

I had to go on family vacations with these kids! You can imagine how insecure I felt about my body when we had to go to the beach, and I was honestly not even fat; I was just chubby. They used to add things I never said to all of our conversations and go tell their mom that I “said a bad word”. I remember this one time we were supposed to go to their summer house all together; apparently their mom had realised how mean they were to me so she told them they wouldn’t go anywhere if they didn’t treat me properly. It was two amazing months, I actually thought we were getting close, but once we stepped foot in their summer house I was the barrel gift again.

The After:

I told my parents many times about how I felt but they thought I was exaggerating. I realised I could’t do anything rather than to be patient. Years passed, our mothers made us do private english lessons together for at least 5 years. Things got smoother with time but I obviously never felt comfortable. There were attempts to become friends with the girl when we were older, but it was not just that we had nothing in common, it was also that she and her brother were responsible for some of my worse childhood memories, along with their parents and my parents for not doing anything about it even though I complained repeatedly.

I felt bad about my body for many years, but when I decided to lose weight it was for me and not for them. It was because I realised that people who bully miss something from their life as well. I grown up to have many friends, be very social, beautiful (not to be a poser 😉  and successful and as a responsible adult neither do I wish anything bad to them nor do I want to comment on their current life status, besides that karma is a bitch.

Advice:

I had a hard time because I had no support from my parents, so, my dear parents, if you are reading this please take your children seriously. I know your best friends must be really fun but you might have to discuss seriously with them, maybe your kids are not so compatible as you are, listen to them and take action if needed. A friendship is not worth as much as your kid’s well-being.

If any of you, my dear readers, is going through that, or has gone through that, remember that it’s your decision to let them bother you. Complain again and again until you are heard and don’t look forward to their attention, they want you to want their attention. Show them that you’re better off without their friendship, show them how strong you are.

It took me years but that’s what I eventually did. I don’t need people who don’t appreciate me and neither do you.

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