I am writing this blog entry as I promised myself to reach out to those who are also struggling with bullying even to this day.
As you read and know in the previous blog entries that I was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). It was from my mother’s contraction of German measles when she was in her first trimester of her pregnancy.
Now I would like for you to a journey with me as I was placed in the special school for the intellectual-disabled (formerly retarded). It is a culture of its own where everyone gets along with one another. I did not receive my first hearing aids till I was nine years old and I began to learn at an accelerated rate to read, write and to do mathematics.
Then, in 1975; I was mainstreamed into the regular public school system that was equipped with the special class for the slow-learners and other disabilities. I was in the same regular school as my cousin who is the same age as I minus the six weeks.
Things seems to be going well until I was bombarded with those strange behaviors that those kids exhibit towards me. I was in for a shock.
No one had prepared me for the onslaught of the kids’ cruelty. I was shocked and hurt. My self-esteem began to get shredded.
Whenever the kids picked on me or taunt me, it was so hard for me to ignore them. I would simply get upset and just cry. It was such a culture-shock for me. Those cruel taunts were destroying my self-worth.
I’ve never forgiven them. I felt so alone and I have no idea in how to defend myself. No one taught me anything. Not even my cousin who sometimes stood by.
As I grew older, the next year; more taunting persisted and I have about lost my self-worth. Even some teachers have made matters worse by downgrading me by telling that I’m not good enough for anything as they chimed in the kids’ taunts.
So I had to repeat sixth grade to get out of the special education class to be moved to the regular class. It was my mother’s idea to move me to regular classes.
I had one teacher simply shouting at me about how terrible my grade were in front of all those kids in the hallway. I can just hear her voice screaming at me.
"You’re not going to pass this grade. You’re going to repeat sixth grade!" and a number of things she’d downgraded me with. I was devastated and torn inside. I said nothing.
At last, I finished sixth grade and was in seventh grade. I still had to deal with the kids’ cruel taunts. It has gotten to the point when I no longer react to their taunts. I became numb. My self-worth has been shredded not just by the kids and some teachers, but a few more reasons, which I will tell you in the next few blog entries.
I can still hear the kids’ voices picking on me behind my back. They don’t even realized that they have shredded my self-worth. They were ignorant.
So then, I moved on to eight and ninth grades and things are somewhat better than I’ve expected. I’ve expected more taunting from the kids, but there were a few who still does the taunting. It was still painful. I did not have any friends and I tried to fit in with their clicks and I felt left out. I was so alone. They have no idea how I shredded my self-esteem was.
Not only was I picked on at school; but also at camps. My life as a lonely kid was so hard.
I struggled along into high school. Since most kids have matured and there were less bullying. I was still bullied, even to the day I’ve graduated. But still I was bullied nonetheless; not just by other teenagers, but also the teachers.
Of course, I’ve repeated tenth grade in order to get enough credits.
There is one class in particular, Drama. I’ve been in Drama class for three years in hopes that I’d come out of the shell that I’ve brought up to protect myself in. I was hoping that I would accomplish something that I’d feel confident in. For three years, I’ve studied hard and learned as much as I could. I’ve learned so much about acting among other subjects. I’ve even auditioned for parts and I’ve never got any… That was the beginning of my long battle with self-inadequacy.
Guess what happened? Well, when there was an event among other plays called lip-synching and I love music since it was one of my escapes. So I’ve auditioned for the role that I have chosen to lip-sync. All went well, I passed the audition, we’ve done the video-taping, and we were just getting ready to do the live show in the school auditorium.
My Drama teacher decided to have a meeting with my classmate and they felt that I would "get-picked-on" or they feared that there would be "problems" Then, he’d taken me aside and he’d told me the reasons why he decided that I should not be in the live show. I was devastated. I was shredded again. It was over. It was as if I was rejected and a dagger plunged into my heart. And that began the struggle with inadequacy. He had shut me down out of fear of bullying. He had shut me down. Period.
I so had wanted to break free from the tight clutches of bullying and all I got was another shredded self-worth and that feeling of inadequacy.
So I have never forgiven that Drama teacher for what he’d done to me. Don’t even tell me that "he’d cared so that he’d protected me from bullying." I don’t even want to hear it. Yes, I’ve held that grudge against him for so long.
I can hear those voice laughing at me and bullying me and it’s all because I was Deaf and visually-impaired.
I can hear those words like:
"Does your ears make you more retarded?"
"You look stupid with those hearing aids."
"Those glasses makes look nerdy."
"Your glasses sure makes you look retard." …
Those are a few that I can remember them saying…
I became a loner and I had no real friends. I’ve never forgot how I was bullied.
You know? When I got the computer in 1998; I began using it and when we got internet, I found a way to communicate with other people online using the Inter-Relay Chat. I have been on the Inter-Relay Chat for over twelve years. I’ve met many people online and I was able to communicate without the fear of being bullied by anyone. All those years, I’ve been struggling with the feeling of inadequacy and lack of self-worth as a woman. The effects of bullying still affects me in different ways. Even to this day.
So this is one of the reasons that has led to my diagnosis of depression. I am now recovering and it is still a struggle to live every day. Even today, I still feel the affects of bullying even online.
I hope this touches your heart. I am just hoping that someone out there who are struggling with bullying even as an adult to seek help so that they can break free from its clutches. There is no such thing as "you’ll grow out of it." It can led to depression and suicidal thoughts. I know. I’ve been there. Please get help. If need be, pick up the phone and call someone to help you.
You know? The reason that I decided to write this blog entry was that a YouTube video post has brought back memories of how I was bullied for many years. I was also reminded of the CNN’s Documentary on Bullying and I’ve watched it. I was so surprised that bullying has gotten worse over the years compared to what I’ve been used to. Yes, I do remembered being bullied so much that those painful memories have come back and it brought back tears.
Now, here I am. Learning to be a stronger woman despite the many setbacks. Everyday, I still struggle with the memories of being bullied and how my self-esteem got shredded in the process. No one had picked up the pieces to repair the broken world that I’ve live in. No one had come to me and genuinely said, "I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you." Even to this day. It hurts.
Now I have forgiven the tormentors as I am moving on. The only way that I had to let go is to forgive them and move on. So I hope it is the lesson to those who are reading this. I thank you for taking the time to read this.