It is March 20th and this is a continuation of the Worldwide #1000Speak about Compassion Campaign from February 20th. It had such a great reception that the powers that be decided to make it a monthly event. Every 20th of the month, we will be writing about a different subject all with the main goal of compassion. This month the theme is bullying…
For those of you that know me this is going to come as a great big shock to you…but I used to be that bully. I was the one who tormented kids “weaker” than me and it is definitely not something I am proud of.
Up until the end of my freshmen year, I was a straight A student. I had never caused any problems in school and had lots of friends then my world turned upside down in a single day. On May 10th of that year, we woke up and my dad told us that school had been canceled for the day. He said it was a snow day. We knew this wasn’t true since it was the middle of May and 80 degrees but hey, a free day from school who were we to argue.
We got up and got dressed and my dad had to go to his beloved hardware store because he had wanted to finish some projects he had already started. They had to be finished THAT day. We went out to lunch and then came back home and got to work. He had been building an extra room in our house complete with handmade bunk beds, redoing our kitchen cabinets and a couple of other smaller jobs. He was determined that it had to be done that day.
While I missed school I couldn’t miss work so I went on ahead to the ice cream place in town where I worked. About 2 hours into my shift, a kid called me at work (I still don’t know who) and they said that my dad had been rushed to the hospital. I left straight away flying to the hospital to see what was wrong.
I didn’t make it in time, my father had passed away before I ever got to the hospital and I never got to see him again. It was THE most painful day of my life and I changed right then and there. I was so angry, so pissed that I wanted to make the whole world pay for taking my dad from me. I was only 15 years old. I couldn’t understand why, because I believe he knew something was happening or why else would he have kept us out of school and finished up every last project he had started. Why he didn’t say anything to me. I was supposed to be his favorite. Why did he leave me like this?
He is the one who was the proudest when I came home with those straight A’s. He was the one to push me to be whatever it was that I wanted to be. So what did I do? I started drinking and doing drugs, anything that I could get my young hands on. Of course, back then it consisted of alcohol and marijuana. I was hateful to my family and stayed out as late as I wanted, sometimes not even coming home.
When school started back the next fall I was in the high school, but I no longer cared. I skipped school, I was smoking and disrespectful to my teachers. Honestly, I turned into a monster overnight. I got into fights just because I could. I picked on kids smaller than me, bigger than me, it didn’t matter. I was so mad at everyone, especially those that got to go home to their fathers every day.
There was one girl in particular and I don’t even know why, but I decided I didn’t like her immediately and I picked on her relentlessly for most of that year. I am so very ashamed of that. This definitely wasn’t the person I had always been.
The day my dad died my whole life changed for the worse. It went down hill for many, many years. I ended up quitting school without ever finishing the tenth grade. I eventually got my GED and went on to college, but it wasn’t until much later. I jumped into a disastrous first marriage that lasted about 6 months. I had my son at the age of 19 and was divorced by the time I was 20.
It wasn’t until I met my now husband when I was 21 that my life finally changed for the better, but I have never forgotten how horrible I was at times. I would love to apologize to those people that I hurt, but I haven’t even done that. I hope that they can forgive me and I hope you will too.
There is never an excuse to be a bully. I wonder though if someone had taken the time to help me understand if my life wouldn’t have turned out very differently. I am very happy where I am today. I only wished I had gotten here a lot differently.