Last Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day
…(aka Anti-Bullying Day) and I have actually been thinking of bullying a lot lately. Although this is a week later, I felt like I should still write about this topic. I feel like we tend to associate bullying with elementary and high school but I know it’s happening a lot in the adult world… at work, in social media, university/college, etc.
I wouldn’t say I was “bullied” as a kid but people always seemed to make fun of my hair. My Mom mentioned the other day that I never admitted I was a ginger… Once I got into high school, I had a pretty cozy life. Bullying wasn’t really a thing in our group of friends. It wasn’t until my final year of college that I really felt the effects of bullying.
I was friends with a group of girls in my class and we did a lot of things together. Study for exams, group projects, went for supper and went out at night. I’m not sure what happened but things started to change. I would hear whispers while my back was turned or immediate silence when I’d come into the room. There was also blatant exclusion where they would talk about how much fun they had the night before or how they were going for lunch together…with me sitting right there. I ended up going to my graduation ceremony and didn’t talk to anyone. They even had a grad party that I was not invited to. I felt like the one girl was the ring leader and the others just followed suit.
|I saw this photo online when I searched ‘stop bullying’.
I was was having the classic, high school mean girls experience, yet I was an adult. I don’t even know if they knew how their actions were affecting me. I was embarrassed and hurt. Embarrassed because I felt like a loner — and I had never felt that way before. And hurt for the obvious reasons. Being left out sucks!
Once school ended, I had to come to a point of just letting it go (I know this is easier said then done for most people). I was never going to know the reason why it was happening to me. I went back to work full time and spent time with good/positive people. I was so thankful for my family and boyfriend during that time. As well as the girls in Kyle’s class – they did a fantastic job at making me feel like part of the group (Thank you!) Letting go and moving on is very hard sometimes, but once it happens, the feeling is fantastic.
I have become more conscious about what I write online, now that I’m open for public criticism (and possibly ridicule?). So, before you tweet about how big that girl’s forehead is, maybe think about what you’re about to write. It’s easy to say nasty things when you’re hiding behind a phone or computer. Would you actually say that to the person’s face?
Remember — Saskatchewan’s version of Pink Shirt Day is on April 10th. Wear your pink shirt and be the difference!