I don’t think that we can talk about bullying enough, I mean, I know I complain still, and this is stuff that happened easily over thirty years ago, but I think it’s hurting me, and continues to. It’s not one of those things that therapy and stuff like that can fix. I am just going to be mad about it until the day I am not, and the way that makes me not mad is writing about it.

There was once a weird thing that happened that gave me lots to think about. This one kid was really a nasty one, just an awful boy, and he was relentless to me about everything. He was not even in my grade – he was totally a younger kid, but I had such a hard time growing up that even younger kids were a threat.

I think that when you are a queer kid, other kids can sense that you are different, and if you don’t have the words or the ideas or whatever it takes to understand and love yourself, then you end up kind of like the littlest kid of all. You just feel super small and it’s hard to be the runt. It sucks and one of the reasons why I just wanted to grow up faster because I was sick of being around kids and being a kid.

Anyway, this shitty kid grew up and decided he wanted to be in show business, and called me to help him. I may have been in my twenties at that point, doing well for myself. I kind of didn’t know what to do when he said who he was on the phone. I couldn’t believe he didn’t remember how terrible he was to me, and that he now looked up to me and was proud of my achievements and was hoping I would be able to give him advice and help him out. I tried to be encouraging but I was engulfed in my own child rage and I wasn’t sure how to help him anyway. It made me sick but I was also satisfied too. I hope that he is doing well now, and I am not sure if he stuck with it. Showbiz is very hard, so good luck to anyone who tries.

Over the years, I heard about lots of bad things that happened to the terrible kids that I suffered an intensely awful childhood with and I don’t feel sorry or anything. It’s weird. I wish I could feel bad about how life is filled with pain and no one is exempt from it and I just don’t. there’s this Buddhist meditation where you breathe in the world’s suffering and breathe out compassion and I try to do it and choke.

Anyway, if you are a kid and you are being bullied now, try to remember that the bullies will get it in the end, they really will. And you, I hope you grow up strong and proud and are not mad still like I am. I want you to be happy and glad. Stay up everyone. Stay up.

14 thoughts on “Bully

  1. I love this post so much because you’re honest about how hurt and anger still come up at the memory. I had two bullies (a boy who called me flat face until I grew boobs and a girl who made me feel excluded until I gave her my lunch). Neither graduated from High School. The boy came up to me at High School graduation and tried to hug me to congratulate me and I left him in the dust.
    There are people who’ve said, “It was such a long time ago, just get over it.” So I try but I don’t because the thing about a memory is it can bring back all the same feelings (good or bad). And, I’m glad you posted this and that you still remember…and you’re still a strong person despite them.

  2. Somehow I survived a hell childhood of verbal and physical abuse in a small town in the Bible Belt. After therapy and saying “I let go” a million times along with meditation, I am in year 34 of a wonderful relationship with my partner. Everyone tells us that we’re the happiest couple they know, and you know what? We are!

  3. I’ve always been a fat kid. In elementary school, I was relentlessly teased and taunted with the phrase “Holly-hoggie-hamburger!” until at some point, every day, I’d sob uncontrollably. No one ever got in trouble for it, because it was the seventies and I supposedly needed to “toughen up.” That’s like handing a thousand pound barbell to a toddler and expecting a workout. I still can’t let it go. I think it’s really neato that some people can. Good for you, yay and all that. But when you flaunt your success in the act of forgiveness, you put one more thing on the long list of things that people like me are unsuccessful at. I’m with you, Margaret; someday, maybe, I won’t feel the sting. But not yet, and there’s no faking it.

  4. Not all bullies will get it in the end. Willard Mitt Romney is a case in point. He bullied a gay student and has yet to pay for it or anything else his money can buy his way out of.

  5. I hope some day, for your sake and not theirs, you can let the anger go. You are a good person and deserve respect for where you’ve gotten yourself despite all you had to go through! I wish you peace!

  6. Larissajo you don’t know Romney won’t get his in the end since he hasn’t ended yet lol. Who knows we may find out he’s meeting gay male prostitutes behind his wife’s back like that “straight” guy with the “wide stance” Most people who are soooo vigilant against gay people are having serious mental issues they just aren’t ready to deal with. IMO if you’re that obsessed with gay sex you must have some gay tendencies.

    Imagine, it sure seems like the rapeublicans are VERY obsessed with gay sex and what’s going on behind those bedroom doors, that doesn’t seem normal or healthy to me to be so obsessed with someone else’s perceived sex life.

  7. The conflict between forgiveness and the intense desire to see a bully get their comeuppance makes it pretty hard to let go of the pain. Nothing seems to ever make it feel OK, like, “yeah, that was then, this is now, I’m not in 4th Grade…”

    It sucks.

  8. thank you so much Margaret for sharing this with us. Being a queer kid myself I can relate to what you wrote and it’s really inspiring for me to see a brave woman like you to stand up against discrimination. Please keep up with your great writing on this blog beacuse you’ve cheered me up in many occasions of great sadness.

  9. I totally agree, Margaret. If some people want to take the high road because that’s what makes them feel good then that’s great, but that’s not how I feel. If you choose to treat me like shit then I will choose to resent you (and I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking the same of me, because I know I’ve been less-than-kind to people too in the past).

  10. When I was in my high school I got taunted by a lot of people, they called me names, “Oh look at this transgendered faggot.” (When I wasn’t even transgendered, I am just a gay guy), people make fun of my names and stuff and this particular guy was a pain in the ass, every time I walked past his class he’ll tell his friends “Hey look at that softy.” Or “How much for a night.”, I didn’t even wanna give a damn about these people until later when we all parted ways, I saw a private message left by someone in a gay dating site. OH HELLO IT’S THAT FUCKER WHO CALLED ME NAMES and in the message, if I still remember correctly, it contains some shitty apologies for what he did, it was wrong, he was guilty and most importantly, he has found his true self and would like to ask if I can give him a chance and BE WITH HIM.”

    I just replied him, “Dude. What the fuck?” and gave him a piece of me of how I felt when he was being a jerk and I felt so much better. No I’m not sorry for not being forgiving.

  11. Thank you, Margaret. You’re right, therapy doesn’t fix it all. I still feel pain and anger, but what happened to me no longer defines who I am. I too had to deal with bullying at school, from about 3rd grade right up thru 11th, and sexual abuse at home rather than the protection I needed. I survived all that and now have a loving family and a successful business. I am in my late 50s. In the last 10 years I have actually had a couple of people from high school seek me out to apologize for how they treated me. Even though I can understand where it’s coming from, I don’t feel it is up to me to grant absolution to make them feel better about themselves, after all, that’s why they picked on me and other ready victims in the first place! It’s nice that people eventually grow up, but if they want to make a difference I think they should follow the example of people like you. You have always been one of my heroes, Margaret. Love you!

  12. LOL @ choking on compassion… but I feel you. We all deal with the trials and tribulations we had growing up gay differently. Mine wasn’t bullies because I could actually fight. My issue was hiding/fighting internally with myself about who I was for most of my life and holding all that in… and those internal battles resurface in my relationships… if I had to choose, I would prefer still hating the bullies than fucking up my relationships, but I am working on it. Single at the moment… but still working on it… lol

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