I can't honestly say I've never passed judgement on someone. I have and I'm ashamed to admit it. I'm ashamed because once upon a time I was someone elses target. When I was in middle school and high school I was bullied relentlessly by the same girls, and the only reason they finally stopped was because their leader moved away and the others sort of faded away without having their leader around to follow. After that group stopped another group of girls started up with me as their target. And another one, this time a bunch of boys. They all picked on me about my hair, my clothes, my acne, my weight, my family, my boyfriend, the fact that I liked to read, the way I walked, basically anything about me, at one point even the way my nostrils flared when I spoke.
There were times when I'd walk into the locker room to find things written about me all over my gym locker. I'd go into classes and find stuff scribbled on my desk. One morning, I even walked into the bathroom in the lunchroom to find something I won't even bother repeating written in red lipstick on the outside of the stall in huge letters. It wasn't hard to figure out who it was about since it clearly started with "Sarah Cort..." It also wasn't hard to figure out who had written it since I saw them walk out of the bathroom before I went in and start laughing as soon as they saw me walk back out. The worst part of it all was that some of those people? At one point they used to be my friends. Some were even my neighbors. We used to play together, walk around together, sing songs in our rooms together and pretend we were superstars. We used to stand on the bus stop together, celebrate birthdays together, my parents used to give them rides home, and let them stay at our house because their parents were working late or super early and they needed somewhere to stay.
I remember worrying about what I was going to wear to school, dreading walking into rooms, begging to stay home, missing my bus on purpose so my dad would have to drive me to school just so I wouldn't have to sit on a bus full of people making fun of me, not even trying to hide the fact that they were doing it. Those years are far behind me now but still I just can't comprehend how people could be so cruel. How people could seemingly dole out mean, nasty things on someone and not even think twice about it. Not even not think about it, but not even be embarassed by it. Be able to face me with a straight face and hate me for nothing. I'll never figure it out. Since my high school years I've met people who haven't liked me for whatever reason. I've known people who have mocked me, ridiculed me, and thought everyone should know about it. I'm always shocked. I've learned to handle it better and tried to not let it hurt me, but that's a never ending battle.
I can't even imagine what it would be like for me to be in high school today. With social networking ruling practically every aspect of life, and bullying raging throughout schools across the country, it's a nightmare in the making. Kids don't realize how their words have the same effect on their victims as if they were running around stabbing people with a knife. Or maybe they do realize and really just don't care.Those kids turn into teenagers, twenty somethings, and then full grown adults, many of whom never change their mindset about the way they treat other people.
Those bullies I used to know? They've faded away from my life, some of them I haven't even seen in years, others I have and I've looked them in the eyes and walked away with my head held high. I've forgiven them, but have never forgotten. The scars they left on my spirit are still there. Battle scars.
I saw something tonight that brought back all those memories. It upset me and hurt me and it wasn't even about me. It just shocked me that still now, as adults, some people can still be that cruel and think it's ok. More than that, they think it's funny.
be brave loves,