Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heartbreak for her

A story has come out about a bus monitor in New York who was bullied by middle school children while she was working.  They relentlessly teased her about being overweight, "calling her fat and at one point suggesting that her children commit suicide."  When I heard about this story, my heart just broke for this woman.  Sometimes children just don't have a filter (as well as some clueless adults), but to treat another human being like that is not only disrespectful, but just downright deplorable.  I couldn't watch the actual video they took of the incident, but I knew from the clips I saw on the news that she was taking the teasing because she just didn't want to make it worse and probably wanted to have it end as soon as possible.  It brought back painful memories for me.

I have always been overweight, never had those "thin" years and I, too, was relentlessly teased at different points in my life.  Her bus ride brought back an incident that I had on a bus when I was in middle school.  For a solid week, a girl-bully would tease me on the bus ride to school.  She would get in the seat behind me and say just awful things to me about how fat she thought I was, how much of a loser I was, how she said I smelled and all kinds of other awful things to make me feel as big as an ant.  She got off on it and made sure other kids around me would hear her taunting.  Nobody stopped her and I was afraid to do so because she got in fights with people all the time.  Yet, every single day, she was on me.  Finally, that Friday, I calmly got up, turned around in my seat ... and punched her face with all the might I had in my arm.  Boom!  She hit the floor, was bleeding and in pure agony.  The force in my arm was not just for her, but for every other time I had been teased and made fun of, as if I wasn't worthy of being a human being and that it was okay to treat me like that.  Then, I turned around and sat back down, like nothing had ever happened.  I got in serious trouble, but I didn't even care.  The pain she caused me inside was like something I could never describe, but I think people reading this probably understand.

It pains me that people in society think it's okay to hurt someone because they are not the same size and shape as they are.  We all have things that bring us to becoming overweight and it's not a simple put-down-the-fork-and-push-away-from-the-table solution.  Oh, how I wish it was!  I ache for the woman in this story and the indignity she suffered at the hands of bullies, even if they were children.  This is another reminder that losing weight is not an easy feat.  There are emotional issues behind carrying extra weight and, often times, a lot of pain.  Yet, I know, I must work through that pain and any issues that come up so that I don't have to live in a body that keeps me in an unhealthy space any longer. 


Melissa said...

My heart aches to hear of how that stupid girl taunted you horribly. I cheer knowing you decked her, and hope you didn't get into too much trouble...I also ache for the female bus driver. People can be so cruel.

Truth Teller said...

I LOVE that you punched her! How wonderful! :))) And bullies find every reason on earth to bully. It is so much more about them than about you. I had a beautiful student once, who went on to model in NYC, and she was bullied by being called 'anorexic'. You are so right that it is not about five shakes, it's about so much more. You so clearly understand the issues, that I have no doubt in my mind that you will reach your goal, and stay there. xo

Kathy Bloomfield said...

I have to admit that I did get some pleasure in clocking her! I had to deal with a very angry father, getting suspended and guilt I was feeling but there you go. She never bothered me again after that, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy,
I was physically shaken when I watched the bullied bus-lady video. My heart broke for her, and I found myself spiraling into depression about the potential nature of children. But I also flashed back to every day of my elementary school life, from second grade to fifth, when the taunting started as soon as I climbed the stairs onto the bus. The screams of "Ughhh! The pig is coming! The elephant! Look how her ears swing!...Don't touch her or you'll catch it..." It was sick stuff. I still can't bear the smell of a bus. And I was so passive; I just prayed for them to stop, but they never did. How I I I wish I could have thrown a good punch! I stood up and cheered when I came to that part of your post! You are my hero! It's like you threw that punch for all of us who were ever bullied about our weight! You were a brave little girl, and you grew up to be a brave woman!! Thank you, from my heart.

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