Apr 1, 2011

What is the day that I hate the most?

I absolutely despise April Fool's Day.  It's not even a hatred, it's DESPISING it.  When I was younger, I thought I was the only one who hated the day.  I felt like I was the only one among millions of people who loved the "Holiday".  As I grew older and was unashamed to voice my hatred, I realized that more people, than I actually knew, hated the day as well.  I didn't feel so lonely anymore, but still wanted to sleep all day on April 1st.

My hatred and fear for the day got so terrible that when I was in 7th grade, I started begging my mom to let me stay home on April 1st.  She actually understood and kept me home from school and activities.  Why?  She knew how much humiliation I had to endure on that day.  She didn't understand exactly how I felt, being bullied beyond belief, but she saw that I was petrified of it.

Being chubby with glasses and braces, I never was popular nor did I even fit in.  I was always the outcast who was made fun of constantly for absolutely everything.  That had happened for as long as I can remember.  At first it was just being made fun of.  Nothing harmful and nothing horrible.  Of course, there are some kids who will make fun of others for absolutely no reason.  It's usually harmless and usually passes, but it didn't pass for me.  It only got worse.

In 5th grade, I actually transferred schools because I was being bullied by my 5th grade teacher.  She, apparently, hated adopted children.  Myself and another boy in my class were adopted and we got the brunt of everything.  It was the day that I did something to piss her off, that I was at my last straw.  I wasn't even aware that I got her mad, and I don't even remember what I did, but I remember the words she said to me, they hurt terribly.
"Your birth mom didn't want you because you were no good.  Your adoptive mom isn't going to want you either if you keep it up."
I was not a bad kid in school by any means.  I was quiet and very to myself.  Sometimes I did frustrate teachers because I wouldn't talk in class or wouldn't read aloud, but that is no reason for the abusive words she said to me.  

After she said that to me in front of the class and humiliated me, I pretended that I had to go to the bathroom and ran downstairs to the pre school class my mom worked at.  I had forgotten that she had not been there that day because of my grandma being ill.  When I told the teachers aid what had happened, she agreed to keep me down there with her and let me help with the pre school kids.  My mom picked me up as soon as she was available and went in for a talk with the principal.  (Of course, nothing happened, the principals always side with the teachers.)
The bullying didn't get better.  At the public school I transferred to, kids were even worse.  There was this one kid, Phillip, who hated me.  (Well, everyone told me he liked me because he would tease me; I didn't believe it.)  He, and some other children, made my school experience a living hell.
  • Tying my shoe laces to the desk and watching me almost crack my skull open - They found it funny.
  • Tripping me on my way up to the front of the class for a school presentation - Also funny.
  • Putting a "Kick Me" sign on my back - Humiliating to me, funny to them.
  • Reading my private journal out to others, obviously invading privacy is funny.
Horrible words that I would hear in the hallways...  Throwing things at me... Calling me terrible names.  They all thought it was funny, but to me it wasn't.  There was a time I actually refused to go to my locker and had my mom pick me up from High School because I had death threats numerous times. (And I lived around the corner.)  

Every single time, the principal did nothing.  "It's just childish petty behavior." She would say.  Childish and petty behavior that was killing the self esteem of one of their students.  It was emotionally abusive and very damaging; I ended up in counseling because of all of that.  I had been the most depressed then than I had ever been in my life.   

This is why I am such an advocate against bullying and teach my children the right way to be.  I teach my girls to respect others and to always defend or befriend someone who is less than popular.  I don't want any other child going through the destructive emotional abuse that I had gone through.  Sadly, my self esteem has never picked up and it is still as damaged as it was those years ago.  I am told that it is something that takes years to work through, and I believe it.  I do hope my girls will not have to endure that and I pray that their self esteem stays intact.  No one should have to go through the things that I had gone through. 

Side note: That teacher eventually did get fired for mistreating students.  The other adopted boy, who I was friends with, was the next to transfer out of that school.