In today’s society you hear or read daily stories about bullying. While many people don’t believe that bullying actually exists, I personally know that it does for not only children, but adults. The stories about bullying often begin in children, but come out in various ways as adults. Today I am sharing with you how childhood bullying became a Setup For Rape: My Personal Stories About Bullying are here as a source to show you that it is no laughing matter.
Setup For Rape: My Personal Stories About Bullying
I was one of those girls that matured early and puberty hit with full force. At a little more than 12 years old, I had reached what would be my adult height, had gone from no need for a bra to wearing a cup size larger than any girl in my class and most of my teachers. I had a tween girls mind trapped in a woman’s body. While that put me in a place where I was the center of attention, it was not pleasant attention.
It began with the boys my age walking up behind me and snapping my bra straps. What could be perceived as a childhood game became a ritual every day. I sat in the front of the classroom and every morning all of the boys in the class would walk by and snap my bra as they walked by. No amount of asking them to stop, telling the teachers or tears made it go away. I began wearing thick sweaters over my uniform to cover my large chest. I became more and more depressed and ashamed of the body I had. The girls my age also began their version of the torment. Not only did they leave me out of their circle, they frequently mentioned how I must be stuffing my bra. A few even insinuated that I had actually had surgery because the change could not be natural. My limited wardrobe barely fit me, and the ridicule didn’t end with taunts regarding my chest, it started carrying forward into everything about what I wore, how my hair was styled and my overall appearance.
Rather than learn that my body was changing and I would eventually grow up enough to realize it was normal and okay, I became ashamed of everything about my physical appearance. I had no self confidence, and thought that nobody could ever truly like me. The teasing of kids in my school had changed me from an outgoing individual to someone who hid in the corner and avoided speaking unless spoken to. What most considered teasing was in fact a part of my own personal stories of bullying. A part of my life that set me up for rape as an older teen when I wasn’t able to discern what was healthy and unhealthy attention from a man.
Fast forward a few years and I was a teenager with self esteem issues who had secluded herself willingly from anyone her age. My family continually encouraged me to seek out a part time job to help me get out of the house and interact with other people. As I began working in a local retail store, a new type of personal bullying began. Instead of making fun of my body, I was pursued heavily by several men I worked with. I worked hard to avoid the advances from most, but when that one man that caught my eye decided to pursue me, I fell under the spell. When all of his attention was directed at the source of my childhood bullying, I was uncertain as to what or how to respond. I delighted in the attention, but was afraid it would end in being laughed at and told I was silly for thinking he would like someone like me.
My uncertainty, low self esteem and inability to tell the truth from lies about my body led me to a dark room with a man who wouldn’t accept my plea to stop. My stories about bullying culminate in being in a place where I was raped, because the first man who paid me positive attention wouldn’t take no for an answer.
While this is a drastic case, I can easily look back at my own life and point to those early days of bullying as a 12 and 13 year old girl destroying my self esteem and confidence to a point that I couldn’t tell a good guy from a bad guy. Not all stories about bullying are extreme, but many begin in the important developmental years around puberty. Bullying can easily change your perception of reality and yourself. This change can be a setup for violence in some people, and defeat in others. Bullying is a very real thing.
Read our Stop Bullying guide for tips about prevention and raising bullying awareness.
Do you have any personal stories about bullying that you’d feel comfortable sharing? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get in touch with you.