My Own Memories of Being Bullied
It is hard not to think back to my own childhood when, for two terrible years, I was made miserable by three girls: Michelle, Sandy, and Susan. It started in second grade, for no reason at all except that, like Annabelle, I was an introvert who liked to draw, look at books, and daydream.
I did not get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers. I was not picked for recess kickball teams or jump-rope competitions. "This will make you a stronger adult," my mother used to tell me. "You're more independent and learning ways to entertain yourself." But all I wanted was for Michelle to turn her big blue eyes on me and ask me to her house after school or to play jacks with her. Just once.
For my eighth birthday, my mother decided to throw me a party and invite my tormenters. To my surprise, they accepted. On a December Saturday, my snowman cake with its licorice grin on the table, we waited for them to arrive. And we waited. And we waited. After an hour, my mother called each of the girls' mothers, only to be told they didn't even know there was a party.
Michelle moved away that summer, and without her leadership the others disbanded. I became unimportant, I suppose. Whatever the reason, I was left alone and soon enough went to middle school, where I immediately made friends. Before I knew it, I was practically popular. I walked up and down the mall every Saturday with a gaggle of girls. I had boys calling me. But I admit now that the sting never left me. It is with me still.