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TOPIC: WTF
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They were swallowing goldfish before antibiotics were in wide supply. Not necessarily harmless, given worms and bacteria.

I should have been bullied. I was tiny and nerdy and not only read everywhere I went, I wanted to talk about books. We were poor and my clothes weren't great. My mother struggled with mental health. Somehow, instead of being bullied, I was cherished by pretty much everyone around. All but one of the fights I got into were because I didn't like the way someone was being treated and more than once I found myself slapping someone without ever realizing I'd started moving. So, clearly there were bullies, I just somehow escaped being a target. I didn't even have any repercussions for defending others.

I am so sorry others didn't have my luck.

Bellingham WA
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Yeah, I'm as over it as I'm going to get, and I don't think about it much. Once in a while I do and for a brief moment it's as raw as if it happened yesterday, but I do what I can to avoid it.

I have thought about asking a doctor if there is something that can be done about the marks on my eyes, though.

Windermere FL
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@VA: I was That Kid too. From around 1st grade thru the end of 6th, really dysfunctional home life led to me neglecting my appearance which led to being picked on & bullied. Like you, there were 2 - 3 main bullies that everyone else followed. One of them got cancer and there was a weird moment in the girls bathroom in 6th grade when she & I were in there alone; looking at each other in the mirror I knew she was wearing a wig and it crossed my mind briefly to say something but I didn’t. Neither did she.

Those girls made my life HELL and unless I found out they were being abused also there is Zero forgiveness were it ever offered. Zippo. It made my parenting harder since I was fearful for my child, despite the family dynamics being nothing the same.

I’m profoundly glad there were no cell phones to record everything back then.

I’m a hella ball buster in most things as an adult but if that was the reason the cost was much too high.

Annie

Lafayette TN
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regarding kids who were bullied/abused as teens/tweens. yeah: been there. although i was not subjected to the level of severity in physical violence that VA was, i was bullied a LOT and a couple of times beaten as a tween and teen. i was a skinny weakling, brainy, and way nerdy.

bullying, injustice and unfairness is the shortest way to trigger my gumption and get me to speak out as an adult.

as angry and hurt and astonished as i was in the past that people looked the other way and/or nothing was done about it—i had (and have) the mentality of never looking the other way, and always standing up for or speaking out against anything resembling bullying or abuse ever since i became self confident/strong enough to overcome the fear of “what will people think?” because i choose to speak up.

there are all kinds of bullying—and i agree i think it is about the same in terms of prevalence now as back then, although the methods have changed and the amount of “wtf?!” and attention certain kinds of bullying and abuse drawn nowadays is higher.

unfortunately, there are still many, MANY instances of bullying and abuse that are overlooked and even at times sort of condoned by today’s society.

and that sucks. like—-*really* sucks.

i am teaching my child to never condone in any way (including by looking on and saying nothing) any type of violence or bullying. strong role modeling is important and, i think, a crucial step to getting younger people involved in making important changes.

a quote comes to mind: “i alone cannot change the world but i can cast a stone on the water that creates many ripples”. (or something like that).

Bridgewater NJ
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An additional thought: have you seen Flatliners? It's the only example of this I know of in a movie.

One of the characters lives with guilt for having bullied a black girl when they were kids. He seeks her out as an adult to apologize to her.

She does not accept it. She is angry that he had the nerve to show up in her life ever again. He did it for himself, not for her. Him apologizing means nothing now.

I'm not so sure I'd feel the same way. I might for the people who chose to look the other way or passively were part of it. But for two people in particular - no, I don't think so. I'd probably be disappointed to learn they were still breathing. I don't ever want to see their names or faces again.

Psychoanalyze THAT, baby!

Windermere FL
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@goodgolly I know it's the way things were, and I can't change them. You know that one kid everyone always picked on - that was me from ages 12-15.

What I find bizarre is that many of them now want to be Facebook buddies. "Hey remember me?" I sure do, asshole.

For anyone who ever did that to people and wonder if they ever think about you - yes, they do. And yes, they hate you to this day. They don't forgive you or "understand" that you were young and under peer pressure. They probably would wreck your life if they could do so without any risk to themselves.

Don't get the wrong idea. I am not a "go on a rampage" risk. They vast majority of bullied people simply live their lives with their bad memories and resentment, but never do anything. I'm happy with my life. I may seem angry and bitter at this very moment, but that's not how I live.

Windermere FL
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Swallowing goldfish is at least harmless (to you) and, dare I say, technically counts as "food".

Eating non-food matter seems to be a new thing, but if someone has other information, please share.

Windermere FL
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@vabeachcouple33, that sounds unspeakably horrible and I'm sorry all those ugly things happened to you.

Bullying and ugliness are not new and stupidity certainly isn't. Swallowing goldfish preceded eating Tide pods by about a hundred years. No internet, but there were newspapers in which your photo could be featured.

Bellingham WA
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I recently saw a guy on FB that I was stationed with at Ft. Campbell. I asked if he remembered me and he said , "Yeah, I fuckin' remember you, you asshole. You locked me in a wall locker the first day I arrived at Ft. Campbell."

Oops. Glad he can laugh about it now. We drank a lot back then.

Titusville FL
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I don't think bullying is worse now than before. I remember a lot of people doing extremely dangerous and harmful "pranks" - or just plain brutalizing behavior - when I was young.

When I was about 7 a teenager on drugs or something (or perhaps just a psychopath) "kidnapped" me off a sledding hill and spent hours beating me up and humiliating me, punching me and shoving snow everywhere he could. I don't know how long it was but it was dark by the time he finally let me go. My parents did absolutely nothing.

In high school a group of kids pulled me into the auditorium and spent about 45 minutes holding me down and punching me in the stomach. A teacher *saw* them drag me in and did nothing. Nobody did anything.

Also in high school I was at a "friend"'s house when he and two other friends thought pinning me in the corner and shooting me about 300 times with BB guns would be fun. Again, nobody did anything.

None of these events became news stories. Nobody heard about them. Today probably all of them would be. At the time unless you were put in the hospital you were expected to take it and man up. And I knew of incidents much worse then what happened to me. I don't think about most of them often, but when I was 13 a bully jammed rocks in my eyes. I have to this day brown splotches on the the whites of my eyes. I'm sure that guy had forgotten all about it, but not me. Every time I look in the mirror I remember, and every time someone asks me what happened I remember.

And again, nobody did anything.

Windermere FL
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TOPIC: WTF
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