“Midget! Shrimp! Baby! Annoying!” are all words that can hurt children’s emotional well being and self-esteem. I used to cry everyday to my mom about kids making fun of my unique and unchangeable traits. Seeing me upset made her wish she had the power to make me like everybody else: not the shortest, the youngest, or the loudest. In retrospect, I am happy she couldn’t change me because people would not have accepted me for who I am. The name calling and the bullying all started in Lower School when the boys would make fun of the nonexist “bad word” in my last name or when the kids would try to use their height against me to their advantage. When you’re bullied at such a young age you don’t know how to react to the abuse. Your self-esteem vanishes so quickly. Wishing you were like everybody else, wishing that you were like that bully that no one is making fun of. But that bully wasn’t the only person who was mean, it was the other people around you. The sad thing is that these hurtful actions and the brutal names that people called me still happens today and unfortunately for them it isn’t a weird stage that eventually they will grow out of. Sometimes people don’t even realize what hurtful things they say. Even your own best friends might not recognize that they do it because to them, it is only out of love and a joke. Dealing with the abuse and being the brunt of their jokes made me the person I am today. I might be the shortest, the loudest, or the youngest, but I love who I am. Something I did change since I was little is to stop trying so hard to fit in and be like everyone else. This change made me mentally strong and not let those cruel words affect me. Do people get enjoyment by hurting others? Do they even realize that they do it? Anybody can say anything they want, but it will only make me stronger and make me look like the better person because I am not the one stooping to their level and trying hard to make someone feel bad about a trait they have. Most kids become very insecure and depressed, but I’m the opposite! I was always told “that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it”. And this I believe is what everybody should learn.
Lynda - Glen Head, New York
Entered on June 9, 2008
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