All this week, YakkityYaks will be joining with past and present Reality TV stars and fans just like you in honor of Anti-Bullying Week. We will be featuring stories from Reality TV personalities, members in our YakkityYaks forum, and fans from Twitter and Facebook. In an effort to join forces and increase awareness, we encourage you to share these stories with your friends and family and encourage continuous efforts to make a difference! We all are capable and we just hope that this motivates and encourages each and every one of us to take a stand and put a stop to bullying once and for all. YakkityYaks, don’t talk smack!
Read on below for two personal accounts from fans on Twitter who felt so moved to submit their own personal and touching stories, in addition to all of our other coverage today. Names have been changed to protect identities, but the stories are straight from the heart and unedited.
If you are interested in participating in our anti-bullying initiative by sharing your story, please contact JDMontgomery@yakkityyaks.com or ShellyBB13@me.com (Big Brother’s Shelly). Each and every story can bring about great change. Oh and get your tissues ready for this one …
We also want to announce an exciting addition to our special features this week. Everyone who submits a story will be eligible to win a phone call from a reality TV personality!
A Life Transformed
First I just need to say that bullying back when I was a child is FAR different than the bullies today, but the hurt can still be the same. Also, I don’t know why I became a bully. It could have been a type of defense mechanism for what happened to me early in my life.
Here is my story:
Back in the early ’70s, when the Civil Rights Movement was going strong, my family and I were constantly bullied by our neighbors. Our house was vandalized. Walking home from school I got death threats and witnessed some man preparing a noose to hang my brother from. I was only 6 years old and feared for my and my family’s life.
We moved to a different neighborhood, but were still the minority in it. This time, however, I turned the tables. Although I was still in grade school, I didn’t call it a gang then; instead, it was a club. I think I was the president of it, although I can’t remember. I just know that I called most of the shots & threw people out of the group if I felt like it. Our club song was: “Tick-tock the game is locked. Nobody else can play with us. If they do, we’ll take their shoe and beat them ’til they’re black and blue.”
Still in grade school I would make fun of girls clothes and what they looked like; whatever it was that I didn’t like about them I would tell them about it. I even bullied my sister. Although to this day she forgave me, she didn’t forgive anyone else. I’d tell her she was adopted and that her breath stunk and that she was fat….again, anything that I didn’t like about her I told her about it.
Whenever my mom & dad fought, we were bullied by my mom. My mom hated my sister and me. She only liked our brothers. We got “skinnings” for the most trivial things. We got spoken to harshly, all because she didn’t always like us. Yes, parents bully their kids, too.
I never felt badly for doing those things to the other kids; after all, did those people who hated my skin color care what they did to me? Did they care how they made me feel? Did my own mom care? To this day, she doesn’t remember ANY of it. She tells people she was a good mom. “Look at how well my kids turned out.” I have tried to make her see and hear the things she did to us and she is in total denial.
I became a Born-Again Christian at 11 years old. There, I learned how to treat people. That’s when I became aware of the feelings of others and changed my ways. Anytime I saw a classmate getting picked on, I’d go over to them and keep them company. I’d tell a teacher, too, and the teacher would keep a lookout for any trouble. Like I said earlier, those days were different; mostly verbal and maybe knocking books out of someone’s hands, but nothing that the kids are going through nowadays.
A karate demonstration took place at the elementary school and then the instructor picked certain students to bully, to see how we would fight back. I got chosen to fight, and man, did I have the will and the drive to destroy that full-grown man! He had the nerve to push me to the floor? I was going to kill him! And I fought and found out how much anger I was storing up inside. He gave me a nice compliment, but I wasn’t to become a black belt until many years later.
Junior high was a brand new world. I got bullied by both boys and girls. They’d make fun of my hair and clothes. The same thing I did to the girls in grade school. The boys would grope me. In art class a boy took my artwork and threw it in the trash. I made the pom-pom squad and the girls told me I should have never made it; I only made it because I have a nice smile. I was called ugly.
One day one of the girl bullies was coming down the hallway towards me. My friend, George, came up behind me and scared me and I turned around and punched him square in the jaw! It wasn’t him I really wanted to punch; it was her. She saw me do it and her jaw hit the floor. I know she went and told the other bullies, because after that day, they never bothered me again. As for George, he never accepted my apology. Then he moved away.
High school was uneventful. Nothing serious there. Sports saved me.
In college I got bullied because I was black and hung out with my white friends in the quad. The black girls would yell stuff out of their dorm windows at me. I was called Uncle Tom and other racist names. I never had to do anything about those girls, because one by one, they got in trouble for something at the school and got expelled or dropped out.
By this time, I decided to take karate lessons. I’ve earned two black belts and one brown in all my years of training in different styles. I never made it a public thing to tell people, because they’d want to test me. It was on the down-low except for my immediate friends.
Once I made it to the working world, not much changed. Bullies, bullies everywhere. I became friends with a guy who was constantly bullied, then he had a crush on me; but I didn’t like him like that. I just didn’t like seeing him hurting from the actions of others. He did his best to stand up to them, too. Again, nothing physical happened, although nowadays people get killed.
Then I became the target from the same people who bullied him. Things were slammed onto my desk, they would talk about me so loudly that they wanted me to hear what they were saying, they were turning people against me who used to be my friends. No one came to my aid, but that’s okay, because if it really came down to having to physically protect myself, I could. I told my supervisor once, but they didn’t seem to take it all that seriously. A second time I told them, but this time I warned that if I snapped, it could get really bad. Soon after, the mastermind bully was let go. Once the serpant’s head was gone, the rest of the snake died; no one else bullied me.
I have seen strangers just arguing in a heated manner that could have escalated and I’d just approach, asking if everything is okay. Luckily, no one has ever gotten so angry at me and told me to mind my own business or turn their anger towards me.
I’m a part-time crossing guard and I look for signs from victims of bullies. I befriend the lonely kids. They can barely look at me, but I think they appreciate my kindness because the next time they see me, they smile. I don’t see them getting bullied walking to or from school, and I’m glad.
I have known a bully or two, and when I call them a bully, they deny it! I try to make them see and hear how they’re treating others, but it goes nowhere. They don’t get it. And I’m talking adult bullies!
I just can’t really stomach seeing people hurting people. All of these kids on Facebook and Twitter who are crying out for help, I want to help them, but I don’t find out their stories until after they’ve killed themselves.
I never want to get physical if I see someone getting bullied, and it’s been quite a long time since I stopped training, but I believe I would die for someone who is helpless; at least that’s what I tell myself. No one really knows what they would do until they’re in a situation.
Thanks for listening to my story. Really, thank you again, for everything.
A Little Says A Lot
My 11 yr old grandson was assaulted several times last year in a small WI school by another 5th grader. He had a sprained wrist, fractured elbow, mild concussion, and all the bully got was an in school suspension. It was not the 1st incident either. There was two choking incidents prior to that. It saddens me that children are so mean. I support everything you are doing. Thank you!