Miri is ruining everyone’s fun again, telling stories about being bullied in school, and showing this fierce video.
I was lucky. I wasn’t really bullied; my fate was to be neglected and marginalized. I was the dirt poor kid who wasn’t a jock or popular, so I was mostly uncategorizable and overlooked. An example to illustrate the weird social limbo I was in: I was only one of four kids at the school to be a national merit finalist; I’d gotten a near-perfect score on the SATs. We all got invited to the principal’s office when this was announced, and he sat us down: the basketball star, the doctor’s kid, the straight A student (and no resentment against any of those three — all were good people), and me. The principal knew all the others well, they had a good reputation, and he was joking around with them, and then he turned and gave me this look…’whothehellisthis and whyshouldItalkto him’, sniffed and turned back to the others, without saying a word to me.
We got the honor of a few minutes announcement at a school assembly, and it was similarly weird. Each of us four were announced, the teachers and principal said a few lovely things about them, and then they came to me, last, and just said my name, nothing more, before moving on. It was nice to be mentioned, but man, I was clearly regarded as the aberrant weirdo who was only there by mistake. I was the outlier, the person from the wrong class (make no mistake, classism thrives in America), the nobody who didn’t fit.
Again, I wasn’t bullied much in high school. I wasn’t angry at that treatment. What it did instead was make me someone who never felt a lot of self-worth and just kind of generally alone and miserable. But fortunately another thing I lacked was the serious depression that many people experience, even when they aren’t neglected, and so I’ve managed to cope.
I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like to actually have a teacher take an interest in me and encourage me, but at least I never had one make my life difficult. I was too invisible for that.