Share Your Good News Bullying Story – Say What?

posted by Momo Fali on September 13, 2013

Yesterday I read another sad story about a 12 year old girl who committed suicide after being bullied on social media. My heart broke. Again. This is my bullying story:

Just after I turned seven, my mom remarried and we moved from our two-bedroom townhouse to an affluent suburb. I started 2nd grade with a classroom of children I had never met.

I remember one boy being a playground bully – picking girls up while forcing his friend to lift up their skirts. We ladies learned to wear clothing with legs and those two boys didn’t come back for 3rd grade. And, I recall someone making fun of me when I first came to school with glasses. The teacher overheard, made him apologize, and that was it.

I don’t remember ever being bullied after that.

Keep reading.

Though we didn’t have social media, there were still ample opportunities – and ammunition – for kids to pick on me, especially in my teen years. When my mom and step-dad divorced in 1985, we moved back to a two-bedroom townhouse. My friends lived in enormous homes and drove expensive cars, while I arrived at school in a ’77 Cutlass which would eject the tape cassette and launch it into the back seat if you went over 55mph.

Because of the divorce, I had to live with my older sister for my junior year of high school. I was extremely depressed and scared. In turn, I made a lot of horrendously bad decisions. Note to my daughter: THIS is why you get lectured so much. Because I was a stupid teenager. You’re welcome.

My senior year, I dated a man who was controlling, manipulative, and abusive. My friends didn’t call me dirty names, though. They gently tried to steer me in the right direction. No one made fun of me. They could have turned their backs on me, but no one did.

No one ever said anything about our tiny apartment with no air conditioning. No one ever called me poor because I had to go to work every afternoon after school. No one ever hurt my feelings or made me fell less-than.

I don’t know how to make these sad stories stop, but I know that not every school is full of bullies. My high school was full of the richest kids in town who didn’t want for anything. They weren’t snobs. They were awesome.

Maybe we should share more GOOD stories about the GOOD kids who are there to hold up people like me; a lost, frightened girl who had to grow up too fast. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have survived those years without that support. I would not have survived.

Let’s make the stories of strength and friendship go viral. Let’s make sure that the kids who do the right thing are celebrated and that the ones who don’t, aren’t. We can’t stop telling the tales of those who were bullied, but we can start sharing more stories about the ones who weren’t.

What do you say? Are you with me?

    Comments

  • Heather Murphy-Raines/ScoutsHonor


    Love it!

  • Melisa


    I’m with you! xo

    (Also, I’m sending hugs to Young Momo.)

    • Momo Fali


      Aw, she needed ‘em!

  • Catherine


    I remember nothing except you being awesome in high school. I have a picture somewhere of us in a group of girls in our caps and gowns on our way to graduation. Proud to know you then and now. Nice piece, Diane!

    • Momo Fali


      Thank you, Cathy! I was just talking about you the other day when my daughter said she wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone in study-hall. I said, “We sat at a 4-top! It was great.”

  • Caroline


    xo!

  • vicki


    Nice! There is more good in this world than bad. Sometimes difficult to remember, but we MUST! Thank you for sharing.

  • Joan


    I’m with you 100 percent. As a journalist I was able to tell more than one story about kids and adults who showed readers that good is really out there.

  • Laura in Little Rock


    I remember changing schools in 4th grade, not at a 9-weeks, not at a good time. My mom was untreated bipolar and recently lost her job teaching kindergarten; hence the need to switch schools. I was unprepared, suffering from nigh-panic attacks and had to deal with the class alpha-girl. Not a shrinking violet myself, I finally got my buttons pushed one too many times and remember seeing alpha-girl with a VERY clear dusty footprint from MY shoe right in the middle of her chest on recess. A footprint where I kicked her down and high-tailed it to my teacher. Thankfully, my classroom teacher was ON recess duty and I was terrified of the trouble that would come. However, that was the end of it. I kicked alpha-girl to the ground and ran. She backed off. Still the feeling of panic/mania/fear and dealing with a mom that wasn’t 100% lucid/sane, oh, terrible memories. Sad and heart-breaking and recalling how the smell of my dog on my hands was the thing that could get me through as school day. Yes, at age 9, I decided not washing my hands was better than the alternative. …and my 12 yo daughter complains I won’t let her on social media. Nope. Not changing that decision. YouTube vidoes on nail polish application are as risque as we’ll go these days.

    • Momo Fali


      Oh, my heart. Kids sometimes have so much to deal with and I’m sorry this happened to you. And, as much as it hurts to hear your story I love that your dog helped you through it. I’m glad you GOT through it, period.

  • UP


    I weighted 37 pounds in the first grade and wore toddler clothes until the third grade.

    I was a target.

    But, I got over it…sort of.

    UP

  • Mare


    I’m always extolling the actions of the GOOD kids. We absolutely need more of that. The media just loves the dramatic stories of how we hurt each other. I don’t know how we stop THAT.

  • SunbonnetSmart.com


    Hey there, MOMO! I’ll complain to say Yes! I am tired of people being negative and complaining. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had positive news from all of the 1,000s of kids who weren’t bullied each day. Sigh…even just a few good stories would help. Loved your angle on this. Thanks for sharing. Much Love, Fondly, Robin

  • tara


    Love it! Such a better idea to focus on the positive. My junior high and high school didn’t have any bullying. Everybody was friends with everyone, and the kids that should’ve been a target were instead protected and it would’ve been unacceptable to bully them. I’m so grateful and lucky I got to grow up where I did.

  • Tracie


    I am definitely with you on this. We should be spending more time talking about the ways to befriend, support, and love those around us. I had a great group of friends who did this for me when I was a teen, and I’m still thankful for them all these years later.

  • AlisonH


    I experimented in high school with…yarn. To a serious degree. Crocheting, knitting, embroidery–embroidered chambray workshirts were huge–and at one point, though I wasn’t so sure this was something I was going to stick with (and I sure didn’t), I did bargello embroidery on rather thick plastic canvas. Y’know, like those tacky ’60′s kleenex box covers, only I would never do that with them, even then I knew those were tacky. So. What to do with the stuff, darned if I knew.

    But meantime, I was making beautiful stitches in the then-faddish colors of orange shaded to yellow on this tacky plastic that I was secretly embarrassed over, and during lunch break Monty came over and asked me what I was doing.

    Monty was tall, blond, gorgeous, student council president, popular, fillintheblankhereyouname it. I was a nobody.

    “Bargello,” I answered, holding it up a bit from where I was sitting.

    “Bargello,” he repeated to make sure he got the word right. He complimented me on it and told me he liked it. And actually it was pretty.

    And that is the only reason I remember that I did bargello in high school–because he was genuinely interested and went out of his way to be nice in that moment.

  • Zak


    I’m with you, I am so with you

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