Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Making of a Bully

When I was a child I made fun of – often. I was teased because of my nose. The kids would sing the song from the Fruit Loops commercial. In case you’re not familiar with it, it goes something like this; “Follow your nose, wherever it goes.” It made me feel ugly. I never thought I was pretty. Celebrities like Cher and Barbara Streisand were my heroes. They were talented and beautiful to me. They kept their noses and were proud of who they were. I wanted nothing more than to get a nose job. If I was in a crowd as an adult, I would cringe and feel my heart race if the conversation turned to large nosed individuals. This kept up until I was healed in my late twenties.  

I guess being bullied could have made into a very angry or bitter child. Maybe it could have made me hide and develop a shell around me. Instead it made me fight back and turned me into the very thing I hated – a bully.

I’m not proud of that part of my life. I decided to be proactive. I never turned away from a fight. I would fight with all my might. If someone said something to me, I came back at them. I would get into fist fights. I would never back down – ever. I became more outgoing. I became whatever anyone wanted me to – a clown, a confident girl who flirts like I was the most beautiful model in the world. You get the picture. I wrote this next paragraph before, but I thought it fit with this story.

One day when I was 18 years old, I was on a city bus and noticed a girl staring at me. I sat in the back of the bus and right before she was about to get off, she looked at me. She asked, “Do you remember me?” I replied, “No, I’m sorry I don’t.” The next thing she said went through me like a knife, “You used to pick on me and beat me up when we were in grade school.” She then got off the bus. I just wanted to crawl under a rock. I was stunned. I was speechless. When my brain started to work again, I wanted to get off the bus and chase her down and tell her how very sorry I was. I wanted to tell her I’m not the same person. I was ashamed that I couldn’t remember the face of someone I caused such pain. I didn’t have the decency to remember her name. But all I could do was pray and ask God to forgive me. I prayed for her that she would find peace and healing for the hurt I caused.

The making of bully for whatever reason, was not a pretty story. It wasn’t pretty that I was tortured and it certainly wasn’t pretty what I did to my victim. What it’s taught me is that I was what I was because of circumstances of life. It didn’t excuse what I did but I’m grateful God healed me, changed me, and helped me to be more loving.

© Nadine Zawacki 2012

1 comment:

Ginnie said...

I remember bullying someone once. it wasn't physical, but it was just as ugly. maybe even more so, because that person was defenseless. and I did it with others, because I wanted to be friends with the popular girls. the poor girl ran away crying. I felt horrible and separated from that crowd for the rest of the time I was in school. God is good and forgave me, and changed me too. Isn't He wonderful? thanks for your transparency, Nadine.<3