Athens Review, Athens, Texas


May 15, 2014

Being bullied doesn’t have to affect your adulthood

Athens — I was bullied as a kid in school. Unlike some other people, I don't feel like there were long-term effects on my life because of bullying.

I am researching children being bullied for some upcoming articles in the Review. What I have found is that almost everyone feels like they have been bullied in one way or another. I have talked to parents who told me their children have been bullied, or they themselves were the target of bullies. No one yet has admitted to being a bully.

There seems to be a wide variety of reason we get bullied. For me, I think my family life was different than most of the kids who attended my school.

My bullying started after the death of my mother. At least I don't have any recollection of being bullied prior to her death. It's true, kids can be cruel. My mom died when I was 11-years-old. I was entering the sixth grade. What a tough year. Looking back, I don't think my school had a lot of tolerance for kids who were different.

Children can be cruel, especially to children who are different, or come from different backgrounds or life experiences.

Kids would say really mean things about my mother dying. For example, “You don't have a mother now,” “Why did your mother die?”  “Your going to be an orphan.”

Not very nice things for a young girl who had just lost her mother.  It hurt my feelings. Then again, I may be strong today because of the verbal abuse.

I don't remember being physically hurt by the bullies. These children were just verbally-cruel. My older sister would have never let anyone hurt me. Some might have considered her a bully. But no, there was never any physical contact.

In my case, I think I was being bullied because I was more vulnerable. I may not have had a stable home environment, and I may not had family support after the death of my mother. I was the lucky one – my childhood did not mold my adulthood. 

For whatever reason, I grew to be a strong independent woman. The kids were right about one thing, I did not have a stable home environment. If I were to survive this world, I had to depend on myself.

My own bullying could explain why I have a tolerance for people who are different, and I support the right for anyone to fight for what they believe. I do not mean to physically fight. But it is important to stand up and be counted.

My bullying got worse in the seventh and eighth grades.  My father, if that's what you could call him, couldn't take care of five girls. Four of us ended up in foster care. For a short time I was placed in a girls home.

Still going to public school, the kids at school thought the girls in the home were juvenile delinquents.  This was so far from the truth. The parents of these girls were just unable to care for them.  For a variety of reasons these girls ended up in the home.  No, they were not delinquents.

Bullies are present in every school and community. All children must deal with bullying or teasing from some perspective. For children involved in the child-welfare system, bullying and teasing may not be more prevalent, constant and serious problems, but those children may have few supports available to help them deal with the these issues.

Most children in my situation may have the feeling of being afraid, angry, sad or depressed, or a combination of these emotions.

There is  no real reason a child in foster care would be treated differently, but the fact remains these children suffer because of a situation beyond their control.

I never told anyone about my bullying. I am not even sure I knew I was being bullied, as much as I thought kids just didn't like me. Bullying had nothing to do with me, and all to do with the  bully.

What I do know is when I was in school (granted it was in the dark ages), I can't remember anybody committing suicide because of bullying. That tells me bullying has been taken to an all-new low. It's time to bring the subject out in the open, and discuss how we can save our children.

During my research of why children bully, or why certain children are bullies, I have found that bullies come from all walks of life. Some of the reasons kids get bullied vary – they are too smart, they are introverted, they may not have many friends, they may be popular, they have physical features a bully may pick on, a target may have an illness or disability. The bullied child may have different sexual orientation, religious or culture beliefs. Or they may belong to a different racial group. 

A quote to remember:  “When people see you're happy doing what you're doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.”

The bully story will appear in a future Athens Review.

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.


Text Only
  • Joe new mug.jpg Fanfare is a time to prepare for another season

    I love to see the talent our student athletes have across Henderson County. To know that each player puts in the blood, sweat and tears to play for a district championship and hopefully a state title is something special to see.
    Another great in the world of sports is a player who is retiring this season in New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
    Jeter once said, “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg The greatest country in the world has hungry children

    No child should go hungry. We are the greatest country in the world, yet we have hungry children.
    An article I recently read said that if a child in school can't afford lunch, they will be given a sandwich and water. I was told the sandwich is cheese between two pieces of bread.
    I hope everyone realizes that is what they serve in the county jail. Not that I know this from personal experience. I was told from someone who did know from experience.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase

    Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase.
    Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze.
    It means no worries for the rest of your days.
    It's our problem-free philosophy.
    Hakuna Matata!
    Congratulations, if you have watched the Lion King a couple of times you now have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg It was a week in the depth of heat, then cooler

    Sunday and Monday of this week have been very uncomfortable.  The air conditioner at our house has been down, and the temperature outside and in the house have been way up.
    Thank God for the blessing of the cool temperatures and the rain that fell on Tuesday, then on Wednesday.  It changed things just a little bit.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Time away is necessary for everyone

    I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.
    Do you ever have those days  when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.
    Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.

    July 12, 2014

  • Joe new mug.jpg Student athletes: Time to wake up and get to work

    Hey student athletes, it is about time for you to wake up and get to work.
    Your summer is coming to an end, and the early morning wake up calls for practices are right around the corner.
    I am talking to the football players, volleyball players, cross country kids, band members, drill team members and cheerleaders.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Remember who you are

    Are you running so fast that you have forgotten why you started the race in the first place?
    Life moving at a blistering pace that it is tough to keep up?
    Maybe it is time to stop, take a deep look into the pool of water and remember. Remember who you are.
    On numerous occasions, I have had to do just that. Ironically, various movies have caused me to look inside.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg CSUMC provided a memorable experience

    My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.
    I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich mug.jpg Independence ultimately won on battlefield

    I always enjoy celebrating Independence Day, and hearing some of the stirring words written in the Declaration of Independence.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote that our Creator has given us certain rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The way I see it, if I have life and liberty, that gives me a pretty good start on the third one.
    But as eloquent as our founding fathers were, and how moving the texts they left behind, one fact can’t be overlooked. Our independence was ultimately won and secured on the battlefield.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg 22 years – and they said it wouldn’t last

    I was a high school senior when I first entered the world of newspapers.
    I found my way to the The Dallas Times Herald after graduation, when a number of kids I went to school with were working part-time at the paper.
    It was summer, and I needed a job. I first applied for what was referred to as the night crew.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites