When I was in grade school I was bullied quite a bit. None of it was physical. They just made fun of me, asked me why I was talking to them or would get mad if I laughed at their jokes, and sometimes they would just flat out ignore me and pretend I wasn’t there. I’m not sure why the bullying started. I was a pretty child who was very kind to others. Maybe it was because I was too nice? Maybe it was because I was poor? I don’t remember having any real friends (at school) until the 6th grade. I remember I was hanging out with the popular girls once when I was in the 2nd grade and I thought they liked me, but when I look back at the memory and see them all laughing at me because there was no room for me on top of the monkey bars, I realized they were just using me. I was always alone and usually sat by myself at lunch. I just didn’t understand why they were doing that to me. I was being nice like my mom told me. And when my mom started getting abusive and neglecting me at home, things just got worse. Starting in the 6th grade, I had to wear clothes that were too small because my mom quit caring about getting me new clothes that fit. I probably didn’t smell great because I hadn’t quite understand how the washing machine worked and I knew that if I broke it that would be the end for me. I was never invited to go to birthdays until I was in the 7th grade.
I remember there was one girl, Sammie, who didn’t like me at first. We had to work on a project together in the 5th grade but she didn’t even include me in it at all. She said she would just do it herself and turn it in for the both of us. Then in the 8th grade, we were forced to sit together in science even though I preferred to work alone at that point. We slowly started talking with one of us asking the other for help on a problem. Then one day, when we were doing a project where we looked into a microscope and identifying specimens, we began to talk. She realized that I wasn’t all that bad and she later became one of my closest friends. She stood up for me at times, asking them why they pick on me for no reason. She was great.
Some of the people I thought were friends were just using me or making fun of me without me realizing it.
I think that is the root of my social anxiety. If I start to talk to make a friend a little voice in the back of my head reminds me not to care for them because I’ll just get hurt anyways. Most of the time it’s right, but it’s kept me from becoming friends with a couple of great people. I’m always afraid someone is making fun of me behind my back or that I might do something wrong and they will do what the kids did to me in grade school.
I stutter sometimes when I talk because I’m so nervous. Sometimes I can’t even think of the words I need to say something and I just stand there or say sorry and walk away. When I do talk to others, it makes me uncomfortable to make eye contact with them, even if I’m talking to my sister.
I’m fine with it now. I’ve learned to cope with it. But it makes working an actual job very difficult. I’m already nervous when I speak to people I know, so when it comes to talking to complete strangers, I stutter a lot or jumble up my words to a point where I make no sense.
So I don’t work.
(I might add more to this blog post later)
Even comments make me uncomfortable but for those reading this and relating, please let me know! Comment your story if you want. Sometimes I take a while to reply because I don’t know what to say but I’m glad my blog is being read and hopefully helping others.