When in the 6th grade, I was bullied. Surprise right? Not really. I was quiet, shy, and a real easy target for bullying. ‘Lucky’ for me, my bully also happened to be my neighbor. Let’s call her Debbie. The bullying started first thing in the morning on the school bus, and ended on the way home in the evening.
For the longest time I did nothing, absolutely nothing. I just sat there as she continue to pull my hair, and pinch my neck. Of course I would ask Debbie to stop, but that only encouraged her to continue, and for the kids around us to laugh.
One day I had enough. While walking the halls between class, this girl had the nerve to begin harassing me, calling me names and pulling my hair. I asked her to stop, but she didn’t. That’s when I snapped.
***Warning, this is not a dramatization.
As she went to pull my hair again, I grabbed her by the wrist, and slammed it against the locker. Everything happened in slow motion. I yelled, “Stop pulling my hair!” I was prepared to fight! She pushed my limit, and I was ready to throw down. “You want a piece of me?” I stared into her eyes, and slammed her hand against the locker again.
Next thing I knew, there was a crowd gathered around us, everyone was at a standstill.
I looked at my bully one more time, and said, “Stop pulling my hair.” Then I let her go, and walked away. I stormed straight to the teacher’s lounge where one particular teacher was friends with Debbie. I interrupted their teacher’s meeting and yelled, “You better get your girl ’cause I’m about to beat her ass!” Then walked away.
Yes…I did that 👀
It just so happened that my mom was due to pick me up from school that day, thankfully because I did not feel like dealing with “Debbie” again on the bus. I told my mom everything that happened, and of course she was not happy.
Here’s why I am telling you this story.
My mom zoomed her mini van down the street, and before I knew it, we were parked right outside of Debbie’s house. This was the last thing I wanted, I thought that having my mom intervene would only make matters worse.
But of course she didn’t listen to me. She marched herself up to Debbie’s house, and knocked on her door. I stayed in the car, mortified, but I could still hear everything my mom was saying:
I heard that you and Maya got into a little fight. That you’ve been bullying her? Let me give you some advice. You do not want to mess with her, because she is crazy! It’s the quiet ones that you need to watch. I’m just giving you a warning.”
She then turned around, got back into the car, then drove two houses down to our home. After that day, Debbie never bothered me again. I see her now from time to time (we’re still neighbors), we wave and keep it going. I’m able to look back at the situation and laugh, kids are stupid in middle school.
OMG! I can’t believe she did that! LOL, that’s my mom for you, don’t mess with her baby!
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I am so thankful to have a mother who taught me the importance of being slow to anger and quick to forgive. I am thankful to have a mother who taught me the power of standing on my own two feet, standing up for myself and not being afraid to ‘handle my business’ when it’s appropriate. I am thankful to have a mother who will fight for me, but will also encourage me to fight my own battles.
To my mom: I love you! Thank you for everything that you do. I truly would not be the person I am today without you. It is because of your example of what it means to be a strong woman, I know I can conquer anything that comes my way. Love you forever <3