Teasing wasn’t something that I tolerated very well when I was growing up. I was teased for 11 years of my life, from 4 years old to 15 years old. Being bullied put a strain on my self- esteem. Back then, I didn’t believe that I was beautiful. I didn’t believe that I was a person worthy of dating. I was being picked on about things that I wasn’t able to control such as me having Cerebral Palsy. My classmates used to call me crippled. I hate that word. It is sooo derogatory. They used to mimic the way that I held my right hand and the way that I walked. My right hand was bent down at the wrist and fisted. I also walked with a slight limp with my foot facing outward. So that caused me to walk on the side of my big toe a lot. OUCH!!!! It was very painful. I couldn’t walk any other way but like that. If I walked with my foot facing forward, my knee and my hip would be turned inward. Another painful situation to be in.
My very first boyfriend was at 13 years old. I really cared a lot about him. I was very skeptical about his intentions with me, whether he really liked me or whether he wanted to humiliate me. To this day, I don’t know the answer. He still acts the same way. We are broken up now. A present that he gave me let me know he had other things in mind for me and him and I didn’t like that. I told him that I have low self- esteem and he didn’t really understand that. He was one of the people who used to tease me. I really don’t know why I went out with him. I was gullible and wanted someone to like me and not hurt me.
The way I would cope with teasing was to cry about it. I wasn’t strong enough to stand up against my bullies. I was the easiest target for them. I was quiet, reserved, and isolated from the other kids in my school. I created a little bubble that only H. McCollom was able to stay in. After I left Junior High School, I developed a sense of pride about myself and I told myself, “H. McCollom, don’t listen to these fools. It doesn’t matter what they think about you. The only thing that matters is what you think about yourself.” My past experiences with bullying has taught me to think positively about myself and I do. I don’t take no mess from nobody. I think from being bullied so much and dealing with a whole lot of things from my past, I have become a very sensitive person. That is something that I will have to work on in my own time. To this day, I don’t like being picked on about my CP and Epilepsy. Treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Respecting others is important!!!!
ELIAES (Express, Love, Include, Advocate, Educate, and Support)