I was bullied in school. Not to the extent that this young woman experienced, but there is a lot about her that strikes a chord in me. No, I didn’t have rich parents, and no, I did not try to buy my way into friendships. And no, unlike her I was not reduced to being a smudge on the heel of the popular kids.
But, I’ve always been somewhat boisterous. And, blunt. And had armor up damned near 10 feet thick.
In middle school (technically 7th and 8th grade, as the church school I went to had K-8 in the same school).
I was the one everyone tried to make do their homework, or at least force me to let them cheat off of me. When I refused, they’d play fairly cruel little pranks on me. But, I was also the one that the younger kids would come running for, because when they would get bullied, they knew I would protect them.
On one level, I was too strong-minded, too stubborn and too protected by too much armor to be mentally and physically destroyed by the cruelties of children. I took my parents’ route in many ways — keep the bastards at arms’ length, and isolate because it is safer (or at least that is what I saw my parents doing, they may have had a different view. But I know that from approximately 1981 on, I rarely saw them spend any time with people outside of our nuclear family).