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Thursday, June 01, 2017

I Was Bullied


A long, long time ago my Uncle Bob, Aunt Grace, who was my mother's sister, and their two sons took a trip on the Queen Elizabeth. My uncle worked for Firestone and had been transferred to their plant in South Africa. My family went to New York City to see them off. I am in the photo above on the right and my sister is on the left.

We had dressed in our fanciest dresses for the occasion. However, beneath my dress I did not wear a bra. I was rather young. Puberty had not begun for me, but there were girls in my class at school who had already begun to develop. In the girls' lavatory, they would snap each other's bra straps. One day, one of the girls grabbed me and discovered there wasn't a strap along my back. The girls in my class all laughed at me.

That day, when I went home I cried to my mother and told her I needed a bra. Back in those days, there weren't any "training" bras or preteen bras. Still, my mother bought the smallest bra available. I put it on. There was a lot of empty space, but that didn't matter to me. I wouldn't be laughed at anymore--at least for not wearing a bra.

Some children can be terribly cruel. I was fortunate because I had loving parents who were always there for me to soften the blows of other childrens' taunts and to talk through the situation. I was also lucky because I was never harmed physically. And while there were no training bras for young girls in those days, the internet hadn't been invented  either. As much as I enjoy social media, I can understand what a problem it can be for youngsters.

But bullies are still with us, causing many youngsters long term, emotional harm. There are many sites online with helpful tips. Go to http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/10/child-bullied/ for some expert advice.

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