This is going to be a 3 part entry. The first part being my experience, the second part being my daughter’s experience, the third part being my daughter & I’s experience together.
Part 1: Me
I was always a quiet child for the most part. I would rather read & keep to myself than attend social functions or “hang out”. I never really “fit in”. I didn’t like barbies, but favored Legos & Transformers instead. No one told me this was strange. It was what it was. But as I got older & further into school the other students let me know how “wrong” I was.In second grade I was a loner. Most of the girls were into makeup, fairy princesses & dreaming about their wedding day where as I loved to play in the dirt, collect bugs & read books about science. I didn’t wear dresses, or worry about my hair. To this day I’ve never had my hair in a french braid. I was ignored by the other students for the most part, until one day.. I was collecting my things to change classes when I was approached by two boys who told me to “Hurry up, bitch”. They proceeded to berate me with insults about how I looked like a boy, they asked me if I had a “dick” & then one of them shoved me. I stood up & said “You can’t do that”, then one of the boys (we’ll call him “T”) cocked back his fist. This boy, T, just the year before gave me my first kiss on the cheek. Now, he released his fist & punched me in the side of the head. Only a few inches where he kissed me the year before. I don’t recall anything after that. The rest of this was filled in from other students & the teacher. I hit the ground & laid there for a moment as the teacher ran out of the room to get another teacher, who came into the room & left to get another teacher & so on & so on until the principal was finally brought to the room.
I soon stood up just to be kicked down by another boy “S” with a blow to the back of my knee. I hit my face on the floor. Another boy “E”, rolled me over, straddled me & proceeded to slam my head into the floor. The last of this another boy “A” lifted my head up by my hair & tried to cut one of my eyes open with a pair of scissors, luckily he missed my eye, but instead cut me right below it. He let my head fall to the floor with a crack as the principal walked in. My 7 year old body lay bruised & bloodied on the floor, 4 boys standing near, I was finally picked up & brought to the nurses office where I was given ice for my black eye, bruised face, & the back of my head & a bandaid for my eye. I was then sent back to class. When I got home from school my mom freaked out. She immediately brought me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with a concussion. The school sent home a suspension with me, for fighting. My mom sued the boys’ parents for the cost of the medical bills. We had to have a counselling session with the boys who when told that they weren’t allowed to hit girls said “She don’t look like no girl”. As the ridicule & beatings continued through 5th grade I would often try to break my fingers so I wouldn’t have to go to school.
This stopped when I reached 6th grade & began to wear makeup & act like the other girls, in 7th grade I had a perm, my nails were acrylic & pink, my clothes were tight. I was a typical girl. That summer I discovered grunge, metal & rock music. I started wearing guys’ wide leg pants, a chain wallet & black band shirts & the hell started all over again. Girls called me a “lesbo” & shunned me to get dressed in the bathroom of the locker room, the boys called me a “freak” as well as “lesbo” & “fag”. They would repeatedly pullout their penises when they would catch me alone & threatened to turn me straight. Even thought I was not a lesbian, it didn’t matter, I wore the costume of the boys, & therefore an object of ridicule. When I would complain to the administration about the harassment they told me that I “brought it upon myself for dressing likethat“. My mom just told me to ignore it, that the girls were just jealous of me, & the boys secretly liked me. The physical & mental abuse were just too much for me. I was no longer able to go outside my house. The anxiety attacks consumed my life. I spent most of the school year & summer laying in bed, unable to move unless the numbers on the digital clock were divisible by 2 or 5 or ended in :00. I developed an eating disorder & at 14 weighed under 100lbs.