3rd Place 2015 YWA (Grade 9/10) – Helen Zhang from QSI
Confession From a Former Bully and Victim
by Helen Zhang
It was March, the weather was still chill. Two girls stood rigidly across from each other. The cold breeze blew their long hair away, sending threads of their dark, black hair flying in the cold march wind. The shorter girl broke the awkward silence.
“OMG, I can’t believe you got better than me on this test, 95? So you weren’t so dumb after all, huh?” the shorter girl snapped out. She smashed a sheet of paper down on the pavement floor.
“I am sorry,” the taller girl whispered slowly, her head pressed down.
“You are sorry? Don’t even; you must have cheated, liar! Don’t sit with us at lunch!” the shorter girl said angrily. She stepped hard on the wrinkled paper and brushed pass the taller girl, purposely knocking the taller girl hard on the shoulder.
“Sorry,” the taller girl whispered again and started to sob quietly.
In Gr 1, cliques in my class already started to develop and even for young children, popularity was desired. My best friend Yi and I made our very own group called the “Princess” group. As one of those girls, with good grades and large amount of friends, our group became one of the most popular groups in my class. I became the leader. All the girls listened to me, and if I say yes none of them will have the guts to say no. I felt like a queen, control and authority confused me. I began to pick on some of the girl that might threaten my so-called control. I told them to be it all the time in a tag game and made secret nicknames; like Melon for a chubby girl and pushed a tan skinny girl towards her secret crush. To stay in the group, all the girls had to give me snacks once in a week, if they don’t, then the whole group would treat them like air. Even my best friend Yi, I made fun of.
Yi was an image of perfection to all people. She was beautiful, smart and talented. To me worst of all was she is better then me, ven my own mother told me to learn from her! That was like the one last straw of my fragile self-esteem. I was so jealous of her; jealousy was like a snake biting my flesh, inch by inch devouring that one last bit of my confidence. Like an ironic joke, she became friends with me. It gave me the perfect opportunity to set all my jealousy flames on her. I felt like I needed to put her down and insult her, for me to feel better. Yes, I knew I was wrong, but the sparks of jealousy burned my mind, and the devil inside me knocked the angle down with a perfect left hook. I started gossiping crazily about her with my friends, talking behind her back, spreading rumors about her cheating on a test. I insulted her when she came to me for advice, and constantly told her she was ugly and stupid.
I felt a weird sensation of happiness from others pain, it felt good to be in control, to be feared. Seeing someone I am so jealous of getting sad, made me feel strong, it was like a way for me to relive my stress and gain back my confidence. Seeing others struggle made me feel better; it proved that I was not alone with stress. I was so immersed in my own world, never even once did I think I will become the victim one day.
At the age of 9, my family and I immigrated to Canada, a new and strange country. My English level was even worst then a first grader. As the only Asian in my class, I was naturally the one to be picked at. My classmates called me Ching-chon-chong” and made fun of my weird Chinese food. They often pinched their nose and waved their hands in front of their faces, as if they were chasing flies and shouted “Ewwwwwww what’s that smell!” Because of this for a long time I skipped eating lunch and stayed in the nurse’s office. I was always alone, the only time anyone would talk to me was they me to do their math homework, since I am Asian and I must be smart. The kids isolated me, and I started to understand how those girls must of felt when I isolated and bullied them. How unhappy, how alone they must have felt.
Never before I tried looking at things in another perspective, I was stuck in my own world and ignored others’ thoughts completely. Now thinking back to it, I felt like I deserve to be bullied that time, it was the only way for me to see my mistakes and look at things in a different perspective. I now know how truly devastated those girls must of felt and I told my self I would never bully anyone in my life again.
This time coming in to QSI, I was really scared to be bullied again, but at know at least I won’t bully others. From my past experiences I learned a lot. This time, I made friends quickly. Now I know there is always another side of the coin. I understand that there are many reasons and excuses to bully others: rage, anger, jealousy, weakness and many more. What ever these reasons are, they are not right. No one should give excuses for bullying at all. Reasons for someone to get bullied are so many too, but none of these reasons should stop you from standing up to a bully. Now let me ask you a question: when you have a negative feeling towards someone, have you ever tried putting yourself in his or her shoes?
Congratulations to Helen Zhang who has won a Pizza Party for her class and an Airbac Backpack sponsored by Airbac and DVpizza.com.