By Alexandra Green
“Hate is a curved blade, and the harm that we do to others is also harm we do to ourselves.” Mitch Albom, “Five People you Meet in Heaven.”
There are few words that describe me better than geek. Whenever my nose isn’t buried in a comic book or fantasy novel, I’m playing Dungeons and Dragons or watching “Doctor Who.” Even when I was a child, I preferred the company of books and my computer to that of my peers. More than once I forged my mom’s signature on notes allowing me to go to the library before school and during lunch.
It wasn’t my love of reading that caused me to take shelter in the library though, it was my bullies. I was never shoved inside of a locker but the ridicule I faced often left me in tears. Whenever I informed adults of the situation, I was given that age-old piece of advice “ignore them and they will go away.” But my bullies didn’t go away. Things only become worse. Safe in the knowledge that no one was going to interfere, someone took a baseball bat to my new bicycle. It wasn’t until someone stole some of my favorite toys that I worked up the courage to tell my older sister what was going on. I will never forget running after my sister while she stormed down the street to the house of the girl in question, nor the look on the girl’s mother’s face when she was confronted with my sister’s righteous fury. With sister in my corner, things became easier but the bullying didn’t stop.
By the time I was in high school, I had become more hopeless. Most days all I felt was pain, humiliation and profound loneliness. Hating every part of who I was, I tried to be someone else. I tried my hardest to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be only to find no matter what I tried there was something that I was bullied for. Exhausted by trying to please everyone else, I decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. Instead I embraced who I am.
The bullying didn’t stop when I decided I was going to be myself, but I was confident enough to stand up for myself. That is when I discovered something I wish I had known all long. It is impossible for someone to bully you when they are laughing and I am hilarious. As it, turns out I am far from the first person to figure this trick out. I have lost count of the times stand-up comedians have said that they became funny to avoid their bullies. Melissa McCarthy even describes Chris Hemsworth as the kind of funny that keeps you from getting beat up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUQysTg6CGg
I was a senior in high school by the time I learned that I could redirect a bully’s attention by being funny. Thus I will end with the advice my mom gave me, just hold on, you will find people are less judgmental in college. I found this to be true as well. Because on the first day of classes in college I saw a man in his footie jammies, covered by a snuggie, riding a scooter that was too small for him down hill and the only thing the guy standing next to me said about it was “that man is a genius.”
Alexandra lives in Midland, TX with her husband, David, their dog Atlas and their cat, Wi-Fi. She got her degree in Political Science and History from Sam Houston State University. She collects comic books, likes card games, and puzzles. She is a self-proclaimed “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Dr. Who” nerd.