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Yes, I remember clearly and his name - even though it was 75 years ago . I was in the 4th grade and he was in the 8th. I'm sure he wouldn't have remembered, but I sure did.

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I remember my Rat's name too. It's amazing how I can't remember what I just went to the basement for though... Ha! xoxo

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Feb 15·edited Feb 15Liked by Jan Stoneburner

I was bullied in sixth grade by the most popular boy in class and his friend group. He picked a different girl every year. I'd stay late after school, but they patiently waited, then followed me home, loudly talking about how fat, ugly and stupid I was. I wasn't any of those things, but it took me a couple of decades to figure that out. And my parents didn't know what to do. He lived next door to us, his father worked for mine. They told me that was his way of showing he liked me, he was flirting like the boy who pulls your pigtails. HAHAHAHAH! Boy, that was a fun one to unpack with the therapist last year. He literally said, Umm, it DOES sound traumatic, but why does it bother you so? It happened almost fifty years ago. I sobbed, I don't KNOW why, but it does. And just like that, another layer of that horrible onion of childhood disappeared. Examined, and POOF. . . gone. (I'm restacking, but NOT sharing this note. ;)

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Yes, thank heavens when we find the childhood connections to our adult pain. What freedom there is letting go... I think people really believe boys show their interest in girls by bulling them, but we know the truth: there are a few rats out there who are sadistic and gain pleasure & power from hurting others. I'm so glad you are a Woman Warrior now. We've got this! xoxo

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That's actually true on some level. When I saw his sister-in-law while we were both getting our hair cut - I was there right before our 30th high school reunion - I asked if he was coming. She wasn't sure. I leaned over and said "Please let him know that I served in the Army as an officer and when I see him, I'm going to take him out to the parking lot and KICK. HIS. ASS. Then my husband wants a turn." Hah! Childish, I know, but very cathartic. He didn't show, even though he still lives in our home town. I'll take that as a belated compliment.

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Words from stupid, insecure people sure have a way of sticking with us, don't they? Such a twist of events that you asked him to the dance and he said, "yes"! I remember my older sister telling me once that when boys are mean to you it's really because they like you. Adolescence is weird. I guess there is that upside of getting old that you don't care so much what people say anymore. 😆

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But if they actually don't like you, that same statement sets you up for years of bad relationships with boys and men. Case in point. ;)

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I think my sister just told me that to make me feel better. Kids can be so mean and those words echo through time.

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You're right! And how sweet of your sister, she was doing the best thing for you. I've found humor also minimizes the sting, it's interesting.

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Feb 15Liked by Jan Stoneburner

There are many powerful lessons from this story. Thank you for sharing vulnerably. I’m thankful you have not allowed the fear of the rat to rule over you! Hard not to do but freeing when you let it go.

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Thanks, Tricia! I’m hoping sharing my stories helps others. ❤️

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Darn bullies anyhow!! Interesting how you handled your situation, Jan! I was bullied in JR High by some girls, which I thought were good friends......well, long story made sweet. Through the troubles and many tears, I made a new beautiful lifelong new friend, Linda Young Hensel, that I very well may never have got to know and love. So, to all those ladies, that are actually still friends now, I say thanks for being Jr High Bullies. XO

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Brenda ~ can you believe I was such a coward back then? Ha! Love that you and Linda became such good friends -- and you were able to renew your other friendships. Things do work out, don't they?! {{Hugs}}}

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I remember mine too. Doug Peck, 4th grade, my first year in a new school. And then again, the same boy in 6th grade.

Off topic. I just discovered the other day I went into a foster care on Valentines Day (I was adopted, but not until three and a half months old by the best parents ever) and now I doubt I'll look at this holiday ever the same again. I'll be okay, but for some reason this post and that discovery will be giving me joy to celebrate the other 364 days to love, and leave this one alone.

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I can relate to this Jan, as back in the day, I was "teased" quite a lot especially with my last name. I won't put that in the comments, but I bet you can imagine. We'll leave it right there. As I went back to my 40th high school reunion, some of those who "teased" me growing up actually were some of the most friendliest. I guess we all do grow up, and you know what (no pun intended) "that's good to know" and good to discover. Thanks for sharing Jan!

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I relate to this, too. I think of three different men at three different times in my life who snidely said some off-the-cuff, cutting remark implying I was somewhat masculine. As a child, I’d been considered too girly in our neighborhood kickball games in which other girls took pride in saying they were “90% tomboy” so it’s arbitrary and confusing, how differently people can see someone. I was with a dear male friend when one of the incidents occurred, and my friend immediately disagreed with the remark made about me. He was such a true, kind friend in that moment. I’ve always felt very feminine, whatever femininity is to different people. And I just told my husband this, that I read a very cathartic post about bullying. His response meant a lot, he said with love and concern in his eyes, “Karen, were you bullied??” And I told him about these old incidents for the first time and how hurtful they were. Thank you for sharing and healing.

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