Blogger JenX67 often talks about the ground-breaking book “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” – in fact she’s named her own blog after that title. I, of course, read that and many other Judy Blume titles. But it wasn’t just the “classics” that got me through my rough junior high years.
There was a girl in junior high school that stalked and harassed me for about three years. She used to follow me home from school every day and yell “bitch.” It was pretty bad. In fact, when I got to the first corner turn, I’d run as fast as I could to get to the next block to escape the harassment. There's a whole bunch of other stuff, but I don't talk about it anymore. It's just over.
Like many girls my age, I was told to ignore it. THIS NEVER WORKS. Therefore, I was a really easy target – hey, why not bully Suzanne? She’s not going to do anything about it. I look back now and realize if I would have just gotten in this girl’s face and told her to go fuck herself, it would have stopped. I may have gotten punched (which was really unlikely, because looking back at this person, she was far more insecure than me), but I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. I was well into my 30s when I learned to stand up to bullies at work.
In 7th grade, specifically, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I’m sure the other girls didn’t want to risk the same thing happening to them. But I did have my books.