Keeping My Head Down

This has been an unexpectedly difficult week for me, and even though I knew it might be, I am still shocked at just how much so.  For example, I am up at 1:40 AM right now because I cannot get to sleep.  I have all these thoughts bouncing around in my head and they aren’t letting me get enough peace to go to bed until I do something with them.  And so this is it.

The cause is not the movie “Bully,” but it is most assuredly the catalyst.  This film has been on my radar for quite some time, because it is a topic about as close to my heart as anything else I could imagine.  It is unfortunate timing that its initial release into the world comes at a time when I am back in my hometown of Rochester. I never know what combination of memory, nostalgia, anxiety, regret, or anger will strike me when I am here.  On a good visit, I feel nothing at all.  At a time like this… well….  all it does is show me how truly little I’ve healed up and how far I have not come.

You see, there’s a little version of me who never grew up.  He’s trapped in hell, which I have always imagined would be like junior high, but for all eternity.  He shouts at me a lot because he thinks I have forgotten about him, and all he’s suffered through.  When I try to come to peace with who I am, he likes to say “How can you turn your back on all this?  You were there!  We can never forget.  We can never forgive.”

A couple of years ago, in a time of deep prayer and meditation, I came to realize that this version of me isn’t really me, and maybe never was.  This is the mask the devil uses to keep me angry, to keep me from forgiveness, and he does it because it works so well.  I really did believe I had him licked.  I haven’t thought about him or listened to him for a good long while now, but the Lenten message has been all about forgiveness, and how sometimes maybe we haven’t forgiven when we think we have, or when we say we have.  And there’s this movie, you see…

Before we go any further, you have to realize that the idea of “closure,” as it is commonly held in regards to earthly justice, is complete bullshit.  Ask someone who has attended or marked the execution of a killer who took away a loved one, and odds are that what they will tell you is that they are taken aback at how little things change for them inside.  The person put to death is never the person they really hate, the person who did all these things to hurt them.  They’re just what that person became.  The people we really hate are locked inside our memories at the time they hurt us, and the sad irony is that those people are gone, no longer with us. As hard as it was for me to realize, the same holds true even if the person hurt us even days ago.

What freed me then, and will hopefully be my way out again, was for God to show me that it wasn’t just the people who caused me pain who no longer exist.  Rather, the person to whom these people did it also no longer exists.  I am not that person, and never need to be again.

I’ve talked around it, and it should be obvious by now even if one didn’t know, but I was bullied fairly relentlessly all through school.  I don’t really feel like getting into particulars unless it is to serve some sort of point.  It doesn’t here, and I’m angry enough already.  Mostly at myself, which makes me angrier still:

–I hate that I have looked up online the people who used to bully me while secretly wishing that they have led horrible lives, or have a terminal disease, or are dead.

–I hate that when I happen to find that in the rare case where it is so, that I don’t get any pleasure out of it, and I hate that I want to.

–I hate that the reason I don’t hunt or have a gun in the house for protection is because I know I would use it on myself.  I hate that I can’t get myself to take out life insurance on myself because the temptation to buy off my family with my death might be too strong.

–I hate how when I go into a high school I no longer recognize, where no one I knew still works there, to give a copy of my new book to the library where I no longer know my way around in hopes that someone will read it and find meaning in it, that my first instinct when a group of kids less than half my age comes walking down the hallway there is still to keep my head down and avoid eye contact.

–I hate that I am not in bed, asleep.  I hate that I am crying.

–I hate that I know their names, but have forgotten the names or maiden names of so many of those who didn’t make my life miserable.

–But most of all, I hate that I still have to take medication whose purpose is to try to keep me from killing myself because when I was in high school I tried to and part of me has never stopped wanting to end the pain.

Here is a fun fact for all my old high school classmates who read this blog and/or follow me on Facebook.  Many of my fellow alums might remember that I gave the closing speech at our commencement ceremony, a speech I called “Hidden Talents.”  What I’ve never shared before was that the aforementioned speech was one I wrote with the sole purpose of being a speech likely to get me chosen as someone to speak at graduation.  What no one knows is that I had a second speech in my pocket, and if I had been less of a coward, I was going to read it instead.  The gist of that one was that the thing I was most grateful for was that I was going to be leaving, and that I never had to spend another day in the presence of my tormentors.  And I was going to start naming them, in front of everybody.  At least until someone would have gotten the presence of mind to cut the microphone or tackle me off the stage.

But I chickened out.  I read the cutesy speech instead, and never said what I really wanted to.  That was probably for the best. For my sake as much as for anyone else.

It’s now close to 3 AM.  It’s a good bet that all the people whose harsh words, brutal fists, and abominable actions have put me sitting here are sound asleep.  They’re still getting the best of me.  But I keep hoping that maybe someday, somehow, because of me, someone else won’t be doing this somewhere down the road.  They’ll be sound asleep, too.  Maybe that person will be me.

So to summarize, if the movie “Bully” is playing near you, then go see the fucking movie. It won’t be a feel-good movie, and I apologize for that.  I’m sorry it needs to even exist.  But it does.

And I know why.

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Author of over sixty children's books, as well writer of textbook materials and standardized exam text. I may have helped teach your children...

Posted in Bullying, Movies and TV, Semicoherent Rambling
30 comments on “Keeping My Head Down
  1. Jenny S says:

    I have deleted close to 10 opening sentences to my reply already. I just don’t have the right words to say. I don’t think there is anything that I could say that would covey the way my heart feels for you right now. I am so sorry that you carry such pain, so very, very, sorry. Thank you for your honesty and for telling the story that needed to be told. The world is lucky to have you…keep writing my friend. Your words will make a difference.

  2. Kristin Jacobson-Estell says:

    Jason,
    I am crying so hard right now!!!! I always felt sorry for you and remember all that awful crap people did to you. I remember in 6th grade when you, Sandy and I all had our own math group and I was so honored be to in that with the 2 of you. Everyone knew how incredibly smart you guys were and I believe their jealous showed through the mean things they did. That was a tough year for me as well. I was made fun of bc all of the clothes I had. It sucked, but you and Sandy really helped me through it. I will be forever grateful.

    Funny you say how you looked at other fb accounts to see what they had become. I was so glad to see how successful you had become when I saw your Facebook and after we talked and reconnected. I also was so impressed at the fact that you do all you do and take care of your daughters. Like I told you when we talked, they are so lucky bc they have the smartest teacher in the world. You’re not alone looking at peoples fb and seeing where the have ended up. Just want to remind you that people only put the great stuff about them on there. Behind that big sucess is usually a horrible story which we call LIFE!!! Many of them have really struggled in life with a lot of different things, addictions, self image, abuse, and that’s just a few I know to be true.

    All in all, you are an inspiration and I only wish I was half as smart as you and as great a person as you!!!! Keep your head up and don’t let idiots bring you down because of their insecurities. God will get you through all this!!! Maybe you are suppose to use all that to make your own movie!!!!

    Thanks for letting this out. As I read, the years poured out!! My 7 year old wanted to know why I was crying, so I told her all about when we were kids and what happened. What a great teaching moment, bc we talk about this all the time and I constantly am preaching to her about kindness. This really confirmed all that I have been talking to her about words hurt more than anything. Thanks for sharing your heart!!! You are a blessing to MANY!!

    SINCERELY,
    Kristin Jacobson-Estell

  3. Jason Pentico says:

    Jason, this was so incredibly powerful. I too was bullied quite a bit in middle/high school. I still think about those times and those people often and wonder how I made it out as well as I did. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend. You truly are a good human being with a wonderful family that I am sure are grateful to have you as a father/husband/friend.

  4. Becca says:

    Not forgiving is holding onto an “i.o.u.” I kept careful record and penned in my mind the incidents in question. People owed me. And the truth is- they really did. Unforgiveness is the idea that someone owe’s you something for the pain and suffering caused by this person for the events in question. As an adult, I had a fairly extensive list of those who owed me big and I too was a Christian working on forgiveness for a long time.

    I wanted my Mom to pay me back for bullying me my whole childhood. For whipping me with a belt every day. I had I.O.U’s from her verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. She was a monster. And everyday I understand a little more of what a monster she was. What I want her to pay back to me, to the child I was, was the love she witheld from me. I want her to value me and hold me in high esteem. She would tell you to your face today, if you asked, that she hated me and maybe even still does. I became aware as I took out those I.O.U.’S/ memories she could never pay me back, not the child I was or the adult I am in any currency- not money- not in love- what she owed me. I let her off the hook. I forgave her. Debt cancelled.

    I was sexually abused. I held onto I.O.U’s and at the very least wanted an apology. At most I wanted someone to pay for taking away my virginity at 2 or 3. I want someone to help me feel clean. Someone owes me for the shame I carry and I want someone to pay for the fact I am unable to be in a long-term relationship because I haven’t been able to fully deal with my abuse. Well, no one can give me back that. Even as a child no one could pay to me what I deserve in compensation nor could anyone give me back my innocense or purity. Only Jesus can restore me. I forgive- even if someone wanted to pay me back they never could.

    Of course grade school, junior high, and high school was horrible for me too. I loved leaving my house more than I hated school. I loved learning but I basically dropped our of high school and left home at eighteen. And my truth is, even if somebody went back in time, they cannot repay me for their transgressions. Just as I cannot pay back Jesus what I owe Him or other people what I owe them. Cuz I owe big! I hurt people because hurt people hurt people. I was a thief, I lied all the time, I swore, and I did not treat people well who I was in relationship with. I didn’t know how to be relationship to people without lying.

    No one can give me what I really want- to be loved, to be accepted, made whole, but Jesus can. I guess being broken is the best thing that happened to me because I realized I needed a Savior.

  5. Shawn Bergeth says:

    Thank you Jason. What you’ve shared takes courage I can only hope to have by the end of my life. You touched my heart this morning as I played with my three year old son. I too was crying as I read about your experiences. Thank you for sharing. You are a gifted writer that touches so many emotions we all have, but many of us are unable to access.

    Thank you.
    Shawn

  6. Jason,
    I remember you in school. Unfortunately, I blocked out a lot of that time period, so I think & sincerely hope that I did not add to your torment.

    It is one thing to watch a movie about other kids, it’s another to hear about it from someone that you knew, went to school with, and most likely watched it happening while doing nothing.

    Shame on all of us.

    Thanks for this brave post, it inspires me to do better with my kids than I myself had done.

    Leah (Kerrigan) Prehn

  7. allyson says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m sure you felt no better afterwards, but it is this story and more just like it that must be heard to make the change. I was thankfully given the heart to stand up for the kids who were bullied. I would grab the thug that was giving some kid a hard time and do what I could to make them feel as small as I could. But I was just being a bully to the bully. When in real life something in their life was making them want to inflict this pain on another person. It didn’t stop me though, I couldn’t stand to watch another soul be treated in such a way. I was never bullied, I was a popular cheerleader and I have no reason to believe anything else would be different for my child. But I want her to be raised and educated with love and character, she will be homeschooled. For if only now the public educations failure to end bullying. I was always shocked by how cowardly the teachers were when it came to confronting a bully. I assume nothing has changed, but has only worsened in the ten years I have been gone. Maybe we can start a parent volunteer coalition and start monitoring hallways and such as the schools?

  8. Stephanie Plank Tasker says:

    Jason your writing is amazing and you are incredibly brave to share your story. I worry dearly about my daughters being bullied as I remember times when I was also on the receiving end of cruel and hurtful comments which made me feel so uncomfortable in my own skin.
    I don’t reflect on high school often but the times when I do I often think about my junior year when we were in AP Chemistry together. I’m not sure if you ever realized it nor if I ever told you but having you in that class with brought my a sense of comfort.
    Your daughters are truely lucky to have a father, teacher and role model like you in their lives.

  9. Rich says:

    I may not completely understand what you went through but I too carry my demons. I know the pain you face and I am just coming to realize some of my own realities. I have come to realize that I can’t do it on my own and have after 27 years of anguish, given up on trying. I have given it to OUR Lord and Savior and it is freeing. I hope you feel that freedom some day my friend. I will pray that you do. 1 Peter 5:9-10.
    Amen

  10. rsroesner says:

    Jason, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Someone else pointed out your story to me. Thank you for sharing it. My heart is broken and I am weeping … for you and for all who have suffered from such blatant unkindness in our lives. But you offer hope, and I am grateful for that, too. I know you have found a genuine life that offers hope with your every breath and prayer. I pray for more good days than bad days for you. I think that’s what you found for yourself and what you give to others. God bless you, and all of us … (I will definitely see the movie, Bully, and I will recommend it to others. We need to learn.)

    Sue

  11. karifoss says:

    May the peace of Christ, the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and the overwhelming unstoppable love of the Father fill you, embrace you, and guide you now and always. Amen.

  12. LaVonne Bergeth says:

    Jason, I don’t know you, but your words touched my heart. Thank you for sharing the depths of your soul. The peace and healing of God is available. If you need more, cry out to Him for it.
    LaVonne

  13. Tamara Koehler says:

    Jason – wow. Reading what you wrote is heart wrenching. I too, like most of the others who have read this am bawling. I was in school with you from elementary on. I remember. I remember that I said and probably did things to you, that were nothing less than cruel. I remember bullying – and being bullied myself. I don’t know how I can express my regret – or how I could ever make it up to you. I have seen you on FB, and thought about trying to friend you – but then I thought, why would he want to be my friend? Kids can be so mean. Even the nicest of kids can be the biggest assholes sometimes. I work in a middle and high school now. I work with the special education population. Over the last 12 years I have seen bullying at its worst at times. It kills me to see any of my students being bullied – and I’ve done everything possible so that it doesn’t happen. And yet – it happens. I have hated as you have hated. I have wished the worst against people who have done me wrong. It sucks to hate like that. I’ve learned that there are some things you have to let go – or it will eat you up inside. I’ve made mistakes – and I have hoped that God can forgive me. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me as well. I truly am sorry. No one deserves to be treated the way that you were. I am so glad that you did not end your life – the way that you have thought of doing. You matter. I have my own son now – and I pray that he never has to go through being bullied – and I will do everything I can to try to make sure he is not a bully. Have you seen the movie, “The Help” ? I say this to my son all of the time – and I will say it to you now: you are kind, you are smart and you are important.
    Sincerely,
    Tamara Koehler

    • Jason Glaser says:

      Tammy — you’ll be happy to know that if you did ever say anything mean to me that it didn’t stick with me, probably because they would have been an “in the moment” jab, and not a systemic every day sort of torture that I would get from other people.

      As a humorous aside, the most vivid memory I have of you dates back to the second grade in Mrs. Ostby’s class. Just at the end of recess one day, you told me you had a secret to tell me and that you had to whisper it in my ear. Rather than say anything, however, you kissed me on the cheek and took off like a bat out of hell while I stood there completely flummoxed, but I imagine I probably smiled a ton later on that day. My own oldest daughter is in second grade now, so I often find myself dredging up bits and pieces of memories relating to the year of school she is in.

  14. BDR says:

    I sometimes muse over how the events of a distant half-remembered past have branded my own psyche with insecurities. But I also realize that my antagonists were victims of the same environment, one in which kids vie for status by ridiculing the supposed outcasts. And while I’d like to claim otherwise, I must admit to doing time on both sides of the social divide.

    I guess I’ve obtained a peace of mind, but like any peace, it’s of a tenuous nature, liable to be wrecked by the sudden emergence of deep-seated regret. Your posting certainly brought back that old familiar feeling, both in sympathy for your pain and for the pangs of my own. But it also brought back a fonder memory, one of flipping comic book pages in your basement bedroom, hours after lights out with a Bill Cosby tape turned down real low. Iron-Man and Spidey.

    With great power comes great responsibility. Remember?

    I also remember, years later, as we entered into the first few weeks of junior high. We were already hanging out less and less around this time, so much so that a sleepover already felt odd. At some point in the night you started to talk about the inevitability of our elementary school friendships breaking apart. I denied that it would happen, but realized it was already occurring.

    Roles were being assigned and I was too worried about my own head to resist the categorization. But the truth is, of all the personal forfeitures made in those early days of junior high, the relinquishment of our friendship still ranks amongst the harshest costs.

    For all the vengeful catharsis your unused commencement speech might have provided, I’m glad you didn’t go that route. I can say from firsthand experience that people still recall the effusive positivity of your speech. Whether you felt it yourself, your speech made that crowd (friends and tormentors alike) feel a rare moment of shared joy. And I remember feeling proud for what I recognized as a long overdue victory for my old friend.

    If you’ve got to keep your head down, try to keep your chin up. You owe yourself that much.

  15. Matthew Lee says:

    Hello old friend. It is probably more than coincidence that I had a chance to read your recent writing regarding how profoundly experiences from the past can creep up and bite us in the ass. I think it was fate. You see, I was never aware – perhaps it was out of sheer naivety, perhaps it was denial, and most importantly, perhaps it was because the tormentors you speak of were my tormentors too – that you also struggled with the journey through school in ways I only thought I understood. My blinders must have been on. You see, you were one of only a handful of people (and a small handful it was) I was comfortable around because you were like me. We were smart, we wanted to do the right thing, and we wanted to succeed in life. And for that, we were penalized. We never hurt anybody or judged others. For that, we were penalized. We were in advanced classes and were in band. And for that, too, we were penalized. Penalized by those who didn’t understand or who didn’t care. I can tell you that I was also scarred by those experiences and there are certain personality flaws I have now that are directly attributed to those people who tormented us. The tormentors won. They continue to win. Now, Jason, I cannot pretend that my scars are as deep as yours; I am deeply embarrassed that I didn’t see your pain at the time. Perhaps that’s due to your unending charisma and a beaming smile that I very rarely ever saw disappear from your face. Remember that time in math class – the one where I was generating patterns of numbers in hopes I could stump you? You figured out every one. I thought that was the coolest. I don’t know if this helps or just makes me look like a fool, but I am here to tell you that in that cold, cruel world of school, you had at least one person looking up to you – me. Other great qualities you had have escaped my mind due to the shifting sands of time (and certain things I imbibed in in my early 20’s – long story), but I always looked up to you in that I always aspired to be as smart as you were and continue to be.
    Well, I’ve said my piece. I hope you find it helpful in some small way.

    Sincerely,
    Matt Lee
    Class of ’93
    John Marshall Senior High School

    • Jason Glaser says:

      I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear from you on this. I knew that you were in the same boat as me many times, and there were often days when I thought you were getting an even worse time of it than me. And I have to apologize however strongly I can that I didn’t do anything to help shield you at those times. I know for a fact that there were plenty of moments that all I was thinking was “I’m so glad it’s not me today.” There are a couple people I know who fall into that category — people I called friends but probably wasn’t a very good friend because I was more than happy to let them fall beneath me in the pecking order on a regular basis. I am happy we both made it out alive, and very proud to know you.

      Peace and best wishes,

      Jason

  16. Erik Propotnik says:

    Jason,
    I didn’t really know you in H.S. but I knew of you. Simply that you were very smart. I think it incredibly brave of you to share your heartfelt thoughts and emotions. I hope it reaches people on both sides of the issue. I can only tell you how glad I am that it has not taken your life as it has so many. Hang on to your faith and lean heavily on it, give your burden to Christ when you can and then leave it with him. My wife and I were both bullied as kids, as most kids were to some degree, me to a much smaller degree. My wife had the pleasure of being uprooted and moved from school to school as her parents took new jobs. She was always the new kid. In elementary school this was a good thing and she made many friends but once she hit junior high that all changed. I saw firsthand the lasting and devastating toll this took on her and it filled me with rage towards all of them too. We have been married almost 8 years now and thought we both have had temperate faith in Jesus all our lives it was only in the last month that I witnessed the Holy Spirit move in someone. My wife and I finally opened our minds and our hearts to our faith to heal our broken spirits in a world that seems to have gone completely mad at times. I witnessed her give all her past pain and anger to Christ the day she was baptized last month and she was truly healed for the first time. I have known her for 12 years and I have never seen her so moved. That’s not to say she will ever forget, she has just finally forgiven and closed the book on all the negative emotion tied to it. You will be in my prayers tonight that you may find everlasting healing for yourself.

    God bless you,
    Erik
    JMHS 93’

  17. Renee Kautz Bishop says:

    Wow, what an incredible journey you have had in this crazy thing we call life! I’m so touched by your words and your courage to speak about it. As a mom and a 4th grade teacher your words will go forward, I promise!

    My daughter has been the subject of bullying. It is the most painful thing to watch her go through. It makes me sick to my stomach and tears my heart apart. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain as I watch her try to process why people who claim to be her friends are so mean. My daughter, like you did for so many years, tries to see the good in everyone. The message that we live by at our house is, “You do not need to be friends with everyone, but you do need to be nice to everyone.”. Sometimes I question that when she comes home I tears and has had a bad day. She has two little sisters that need to hear the message though.

    Thank your for stepping forward and pouring your heart out. I commend you for your amazing strength. You are an inspiration to us all!

    God bless,
    Renee

  18. Randy Hoem says:

    Jason,

    I’m so sorry that you had these experiences. I also was bullied in junior and senior high school. These memories still come back, from time to time. Unfortunately, at these schools the only thing that seemed to matter was your athletic ability, which I simply was not interested in. Some of the kids were relentless. You always hear that bullies are bullied by someone else, but that leaves you with little comfort.
    I hope that I was never unkind to you. I know it must have been bad for you.

    When I get down I think about all I’ve accomplished, the places I’ve traveled to, the people I love, and the people who love me. It sounds like you have accomplished alot, and have much to be proud of.

  19. Rich says:

    I find it amazing how the lord takes something so hurtful and tragic and turns it into His work. Jason, my friend, you should be proud of your discipleship. Look at the people who are coming forth and adding to the story. May it continue to bless all who are blessed to know you, as I am.

  20. Thank you for putting forth an honest piece about the long term effects of bullying. Jason, I have always regarded you as a successful writer, awesome husband, and great dad– and after reading this, I still think of you with those attributes, only stronger. It takes a strong, heathy man to not only deal with all the things you have been given– but to write about it for the public to see. I am very, very proud of you. Thank you so much. So much.

  21. Cindy says:

    Jason, as the mom of a son who was bullied (similarly to what you write about), who the administration and teachers chose to turn the other way when they experienced him being bullied first-hand, who’s now 26, and who told me just yesterday that middle school was hell for him every day (which I knew), I am so sorry you both had such a cruel, painful experience.

    The truth is YOU are the amazing one here; YOU are the soul who understands so much more; YOU are the strong one; and YOU are the one I would choose to be friends with…then and now 🙂

  22. […] response I’ve had to my last blog post has been overwhelming, to say the least.  What went into the computer as a semi-standard […]

  23. Barry Snyder says:

    (I know I already left this on your Facebook page, but wanted to share my thoughts here as well.)

    Jason – beautiful post. Brought back a flood of memories from junior high, by far the worst time in my life. I also vividly remember the incidents and culprits and am sure I will for the rest of my life. I’ve also had long-lasting effects from those days…some good (I always try to stick up for the little guy now) and mostly bad (anxiety, social awkwardness, misanthropy in general).. Unfortunately, as awful as being bullied made me feel, I know I reacted by bullying others – deflecting the attention off of me and on to others. I hope this isn’t the case, but I may have even made that list you carried in your pocket on graduation day. I always so admired the courage that some kids had – the ones who could take it but never dish it out – and I hated myself for being too much of a coward to do the same.

    I had to suppress a bitter snicker of irony as I saw among the many responses here and at your blog site a note from one of my tormentors. Then I realized that someone seeing my response on here may be reacting the exact same way to seeing my note. Interestingly, I’ve followed the lives of a few of my worst tormentors as well, and most of them have had some serious problems. One attempted suicide as an adult; another almost killed himself with drugs and booze before finding religion. Had I known then that other people felt the same hurt and agony that I felt, and that things would get better, things would have been a lot easier for me. Not sure what the answer to bullying is…but as parents, aunt/uncles, mentors, and role models, we need to get through to kids that bullying is not ok. I’m really glad to see that your post moved so many people – hopefully our kids won’t have to endure what many of us endured.

    Barry Snyder
    JMHS class of 1993

  24. Jason…I don’t know you either…but I did know kids that experienced the same thing. I was not one of them-but I will tell you, my guilt lies in never having the courage to stand up FOR those that were being bullied. I walked right past…

    Fast forwarding to me becoming a mother, I find myself often drilling into my kids heads how NOT to treat people. Yes, we teach them how to treat people, but I am also very careful to point out what is NOT acceptable treatment of others, and how they can be better than I was- and not WALK RIGHT PAST. Some of those young bullies grow into adult bullies who use different tactics. I want my kids to recognize and react properly to it.

    Your post is honest, raw and I appreciate it. I shared it on my FB page after I saw it on the FB page of a friend of yours.

    • Jason Glaser says:

      Thanks for your message. I continue to be surprised at the responses that I have gotten from people who were all over the spectrum as far as how much or how little they were bullied. And like you said, even those who were fortunate enough to avoid it were acutely aware of it when it was going on. To know that what I expressed still resonated in those cases just speaks to how much this aspect of childhood leaves a mark on our memories.
      Thank you also for sharing the post. I’ve also gotten a lot of comments along the lines of “wow, I didn’t know other people felt that way, too.” It’s been good to know, for them and myself, that we aren’t alone in that seemingly private suffering.

  25. […] was alerted to a blog post written by someone I attended school with who was bullied mercilessly.  It was written with such […]

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