A woman who was bullied mercilessly in high school 25 years ago finally has some closure courtesy of a class reunion page on Facebook.
Lynda Frederick was a graduate of Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California in 1987. She posted a heartbreaking poem about her experience on her school’s 25th class reunion page. Her poem resulted in an outpouring of support and regret from many of the former classmates who cause her pain.
Watch the video, courtesy of KNSD, San Diego.
I know exactly what Lynda Frederick was going through, because I had my fair-share of being bullied growing up in Brooklyn.
The kid’s name was James. He used to terrorize me and my brother every day, taking money or possessions from us. One bullying episode was especially scary. As I was going home from school, James confronted me and forced me into a stairway at the apartment complex I lived in, where he held me against my will for nearly 10 minutes. Punched to my head and stomach were all I could remember. He finally left after stealing the keys to my house. My father, who was a New York City police officer, took him into custody.
He never bothered us again.
It was hard enough to get good grades in school. It’s another having to deal with classmates who were downright cruel. I enjoyed my first four years at PS 270 in Brooklyn. The school was right across the street from my home. I had plenty of friends and enjoyed the teachers who taught me. But my parents thought the school was not giving me and my brothers the right schooling. So, we were forced to attend another school on the other side of Brooklyn.
PS 160 was located on Ft. Hamilton Parkway in the Borough Park section. This meant having to get up an hour earlier and catch the bus. The students on the bus were not very nice. I had very few friends, who were mostly separated by which school they attended. The long bus trip to and from school on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was a daily ride from hell.
One group of students from PS 105 were considered “the top of the food chain” and terrorized other students through intimidation. I complained to my parents that I wanted to go back to my old school at PS 270. I hated to constant badgering and bullying by kids on the bus every day. But I was told, to paraphrase my folks to, “suck it up!”.
The worst for me was in junior high school, where I had to deal with a few “jerks” who had a problem with me and the way I looked. Back then I was a husky kid, and of course, being a slightly overweight kid, I was subjected to taunts by other kids who wanted to push the envelope. I decided to get a hold of my emotions by participating in sports and taking it out my frustrations on the football field. The change made me a much better person in the long run.
My school experience was one I wanted to forget about. But I knew that if I allowed my past discretion to affect me, I wouldn’t be able to have a normal life. That’s why it was so important for me to attend my high school reunion last year. I was looking forward to closing the door to a terrible past.
I discovered that most of the people who I had to endure their reign of terror were either incarcerated or in worse shape than I was when I was going to school. Some actually fared better, becoming successful in business, which I’m pretty sure had allot to do with their personality of terrorizing people.
One thing’s for sure, I survived. I persevered and made something of my life. If I knew what I know now, things would have been different. But it doesn’t matter now.
The old saying, “That which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger?” You could say it was about me.