The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Consequences of childhood bullying

Photo credit: Sarah Hofstedt

We’ve all been bullied at one time or another. I remember one morning in seventh grade when I was frantically searching for a piece of gum before the class session began. Before heading off to school, I had a few boiled eggs for breakfast and was overly concerned that my breath would stink during my presentation.

Unfortunately, despite my efforts, I couldn’t find a piece of gum to save me from my inevitable downfall. That was until I saw one boy unwrapping a fresh pack of Wrigley’s double mint chewing gum.

I leaned over to ask if I could have a piece of gum and was immediately affronted by another member of my class. In front of the rest of my peers, he announced that I looked as if my breath stunk. This was the emotional marker that would follow me around for the rest of my life.

Though the joke lasted one day, it has made me self-conscious about my breath up until now. Because of this humiliating interaction, I developed a habit of always keeping gum and breath mints in my backpack. This is one of numerous examples that prove negative childhood events lead to insecurities that grow with us into adulthood.

Name calling is common in schools. Everyday there are students calling one another “fat,” “retard,” “gay” and other names some might consider as insults. These names can kill one’s self esteem.

When I was growing up, I heard a lot of boys call girls at my school fat, despite their appearance. Students would call me anorexic, because I was skinny. I noticed that the girls who were deeply affected by the name-calling started skipping lunch. Some would go the whole day without eating anything, afraid that someone would comment on their weight if they were caught eating.

Calling these girls “fat” led to the first sign of eating disorders. The consequence of calling a self-conscious girl fat everyday can lead to a lifelong struggle with self-image and a physiological disorder that is very difficult to overcome.

Even if the insult is not true, kids are easily impressible and will believe what people say about them. By being called a “retard,” a person can become very doubtful of his/her own intelligence. If this person gets a bad grade on a test, they may start to believe that this label is who they are. This person may skip out on opportunities, because they feel like they are not good enough.

In the worst case scenario, constant bullying and name calling can lead to thoughts of suicide or hurting others.

Childhood is the foundation for building an adult’s identity. Being bullied and called names causes damage that can take years to undo. Trauma from childhood is likely to carry on into adulthood. I strongly believe that being bullied as a child is traumatic. It can be humiliating and there are some events that you can never forget.

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