My childhood and adulthood was infested with all kind of bullies. Bullies in my third grade class taunted me and snickered at any misstep I might have had. Bullies in middle school that huddled in a tight circle where there was no crack for me to slip in. Bullies in high school who shot dirty looks way as I walked to my next class. All those bullies would not have mattered that much if my mother wasn’t my biggest bully.
My mother was my first and worst bully of all. She used scare tactics and various forms of humiliation to try to crush my sense of self and belonging. She complained and lied to my aunts about how dreadful and disrespectful I was so they’d scold me and shame me to listen to my mother and honor my mother.
My mother bullied my sisters and I daily and truly set us up to be bullied by classmates, cousins and co workers. Eventually, I started to bully myself y calling myself cruel and degrading names. I bullied myself from the crack of dawn until I fell asleep. I paralyzed and terrified myself from ever advancing to a healthier and happier stage in life. You see, my mom was my first bully, but she will also be my very last.