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The perfect recipe:

When I was 8 years old, I was the perfect recipe to be the target of a bully.


I was quiet, and shy. I had just moved to Canada from England. I had a funny name, and a strange accent, and I spent a lot of time in the hospital.

When I came here from England, I was a sick kid.  I had kidney disease.  I was constantly on antibiotics and was often in the hospital for stays of a week or more.

With the Kidney Disease came frequent urinary tract infections.

One of the things I remember clearly as a kid was being in my 4th grade class at Colwood Elementary during one of my unhealthy bouts.  I remember the day clearly. I can picture the classroom clearly.  It was sunny.  Instead of being in neat & tidy row, all out desks were scattered around the room in groups of 4, the teacher, with his thick busy goatee, sprinkled with grey hairs, stood at the front of the class, teaching us something that I am sure was life changing. That day was one of many days I spent in class when I had a bladder infection, and I constantly had to go to the bathroom.  I’m sure it was frustrating to my teacher, every 10 minutes, I was putting up my hand to be excused. And even though my parents had informed the school of my condition, I think he just got tired of it.

As any female knows, when you have a UTI, you always FEEL like you have to pee, but when you try to go, you don’t always have to.  And you can’t really tell the difference, especially when you’re a sick 9 year old kid.

I guess my teacher got tired of me asking to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes and stopped letting me be excused.

Well, it turns out this time it wasn’t a false alarm. I had to go.  And I couldn’t stop myself.  I went right there at my desk, in my chair.


Woo! Awesome.  I’m 9 years old, and I just peed myself in class and I got to spend the rest of the day in my gym gear.


Kids being kids, by the time we even got to lunch break, the news had spread throughout the school.

It started with them calling me ‘peed herself’, but I guess that wasn’t awesome enough, and it gradually morphed n to ‘pooped herself’ and eventually “Crusty”.

I was only at Colwood Elementary for grade 4 & 5.  After grade 5, my parents moved to another area, and I switched to another school.   I was so excited to go to Sangaster Elementary for grade 6.  I felt like I was escaping the bullies.

Turns out I wasn’t so lucky.  Some of the kids of my old school turned up at my new school too.


I never escaped the teasing and the bullying. It stuck with me right through to graduation.   I hated being me so much, that in one of my yearbooks I actually scribbled myself out.


I don’t think about it often, but all this talk about anti-bullying day on the radio this last week had brought the memories to mind. I graduated highschool 18 years ago, and I can still hear it and feel it when I think about it.  I still remember the kids names. John Armitage & John Olson.


I don’t think you ever fully escape the impact of being bullied as a kid, but I hope that it has helped make me stringer as an adult.  I hope it has made me not take people’s crap anymore.  And I sincerely hope that it has made me more conscious of the way I treat other people.



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One Comment

  1. Hollie says:

    That’s sad….your teacher should’ve understood the issue and let you go to the bathroom – how horrible for you.

    I, too, was bullied on a daily basis. In grade 3 – My next door neighbour, whom I was great friends with for a while, didn’t like something I did while we were playing, unbeknownst to me, and the next day started beating me up EVERY day on the way home from school. It was horrible. She even stole my skipping rope from me and beat me with that, too. I took violin lessons on my lunch hour and she took it away from me and through it into the middle of the street – knowing I wasn’t allowed to cross as it was busy, I just left it there, until a man stopped his car and retrieved it from me. And that was the end – my mom, furious, went to the principal for the 3rd or 4th time and he kept her 15 minutes at lunch and after school so that I could get home safely. She was a horrible person – even after she’d forgotten about beating me up – she’d try and get buddy buddy with me – What a joke!

    After all these years, I still hold a lot of ill feelings towards her – she made my life hell for almost a year – and it definitely has reminded me how to treat people nicely!