Sticks And Stones

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.” (The Christian Recorder) Growing up I used to hear this saying a lot from adults. But I never believed the second half of it after going to the 4th grade. Sticks and stones do have the ability to break bones, but words can be just as painful when used in a negative way. Words may not actually hurt your body, but it can cause emotional harm. When someone speaks negatively toward me, I get a pain in my chest the same way I would if someone had punched me. Whether you’re getting stones or words flung at you by others, both hurt the body and mind.

I used to always try to live by this saying when I was really young. I thought that I would be strong enough to hold my head high and not be afraid of anyone. And that I would always stay strong against people who didn’t like me. I wanted to be a big girl like my sisters and mother. I wanted to be tough like my brother and father. I had dreams of being the next Serena Williams shredding up the tennis courts and letting all girls know that they could do it one day as well. But I quickly lost all of those dreams and goals in my life.

My brother and my middle sister began making fun of me everyday when I was in first grade. Picking on me because I wasn’t skinny and tall like them. Pointing out the fact that I wasn’t able to learn as quickly and do math as well as them. At first I tried to ignore them because I knew that they were my siblings so they must love me, at least a little. But then my grandmother started pointing out my size. Every time we went to visit her, she’d pinch my cheeks and separate me from my sister by saying, “chunky girl, big girl.” My sister was big girl because of her height and I was chunky girl for my weight. My grandmother would always say that I looked thicker every time I went over her apartment.

After that I started to lose some of the confidence I had but tried to stay strong because I still had my parents, my friends, and my oldest sister. But with time my mother started to point out how different I was from everyone else. She would make me sit with her and do “Hooked On Phonics” to try to make me smarter. This just made my siblings make fun of me more often than before. After that she tried changing what I ate, but I wasn’t eating badly to begin with. I used to eat fruit and vegetables all the time but I was just naturally a big figured child. No one understood that back then though; to them I was the little girl that must have been sneaking candy and cookies from the cabinet at night. The confidence to stay strong and stay positive was slowly slipping out of my grasps but I tried clinging to it in hope that things would soon get better.

After second or third grade children at my school began acting the way my siblings did. Making fun of my full figure and how chunky I looked compared to everyone else. My mother had bought baggy uniform clothes for me to wear everyday. I thought it was so that if I got bigger I wouldn’t look like a stuffed turkey. I didn’t have the fancy fitted uniform or the cute hairstyles like the girls had on in my school. My parents didn’t have the time or money to send me to my godmother to get my hair done all the time. And my mom had too much pride to just pay my godmother back later. But with baggy clothes and my hair in big braids, kids distanced themselves from me. I lost all of my friends after that point, no one wanted to be with the chunky short girl during recess.

I’d just sit on the cement watching everyone play or do jump rope by myself in the shade. I loved being active, it gave me such a satisfied feeling inside. Then I decided, if no one would talk to me as a friend, then maybe they’d talk to me as a teammate. My brother started bringing me to school early so I could play football with boys in my grade. And for some time, it felt really good to have kids my age to bond with. But then some boys stopped playing because they didn’t like the fact that I was better than them in a man’s sport. I was a big black girl that knew how to run and had the capability of hitting hard; which scared many boys at my school because I wasn’t all small and dainty like the other girls that wailed at the slightest hit. So after a while I stopped playing football all together and went back to my shaded spot alone. The game wasn’t fun when no one wanted me there.

I had no friends, no second half or partner in crime, and no shoulder to lean on or ear to whisper into. I’d just go to school, do class work by myself, come home, do homework in my room, eat dinner quickly, and then go straight to bed. I didn’t dare talk to my family about how I was feeling or what I was going through because I didn’t trust them. My middle sister started playing tricks on me and leaving for school without me in the morning. And my brother started his addiction of making promises but never keeping them. My father never spend time with me while he wasn’t at work. All he cared about was his two precious older daughters and his sports on television. I didn’t even like my family the way I used to anymore. I had no one by my side for comfort anymore. At a young age I was on my own in a situation that I couldn’t really understand and had no one to ask about it.

The only thing that kept me hopeful about things changing and getting better was my love for sports. My love for being seen by people as I showed off how good I could really be at something. I would always shout at kids in school that someday I would be famous and sexy and then they’d be sorry for treating me like trash. But as time went on, my father told me that I was too different to ever make it to Serena Williams’ level, I then lost my will for change. Sports was the only thing that made me truly happy in life. It was the only activity where I could try to shine and be be free. When I was put on the court, all my troubles and fears went away. It was just me being the the girl that I kept locked up inside. But when my dad took away my dreams of doing what I love as a career, I had nothing left. I lost my love for myself.

There were times when I’d come home and my mom would ask me how my day was. I’d just give a small smile and say it was okay. I could have reached out to her and actually told her how miserable I was at school. But I could no longer find the confidence to speak up. I didn’t know how to tell her that kids were bullying and avoiding me. I didn’t know how to tell her that I actually preferred the way they treated me over the way I felt when I was home. I could no longer stand to sit in the same room with my family for too long without getting upset and that made me feel even worse. These five people are my family; i’m supposed to love them. I’m supposed to have a bond with them that is stronger than all others because they are my blood. But after all I went through; and was still going through, I couldn’t feel a strong bond anymore. I felt like an outsider in my own home; unloved by all the people that I thought were my family.

If no one loved me and cared for me, then maybe I shouldn’t love myself. I really started to believe that there was something wrong with me. If everyone I knew thought that I was ugly and fat, then I probably was. And I could no longer stand to look at myself knowing that I was unattractive to people. Mirrors, make-up, nail polish, and pink were things that I no longer messed with. No amount of make-up and pretty clothes could disguise how ugly I was. Every time I dressed up and looked in a mirror I’d just start crying. I felt ugly inside and out and there was nothing I could do to change it.

I thought; if no one believed that I could do anything great and become known, then there was no point in me creating goals and dreams and a passion for anything. I lost all interest in trying to become something in life because deep down I couldn’t bare to have anything else taken away from me after I developed a love for it. I had lost everything that I held dear to my heart; everything that made life worth enjoying. All I could do was live day to day with a fake smile taking everything that people threw at me. I no longer had the confidence or support to make a change in my life. I failed in staying strong and loving myself when everyone began turning on me; I ended up turning on myself. Sticks and stones can break my bones, but it’s words that broke my heart.

"Sticks and Stones (nursery Rhyme)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. Mar. 2014. <>.

Comments (3)

Symone Mc Collum (Student 2015)
Symone Mc Collum

You are one of the most amazing people I know. You are, in fact, beautiful inside and out. I don't care if the president himself is telling you that you aren't, you do not believe him. I love how much you opened up here. I was struggling with how much I wanted to reveal to the class about my life to the point where I was about to delete my post off of the blog. I was afraid of letting people in, until I read this. Your courage is something I would love to have Klarie. I'm going to keep my post because you inspired me to open up. I strongly encourage you to talk to your family about the way you feel and the way they make you feel. I'm not apart of your family, but I don't have to be in order to know that you are truly an amazing person. Your smile can light up a room for goodness sakes! You're also awesome in volleyball, so I don't see how you gave up your love for sports. You can be the next famous sexy volleyball the world has ever seen, do not doubt yourself. DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF. Thank you for sharing with me girl! Great great great job.