"Some friend of a friend who I had just met, started talking about attraction, turn-offs, and turn-ons and he looked at me and said: 'No offense, but I can only see weirdos or deviants ever being attracted to you.'
I have dwarfism, and I've never had a relationship or had any indicator of someone being interested me, so that really haunted me for a while, and it still does. It is like a negative mantra that keeps resurfacing whenever I start to feel hopeful. As if to put me 'back in my place.' It didn't help that since that lovely encounter, the only person to actually hit on me was a weirdo who was clearly a dwarf fetishist and had no concern over how I felt about it."
"I was sick for a long time, off work, and spent most of the time channel surfing on the sofa. After a few months, I started feeling a bit better and would get dressed up and go to a casino to play $2 roulette and drink diet soda and just interact with people.
One night, a guy came up to me. He had an accent, but I have no idea where he was from. He said, 'Why do you keep your hair so short? It would look so much better long. Women who have short hair have no idea that men prefer long hair on them.'
He stood there looking at me like he wanted an answer. So I said, 'I had cancer. Bug off.'"
"I was working in a haunted house to help raise money for an organization that dug wells in third-world countries without clean drinking water. I had put on about 40 pounds after a six-month depression where the only people I talked to were the Jimmy Johns delivery drivers. Anyways, I got assigned to be Freddy Kreuger. It was a great time until a wasted group came through and this one guy comes up to me and grabs my stomach with both hands and said, 'Wow, Freddy you've become a real fatty.' Luckily, one of the managers heard this and kicked the group out. But, I'll admit it, I teared up. Really emotional time in my life and I was doing something good, and this jerk peed all over it."
"I was the only female on the varsity wrestling team in a small Private school in New England. Lots of all-boys' schools wrestled us. Opposing coaches and parents of opposing teams would yell really horrendous things, and our coach never stood up for me. The worst thing anyone ever yelled during a meet was by the father of some jerk I was wrestling. He was attempting a cross-face because I had him almost flipped over and his father screamed 'Go Title 9! Violate that little witch! Break her nose if she doesn't roll over!' (Over-Simplified Context: Title 9 is the federal statute in America that states if there is no female equivalent in sports, and you make the team, the school, private or public, legally has to let you play. Ice hockey, wrestling and football are three examples.)
Anyway, my feminazi mom happened to be at that meet. It was her first and last time attending. She found violence horrible, but upon hearing this comment go unchecked by the refs, she stood up and screamed 'Don't you let this horrible little worthless jerk up off the floor. Let the little coward prick break your nose before you let him save his pride. This is no longer about you. Hurt him for all women. Hurt him for me.' He then did break my nose quite badly. I felt the click of my septum, and the warm goo trickling into my grinning mouth. The captain of that boys' boarding school's wrestling team tapped out that day; his singlet spattered with my blood. My mom never went to another meet. Got a slow clap from my team."
"'Why do you make your parents sad? Do you not love us anymore? Why did you put us in so much pain and grief?'
I was in elementary school in the United Arab Emirates. At the time, I was obese and had learning problems. In the UAE, there were no anti-bullying movements and whatnot so teachers would regularly shrug it off when they see kids being teased. At my school, I was constantly teased, spat at, kicked, getting bad grades, going to the principal's office several times. Most of the time I ended up going to the principal's office because the other kids felt like getting me out of the classroom and decided to tell the teacher that I had said something that they tricked me to say. At home, I constantly wet the bed as a kid and got punished for it with beatings, studying for hours on lessons that don't make sense to me, and my father hitting me regularly.
Then one sad day my mother told me: 'Why do you make your parents sad? Do you not love us anymore? Why did you put us in so much pain and grief?'
When my mother had told me those words, I went into a state of depression for about four months. A year later, I was sent to America for a surgery that needed to be taken on my left arm. Turns out nothing could be done about it. So I stayed here and went to school for about a year. But my experience here in America was life-changing for me. I overcame my learning problems and found a way that worked for me, exercised every day and lost about 180 pounds in the span of one year and two months, and felt happy in a family that would keep me in as their own. That family was my aunt and uncle from my mother's side. I plan to go to college here and have a job. Plan on going to the Air Force. My parents have told me they are proud of me and wished that they could have apologized and wanted me to have a successful life. I visit them every summer now, and we have a blast. But they have learned not to hit my siblings or they would have ended up like me."
"I am currently on dialysis, but this situation was a few years ago when I had a working kidney transplant, but after being on dialysis for three years. People on dialysis have a fistula (normally on their arm) - a vein that is surgically attached to an artery so that enough blood flows through to use the vein for dialysis. Mine doesn't look that bad but is still noticeable. So anyway, I was at work on a very hot day and our AC was broken, so it was easily 95 degrees in the store. I decided to wear short sleeves, which I never do because of my arm. Just in that one day, five people said something to me about my arm. The worst was a guy who sees it, says something along the line of 'Holy crap!!! What is that? You look like a freak. Why wouldn't you cover that? I shouldn't have to look at it!!'
Since I was at work, I couldn't really say anything back, so I just ignored him, finished taking his payment, and told him to have a good day. A coworker and good friend of mine followed the guy outside and said something to him, I'm not sure exactly what; when I asked he just said he reminded the guy what manners are. So many other people have said stuff to me from about my fistula to when I'm on dialysis and have a lot of fluid on. People will say I look like a balloon, or got fat really fast (I'm five feet, six inches and weigh 120 pounds; I'm very far from fat so that one amuses me). I just don't get why people think they can say stuff like that to strangers."
"I'm a sophomore in high school, 16 years old, and I am six feet, seven inches, and still growing. I'm not lanky though; I'm really broad and thick. I've been outcast my entire life because I look different than my classmates and hardly anybody gives me the chance to show I'm actually a really nice guy. Ever since I realized I was treated differently at a young age, I've done my best not to be intimidating at all, but I know I'm still scary to some people. The other day, I was walking out of my math class, and this girl I don't know practically ran into me and she shrieked loudly, then walking in I heard her say, 'That freak scared the crap out of me.'"
"My grandfather had just recently passed away, and he left me his leather jacket in his will. I was wearing it at the thrift store, and this kid walks up to me. He says, 'You're not cool, you know that, right? Just because you wear some stupid leather jacket doesn't mean you deserve attention.'
I wasn't trying to get attention at all. I was just trying to remember my grandfather in a way I knew how. That comment, combined with my grief, cut to the bone."
"I do a lot of amateur writing. I've been doing so for about six years. In that span of time, I've experimented with different styles and genres. One style I saw in a community on LiveJournal was writing completely in lower case letters. Still obeying all other rules of grammar, just no capital letters. So I wrote something with all lowercase letters and posted it. I even put a note on top that there were no capital letters because I thought some people wouldn't like it. It got the most comments I've ever received.
Everyone was complaining to me about how I wrote it. 'How can you be too lazy to hit the freaking shift bar? What an idiot.' I couldn't understand how so many people could be so mean even after I gave a warning. Why would they click on it if they knew they wouldn't like it?
That is when I learned the internet is full of buttholes. Nice people are out there, too. Plenty of jerks, though."
"One time, I had a customer on her phone while I checked her out. When a customer wouldn't get off their phone at the register, I would check them out as normal. So I'm ringing her up, simple purchase, and the witch starts TALKING ABOUT ME to the person on the other side of the phone. Saying stuff like 'This cashier is looking at me all weird,' and 'She's annoyed with me.' I wasn't doing anything; I wasn't acting strange, I was just checking her out. So I said, 'I'm not looking at you weird, and I am not annoyed.'
She then ignored me and continued to talk about me to the other person. 'Haha, she just said she isn't annoyed, she is clearly lying, her face got all red.'
I finished up the transaction while she continued to talk about me, physically describing me to the other person, laughing at me the whole time.
That was the most dehumanizing moment of my life, I think. I hope the witch is dead, to be honest."
"Like most, I'm very protective of my family. I can make fun of them and you can't. Well, this especially goes for my mother.
We were at a restaurant, and she had ankle surgery about six weeks before and was about one week of her crutches. So not very mobile and she is also a bigger woman. She was getting up from her table and two fathers and their teenage sons round the corner. They were trying to get by and one of them said, 'Excuse me sow, you're blocking the road.' Tunnel vision set in for me, and before my mother could say a word, I stood up, probably puffed out my chest a little and said, 'Shut up and walk the other way before I embarrass you in front of your kid.' There might have been some other profane words in there too. The effect of my statement was driven home by the fact I am six foot, eight inches, and about 325 pounds.
Still, nothing I did or could have done will erase the look on my mother's face. It hurt me so deep that someone would say something like that to a complete stranger."
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock
"I'm a pretty tough chick most of the time and don't have any problem standing up for myself, but after over a decade of being told, 'Just smile. What's wrong? You look like you are having a bad day! Cheer up!' There were a couple times I actually broke down in tears after hearing it. I worked in retail and having people constantly point out that my face looked in some way negative was pretty heartbreaking.
It happened a lot. So I tried to make sure the corners of my mouth were always turned up, still happened all the time. My permanent mean face coupled with the fact that I actually do suffer from severe depression kind of made it hard for me to put on an act for strangers. I would be in a good mood, acting normal, and then some person would start in on me for looking sad.
Got to the point where I just started explaining to people that what they were saying was rude and upsetting; they usually felt pretty bad."
"I am a Mexican/Guatemalan-American. I was born in the US, but both of my parents are immigrants. For the majority of my life, I lived in the inner city and went to public schools. I was offered a few scholarships when I applied to a private high school on account of my grades.
I took a public speaking class, and since it was close to Thanksgiving day, the teacher assigned a speech about what you're grateful for. I wrote a speech about how grateful I was to be in this country, how grateful I was to go to a good high school, and how grateful I was that my parents became citizens.
A few hours later, I checked twitter and noticed that a redneck football player in my speech class tweeted something to the effect of 'Mexicans and their anchor babies.'"
"Early in my first semester of college, I was still shedding the skin of my former high school self. One of the things I was holding onto was my wardrobe.
My go-to outfit was a quirky long sleeve shirt with a clashing button-up beneath it. It said 'This kid's not afraid to be himself!' (But also might be slightly socially awkward and insecure)
I was walking to a class wearing this kind of outfit (A gray, Nike long-sleeve shirt that has a hockey player on it, over a silky red button-up, untucked, collar sticking out, the whole thing; it was warm outside) and someone on their bicycle managed to say to me in the half of a second it took to whiz past me 'What's the point of wearing two different shirts if you're just going to have each of them half-showing like that?'
It was so quick and so precise that I stopped walking to process the whole thing. I never wore that kind of clothing like that ever again."
"My Spanish teacher in high school (born and raised in Virginia, lived in Spain for a couple years after college, married a Spanish woman) was in line at Walmart speaking Spanish to his kids, and some redneck behind him said 'Get back to your own country.' My teacher turned around and said 'What did you just say to me?' Apparently, mister redneck just walked out. What's most shocking to me is that the dude assumed that my tall, blue-eyed, pale-skinned teacher with his blondish blue-eyed kids was an illegal immigrant from Mexico just because he was speaking Spanish. Blows my mind."
Thomas M Perkins/Shutterstock
"I used to have quite a bit of acne when I was in my teens and early '20s. I was used to being made fun of for it, but there was one day when I was at work that I've never forgotten. Earlier in my shift, a little girl asked me what was wrong with my face and her mom was really sweet and just said, 'You'll find out soon enough hunny, everyone does!' Which obviously made me feel better. It was later in that same shift that this older man just looked at me while I was working, and he just said, 'Why don't you just wash your face?' Oh, gee. Is that what's wrong? Ugh. So upsetting."
"I used to be a waiter at IHOP. I had been there for four years, I was a certified trainer, and just about the best and most polite server you could get at that restaurant. I had an eyebrow ring in my left eyebrow.
I walked up to a table and said the usual greeting 'Hello, welcome to IHOP. My name is Kerris, how are you doing today?' And his response was 'What in the world is that in your eye? Why are you talking to me with that thing in your eye? Go away and send over a real waiter!'
"This one came from one of my classmates, but it was the first day of school, so at the time we were strangers. I must have been 11 or 12 at the time, and back then I was overweight.
We are in the class, the teacher is talking and at some point, someone says something funny out loud. The whole class starts laughing, myself including. And then that one guy says 'Look at that fat lard laughing!' while pointing at me, and the whole class starts laughing again. And then the teacher told him to stop, and start giving one of those everyone is different and you shouldn't judge by appearance speeches.
As you can guess, I was pretty ticked off, and all I could think was why me or who does that. So I tried to find this guy during the break to kick his butt. But as soon as I found him before I could do or say anything, he came and apologized. He said he didn't know why he did that, and he felt bad about it. We actually became good friends after that, and to this day, we still hang out.
Despite the happy ending, that was a pretty jerk thing to do to someone the first day of school in front of the whole class."
"I was walking down the street when I passed a group of guys around my age. As I passed them I heard one of them say 'She's not bad from the back,' then another said, 'Yeah, but she's freaking ugly from the front!' and they all laughed.
Even though they were complete strangers, it hurt a lot. I don't really have much self-confidence anyway, and it made me hate myself even more. I'll admit, I cried over that a few times."
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