Being the only third grader in the school with a C-cup bra was traumatic. The trauma began slowly. Eventually it broke me.
The violence began when I first began to wear a bra at the age of 9, and it ended then with verbal teasing. As my cup size grew by leaps and bounds, the violence escalated in direct proportion.
The other students progressed from occasional gentle bra snapping (1″ away) to constant painful bra snapping (as many inches as possible). Much like a towel snapped at your butt in a locker room, successive pops are geometrically more painful. I’d be in tears from the pain at least once each school day.
I hid the marks from my parents. Yes, those little bastards bruised me and broke blood vessels.
The cat-calls and stares and ostracism were far outweighed by the gropes that came next. In order to “prove” that I was stuffing, the insistent fingers probed, poked, prodded, pushed, and squeezed. In the lunch line. In the locker room. In the classroom when the teacher’s back was turned. Everywhere. All the time. I was always on guard and always scared. Eventually even this poking and prodding and pushing and squeezing escalated in intensity. Eventually they fingers and hands made it inside my bra. Eventually, they began ganging up on me instead of one-on-one attacks. Eventually, they began trying to strip me bare.
I began to start taking my bra off on the way to school, hiding it in my bag and putting it on again before my parents came home from work. I did this in the desperate hope that it would “prove” that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, that this “proof” would banish the monsters.
Freely-flapping C-cups didn’t stop the constant attacks. My mind broke — I started punching people in the face for lack of anything better to just make them stop. Letter after letter went home about MY bullying and non-bra-wearing. Because I couldn’t verbalize WHY I was doing what I was doing, ass beating after ass beating followed. That’s what happened then — Note from school? Ass beating.
(My parents had learned long before that that I was waaaay too hard-headed for any other form of punishment to “take.” I consider my childhood discipline heavy-handed, not abusive, and I don’t intend to imply otherwise here.)
I still hid the bruises from my parents because anything bad that happens to you when you’re a child is your own fault.
Their violence continued to escalate in both severity and intensity. My responses did, too. I was a caged, abused animal that eventually went feral.
The final note home from the school was about my lifting my shirt and bra-lessly flashing the classroom. It was my final attempt to just make them stop. Funny how even in the early ’80s no one in the school or my parents stopped to say to themselves, “This is not normal behavior even from an early-puberty child. What is provoking this?”
I hope and pray that we as a culture are more abuse-conscious now.
The only thing that stopped the abuse was moving to a new school. Our living situation was always tied to my father’s job. He changed jobs, and we moved. For some reason I’ve never understood, the schoolhouse mob violence never began again.
Even though the abuse stopped, it marked me forever. My broken mind never really recovered. A G-cup in my adulthood, I hate my breasts with a passion and wish I could have them removed. My breasts are a traitor to me. My entire body is a traitor to me — My best weapon and my own Achilles heal in one package that I can’t exchange.
And there’s a small, dark piece of me that is still feral.