My Middle School Bully

Julie Ballantyne Brown
5 min readFeb 24, 2024

On my mind lately

Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

As a kid, I never really felt like I fit in with other kids. When I started a new school in first grade, I made friends with girls who were friendly, but I was always kind of tolerated on the edge of the group rather than right in the middle. They had all gone to kindergarten together, most of the class, actually, and that bond would last all through elementary school. I wasn’t there in kindergarten and didn’t have the foundation the rest of them did. I was never quite fully in.

I don’t write this for sympathy or pity. It’s just the way it was. I was sad about it at some point in my life, but now I realize that going through that journey of being an “other” makes me that much more grateful to have the friend family I do now.

Anyway, I digress.

One of those in the friend group, E, could be a little prickly. She was an excellent student and a teacher favorite and people liked her so I thought I should, too. Her family was close to ours in terms of religious beliefs so she was ‘acceptable’ to be around. I never did feel very comfortable in her presence, but still thought that I should strive to be like her so I made every effort to hang with the group as closely as I could.

In middle school, E’s prickliness evolved into a more cruel form. She was making friends with the more popular…



Julie Ballantyne Brown

Future London resident. Follow Julie on Twitter: @BrownBallantyne or on FB and Instagram: @JulieBallantyneBrown