Bullied…to Beauty Queen by Susan Russo

I’d like to tell you a little caterpillar to butterfly story. I was not what you would call the most popular girl in high school. In fact, the word “popular” seemed to be something that was way beyond my reach. The only attention I got from the popular people was the occasional “Ugh why don’t you take a bath?”

You see, I was an abused child. I grew up the middle child of middle class parents in a middle class neighborhood.  When mom left and dad remarried, I thought our new stepmother was the best person in the world. She was great with kids. But she did not know how to deal with adolescents.


As we grew in to our preteen years, things got pretty bad. Kids our age were being punished by having television taken away or having telephone privileges taken away. We didn’t have those things anyway. If we misbehaved we weren’t allowed to go to church. If we misbehaved we weren’t allowed to take a bath. By the time my two sisters and I reached our early teens we were down to one bath a week, but our stepmother was “not about to spend money on wasted water”, so we had to rotate who used the water first. One week Julie got to use the water first, then me, then Kate. The next week I got to use the water first, then Kate, then Julie; the next week Kate got to use the water first, then Julie, then me.



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