Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Bully and a Touch of Sport.

Hello My Lovely Readers,

This post is a bit different - So here we go...

I have never been a sporty person. As a child I loved figure ice-skating in Paris however we moved to the Australian tropics in 1979 so that was the end of that. When I was 11 years old in 1981 my mum purchased a pair of Red Stone Skates for me. Back then they cost a lot of money for a single mum. I loved them and realised how special it was for my mum to buy them for me. Every Saturday morning my mum would give me enough money for the bus and entry to a indoor skating rink called Skateworld. I loved it and would skate round and round in my own world, loving the music, the atmosphere, the arcade games, the rebellious feel and the freedom it gave me.

My Old Red Stones - Still holding on to them...

During my 25 year school reunion many of us talked of the old Skateworld days and I hungered to skate again but fear and shame lingered. A 42 getting back on skates? A bit crazy right? However the reunion also had an massive impact on me as I connected with my school bully. My Bully tormented me for 5 years with harshness and heartbreak on a daily basis. I disliked going to primary school as he eroded much of my confidence over those years which influenced the rest of my life. For 30 years I thought of him regularly and when school ended, I felt sick at the thought of bumping into him somewhere one day. When Dolly commenced childcare and had to deal with a few mean girls at the sweet and tender age of 3, thoughts of him invaded my mind more and more frequently.

My Primary School Classrooms.

Two years ago my Bully tracked me on FB and wrote an apology. I read the letter and sobbed for a few weeks and then ignored it. It hurt too much to deal with it. I was not ready and even though 20 years had passed since I last saw him, it still made me feel sick and anxious to hear his name, see his image or think of him.

During the organising of the school reunion I mustered my courage and answered his letter with a pounding heart. He made further apologies for all the hurt; we emailed. I shed tears. I tried to comprehend his meanness towards me and the impact he had on my life including my dislike of sports (he was the sport jock and gave me a terrible time regarding my clumsiness and always picked me last with angry words if I joined his team). I then had a need to speak to him, so he called and when I heard his voice I cried with a mixture of anger, fear, sadness, hurt, relief and a twisted need to be liked. This relief made me want to grab life and shake all the things I have been scared of. I have become more vocal, less fearful of speaking my mind and a have a need to be active. I realised I don't have to fear him and others like him mocking me anymore. I can be free of his hold over me and partake in sports if I want to. And if I get picked last, that's okay because I will not accept put downs as they do so. So with this need to be active, vocal and a show off too, I joined the local Roller Derby Team. Me... little scared Stephanie of anything physical joined Roller Derby! I can skate to my hearts content and bump into supportive tough girls at the same time! And I know that; if I can get over the meanest boy in my life, then I can do anything.

Acting Tough Derby Training.

This was not an Eco-Frugal post as such but it's a bit of insight into my inner workings and changes in my life. So now you know when I'm away from here it's because I might be at the gym trying to build strength or I'm skating around building speed. Including sport in my life also means a new expense. At first I was hiring my derby gear but quickly realised it was cheaper for me to purchase what was required. I also wanted Dolly to partake with me out of official training hours therefor I purchased a pair of skates for her too. Luckily they pull into 3 sizes so will last a few years. We now go for a skate on weekends in our local primary school grounds. Both Dolly and I love it and I give her those heart to hearts about bullies and tell her to show kindness and tolerance to others. Like any mum I want to protect her from Bullies and prevent her from becoming one.

New Skates for Dolly Too.

I'd love to know if you had a school bully that hurt you to your core? What happened and have you ever made contact again?

My bully and I are building bridges. It's been hard for me as I become demanding, wanting answers and clingy and then the next day I want no part of him. I'm sure time will heal me as I lick my wounds and find I don't need his attention anymore. But I will say that he has been kind and I can not fault the person he has become. His communication has been heartfelt and allowed me to go from angry to happy and I now need to come to full forgiveness.

To Freedom,

Stephanie @ Frugal Down under.


  1. Yay, go you! Enjoy your skating with Dolly :)

  2. Did he offer any explanation as to why he behaved the way he did ? Regarding FB a few years ago school friends popped back up. I had mixed feelings and tried to keep an open mind. I thought that however someone was 20 years ago , they were kids then and now as adults probably a lot more mature. In my experience I found that some individuals were worse than ever, at least as a teenager they had the excuse that they were immature whereas now they can't say that. I think some people are just basically vile and no amount of time will change their persona. Your person does sound as though they express remorse but that does not take away your years of hurt. I hope that over time you will feel better about the situation xx

  3. Thank you for sharing this - you are a very strong and special person. I am glad the bully apologised, and that reconciliation is in the works.

  4. My daughter was bullied in year six, primary school, due to jealousy I think. First it was a girl then a boy then anothe girl. We got the book called How to handle bulles, teasers,and other meanies (from Amozon. It gave differnt sinarios and how to handle them. They worked brilliantly. The first girl and the boy still talk to her but the second girl ignors her. Even though she is now in year eight at high school she is still using some of the techneques she has learnt.
    I was once bullied at work. I just moved departments. I believe I should have handled it differently but it's in the past now.
    Best wishes for your healing.

  5. I roller skated when I was a child in the 1940's and the first date I went on with Jack was to a roller skating rink with his boys, that was 1982, I was 40....

  6. Thanks Dreamer - Derby is so muc fun. Scary tricks to learn and exams to pass. But this older girl will get there and laugh out loud while she tries.

    Miss Piggy, My Bully has explained and I discovered I wasn't the only one being picked on. But I sure did feel alone and excluded as he was so popular in primary school. In high school I avoided him as much as a could as he scared me and I made my own wonderful and popular friends. He has changed a great deal, has become a teacher, husband and father. He seems to be kind and full of love. I try to get over the "victim" mentality but it's a hurdle on some days and that feeling of wanting to be liked by him is nauseting. I guess it's a school girl ache to feel liked and part of the cool group.

    Hi Anon, Thank you for your kind words, it took me a long time to allow the reconciliation process but I have opened the door too me and hope that it will work out.

    Carol, Thank you for the tip on the book. I will look it up as I'm interested in learning more. My daughter is bossy at times but also gentle and cries when she sees others in pain or hurting. Being Bullied at work is horrendeous and seems so common. No one really does much about it as people don't want to rock the boat, be picked on themselves or losse their jobs. I think most people would run away from it then fight it. I'm usually a runner but starting to find my ROAR :)

    Pommepal I love those stories! Any photos to share?

  7. I look back on my highschool years with awkwardness. I was the kid that never quite fitted in. I was often ostracised, I'd overhear comments about myself that were unkind, but the attacks were rarely open or to my face. I struggled to find friends, and I struggled to find myself. It was only once I reached Uni that I developed close friendships with people who loved me no matter what.

    A few things have happened since then that have helped. Years ago - before facebook - came a site called something like 'friends reunited'. I joined out of curiosity, and was surprised when a couple of people made contact (when it was free, before they introduced charges). One girl - an on again/off again friend - wrote of her son, working now in special needs. She also wrote that she remembers that she wasn't always so nice to me and wanted to apologise. I was surprised - she was right, there were things I heard her say which hurt, but I hadn't believed anyone would remember except me.

    I worked up the courage to go to a high school reunion, expecting to be invisible again, the way I was in school. But I walked in, and I walked into a great big hug from a guy I used to talk to in my French class. Two other things happened that night that helped lots too - I managed to tell the prettiest girl in school how I always wished I was more like here, and in return, she told me she always thought I was the smartest girl in school and she had often wished she was more like me. I never would have dreamed anyone wanted to be like me. The night ended with the guy who was nice to me in year 12 chemistry (I was the only girl in the class) giving me a CD of his band, telling me that I'd inspired him to look at music beyond the mainstream, which lead to him creating his own music. So, I was remembered kindly, and shown I'd made a difference. When I really had thought I'd be invisible, just like I was then.

    I don't think it changes how I feel about myself in high school, I think it just shows that we all grew after we'd finished, and although not in touch, we still grew the same way. Just wanted to share after you shared your story.


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.