Growing up, I was a larger girl. Though I wasn't fat. I had more muscle than average girls. I played soccer and had fun doing it. By the age of 10, I had to stop playing soccer because the bones in my legs had torques. I had twisted bones, and soccer made my legs hurt too much. I have two brothers, so we used to play outside during the summers. By the time I was in grade 6, I was being called fat, ugly, stupid. I cried a lot that year. The tears seemed to never leave my face very long. In addition to being bullied at school, my brothers called me the same names.
In grade 6, I joined the local karate class. I took karate for 2 years and then stopped because I wanted to have a fresh start in high school. I promised myself that I would get back to it. But I never did. So in the 7th grade, I was still being called those names. I was one of the fastest girl runners at my school, and I out-ran more than half of the boys in my class. I loved track that year. I went to regional track competitions with my school for 3 years (6,7,8). We didn't manage to place, but we did our best and made it to the finals every year I went. By 8th grade, the names never stopped coming my way. They cut me like knives, and I will never forget the moments I spent outside in the corner alone at recess. Or the times I ran to the girl's washroom during class so no one would see me cry.
Throughout elementary school, I was picked on by the same boys every year. No matter how much I tried to tell the principal and my parents, nothing stopped. This school I was bullied at was Catholic. Isn't bullying supposed to be prevented? What did I do wrong that justice wasn't served? I talked to the teachers, school council and even my parents. Nothing! It was the worse time of my life in elementary school.
In grade 8, the names still slapped me in the face. I spent most recesses alone and suffering with the questions of living or dying. I didn't want to be left alone. I wanted friends to hang out with, people to talk to. The teachers would see me alone and ask if I was okay. I lied and said yes. No matter how many times I prayed to someone out there, I was never answered. My hope in humanity dwindled. At grade 8 graduation, I believed that high school would be a new beginning to me. It would give me a chance to meet new people and make new friends. I so desperately wanted to leave my old life behind me.
It was finally grade 9. After being in school for a couple of weeks, I made new friends, and connected again with old friends from 4th grade. It was the end of September that I heard that dreaded word that I loathed the most. Fat. Someone called me that name, and from that point forward, I starved myself. The months of first semester dragged on slowly. I began to thin away to a pile of bones. I started at 140lbs and ended up down to 89lbs by the time February came. I was sick, weak, and tired all the time. I exercised endlessly after school. I threw my food out, and hid it in my room where no one went. March came, and I was admitted into the hospital.
On February 16th, 2011, I went to the local walk in clinic. They did a blood test and checked my vital signs. March 7th came and the hospital in the city called our house while I was at school. They told my parents that if they didn't take me to the hospital, I was going to die. Right after school, I "ate," got changed, and packed my things. I ended up staying in emergency for 1 day. I was told that I had to drink juice. Because I was extremely sick, I didn't want to. The doctor told me that if I didn't, I was goingEto die. My heart rate was 35 beats per minute. That's 3 times less than what it should have been. The nurses told me that I could go into cardiac arrest any minute. My parents left at 10pm that night because the drive home was an hour. One of the nurses let me use a DVD player that the floor had and put in Glee for me. I watched 2 episodes before I fell asleep. After that night in the Emergency department, I was moved.
After several months in the hospital, I was discharged and free to use the tools I learned through the rehabilitation process. That summer, I began exercising which was too soon for me. I began to over exercise again. That point, I was passing out frequently. I was then sent to hospital for the second time. What really happened that set me off? August 16th, I was shopping with my aunt and cousins. I didn't want to go, but they wouldn't leave me alone. In the mall, I saw thinner girls, and it made me upset. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be thin. That evening, we went out for dinner. I ordered a salad and ate that. I wasn't full, but there was no way that I was going to eat like a pig in public.
During my grade 10 year, I passed all of my exams with 80's (A's). I wish I could say that grade 10 was good. It wasn't. This one girl named Chloe bullied me endlessly. I began to cut that year. I became friends with the new girl named Christina. Christina told the teachers what she was doing to me, and she comforted me when I was extremely down. Christina, if you ever see this, thank you so much for keeping her away from me when you could. Chloe would throw paper air planes at me in math, talk to me behind my back, laugh when I entered the room, and called me names. My cutting started that year. I loved the feeling of pain. Cutting was a way for me to cope with life. Healthy or not, I did it.
Today, I am no longer bullied by anyone. I'm in the 12th grade, and I'm excited for June graduation. I'm excited to go off to University and live a life that I lead for myself.
Believe me, there is hope! Speak out! If at first you're not heard, speak louder! Shout if you have to!
Because of those speaking out in my old Elementary school and my High School about bullying, there are now laws in place to stop bullying. That's a great feat! If you don't have laws against bullying in your local schools, demand them to be put in place. Everyone deserves to be protected.
We can make a stand against bullying if we speak out! Words mean more if you have the passion to support them. Without that passion, words are empty.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.