All through my life I've been bullied. It started in 3rd grade, and now I'm about to finish 10th grade. In 3rd-5th grade I lived in SoCal, it was pretty nice. I had some friends that lived on my street, and I would hang out with them all the time. School was probably my favorite thing, I loved the teachers. I was always one to get to know the teachers and to get good grades. But the kids were rude. I went to a private school, but we didn't have as much money as the other students that attended. I was called poor, worthless, ugly, dirty, gross. To make it worse, my dad left for Iraq for a year, and it was rough falling back on my mom, because I knew it upset her to see me cry. So I held it in. Then we finally moved to Illinois for my middle school years. Everything was great and to this day, it's still considered my home. I had SO many friends. I still talk to them too. But of course, people would still pick on me. And this time, it was weird. Because it wasn't just targeted at me as an individual, it was targeted at my group of friends as well. I've never been one to really care about what's in style, or what new song has to be on my ipod, or what type of clothes i have to wear in order to be able to socialize with certain people. I'm just out there. My style is different, I don't have a certain genre of music I listen to. I can get along with anybody, as long as they get along with me. But once I left Illinois, everything changed. High school started. I knew as a freshman, the year would suck, and it did. I was called names, I would open my locker and find notes telling me to kill myself, if I ate anything at lunch people would make pig noises at me. The bus was worse. People in the back would yell at me as I got on and off, trying to trip me, make a fool out of me. All I could do is drown myself in music and pretend not to care. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and I walked to and from school everyday. This was probably a stupid decision on my part.. People would slow down just to call me names, throw their trash at me, drive into puddles purposefully. One day, I was thinking to myself, 'In 7th grade, I thought of the kids who self harmed, the kids who got depressed.. I told myself I'd never be one of those kids.' And then I looked down at my bleeding wrists and didn't even try to stop. Once I started cutting, that was my release. Sophomore year, I remember one day specifically. I was in math class and one girl was talking to a bunch of boys and pointing at me and laughing. The teacher didn't do anything so I looked over at them and I said "If you're gonna laugh and point at me, why don't you just say it out loud now. It's not like I won't hear about it anyway. Your words don't hurt anymore. You're wasting your time." and they shut up. I got into the habit of eating in the bathrooms, if I ate at all. I used to have my mom pick me up at least 30 minutes early from school everyday, just so I didn't have to walk through the hallways with all those people. I'd go to the nurse just for medicine I didn't need. I walked alone. I thought people cared. But in reality, I was just another girl with blue jeans. That's what we all are. We're just people. I was pulled out of the high school and put into a christian school soon after the day I stood up for myself. The teachers don't really care what happens, as long as they get their paycheck. I've tried over and over again to make a difference. These scars on my body are not for me to be ashamed of. They are simply battle wounds. I've seen my dad talk about his friends being lost during war and that is exactly the analogy I'm going to use now. You have a friend in a different state going through who knows what at school, at home, and you're scared to death you won't hear from them. Depression isn't an emotion. It's a mental disorder, and I think that's what people don't understand. When you're pushed away, neglected and forever being put down, it doesn't go away. It'll always be there. My advice to struggling kids out there is be yourself. I know it's hard when it's just you against the world, but it's not going to be like this for long. Beyonce has this "character" she puts on everyday. Her name is "Sasha Fierce" because she's terrified of facing the world as Beyonce. Isn't that crazy? Even famous people get afraid. Bullies are going to bring you down, jerks are everywhere. But you have to be the bigger person. You have to let them know that they will not hurt you, they cannot hurt you. You are strong, you are beautiful, and you are loved. Every single one of you. God put you here on this earth for a reason. To Him, to your parents, to me.. you aren't just another kid in blue jeans. And together, we will change the world. :)
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