I am orginally from England. I moved to the U.S about 2 months ago and recently heard about bullying that went on at a school nearby. I thought bullying in England was worse than it is in America, but I guess it can be just as bad bad, everywhere. My personal experience started in upper school (high school) when my personal problems at home and with myself started to show at school. I was already known as the 'weird kid' in middle school due to my shyness and insecurities. I was molested when I was 8 years old, it happened once, but that one time was enough to mess me up for the rest of my life. I had insomnia since the age of about 10, would have panic attacks at night and would get about 2/3 hours of sleep every night, if I was lucky. All of that started to show at school. Upper school is really when people become obsessed with their looks and popularity. I was the weird 'emo' girl, although there were many other girls and boys like me who dressed in dark clothes and listened to rock music, I was the one who got bullied. The others were just left to be themselves. I went up to upper school with my best friend Lucy who I'd known for a long time. We were in the same classes and loved it! We naturally made friends as everyone got to know eachother (you know those friendship exercises teachers make you do at the beginning of a new year?) so we formed a friendship group, as you do. It was great for a few months, until one day when a girl who I didn't even know, walked past me whilst switching classes... She spat in my face and called me a faggot. In England, the word 'faggot' isn't used how it is used in America. It's just used as a general insult to anyone. I was embarrassed and confused. As the year went on, the girl and her friends would call me ugly as they walked past me in the corridors. They'd laugh at my skin (I had acne problems) and point it out in front of everyone. Soon, the whole year and some people from the year below, we're teasing me too. Every day I had to get on a bus, with a few friends, and walk into school knowing I'd have to face some sort of bullying. It got physical when I started falling asleep in classes, due to my lack of sleep at night. People would throw books at me, very heavy books, and they would pull my chair out from underneath me to wake me up. Once I woke up crying and they found it hilarious. The teachers knew it was happening, of course! It happened right infront of them. But did they pull me aside after class and tell me I had their support and I could talk to them? No. Did they ever have a word with the bullies? No. Although it was clear that everyday I was getting weaker. I stopped eating just wanted to sit in the classroom at lunchtimes. I didn't want to be around anyone but my friends... Mainly Lucy. She always made me laugh although she never knew how much I was hurting. I went home every day wanting to die, disappear or something. I just didn't want to exist anymore, but the thought of suicide scared me so much... I couldn't do it. I felt disgusted when I looked in the mirror. I started to cut because I blamed myself for being so ugly. I wanted to punish myself. Why was I so ugly and useless? The cutting felt good some days, and didn't help at all other days. People noticed my arms no matter what I did to cover them up during P.E. Obviously then people thought I was even more of a freak than before. I couldn't tell my mum the worst of things because I didn't want to put her through anymore stress. She already felt like a failure as a mother due to my sexual assault as a child. I just couldn't tell her. I held it all inside. Suddenly one day, my friends, including Lucy, decided they didn't want to be my friends anymore. They literally stopped talking to me. I came into school that day, scared to death, but walking in... They ignored my greeting and I kind of took the hint there and then. Two boys used to call me 'death' and pull my arm when I was trying to write in lessons. Another two would do the physical bullying and put glue in my hair, or steal my blazer and hide it somewhere so I'd be late for my next lesson. They'd trip me up in the halls and the girls would push me into the boys toilets and call me every name under the sun if I ever started crying. All of this, with no sleep and no friends and no support... I wanted to die more than ever. I would sit in my room and think of different options for suicide. But you know what stopped me? I thought about my parents, my siblings, my cousins, everyone who DID care about me. I thought to myself... "Why take your life for people who don't care? Why not live for those who do?" Because once upper school/high school ends, those people won't matter at all. Think of your future. Think of all the amazing things you'll achieve. That's what ran through my mind when suicide crept through and took over. Of course when school finished, my problems weren't over. I still had to watch out for those bullies whilst being out. I had all these mental problems inside and I was ready to explode. I'm 20 years old now... And I've come a hell of a long way. If I had taken my life, I wouldn't of been able to come any distance. I deal with problems still... And I'm working on them. My family knows everything and are supporting me. At school, I went through more, but I don't want to go into detail. I wanted someone to read this story and kind of be inspired. It doesn't matter what you're going through, there's always a way out. I know giving up may seem like the only option out of the torture you're going through, but TRUST ME, it's not. You're so much stronger than you think. You can prove so many people wrong by carrying on, no matter how tough it is at the time. I've seen the people who bullied me years after school and they are working dead end jobs and are shocked at the transition I've made into a young woman, when they'd see me. Some didn't even recognize me. You can do the same. When you leave school or wherever you're being bullied, come back in a few years and show 'em how amazing you are. Their childish ways and words didn't destroy you. Show them you're okay and happy. It's the best damn feeling in the world! That's my story. I hope it helped someone. Just one person is enough. Stay strong and remember how many people love you. I'm one of them :)
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