It all began when I was 11 years old and starting high school. I'd gone to th e same school as my three best friends, and we were in all the same classes. After a few weeks, things started to change. They would sit at a different table, or position themselves so I couldn't sit with them. They stopped including me in conversations and started ignoring me. From there, it continued to get worse. By this time I'd come to realise they no longer wanted to hang out with me, so I sat on my own in lessons and became more withdrawn.
Other people started joining in too. For no apparent reason, I quickly became the girl that everyone treated like rubbish. Whenever I walked down the corridor, people would point and laugh, or trip me up. I'd be left to work on my own for group projects, or forced to work with people who'd make me feel a million times worse. I was never attacked in the street or beaten up, but everything was building up, with constant looks, jokes, comments... I felt so humiliated.
In Year 8 - when I was 12 - I began self-harming. Although this may have been partly due to my parents breaking up 2 years earlier, I believe the main thing that drove me to that was this constant, relentless bullying. The bullying continued, and so did the self-harming - both getting progressively worse. I also came out as bisexual, which caused even more taunting. By the beginning of Year 9 I was severely depressed and had been referred to a mental health service for therapy. I desperately wanted all this to stop, but I couldn't recover whilst I was still being humiliated every time I walked into school.
In February 2012, I reached my breaking point. Someone had commented on one of my photos on Facebook saying something along the lines of "oh my god, she's so ugly, why doesn't she just go die?" My day at school had also been particularly awful, and later that evening I attempted to take my own life.
I'd like to say that I made a miraculous recovery; that once people realized how badly they were affecting me they stopped - but nothing changed. I kept the suicide attempt hidden, but eventually my self-harm was discovered and this just created more hatred towards me. Now I would walk down the halls and see people pretending to cut themselves, or shouting "emo freak" after me. I also developed bulimia. Six weeks later, I attempted suicide again, and this was the start of five or six more attempts - some more serious than others. My last attempt was in December.
In November 2012, I decided I would try and stop self-harming. I'd gone through several therapists and had been receiving professional help for over a year, and I finally realized there were better ways of coping with the bullying. I still struggle with depression, anxiety and urges to hurt myself, but as of today, I have not cut myself in 5 months. Things are beginning to look up.
I'm not going to lie and say that the bullying has stopped, but I've found a group of amazing friends who are supportive and stand up for me. Although I am trying to learn from my experiences and try to look on the positive side, I would never wish what I've been through in the past few years on anyone. I really hope that by sharing my story I can raise awareness of the horrible impact that bullying can have on someone's life, and to let anyone struggling out there know that there IS hope and it DOES get better.
Thank you for reading.
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