Hanging in the Balance

Dear Reader,

My name is Kat, I'm 16 now but I was 13 when I was seriously bullied. When I was 11, I moved from Australia to the United States and even though we speak the same language, we are extremely different. I basically went through culture shock for the first couple of years. Anyway, I went to this school, and in 8th grade when I felt like my world was stable, it was turned upside-down. My best friend and I had this fight, because she was obsessed with this boy and I didn't want to talk about him every second of the day, so she got offended and turned everyone except one friend against me. Of course I didn't know she had done this at the time, so the day after we had had this fight, me and the one friend I had left walked to the lunch table and everyone was there with a sheet of paper and a pencil. We sat down and everyone looked at me and this girl who I was never super close with, looked at me very seriously and said, "We're going to try and fix you by writing down everything we think that's wrong with you, so the group can go back to normal, I already have a list so I'll start". So this girl sat there and was reading all the things she hated about me, and I was in such a state of shock I didn't even hear what she said. My friend dragged me up into the middle of the lunchroom and asked if there was anyone else we could sit with. I knew this boy from my French class, and his group were the kind of out-casts of the school, so I asked him if I could sit with them and he said yeah sure. So a couple of weeks go by and I get this anonymous note left in my locker telling me that I'm worthless and that I'm a slut and a whore and that I'm stupid and a waste of skin etc. I ignore it, and one week later I get another one, and another one, and they got darker with what they were saying, telling me I should kill myself and leave a note by my dead body, that I should go die in hell etc. I got six of these. Every time I got a new one I'd go to the school counselor and eventually the principal. They didn't do anything and instead said it was MY fault that this was happening. That I brought it upon MYSELF. My parents sent the notes to the rangers and they said they couldn't do anything because it wasn't a direct threat on my life. Then when I got the 6th one the principal and two guidance counselors came in and accused me of writing them and suggested I go to a therapist. I was in shock and outraged that they could blame a victim like that. Soon I learned they do that all the time. I ended up losing the one friend I had, and so it was just me and the guys, but I ate lunch in the bathroom for a couple of months. I also cried myself to sleep every night. Because I was in shock, my body reacted, so I would puke constantly. I stopped eating at school altogether, and for a long time I was suicidal, to the point where I had planned how I would end it. Today I say that if I hadn't had my friends in Australia and my family I would be dead. I believe that almost more than anything. I understand that a lot of people don't have a family like mine, or friends somewhere like my good ones, and this makes me sad because those people don't know what it's like to have someone on your side that shows you constantly that they are ON YOUR SIDE.
When I entered my freshman year of high school Bully came out. I saw it three times and cried to the point where I was sobbing in the theater because I knew exactly what that was like, how that isolation feels. So since then I have made it my mission to stand up for others who aren't in a stable enough emotional state to do it for themselves. I do this because I know what its like to be bullied, and when that's happening, you don't feel like it'll ever stop and most of the time, the victim is so beat down they can't defend themselves, which is why, if I see it, I will.
I have several other stories about my own experience with bullying (because I was also bullied physically) and I have a lot of stories of me standing up for others. I will ALWAYS listen to someone who has gone through this, and I can be your support and we can help each other. Most importantly though, I want you to know, that we can end this. We don't have to settle for being called sluts and whores and fags and emos. If we stand TOGETHER anything is possible.

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