During school I was bullied a lot, as were many children. Today I think back and I honestly don't know how I dealt with it. It may have been the few friends I had made through the years, or the fact I wanted to see better for my sister and the urge to be strong for her. Beyond all of that, I dealt with a lot and I would hate to see any child today going through what I did. I would rather take it all upon myself.
The start of bullying happened in Elementary School. I was quiet, kept to myself mostly, but I excelled at my school work. I loved learning, it was fun for me. This attracted negative feelings from the other students. Whether it was because they viewed me as a threat, or I made them feel some insecurity because I enjoyed learning, I have no idea. The fact is, it started with me being called nerd. After a while being a nerd made me proud, it meant I was smart and I liked being smart, so that became what I was, the smart one. Later on in Middle School I met a bunch of new students from other schools. Our schools mixed together for 7th and 8th grade and that meant I had to mingle with so many others. This is where things changed.
In Middle School things got physical. It started with small shoves here or there. I ignored them, I wanted to stay the peaceful sort. When they saw that it didn't bother me, or at least I didn't let them know it bothered me, they moved on to more things, like shoving me into lockers or even going as far as choking me. All of this was because I was a nerd. I tried going to some teachers about it, or the principal, but nothing really came of it. They would say they would do something, yes they would give a small punishment to those doing something, but the next day it would all happen again. When I was in the office telling them almost every day that someone did something to me the officials got tired of it and stopped doing anything. Both of my parents worked a lot and I couldn't reach out to them, they wouldn't have had time to go to the school anyway. Or at least that's how I felt back then. Luckily I made a friend in Middle School that was somewhat popular and kind of the tough guy. He stood up for me and in turn I gave him the utmost loyalty I could. He held me together. Jeremy thank you for that.
In High School I came out of the closet. I had struggled for years with being homosexual. Because "it was a sin" and it is "wrong" to "choose" that lifestyle. Truth is no one will know what it's like to be gay because they aren't walking in the footsteps of a gay person, and that's what I learned immediately after coming out. A lot of the friends I had made, some close, some not so much, got nervous to be around me. Some turned away from me, others acted differently, and then there were the few that became outright cruel to me. I was ready to let go, but then I would look at my sister and I felt so selfish about it. I didn't want her to be hurt. Alison, my baby sister, saved my life without even trying.
The physicality started up again, sometimes it was so bad to the point I would end up bleeding. I hid this from my parents because I didn't want questions. I felt I suffered enough embarassment, it was so hard to approach anyone after Middle School. After trusting people to take care of me and it just didn't happen. Sometimes it's so much harder to talk than it is to suffer through it, and that's what I feel people need to understand. We live in a world where we only talk about our emotions when someone shows they care and it isn't often done. I feel that we need more officials that will show they care. Have a time where each student gets to talk to someone. Yes there're a lot of students in these public schools, but they're people. They deal with things. Bullies and victims alike. They need someone to talk to. I know I did, I just felt like I didn't have anyone to go to.
Today no, I don't feel sorry for myself anymore. I feel sorry for the ones going through all of the stuff I did or even worse. My aspiration is to become a counselor, just so I can be there for some of these kids. Just so they have someone to talk to. I took the pledge, and I will do something when I see it or hear about it. I won't let bullying go.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.