When I was in ninth grade two of my classmates spread a vicious rumor about me. I thought these two girls were my friends but instead they spread a lie about me that almost destroyed my high school career. It was a stupid lie, one that just made people think I was a sneak and not to be trusted. So for the next two years I was friendly to kids in school, but I put up a wall. I didn't know who I could trust and I didn't want to be hurt again. I was embarrassed and ashamed, which seems silly now as I'm not the one who did any thing wrong. To this day I have no idea why they did this to me. At the time, they were my best friends in school. I can think of all sorts of reasons why, maybe because they both came from homes broken by divorce, they didn't get enough love, they were not the prettiest, they were struggling with their own sexuality - they are both gay. If it was simply because they were jealous of me, they needn't have been. Everyone has their secrets and everyone's life isn't as happy as it may appear to others, mine included. If it was simply to have some fun at my expense, a harmless prank in their minds, what friends do to one another for a laugh, they were sadly mistaken as what they did was not done in "friendship fun".
The day these girls made this lie, they changed my future. I was already struggling with shyness that at times was debilitating. I was at a new school and the only person I knew coming into the school was a former classmate who didn't want me there. Every time I saw this other girl, I had to endure awkward stares. So I had no other good friends other than these two girls who turned on me. For years afterwards I just wished I could be anybody but me. I did think about killing myself. Not just because of these two girls, but my home life wasn't as ideal as people might have thought. One day in my parents kitchen, I put a knife to my wrist, and stuck the tip in to my wrist. It was an impulsive action, I wanted to see how much it hurt. The sight of the blood shocked me into reality, and I realized I didn't want to do this, it hurt. I wish I could say I was thinking of all the people who would miss me. But I was only thinking of me and I was tired of living in constant fear. Fear that people didn't like me. Fear that my parents were disappointed in me. Fear that I wasn't smart enough or pretty enough. Fear that I hated myself.
I know now I was bullied. The torment I did to myself went on long after the bully's were done with their fun. I was able to endure because I ended up making some good friendships my senior year who helped me realize I was a good friend, a good person. These five girls have no idea how they pulled me through. When I graduated from high school, I ran away from the bullies and my home life, to college. I needed to get away from all the people that made me hate myself. I knew the person I hated really wasn't the real me.
Now, we are all connected on Facebook. The bully's, my friends, and me. Some people think the best revenge is to live a good life inspite of the people that brought you down. I don't see it that way. Part of me sees it as these two girls were young and immature, on one hand they had no idea the impact of their lie. The other part of me is just sad that this happened. I didn't have any revenge that I wanted to get back at them, so I would want to cause the bully's harm. Some people think the best revenge is to do well in spite of the bully's,the evil. Did I get revenge because I managed to get through this situation?
People say I'm a strong person, if by being strong means getting though traumatic events while maintaining a sense of sanity, then I guess I'd agree I'm a strong person. Am I stronger because of the bullying? Maybe. But did I need to be bullied in order to be strong? That's a sad thought that strength is equated with victimization. We should be strong regardless and not need trauma to make us stronger.
My point is this, if you are being bullied, you can get through this. You really can. And not just get through, but thrive. And ure going to survive because you have to. There is only one you, nobody can replace you. Even when you think you are the worse person and nobody would miss you, you are wrong. You would be missed. Life may seems crappy some days, but it really can be good. If you are being bullied tell an adult. If they won't do anything, tell another adult. And don't stop telling until you get the situation addressed. Bully's don't always know they are bully's, they can't change their behavior unless they know about it. So don't keep what's happening a secret. Tell. Tell. Tell.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.