I remember the day I went to preschool. It was magical to me. I met knew kids and became friends. It was the best thing ever for me. As I got older and exceled in school I yearned for knowledge. I was that one kid in school that absolutely loved school. I wanted to learn as much as I could. If I could see in the future, I would see that the one place I loved to be in would be my most hated.
When I entered Intermediate school, things became different. It was during third grade that I found out I was different from my friends. It was that year that I learned I had Dyslexia. I was too young at the time to understand what Dyslexia was. All I knew was that I had trouble reading. I used to hate reading with a passion.
During Fourth and Fifth grade things started to get better. My Dyslexia was being tamed and my grades started to climb back up.
Sixth grade was when my world turned dark and cold. It was when my bullying started. Three girls bullied me verbally at first. At first I tried ignoring them but words stick to you.
Ignoring only provoked them further. I went to my teachers…. no help. I finally went to my school councilor and bless her heart, she tried everything in her power to help me.
In the end, the bullying became worse. I only found solace in the books I read. The thing I used to hate became my solace.
I tried telling my parents about what was happening at school, the only thing they could tell me was to ignore the girls who bullied me. I never fault my parents, this was during a time where bullying in schools was starting to become known a little.
For the next four years, school was hell for me. I tried to avoid the thing I hated and my Dyslexia started to rear its head again. By eighth grade I started to hate myself. All I wanted was to be normal. That's all I asked God every time I went to church. “Please God make me normal.”
It was ninth grade when my bullying started to become physical. It was also the time my savior saved me. While my counselor in High School made things worse, it was my principal that saved me and a teacher I will never forget.
Now don't get me wrong. In Middle School I did eventually go to the principal. He blamed me for my misfortunes. So when I went to my High School principal I was scared he would blame me as well.
A teacher that was there to listen to my problems convinced me to go to my principal. I was terrified. Every time I went to counselor or higher, I faced retaliation from these girls.
When I spoke to the principle, he took notes and asked me how long this has happened and I answered every question while I told him my tale. I felt I was giving him a sob story since I started crying in his office.
Then he said the one phrase I never thought I would hear. “I will take care this now.”
My bullying came to an end that day and my days started to become brighter. I thought my life would get so much better, but there was one thing that my bullies were able to do that was lasting. They left scars on me. Not visible ones, they were mental scars.
I never tell my family about my scars or even my friends. I try not to talk about the effects the bullying caused me.
My everyday life, I live with my Dyslexia as if it is my friend now. I also live with the fear of talking to people. The words my bullies said to me forever stick to me. While I must live with those words, I have friends that I am able to talk to now about my experience and talking about my experience to complete strangers has helped me heal in some ways.
It's a long road to recovery and yes you will have days that will be bad and yet some days will be good.
As 2016 approaches, I am reminded of my bullying and how I survived. It will be soon be nine years since my bullying started and five years when it ended. I read stories about children being bullied and some seeing suicide as the only option left.
If I could give any advice, it would be this. It gets better and sometimes you will meet total strangers that will save you from the pain and mental anguish. Suicide is never the answer. I have had very close friends of mine see suicide as the only option and the only thing that happens is more pain and sorrow that has a lasting effect.
So if you are being bullied and you’re reading this, remember that you’re not the only one out there. There are others out there who share your pain and there is a light at the end of the tunnel of darkness. No matter how bleak it is, light always prevails.
Something that helps me everyday is reading a quote from my favorite TV show. Sound a little nerdy but it's the little things that help.
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
-11th Doctor (Doctor Who)
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