Words CAN Hurt...


My name is Shelby. I'm 20 years old and am currently a Junior in college. For me the bullying started in the 3rd grade and didn't ever stop. I was the new kid at my school. I was short, had bright red hair, wasn't very athletic and had the hugest glasses imaginable. I guess I was just so good of a target for those kids that they didn't want to look anywhere else. I was picked on constantly for how I looked. Other kids wouldn't play with me on the playground and would ignore me whenever I tried to have a conversation with them. If I was put into a group with them they would make me do all the work and take all the credit.

Middle school made things worse. The school I went to basically doubled in size and in turn doubled the amount of bullying. I still had glasses and I loved my hair color (despite teasing). In a time when kids are trying to find out who they are, being different is like having a giant target on your back. I guess having red hair is just different enough.

High school was the worst time for me. Although there were people who acted like they cared about me, they teased me behind my back. I would be invited to things just so people would have someone to ignore it seemed. I found peace in books and music, but people held nothing for me.

When I was a Sophomore in high school I attempted suicide. Obviously I wasn't successful and I'm thankful that it didn't end there. I've been in and out of therapy sessions and countless situations of people looking at me and telling me not to let those things get to me. How can I just not let it get to me? When you've been told that you're ugly, stupid, annoying etc, since you were in 3rd grade, those words can't just roll off your back.

College is the best thing that has happened to me so far. It just proves to me that it DOES get better. But I still struggle in my day to day life because of what those kids did to me. I just hope and pray that enough will change so my kids will be safe when they go to school. That is my hope and my prayer.

Thank you.


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