10 years later

In third grade, I wasn't bullied by other students; I was bullied by my teacher. Her and I would get into screaming matching almost every day. I was constantly sent to the vice principal's office and I often hid in the bathroom to avoid being mocked by my peers for "yelling too much." She called my house every Friday night, drunk, and told my father exaggerated or entirely fabricated stories about what I had done that week worthy of her punishment. She even sent my mother a nine-page, handwritten hate letter in the mail to my mother. This went on for the entire school year. The vice principal recommended I "don't come in for the last two days of school." I had to transfer from private school to public school. Fortunately, the teacher was fired immediately after I transferred out. Turns out she has bipolar disorder which she hadn't been treating at the time. 

In fourth grade, I started at Albany Avenue Elementary School. I was often bullied and ostracized because I was a "weirdo." There was a clique of five girls that could have been taken straight out of Mean Girls; they pretended to be my friend just long enough so I would believe it and go along with ridiculous things that they made me believe was cool to be doing in their group. Unsurprisingly, the teachers did nothing about it. Even when my father died in the middle of the school year, the bullying didn't stop, even for a day. 

In middle school, I was often teased for trying to hard to fit in with the "emo"crowd and was often called a "poser" by classmates. I tried way too hard to be exactly like another girl in my class who I thought was cool. Nobody accepted me for who I was, so I thought acting like her would make me as cool as her. Instead, people just called me a freak and a wannabe. One kid would make crow noises at me every time he saw in the hallway because I wore black. Eventually, I grew into my own sometime during middle school and the bullying stopped.

All through high school, I saw bullying going on every day. Maybe not the "coming home with blood on your face" kind, but there was a lot of psychological taunting going on anywhere you looked. Just sly enough that a student technically couldn't get in trouble for it, but the undertones of what he or she was saying was quite clear.

To anyone being bullied, this is for you: Do not let these awful people ruin your lives. You are better than those bullies, and you are better than what they do to you. I can guarantee that there is at least one person in this world that loves you from the very bottom of their heart. Love can overpower hate if you remember that it's there. Hell, some bullies may feel just as lonely and sad and lost as you do. Try to spread love to everyone around you instead of taking those bullies' crap. Even if you have to fake it, show them how happy you really are and that you're not phased by them. Inner peace is like rat poison to a bully. If you take anything from this, please remember you are loved.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

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