My name is Rachael, I'm 18 years old, turning 19 in just a few short days, and I have a terrible experience to share, but this has a happy ending. I hope my story will encourage you readers that there is life before and after bullying, there is HOPE even in the darkest of times. I give you now the challenge to survive. To show them what you are made of, to NEVER give in. Please read my story and fight, and never stop fighting.
I was a loner. I never realized it until later in life, but I always have been a loner. I never had many friends, though I tried so hard to be nice to everyone I've ever met, because my mother always told me to judge one on character and not appearance, but not everyone sees it that way, and I learned that the hard way. My bullying story starts after school, walking home, in 3rd grade. As I was walking, the boys behind me began spitting in my hair and on my clothes, and laughing, saying it made me shiny. (I had very frizzy hair, and my clothes weren't the best) I cried all the way home, not understanding why they'd do such a terrible thing to someone who hadn't done a single thing to them. Things like that, little things, would happen throughout my elementary school years. Middle school was the critical years that changed me forever.
People would tell me to kill myself on a daily basis, they'd call me fat, gross, ugly, they'd throw things in my hair, they'd spit in my hair, groups of students would surround me and call me names, taking turns at putting me down. I'd go home crying every day, most days, before school even began, I'd call my mom who had just dropped me off not 5 minutes before, to come pick me up because the harassment was so severe. Teachers watched it happen, and never did a thing to stop it. I'd beg teachers to move my bullies, and the teachers would tell me to grow up and stop complaining. My grades were going downhill, as was my mental state. I was emotionally exhausted, drained of life, battling my way through each day hoping I wouldn't be noticed or pushed in the hall or called a name, but each day I failed to be unnoticed. Each day, someone always had something to say. At lunch, boys would take the food off of my tray and tell me I didn't need it. In the halls, people would look at me in pure disgust and push me into walls and into others, thinking it was funny. They'd try to trip me, they'd get their friends to laugh and throw things at me. I was the outcast of the entire school and I didn't know what to do. And to make matters worse, they put me in P.E class. I never changed out, never participated, which lead me to failing the course. Throughout the course, the other girls would constantly put me down right in front of the teacher. The teacher would ignore it, and show them my grades, gossiping about how I don't do anything. Every day was pure hell. My mother and I eventually set up a meeting with the guidance councilor and vice principal. I've never seen my mother cry so much in my entire life before that meeting. She explained to them how I cried for hours every day after school, how I missed so many days because I hadn't had the will to get myself out of bed in the morning. She explained to them that her baby girl was on the edge of suicide and she had no idea how to save her.
The vice principal told me to give all the names of the bullies (the list was quite long) and they would never know who told. Well, the day after I told them the names, and the bullies got called to the office one by one, they knew it was me. I had to stay after school so I wouldn't get jumped, and my mom had to park closer to the school so I could easily get in and go home.
Middle school ended, and I was a wreck. I was depressed, lonely, and just barely made it to high school. I was hoping high school would be better, but I was wrong.
High school began, and, though I wasn't getting as severely bullied as I had in middle school, I was still being bullied, but the drama was overwhelming. Girls would spread rumors that I was talking bad about people and that I was a horrible person (I never spoke, I was shy and isolated myself from everyone at all times) and left me friendless. I was lonelier than ever, and spent my days skipping school and crying. I eventually dropped out of high school, leaving behind the pain and sorrow I had always felt.
Bullying has left me with severe depression and anxiety that I cannot control. Dropping out of high school left me feeling empty and left me feeling like a failure. Not only had I been bullied about my weight and appearance, but my home life wasn't so grand either. Parent's fighting, my father being a jerk every day. I felt so useless to them and to myself.
I survived for my mother. Without her, I'd be another suicide statistic. Another lonely soul that only wanted the pain to go away. The pain of bullying is a lasting feeling, especially if it was so severe as mine was, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you cannot survive for yourself, survive for your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your dog, your cat, even your fish. Survive for your FUTURE. Survive for the person you will become, and that person will be awesome. That person has always been you, but that person has been hiding under all the debris and pain of what other people have done. Don't let them take your life. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF. Give yourself a chance. Prove them wrong.
You all can go the distance. Fight through the storm and a beautiful rainbow will be awaiting you! I've been through it, and everything is falling into place. My heart is slowly healing, and my confidence is building. Most importantly, after hating who I was for so long, I finally love and accept myself.
You may lose yourself for awhile, but you will find yourself again. Never give up, friends. Never let other people control your life. Love yourself. Treat yourself good, stay healthy, and survive. I know you can.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.