Overcoming my insecurities; Being comfortable in my own skin and forgiving my bullies.

Every morning before school I would tell my parents I was sick, knowingly lying to them because I just didn't want to face school. I didn't want to face the girls who called me fat behind my back, the boys who taunted me openly and the teachers who heard the cruel comments but refused to take a stand.

I was always different than most girls; tall, and chubby, but I didn't think anything of it until the day a girl called me names that I will never forget. Once she started the name calling, it was a ripple affect and everyone chimed in. Walking down the hallway of my middle school, I would be spit on, yelled at, kicked and pushed. But I never let anyone see me sad or put down, thinking it would make me seem weak.

Although I never let anyone see me upset, every night after school I went to my room and cried, contemplating taking my own life and cutting my limbs to a boody pulp. And every morning I would get up for school and beg my parents to let me stay home. You see, my parents didn't know about my daily horrors so they made me go, and eventually I started to resent them.

It went on like this for 3 years until I decided I wasn't going to let someone else's disrespectful decisions dictate how my day would go. I made everyday a good day, even while being kicked and called names. I didn't let myself cut the skin God granted me with, nor did I let their hurtful words puncture my feelings.

I told my parents what had happened and they decided it would be best that I talk to a therapist. Every week I would see a woman who pried the information out of me that I kept to myself for so long. Every week she would make me believe I was beautiful and I mattered. Every week she made me understand that to forgive myself for the harm I had done to my beautiful body, I had to first forgive my enemies. Every hour I spent with that woman mattered. Every hour she let me understand that my parents want the best for me and if they had known about the pain I was put through, they would have changed something. She let me understand that the beating in my chest isn't just a heartbeat, but a physical representation of purpose. I was put on this earth by God himself for a certain reason, and to fulfill that reason I needed to trust myself and let myself believe I can do anything. She let me understand that my importance isn't measured by the number on the scale.

After 4 years of treatment I am able to say I can forgive the young men and women who have hurt me emotionally, psychologically and physically. After 4 years of treatment I am able to forgive my parents. After 4 years of treatment I believe I am beautiful and I am here for a reason.

While still trying to figure out that purpose, I am free. Free of bullies, free of resentment, and free of pain. And I am happier than ever.

Please forgive your bullies. Not for them, but for you. As a former bully victim myself, I am able to say that the feeling you get after you let it all go is remarkable. Its indescribable. If you aren't able to forgive them, I understand. It takes time. In the meantime, when you see a lonely kid, or a person who just doesn't look comfortable, talk to them. Tell them they matter and they aren't alone.

Everyday make it a habit to compliment one person. Whether its just a simple, "I like your shoes," it makes all the difference.

Everything starts with one. Pass it on. Make the change.

But remember, no one has the right to define who you are. Be true to yourself.

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