Well, I guess I should start at the beginning, though I'm not completely sure where that is:
- I guess it could be in elementary school, about 3rd grade, when I got called names for being a little chunker.
- Or it might be back in middle school, when a "mean-girl" decided it was her personal mission to make my life hell.
- But then again there was high school, when a girl spread rumors about me that weren't true....rumors that my own best friends believed. They ditched me for her....and I had to transfer schools for a year to escape the backlash of the spread lies.
I'll start in the 3rd grade, since that's when I first started to doubt myself....I've grown up in a typical small town, everyone knows everyone, southern hospitality, all that jazz. It really is a pretty place, and there are plenty of good people here. I've never doubted that my parents love me, my momma's my bestfriend. It wasn't until about 3rd grade that I began to question myself. I had always been an average sized kid, but the summer between my 2nd and 3rd grade years, I packed on the pounds. I was as round as I was tall. It was a phase that lasted a year, but that year was a tiny hell. I got called fat often. I was excluded from playing in other kid's groups. You would've thought I had grown a third foot and turned purple. But I guess that's just how society viewed me.....different....lazy....gross. After that year, I lost a bunch of weight. The majority of kids were nice to me, well, all except for one little boy. Most people would say..."Aw, Katie, he has a crush on you." Ummmm...prolly not. I don't kick my crushes in the shin and call them tub-o-lards....especially when they aren't even fat anymore.
So that was fun.
But then middle school came around...and with it...a whole other list of problems. My family is athletic. So I decided to play volleyball. I was good. Genuinely a good player. I won an award at a tournament that noone else from my school won. I practiced outside of school. I worked hard to be good. I gained a couple friendships with two girls on the team...and we were really close. It all seemed to be going great. But then this girl (who didn't even play volleyball) started being mean to me. She'd casually say things about me...especially to boys...and they'd all laugh. She worked hard to make sure I got left out of group activites. In the 8th grade, she used a secret weapon....a boy. I'm basically positive she had some kind of creepy mind control power over him, because one day he just started being mean to me for no reason, we'd always gotten along before, but not anymore. Sticking things in my hair, mocking what I would say, just small acts of cruelty that built up. But one day, after he had been picking on me, I ran out of class in the middle of a lecture and went to the bathroom to cry. After that, he left me alone. I think he felt bad.
Finally, there was highschool. My two friends and I befriended a girl at the end of 8th grade. She was a little awkward and unsure of herself. She seemed like a sweet person, so we began inviting her to hangout with us. The best part was her height. She was taller than all of us, and that meant she would be a good candidate for volleyball. She'd never played sports before, so I would invite her to my house all the time to teach her the basics. I wanted her to do well....to find her place. By the time we got to the middle of our freshman year, my original 2 bestfriends had started acting different: more distant. They stopped inviting me to hangout with them. I was hurt and confused. I went to them....trying to figure out what I'd done wrong. That was the first time I heard about all the lies. They told me that they'd never hangout with anyone as cruel as me....someone that would bully an innocent girl. I was so confused. All I'd ever done was try to help her, and to encourage her. I'd spent hours and hours working with her.....teaching her the basics of volleyball....I'd gone to her house...she'd come to mine. I'd believed we were friends.
She continued to spread rumors about me. That I had called her names, told her she was worthless, harrassed her. She was trying to make everyone hate me...after all...she'd grown quite popular...and she had the influence..and the support of the principal. People began to throw things in my hair, they wouldn't let me sit with them at lunch....I had become an outcast. I started to eat my pain away, so I gained weight. The girl eventually sent me text messages telling me that I was worthless and that noone believed me....that I should kill myself. Even after showing one of my friends the messages, they still didn't believe me. After a while, I started believing the things they said about me. I thought about killing myself everyday. I made up countless excuses to avoid going to school. My mom took me to a therapist and I was prescribed some anti-depressants. Even the principal was in on some of it, when my mom showed her all of the messages, she said she couldn't do anything about......I was forced to transfer schools my junior year because of the constant torture.
Still to this day I don't know what most of the rumors spread about me were. Noone would tell me.
Since that time, I have been through many things that have taught me important lessons. You can't give up on yourself. You are worth SO much, and there ARE people who care about you. You are beautiful just the way you are....and the only reason you should ever change, is because YOU want to. Noone is alone in this.
Now I'm a college student, and I'm going to teach high school history one day. It's my goal to have a classroom 100% safe from bullying, and to promote kindness and love. I am much stronger than I used to be....and I stand up for myself. In a way, I thank all the people who ever hurt me, because they gave me a voice. They made me who I am today.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.