The Black Sheep

I live in a rural community in Nevada called Gardnerville. I was bullied throughout elementary school by select people, but had hope for middle and high school. My seventh and eighth grade years were fine, but when ninth grade began, I was wrong about being accepted. 

I was confused about myself. I liked different things than most people my age, and tended to get along better with the teachers than the students themselves. It wasn't long until I had absolutely no friends. Not even one. I was put down a lot... Called a "snobby bitch", because I decided that my education was important. I had been known as a "brown nosed, teacher's pet" because I was smart and knew answers. 

Unfortunately, I was insecure about myself because I had been called fat over the years. I had grown breasts so I wore clothing to show them off because it was the only attribute of myself I actually liked. I got attention from boys, and that made me feel good. 

The teachers, however, did not understand and only one had ever tried to talk to me about it. Instead of speaking with me to understand, most of my teachers called me out in front of my classes. I was escorted to the office in front of an entire class because I told the teacher when she asked me that my mom was okay with how I dressed. Another teacher, (and this one I'll carry to the grave), had a male friend or colleague come into our class. In front of the entire class, she announced that the man had said my shirt was too low.. I was so embarrassed, and I didn't know what to say. She went on to say that I "needed to put those away, no one wants to see them, etc.". I of course cried and asked to be sent home.

When I told the administration about what happened, they didn't believe me. I felt completely helpless. My mother of course believed me, and tried to argue with the principal, but to no avail. To them, I was lying and there was no use talking to the teacher about what had happened. 

I missed more and more school after that. My absences were so high that I almost got held back. Luckily, one of the administrators that had known me and liked me gave me a break-after all, I didn't have bad grades. 

Seven years later. I have learned so much from these experiences. Not all teachers are a solution, but a problem. Kids can be so mean and for no reason at all except they need to feel better about themselves. It can take years to recover from even one time of being bullied. It hurts, and sometimes it feels like you will never get better, but it does. I immersed myself in my studies. I am in my second year of college to become a teacher. I already know that bullying will have absolutely no place in my classroom or even on my watch. I know now that I was only singled out because I was different...Which I've found is not a bad thing to be. 

My words of encouragement to those who are suffering now: Just be yourself. You will one day find people like you that didn't grow up with the narrow minds around you. When you feel like you're stuck, read a book, listen to music, go for a walk. You will feel better. Tell someone you trust. Be it your parents, your friends, teachers, anyone! Someone will be there to understand. But most of all, don't change to appease the bullies. Be yourself for the beautiful person you are, inside and out. No matter what they say, you are incredible. Thank you. 


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