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I’m beyond terrified to share this.
I’ve gone back and forth on it for a long time, but then I was thinking, “What if someone else shared their story when I needed it?”
And honestly, all I want is to help people with mine.
In elementary school, I was the loner type, and not really by choice. I didn’t mind it and kids poked their fun at me, but honestly, I didn’t really care. I had one friend in third grade, and our friendship lasted until seventh grade. We did a lot together; she was a good friend. In seventh grade, I was forced to switch schools and I was honestly excited. I wanted to make new friends, and while I did gain some great people in my life, I also gained the worst people.
I’d been bullied before, but never to the extent, I cared. I didn’t know why I suddenly cared. It was certainly different. I was called a whore every day. I didn’t even know what that word meant when I was in seventh grade. I didn’t know these people, I had no idea why they had such a problem with me. Classmates would kick me in my shins, people would just bother me. and for no valid reason. It continued into eighth grade, and by then, I thought I'd gotten pretty good at pretending not only to them but to myself, that I didn’t care. Ninth grade, high school. This is when it hit hardest. It was like seventh grade all over again. I didn’t know these people, why were they so mean to me?
People would comment mean things on my statuses, on my pictures. They would pretend to be my friend and laugh later that I actually thought they wanted to be my friend. People a grade higher than me bullied me, people in grades lower than me bullied me. I had no idea why everybody hated me so much. People would put me down daily and make me feel the absolute worst about myself, yet I was still always nice to everybody. I was there for everybody who needed someone. I kept secrets for people. And honestly, none of them deserved it.
In grade ten, I started skipping school. I was scared to go. I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. It hurt way too much. I didn’t know what this was, I didn’t know why I was hurting all the time. Why I was scared to leave my house? I was always in trouble for not going. The counselor at school suggested I was depressed, and I thought she was insane. No way could I be depressed. I was way too young for that. I suffered with this sadness for seven years. People would tell me to grow up. Get over it. Stop feeling sorry for myself, and I agreed with them.
Throughout high school, I was tormented and made fun of. Some more than others. I was a target. And I’m more than certain some of you remember. And I’m sure your excuse for all of it would be “we were just joking” and “it was just fun.” But please listen and understand when I tell you, it was none of those for me. I cried every day, I questioned why people hated me, and honestly, I wanted to die. I spent so many nights wanting to die.
The saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can’t hurt me” is such a bullshit saying. Words do hurt. Please, before you ever try to poke fun at someone, stop and ask yourself:
- “Is it worth it?”
- “Will this hurt them?”
- “How would I feel?”
Often, words are the worst of it all. Things people said played over and over in my mind. it was so loud and I couldn’t turn it off. Today, at 22. I suffer from severe general anxiety. I suffer from severe social anxiety. I suffer from moderate-severe depression. And I can’t tell you how many times my therapist has cried with me over some of the stuff people did to me in school. If I had a dollar for every time she said “I am so sorry that happened to you,” I’d be so rich. I'm writing this because I want to help people by sharing my story. You are not alone. I am someone who is here for you. I am someone who believes you.