I’m seventeen years old. I’m overweight, but I have a pretty face. I’m not athletic, but I’m extremely intelligent. I’m shy, but I’ll be nice to anyone. I’m a senior in high school. I should be out at the Friday-night football games with all my peers. I should be excited for homecoming, prom, and going off to college. Instead, I sit at home on almost every night except for when I have counseling. I’m on anti-depressants to help with my depression and anxiety that I developed from being bullied.
My story of bullying starts at the end of my eighth grade year. I had a lot of friends and we were a close-knit group. I had a boyfriend. I was out every day ad every night. I was having the time of my life. Even though I had all of these good things, like most teenage girls, I had a low self-esteem. When I would ever get upset, I got very emotional and didn’t know how to deal with it. I started cutting. When my best friend and my boyfriend saw the cut marks, they did something I never thought they’d do. They made fun of me. They said it looked they could play the guitar on my arm. I laughed and ignored it, but looking back, I now know how truly wrong they were.
During my freshman year of high school, I came out as bisexual. I started dating a girl that I had become extremely close to who also happened to be gay. Instead of people ignoring it or accepting it, they harassed me. I was told that I am an embarrassment to my family, that I’m lying about my orientation for attention, and that I don’t deserve the girl I was dating. I never showed anyone how badly the comments hurt me, but that was also a mistake.
When my girlfriend and I broke up, I lost a lot of my friends (as they were also good friends with her too) and the harassment got even worse. It was during the time when facebook and formspring (a website for people to anonymously communicate) were very popular. On formspring, I got about 15 degrading messages a day. They were all anonymous. Looking back now, I know I should have taken down my page right away, but at the time, i thought that would make me weak and let people know how bad they were actually hurting me.
When school started again next year, I had a very difficult time going to school. I was a nervous wreck and still had no friends. I was already absent on the second day of school and started to seriously consider homeschooling. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I wanted to commit suicide, but I couldn’t do that to my family. Instead, I hid from my life. I went to school, came home, and did nothing the rest of the day.
No one deserves to hurt like I did or many other people have. To this day, I still only have about three friends. Its partially my fault though because I made myself so invisible that no one would think to be my friend anymore. I was so sick of losing friends and getting hurt that now I feel as though there is no way of getting myself out of the hole that I dug for myself to hide in.
Next year, I go to college. I’m hoping that I can get back to the way I used to be. I just want to live the carefree life that I used to.
I would never wish for anyone to feel the way that I do. If one person stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself, my life would have been very different right now.
We are bullies. Whether we criticize others or ourselves, we are still bullying someone. We have to put an end to bullying. We are the only hope.