How bullying consumed my life

Ever since I was in elementary school I felt like an outcast. I did not have many friends. I always seemed to keep to myself, which made me an easy target to my classmates. I was constantly teased on a daily basis. Every day I would come home and lock myself up in my room and cry. I did not think things could get worse, but they did. When middle school approached not only was I being teased, but I began to be bullied. There was this one girl in one of my classes that would hit me with books behind my head. I would wake up with fear each day because it seemed like I could not escape the torture I was facing. The worst part is that the girl that was bullying me sat right behind me in class each day. After being bullied and teased for some time, I developed anxiety and depression. In fact, I would get anxiety at just the thought of going to school each morning. In the ninth grade, I was finally able to move schools and start all over in a new environment.

Even though I was able to escape the bullying, I was left with scars that did not seem to erase. In addition, I suffered from low self- esteem. Depression, anxiety and low self- esteem followed me everywhere I went. I never asked for help because I was ashamed of my circumstance. As time went by, what I really helped me was sharing my story. Once I was able to open up, I began to realize that I was not the only one who experienced bullying. Surprisingly, there are many people that share the same experience. Today, as an adult, I am able to look back and not be ashamed of my past. I have recovered from depression, anxiety and low- self esteem. The biggest lesson I learned is that I should never be ashamed of who I am. In the past I was ashamed of myself, but today I could not be prouder of the person I have become. Bullying is a serious threat, but just remember that bullying does not define you. You are stronger than you think. And you do ! matter to this world.

- Brenda

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