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You’re Never Alone

Posted: 10/2/2014

Hi, my name is Jana. This is my story. Bullying has been a problem since I was in the first grade. I was the fat, weird, and loser kid. The teacher was literally my best friend. The second grade was no better. Especially since the teacher was terrible. I was alone. No friends. I finally moved to a different school at the start of the third grade. Things got better, and I actually liked it. Then came the fourth grade. My two "best friends" turned on me and told everyone my dad was in jail. I was heartbroken that they treated me like that. It then led to one of the girls bullying me online taunting me, saying that my dad was in jail for molesting me. He wasn't. He was in jail for drugs. We then moved again to another school. I fell in love. It was the best school ever. There was still bullying, but it wasn't as bad. Even though I only had 3 friends, that was all I needed.

I went through the sixth and seventh grade with minimal bullying. Then came the eighth grade. The bullying started up again. And this time, it was really bad. At that point, I was just done. I was tired of the constant bullying and going home bawling. I thought it had all finally stopped. I was wrong. The bullying got so bad that I became severely depressed. I missed a lot of school. What no one knew was that I was staying home because I could barely walk and was scared. I could barely walk because at that point, I started cutting myself. It was horrible. I stayed in bed all say. I cried myself to sleep at night. No one had the slightest clue. My mom just thought I was sick. Eventually, my 2 best friends found out. I made them swear not to tell, and lied to them constantly. A few months later, my mom found out. I felt like my whole world had come crashing down. Me and one of my best friends were no longer friends because of rumors. I hate my mom's boyfriend because he's not my dad. Everything was horrible. Cutting was this way I could cope. All the shame and the pain was marked on my arms, wrists, and legs. It was awful. I just couldn't stop. When my mom found out, she put me in counseling. (If you are ever struggling with self harm in any way, you need to get help IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! It is NOT a healthy way to cope. And if you're ever thinking about it, DON'T!!! You are beautiful and are worth more than harming yourself. Please, if you are harming yourself in any way, GET HELP!) Things started looking up for once. Then came high school.

Stupid high school freshmen. That was me. I was THAT freshman. The stupid, fat, and annoying freshman. Things actually did start to look up for me though. Despite all the upperclassmen making fun of me, I learned to cope better. No, I'm not going to lie. It's not like I haven't relapsed. I have. I feel like I'm on the road to recovery, and it is a long road. I have been through something as small as a fat joke, to as big as my four wheeler accident where I broke my thigh, arm, and 5 ribs, along with a severe head injury. I feel experienced. I feel more grateful for my life. Every time someone makes fun of me, I think, look at where I'm going to be in 10 years down the road. I have a bright future ahead of me, and I'm not letting some insecure person bring me down. Life's hard. But you weren't given a life you aren't strong enough to live.

So, my thoughts on bullying? Huh. Why? Why would you make someone feel so bad about themselves that they hurt them self and try to kill them self? It's not cute. It's not funny. And it sure doesn't make you cool. I have 5 bracelets I wear constantly. Warrior, Stay Strong, Stop Bullying, Band Against Bullying Stand Up Speak Out, and LOVATIC. These things remind me that I am a warrior, and that I can get through anything. I'm honored that my birthday happens to be on October 5. Since I am turning 16, I am getting my first tattoo on my wrists that will say Stay Strong. A permanent reminder of what I've been through, and how strong I am for coming out of it. I don't see the reason for bullying. Just don't say anything rude. I feel like I was meant to be an advocate for anti bullying, and help make it stop. I feel like that is one of my purposes in life. Always, ALWAYS, remember, you are beautiful and worthy of life. You DESERVE a healthy happy life, and if you are struggling with the same things I struggled with, know that you are worth recovery. There isn't just one type of beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

By: Jana

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Dance in This Dream

Posted: 9/25/2014

My name is Sara Stevens. I'm 13 years old, I'm a singer, and I enjoy every bit of life. When I see kids being bullied: whether it's on TV, online or even in person, I want to reach out to the victims and say: "Don't worry. You're not alone. I was bullied too." I was picked on for being too tall, for drawing too much and for singing in the middle of class. I can't help it. I have music inside me and I need to let it out. In the end, the mean words that were thrown at me made me a stronger person and a better performer. I remember one night I couldn't sleep because I was so worried about going to school in the morning. I even cried. I decided then and there I wanted to make singing my life-long career. Some time later, I met a man named John Roberts. He's a music producer in Atlanta. Together, he and I wrote a song called DANCE IN THIS DREAM which was inspired by what I had gone through. I hope with all my heart that this song will touch many lives. It has a powerful message about looking for the positive and overcoming the negative. The most important thing a person can do is to be him or herself. Don't let anything hold you back, take your chance, find your dream and everything is possible!

By: Sara Stevens

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Cool to be Weird

Posted: 9/19/2014

I am a Seattle-based musician and music teacher that specializes in teaching kids to find their identity through their voice, songwriting, and performance. Like many, I was also a victim of bullying as a teen, when I was made to feel different and weird. This song—inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “The Sneetches”— is about embracing our differences, and celebrating our uniqueness.

I remember my father reading Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches and Other Stories to me as I lay on the floor and colored one night for reading time. Reading was always a nightly event. It started when my mother would leave to work the night shift and would go until my brother and I would fall asleep in our crayons.

I thought it would be appropriate to return to this old book from my past once more. I remember I was washing dishes when I thought “wait all these Sneetches are running around trying to fit in, trying to be acceptable, but it’s cool to be different, it’s cool to be weird.” With soapy hands and wet pages I wrote the entire chorus while finishing the dishes:

“You got to be comfortable in your own skin, don’t you let them win, because it’s cool not to fit in, so go a little crazy and don’t you fear, because it’s cool to be weird.”

As a one on one guitar and songwriting teacher to teens and young girls I feel this is an important message for our youth. In the video you will see a number of my students and people of Seattle making a statement that it’s okay to be yourself, it’s cool to be weird!

By: Tai Shan

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A Story that Needs to be Told

Posted: 9/15/2014

As a child and student, I suffered the experience of being bullied by other kids. They would call me names, push me around, point out parts of my character that was different than others and make fun of these things with their friends. The verbal abuse from them was constant and painful. I became afraid to do anything. I shied away from taking part in Drama, Dancing at school events, participating in sports, and making friends. It has had an effect on my life as an adult as I feel socially awkward when meeting new people and I have a hard time fumbling for the right words. Yet, the kids weren’t the only part of the bullying process. Adults were nearly as bad, intimidating me with their size, demanding that I do things for their entertainment (Fighting, saying unnecessary phrases to people, or taunting people with racial remarks), and the verbal onslaught from adults was just as bad. It’s one thing to be taunted by a student body, but to continue to be taunted when you leave the school? No child should have to face this. No one should be reminded of how stupid they are or how different they may be or how far they will not go in life.

Now, I am watching my own children go through the schools and life. It breaks my heart when I hear that people still behave the way they did when I was a child and I am proud of those people who are fighting to end this ignorance. Despite our differences, should we not all be good people? Shouldn’t we try to aid the fallen? Shouldn’t our spirits be helpful and kind?

My challenge to those who read this… Let people know that they are important. Help them when they are down, even if you don’t get along with them, even if you have to bite your lip and grind through it. Keep things positive with the people you meet and… if you have children, try to never say anything negative to them about their character or how they look. Love each other.

By: Tim

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For the bullied - you are never alone

Posted: 8/29/2014

I stand alone in a world of exclusion while reality tells me this is no illusion.
Tiny baubles of water form in my eyes and ask myself what have I done to deserve their despise.
They call me names and laugh in my face and tell each other I'm a total disgrace.
Their words hurt and cut to my soul, they make me feel like an under-bridge troll.
I try to be strong and look up to the sky; hoping that someone will hear and understand my cry.

Alone, for no one hears my screams. Alone; with only my hopes and my dreams.
I withdraw into myself - into a world of darkness and despair, a world without color, happiness or prayer.
I'm lost in a deserted darkened orb; my only friend - myself, completely absorbed.
I'm looking for someone to show me the light that will make my life again shiny and bright,
I'm looking for someone to help me chase all my fears, someone to wipe away my endless tears..
Deeper and deeper I slip into depression my mind becoming the bully's possession.
Help me, help me I cry in vain while the bullies continue their hideous game.

And then a light appears in my head - a light of happiness and for once, not dread.
It speaks to me with a voice of silk telling me to release my feelings of guilt.
It tells me I'm like a raindrop falling from a warm spring sky -a kaleidoscope of colors and that I shouldn't worry about the sting of others.
It whispers the beauty I bring to the world should never be lost, forgotten or spoiled. It tells me this beauty lives and thrives in my heart and my soul and should always be cherished and
never fishbowled. And so my eyes begin to open and I finally see that the bullies are no better than me.
Their hate and their envy, are clouds that cover their minds, now my only wish is to remove their blinds.

By: Marty

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My story

Posted: 8/29/2014

Ever since I was 5 years old and started school I was called fat, freak, teachers pet, right through to intermediate. In intermediate I was called ugly wasted space, worthless, FAT, and got beaten up a few times. When I started high school, I was sick of life, I was called emo, attention seeker and the same things in primary, on my second year of high school, my life changed, I had type one diabetes, I was diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety, my uncle passed away and I was suicidal. I was addicted to self harm and cutting, I only ever wore black nail polish, my hair was black and I still was an attention seeker, I was told "you should go kill yourself, you're worthless, pathetic, hopeless and mental!" that went on for 2 more years I reached out for help and I left school I went to school and was bullied for 12 years.

By: Kirsten

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Little Bird

Posted: 8/20/2014

You are not ugly
You're a little bird
I know one day you will see
The measure of your worth

Those who crumpled and crushed you
Were acting cowardly
They concealed from view
Their own inadequacy

You are not ugly
Rosebuds are pretty
You are a little tiger
You are silk and amber

You're a caterpillar
You'll know what this means
When a pair of silken wings
Shows you the world from above

I'm sitting in your future
Outside your chrysalis
Keep well and study
Knowledge will set you free

I hope you'll remember
All that you've just heard
Apply to the letter
Every single word

Repeat after me
'I am not ugly
The other kids have lied to me
Because of their own misery'

That is common currency
In human psychology
In time you will see
Despair can breed brutality

There is much beauty
Outside your chrysalis
Hold your head above the mirk
Water nymph
Come forth and become me

By: Nili Roberts

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Stand Up, Speak Out!

Posted: 8/20/2014

Project AHEAD (Asian Health Education and Development) is an eight-week summer internship at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center for college students interested in health care. Each year, Project AHEAD interns develop a community health project (CHP) that addresses a health issue in the Asian American community. Project AHEAD 2014 selected bullying, a phenomenon impacting youth across the nation, as its CHP topic. Bullying is an under-recognized problem in the Asian American community. It can lead to serious social and health consequences, including substance abuse, mental health issues, and decreased academic achievement. The purpose of Project AHEAD 2014’s anti-bullying video, “Stand Up, Speak Out,” is to increase awareness and knowledge of bullying and available resources in the community.

By: Project AHEAD

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My Mary Cate

Posted: 8/12/2014

Mary Cate Lynch may only be two years old, but she’s already making a huge impact on the world around her. Born with a rare craniofacial condition called Apert Syndrome, Mary Cate looks different from many other kids. After enduring unkind words directed at Mary Cate at a park, her mom, Kerry, decided she had to do something. Now, Kerry and Mary Cate visit young students in their community to educate them about differences, disabilities, and being kind. Kerry encourages other parents to use Mary Cate’s story to teach their children that disabilities aren’t scary, that differences are ok, and that Mary Cate enjoys the same things they do – coloring, candy, and play time.

 

Read more about Mary Cate.

By: Kerry

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From Being Teased To Spreading Kindness

Posted: 7/18/2014

When I was in preschool I remember getting teased on a regular basis by one specific girl. In her mind there was nothing wrong with pinching me over and over, making my arms red, and yelling at me. It was all fun and games for her and a nightmare for me. All I ever wanted was to make others happy and be friends with everyone. She made it impossible to come to school and not worry about whether I would be pinched or not. I would come home crying trying to figure out what it was that I had done to deserve getting pinched every day. Why did this girl not like me? Was I such a bad kid? What confused me even more was being pinched by someone who on some days would act like my friend, wanting to play together. Did she really think that she would gain a friendship by being mean? Years later since seeing this girl, I ran into her at a day camp and she continued pinching, each time telling an adult that she wasn’t pinching me.

Back in elementary school I got teased more. I wore glasses, usually had my hair in a braid, and was quiet, all of which meant that I was a target for teasing. Certain girls hated me and would tell me how they hated me. I would come home crying, not wanting to have to deal with them again. I wanted to be friends with people not a target for name-calling. I remember coming home after school one day and my mother calling up the parents of the girls who were making me cry and feel hurt. Interestingly, the parents denied their child ever doing anything to me and said that I had made up the whole story to my parents. When my mother got off the phone that night, I recall saying over and over “Mommy they DID tease me, they hurt my feelings!” and my mother would completely understand and know that I wouldn’t make up a story that was so hurtful to me.

As an adult looking back on these experiences, I can’t help but still wonder how people could be so hurtful to others and not see anything wrong with it. What do they really get out of hurting others and making others so upset? Why can’t everyone show kindness towards others? When I was 11 my grandpa passed away and left each of his grandchildren a letter of wisdom. What stuck with me the most, besides hearing the compassion of my grandpa through his words, was his choice to explain how important kindness is to the world: “Be friendly and polite to everybody. Never wait for people to say hello. You say hello to everybody, your friends, relatives, whoever you know.” This is how I have lived my life: with kindness. Treat people how you would like to be treated; don’t wait for others to show you kindness instead show them kindness.

By: Sophie

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