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My Story

Posted: 12/2/2011

Seventy-seven percent of teens and young adults have been mentally, physically, or verbally bullied.  A young adult who has been exposed to bullying is two to nine times more likely to self-harm or attempt suicide than one who has not.  In today’s society bullying has become so common among young adults that it has eventually become a norm to some.  This type of behavior should not be the type that we consider a norm nor should it be allowed in our schools.  Bullying is now a very common issue in many schools, not just in the United States but all around the world. 

No one wants to become a part of the seventy-seven percent of teens being bullied.  No one wants to believe that they could become one of those who harm themselves.  I never believed that any of those statistics would affect me, but it did.  I was a part of those statistics.  I was a part of that seventy-seven percent of people who got bullied and who tried to inflict pain and harm on myself.

When I ended sixth grade at my elementary school, it was the end of the road for the "easy years" and the beginning of my middle school years.  After the last day of sixth grade it was the last time I got to see many of the friends that I had grown up with for half of my life. At the end of the summer I would be moving to a school that was in my home district and far away from my old school.  It was time for me to move to another school away from my old friends, life, and pretty much everything I knew.  This was the start of the most miserable days of my life; I had no idea that when I went to a new school I would have such a difficult time.  I had the highest hopes going into middle school on that first day and granted, the first day wasn’t when everything in my life fell apart. It was in the middle of seventh grade that I felt my whole life, happiness, confidence, and self-respect slip right through my fingers.

I was the "new girl" in the school and I had no idea what to expect from this new place. It seemed like I walked into school one day with all I could wish for and the next with nothing and no one around for me.  I remember walking through the halls of the middle school hearing whispers and feeling the burn of other students staring at me.  I had not the slightest clue of why I had become a target of evil whispers of gossip. I was supposed to just be the new girl that no one noticed, not someone who people spread gossip about. Well at least that’s what I wished for at that point in time. I wished that no one knew I existed; I wished that I’d never stepped foot in the door on that first day of middle school. 

The worst part was when it seemed like the one place I could count on to feel happy and safe (home), became corrupted to me.  When I went on the computer one night at home I was visiting peoples blogs, and I stumbled upon a "hate page" about me!  All I remember was running to my sister bawling my eyes out and pointing to the computer screen, telling her to read it. There it was right in front of my eyes, proof that I was not wanted in that school. That was when I believed nothing could hurt me anymore, but I was wrong, so wrong.  Not too long after the hate blog I was faced with even more problems when I went to classes or looked in my locker and found hate letters and notes from my own "friends."  The people that I didn’t just think of as my friends but as my best friends, it was them that betrayed me.  My so-called best friends, the one’s that I cried to and trusted; they wrote nasty hate letters to me telling me to "*** off"
and leave them alone. 

After all of that nonsense and drama, I didn’t think I would ever feel better about myself.  In just one year I experienced so much pain, I didn’t think I would ever be able to trust another person. I had basically let my enemies win the best of me. I let them steal my self-esteem, went through depression, and I felt that I had no self-confidence left in me.  Many people let what others think and feel define who they are in life, sadly I was one of those people.  It was the lowest I had ever been in my life.  I let others deteriorate my self-worth and I started to cut myself to ease my pain.  Middle school was definitely no fairy tale for me but I can say that I did have my “fairy godmother” in a way; I had my family and my counselor. They were the ones whom I ran to when all I wanted to do was run away from school and never come back.  It surely wasn’t my brightest hour when I started cutting myself, but it was because of my family and their support that I need to stop.  I know that cutting myself was not a good idea and I would never go back to it, but in a way the scars on my arm are like "battle scars" to remind me every day to never let others define who I am to the world.   

The bullying began to slow down in the middle of my eighth grade year, but no longer having the bullying itself didn’t make everything all better for me.  Even when it stopped I had so much hatred towards other people, especially other girls.  I began to shut people out of my life and never trusted others.  I spent the remaining part of eighth grade and more than half of my high school years without many friends and building walls between me and the world.  I don’t remember exactly when how it happened, but after almost three years of blocking myself from others I decided one day that it was going to stop.  I was no longer going to let what hurt me in my past control my future and the present.  The best decision I ever made throughout my whole life was deciding to trust other people again.  It was not an easy process and it took many years to be able to do, but after the summer of 2010, I had a life changing experience.  I volunteered at a summer fun program for little kids and I was forced to work with other people around my age.  That was when I made the change.  I decided to not let what hurt me in the past affect my chances at meeting people in the present.  I began to slowly meet people, talk to them, and surely enough at the end of the summer I met my BFF (best friend forever).  Meeting her not only opened my eyes to a happier life, but it also helped me realize what can happen if I stop being so guarded when it comes to trusting other people.  I learned that it isn’t impossible to trust again.  I also learned to rebuild my self-esteem and have a new fresh start. 

Yes, it was four whole long years in the making, and it was a heck of a long process, but in the end I learned how to trust again and to regain my self-esteem.  Bullying amongst teenagers still remains an ongoing issue but, on the bright side, I am happy to hear that people are now starting to stand up to bullying.  There is an increased amount of bully awareness, so more people are starting to hear about the issue of bullying. Cyber bullying has also become a larger issue that people have recently raised awareness on.  There is a movie called Cyber Bully that broke my heart while watching it. I am happy to hear that the issues that once affected me are been brought up for the public to hear about and be aware of.  I hope that no one will ever have to go through any of the things that I had to experience.  I have so much faith in the future and what it will bring. I have the highest expectations that we will continue to bring awareness to the world about bullying and possibly even stop it completely one day. 

By: Eryn

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