Bullying has had an affect on me for as long as I can remember. From elementary school, til now. My senior year of high school. Thinking back to all those times where I had been rejected from my peers and even some family members still, to this day, causes me great pain. No one should ever feel worthless or unwanted and no one should have to feel so lost and helpless that they think the only way to ease the pain is suicide.
I wish I had someone to tell me these things growing up. If I had someone to stand over me and say “It all gets better eventually.”, I might not have had to spend the night on my 16th birthday in the hospital for a suicide attempt and I might not have had to spend the next week and a half after that in a mental hospital.
Now, I’m not here to start a pity party for myself. I’m here to help spread the truth on how bullying direly can hurt people.
The recent “Anti-bullying” campaign at my high school sparked this fire inside me to want to do everything in my power to show people the affects of bullying. I’m happy to see my school trying to put a stop to this, but I’m afraid they’re a bit late. With my school especially, where bullying goes unnoticed and ignored on a daily basis, I was upset that they are just now deciding to do something about this epidemic. Now, before I rant on for days, I will tell you my story…
Growing up, I have always been a shy and quiet kid almost to the point of actually being afraid of people. As I got older I started to question myself as to why I was like this. Thinking back to the tender age of 9, I recall my grandmother (On my mothers side) telling my mother that she should have never had me. I always knew that my grandmother resented me because I was biracial. She just wouldn’t accept the fact that I was half black. She had always been a cold hearted woman, and honestly, I believe that she was just looking for something to hate.
She treated me differently compared to the rest of the family. When the holidays came ’round and my mother, and I would go to my grandparents house, My grandmother was all smiles until I walked in the door. She would say nothing to me and if she ever looked at me, it was a look of pure disgust. During Christmas, all the kids in the family would have huge wrapped boxes under the tree waiting for them, but me? Nothing. Now, I know Christmas isn’t about the gifts. But, what she did was wrong and every Christmas or Thanksgiving I spent there, I would go home crying. As I got older, I stopped going to their house. I accepted the fact that they didn’t like me and I tried my best to move on.
In elementary school, I didn’t have any problems until about 3rd or 4th grade, when I had just transferred out of private school and into a public school. I immediately began having problems with other students picking on me. I never was a skinny kid, and I’m still not but I’ve learned to accept it. I remember dreading recess everyday at J.P. Ryan. I begged my teachers to let me stay inside. I had even resorted to acting out just so I would have to sit inside with a teacher instead of going out. Recess was my nightmare. As soon as I stepped out, they would attack. The called me “Fat”, “Stupid”, “Ugly”, and quite a few of them even called me a “Mutt”. They would pick on me because I had thick curly hair, and they would pull on it and say it was fake.
After all of this went on for about a year, I was afraid to go to school. I would purposefully miss the bus or be late just so I wouldn’t have to be ridiculed for as long. Eventually, my mother began to question my strange behavior. I told her what had been going on at school and she was furious! She stormed up to the school and demanded to know why this was going on. The school promised to solve the problem, but they never did.
I dealt with this until I got to middle school, where I assumed it would all stop. I was wrong. Very wrong.
In middle school the same things occurred. And by this time, My parents had gone through a divorce and I was living with my father. So, as a normal reaction to your parents getting a divorce, I was upset and extremely sensitive. My peers didn’t let up one bit. They kept harassing me and insulting me, spreading rumors about me. At one time, someone was going around the school telling everyone that I was a lesbian because I was hanging around a girl. A girl who was my best friend, who still is today, one of my closest friends.
By 8th grade, I was pretty much an empty shell. I had been torn down to nothing. My self esteem was non existent and I was expecting the worst from high school. The main problem was that the bullies from elementary school had followed me all the way to high school.
9th grade passed and the same things were happening and at this point I didn’t bother telling anyone because I felt that no one cared enough to do anything.
10th grade is when it all went down hill. I began having problems with my parents. My mother moved away, without any notice and I never heard from her. My dad and I argued constantly. I began skipping school because I couldn’t take it anymore. I would skip full days of school and maybe go one day a week but still skip class while I was there. You may be asking yourself, “How could she skip school like that without her parents knowing?” Well, my dad leaves for work before I would even get up to go to school, so I would simply stay home. When my dad did eventually find out he raised hell. He started accusing me of doing drugs and having guys over the house while I was home. Our arguments got more intense by the day. It got to the point where I would just stay in my room and he would stay in his, and we wouldn’t talk to each other at all. I felt so lost. I felt like I had no one to trust. I had my friends, yeah, but I didn’t want them to know what was going on at home. I felt that they would stop talking to me if the knew. So I began to reach out for help in other places. I met a guy. I though we were perfect for each other. He understood how I felt because he had been a victim of bullying too. I could tell him everything and I truly cared about him so much. We had dated for about 8 months when he proposed to me. I said yes. My dad found out and he nearly murdered both of us. My dad couldn’t stand him and he refused to let me see him mainly because he was 18 when I was 15. Not a big deal, right? Well, my dad thought it was and he took everything from me to prevent me from talking to him or seeing him. Not being able to talk to him meant that I had no one to vent to. I had no way of getting my problems out. By April 25th, my 16th birthday, I lost it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I waited until my dad left the house and I overdosed on some prescription meds my mom had left on accident when she moved out. After that, all I remember was being in the ambulance, hearing someone say that it was a shame that I did this on my 16th birthday. I think I was in the ER for a day or two. I remember a woman coming in my hospital room. She asked me why I was there and I immediately started crying. I remember crying so hard and it seemed to last forever. While I was crying, I could hear her tell me that everything would be alright and that I would get the help I needed. Once I stopped crying, we talked for a good hour and a half. I explained to her everything that I’m telling you now and honestly, it’s just as painful talking about it now as it was then. She asked me if I would willingly go to a mental hospital to be evaluated and get the help and desperately wanted and needed. I told her yes but the only reason I said yes was because I didn’t want to have to go to school the next day and deal with the verbal abuse I had been enduring for years. After we talked, she asked me if I wanted to see my dad and I said “No.” I didn’t want to see him. He was the last person I wanted to see. I was ashamed and I honestly thought that my dad would walk into the room screaming at me for what I had done. So he didn’t come in. The next morning, a nurse woke me up and told me to get dressed and that I was being taken to PIW (Psychiatric Institute of Washington). As I got ready to leave, my dad walked in and I didn’t say a word to him. I wouldn’t even look at him. They strapped me up in the ambulance and off I went.
Being in PIW was honestly the worst experience of my life. On the way there I felt a sense of relief because I thought that I would be with other children that were like me. Kids that I could relate to and maybe talk to. I was wrong. The nurses were so rude and nasty to all the kids there and the kids there, were no different. Me being the quiet and shy one, I felt so scared walking in to a place where the kids were screaming at each other and threatening to kill one another. I felt just as alone there as I did at home or in school. I cried every night I was there. While being there, I was diagnosed with Major Depression. I was assigned a therapist that I had to go to when I got out and they put me on Celexa. After a week and a half I got out. My dad picked me up and as soon as we got out the building, he hugged me and told me that he loved me. I couldn’t remember the last time he had ever said that to me. That night I went to sleep hoping that it all be better the next day. But again, I was wrong. I decided to go to school the next day because I didn’t want my close friends worrying about me too much. Even though I didn’t plan on telling them where I had been all that time, I just wanted to reassure them that I was in fact still alive despite my recent attempt to take my own life. I got on the bus the next morning and the first thing that I heard was “Oh, there’s the fat bitch.” As soon as I heard it, I wished that I had a gun, so I could shoot myself, right there because I had officially lost all hope. I got to school and I went straight to the guidance counselors office and told her that I couldn’t handle it. The last two months of school was rough. I just wanted to be done so I could get away from it all. The summer came and I didn’t talk to anyone from school. Not even my closest friends. I pretty much fell off the face of the earth. I felt as though that was the only was I would get the relief from the pain.
11th grade, I was home schooled. My therapist , Father, and school thought that was the best option since I was dealing with depression and I had only been taking the Celexa for a month or two. The home schooling went well. I preferred being alone and not being around other students. Being home schooled also gave me the chance to get a hold of the depression and overcome it. I learned to express my feelings and emotions in a healthy way. And I can now say that I am a much happier person because of it. I was on the Celexa for about a year. Now I no longer take it but I still go to my therapist.
A quarter in to my senior year and things are MUCH better. When people say things to me, It doesn’t bother me. I move on and go on with my day and I smile. I refuse to let anyone break me down to nothing ever again. Whether its from my family or my peers, I won’t let it happen.
Now that I have overcome bullying, depression, and having the darkest days I have ever had, I want to help others before they go through what I had to go through.
No one should have to feel the way I felt. I want to do everything I can to help others and prevent bullying.
I want to inspire others to stand up against bullying and take a stand.
I want to help the ones in need of a positive figure to help them through their dark days. I want to make a difference in someone’s life.