I've always been an outcast.
I never really conformed to society's standards. In my small town, every little girl played sports, wore Justice clothing, and completely adored Barbies.
Me? I had no hand-eye coordination, wore Walmart on a good day, and I preferred Pokemon over every stupid Barbie they threw at me.
And, to be fair, the only Bratz doll I liked was Jade.
I didn't think that being different from everyone at my school was such a bad thing. At a young age, I felt okay with having a small handful of friends. I didn't want to fit in with everyone. Well, I wanted Justice clothing, but that's because I liked sparkles.
That all changed in middle school.
My parents divorced whenever I was two, so I lived with my mother. She didn't let me dress myself until the second semester of sixth grade, so the first semester I was pretty much pushed into wearing Hollister and all that preppy stuff. This made a lot of people like me, I even dated a football player for maybe a week.
I didn't really feel confident or comfortable with myself. Sure, I liked the attention, but what I was wearing wasn't me.
For Christmas, my mother decided to let me pick out my own clothes, and I believed that I wanted to try out the "emo/scene" style. This was in 2011, by the way.
I was so in love with the black eyeliner, the coontails, the neon skinny jeans and high top converse. So, we stopped at Hot Topic, Rue 21, and all the other "emo" stores I could find.
I ended up buying a Hello Kitty sweater, knee high converse, multiple colored skinny jeans, and a brass knuckle necklace.
I thought I was so cool.
Returning to school, however, was not.
I kept getting stared at in the halls, no one seemed to like how I looked and most importantly, no one really wanted to talk to me.
The bullying, however, didn't start until the seventh grade.
The first day of seventh grade, I was asked multiple times if I was turning goth. If I was trying to be punk. In my despair, I cried because "I WAS EMO AND NO ONE UNDERSTOOD ME".
I also had a Pikachu backpack, but no one liked it.
No one liked me, at all.
I had maybe two or three friends at this point. We were all outcasts, we didn't really want to try to please anyone and we all were battling our demons.
People were very mean to me though. People would laugh at me in the halls, call me a lesbian, say I looked washed up, and they made fun of my makeup.
Although I looked ridiculous.. why were people making fun of me for trying to be happy?
I began to self harm, and I was very depressed. I never came out of my room. I never talked to anyone. I stayed on my laptop, talking to my internet friends, and I made stories about different lives I wanted to live.
I wished to be accepted. Liked. I didn't want to wear Hollister and pretend like I was preppy, but I wanted people to stop tormenting me.
In the eighth grade, I became so depressed my math grade dropped to a 36.
I always made a B or higher.
My parents then saw I was cutting and took me out of public schooling in order to allow me to go through therapy.
Since therapy, I had a lot of different things that happened. One of them involving me trying to kill myself.
But let's skip that.
Being bullied sucked. Being bullied was hard, being bullied ultimately crashed me to the ground.
But it was also the reason I became strong and got back up.
I started off as a sheep, a follower. Because of bullying, I tore off that sheep fur and became a wolf in sheep's clothing. I became who I ultimately wanted to be.
I have bad days. In therapy, I was diagnosed with severe depression, severe anxiety, and PTSD.
I do not let these things define me.
Today, I am confident. I am happy. I am comfortable wearing all black. I do not care what useless people say about me.
I am everything I wanted to be whenever I was younger.
If you're reading this and you're being bullied, it gets better. Try to get help. If you have tried and have not succeeded, hang on. Hang on tight. Know you're a warrior.
If you're reading this and you've bullied me or other people, I forgive you. Although I can't imagine what made you think you could say so many awful words to me and try to tear me down, I thank you for making me who I am today.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay... it's not the end.