To My Deceased Middle School Teacher Who Bullied Me

To My Deceased Middle School Teacher Who Bullied Me

I don't know what made you so mean to me and my twin brother.

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To my bully,

I was new at your school and had never gone to a private Catholic school before. When I first met you, I felt that you were a nice teacher and that I would get along with you. But soon I realized this was far from the case.

I don't know what made you so mean to me and my twin brother. We were new and shy, we had a public education so we weren't as caught up as everyone else. You expected us to know everything from A to Z. You called us out constantly in front of the class to criticize and grill us with questions like "Why don't you know this?"

We already felt outcasted enough with being new and all, not knowing anyone, and having glasses and acne.

What I didn't understand is that you completely singled me out. Other students would answer questions incorrectly, but you never harassed them and asked them "why don't you know this?" while everyone stared at me in silence as I stutter and say, "I studied" because I really did.

Oh, and about stuttering, because I was new and self-conscious and nervous, I would stutter while going up in front of the class- the kids would laugh at me and you didn't stop it.

Why did you hammer with me questions so much? Why just me? When it got to the point where I started crying, why didn't you stop harassing me? I was audibly crying, my voice shaking, tears clearly running down my face and you kept going.

I NEVER, NOT ONCE had an attitude with you. I never "talked back to you" and I never was rude to you. if anything it was the opposite. I hardly spoke enough in general for you to say that I had an attitude with you. When I did talk to you, my voice shook because I was FRIGHTENED. If my scared voice came out as having an attitude with you, I don't know what to say.

But yet you went so far as to schedule a conversation with my mother to talk about "my attitude". When my mother came for this, I ran to her and cried and said "I SWEAR I don't have an attitude with her!" My mom just said, "it's okay hun, I believe you, let's just get this overwith."

Let's just say if my MOM believed me on that, I wasn't lying. My mom is the person I've always had the worst attitude with. LOL.

Seven years later, three years ago, in September 2015, I found out that you had passed away from suicide. This sort of shocked me, considering you always seemed like such a strong and intimidating person. But then, it actually made a lot of sense. You were such a cold, unhappy person. You took out your sadness on other people. You made up lies. You made your students write in pink ink and you flirted with 8th-grade boys. Something just wasn't right.

But I also remember the ladies who worked in the front office gossiping about you and your life. Talking about how you got pregnant by your ex-husband, and that you guys got divorced, many reasons- one being that he wouldn't let you have a dog. It must have been hard to go to work every day knowing that people know you are pregnant and not married.

I am not sure why you took your life away, and I am in no way judging you for it because I've had suicide attempts myself in the past. But it might've been because you felt so alone, being a single mother working at a Catholic school.

I'm so sorry that you were depressed. I'm so sorry that you were lost in complete darkness and couldn't find your way out. I am sorry that drugs took over your life. I'm sorry if you felt you weren't enough and that nobody loved you. I am sorry that you felt like you couldn't talk to anyone about these suicidal thoughts. I feel so sorry for you. For the past three years, I've known why you were mean to me even though having depression is no excuse for being mean to a student.

You'd be happy to know that after I moved on to 8th grade and on from your English class, English was always my favorite and best subject. A's and B's every year. It is my minor in college now and I work for three newspapers/magazines as a writer.

I hope you rest in peace and that you have gotten a doggie in heaven.

Sincerely,

Lucy Mayers


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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Anxiety Medications Aren't As Scary As You Might Think

It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

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Before my journey with anxiety, I was very anti-medication. I truly didn't understand the purpose or need for it. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. Upon visiting the doctor, I learned that there are two types of medication that do two different things to the neurotransmitters in your brain. These are categorized as SSRI or SNRI. According to anxiety.org, "SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain. Neural systems affected by increased serotonin regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion."

The medication that I am currently taking falls under the category of SSRI. As a result of taking this medication, "your brain is more capable of making changes that will lead to a decrease in anxiety" (anxiety.org). I don't know if that sounds nice to you, but I loved the sound of it.

On the other hand, per mayoclinic.org, SNRIs "ease depression by impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, SNRIs work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression."

From my understanding, the different types of medication focus on different neurotransmitters in your brain. I don't think that one of these is "bad" and one of these is "good." This is simply because anxiety and depression are very personal and impact people differently. My anxiety is not the same as my friend's anxiety. I think it's more of a spectrum.

There are a lot of misconceptions upon starting medication. I think the first is that it works instantly. I have some bad news and it's that some medications take up to a month to get into your system. I mean, you're chemically altering your brain, so it makes sense. It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

Another misconception is that the pills are addicting- making them completely unnecessary or dangerous. That wasn't true for me. One of my dear friends told me that if you don't feel guilty for taking cold medicine when you have a cold, then you shouldn't feel guilty for taking medication that helps your anxiety. I think this really does boil down to knowing yourself and if there's a history of addiction in your family. However, as someone who's taken the heavy pain killers (via surgery) and now takes anxiety medication, I can testify to say that there's a difference.

The pain killers made me a zombie. The anxiety medication allows me to be the best version of myself. I like who I am when I'm not constantly worried about EVERYTHING. I used to not leave the house without makeup on because I constantly worried what people thought of me. I used to be terrified that my friends didn't want me around. I used to overthink every single decision that I made. Now, none of that is happening. I enjoy my friends and their company, I hardly wear makeup, and I'm getting better at making decisions.

Do I want to be able to thrive without having to correct my neurotransmitters? Sure. However, this is the way that I am, and I wouldn't have gotten better without both therapy and medication. I'm forever grateful for both.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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