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.


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.


Lucy Mayers


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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

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

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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We Need To Recognize That Happiness Is The Journey, Not The Destination

Stop waiting to reach the peak, and recognize the climb.


I went for a run today and had an epiphany. This epiphany may just apply to myself alone, but I honestly feel that many people will be able to see themselves in it as much as I do.

My epiphany is that there are two forms of happiness. There is feeling happy, and then there is the recognization of happiness, and no, those aren't the same thing.

We spend so much time searching for happiness. Many of us dedicate our lives to finding happiness, and we believe that to be the best, or even only, way to live. Yet, somehow, we still feel like there's something missing in our lives. That's because we spend too much time looking for things to make us happy, and not enough time recognizing when we are experiencing happiness in the process.

See the thing is that feeling happy is an emotion. You are happy when you are surprised with concert tickets to your favorite band, when your parents tell you they're getting a dog, when you see that you got an A on an exam you were stressing about, and so on. These are fleeting moments of emotion. They don't last for long and don't contribute to your status of living a happy life.

Feeling happy is not a state of being. When someone asks you, “Are you happy?" you think of what you have in your life that is happy. Whether it be the college you attend, the friends you have, the dog you love, or the hobbies you really enjoy. When someone asks you that question, you respond with whether or not you believe yourself to be living a happy life. You don't respond with what current state of being you are in.

Then there is happiness. Happiness once again is not a state of being. Happiness, as I've recently realized, is a process. Happiness is taking a road trip with your friends when you stop at sketchy gas stations to pee and get snacks and then you all fight over who has aux. Happiness is seeing your mom after a month and telling her all about the frat dude who you met last weekend and the professor who you can't stand. Happiness is actually going on that run that you told yourself you would go on, even if it sucks.

Our problem in our search for happiness is that we expect it to show us a big flashy sign saying “Here it is!" when in reality a small sign has been there multiple times and you just haven't noticed.

In order to completely experience your processes of happiness, you need to acknowledge them.

If someone asked me right now, “Are you happy?" I would say yes, and not because I am happy at this moment, but because I am proud of myself for going on that run 10 minutes ago.

There was a point on my run when I thought to myself, “Wow, I said I was going to go for a run and I actually did. I'm running right now. This is happiness." Those are the exact words I thought: “This is happiness." And now is the moment where you, the reader, think to yourself: “Hold up, she was running and— happy???" No. I did not want to be on that run, I was out of shape from a weekend visiting friends and I was exhausted from a long bus ride home.

See I wasn't experiencing the emotion of happy, but I was able to acknowledge that what I was doing was a process of happiness. Acknowledging in the moment that I was experiencing that process was mindset-changing for me.

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