I was used to being bullied. I was the nerdy book worm who didn't know how to do hair and makeup, I couldn't afford fancy clothes like PINK, and I was okay with that.
What I wasn't used to was hateful comments. I was used to being called a loser. I wasn't used to go back to where you came from! Nobody wants you here. Go stand in the road and get hit by a bus.
Go kill yourself.
It was like I was in my own version of Mean Girls. The constant alienation, the insults and crying in the bathroom over my packed lunch. Which you knew. When I'd get up and leave from the lunch table in tears you and your friends would follow me and continue the harassment. It wasn't until I would go into the bathroom that you would leave me alone.
I made new friends, you kept most of your friends from the junior high. I thought that a new school with new friends in a drastically different group would be better.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
The bullying continued. We had advisory together for the next three years and I couldn't escape. You decided to up the harassment. It was no longer just comments of how I should end my life and that nobody wanted me around anymore. You commented on my weight, telling me how fat I was, how I didn't look good in anything when I was 140 pounds at five foot six, and would criticize me when my mother had saved up money to get me a PINK shirt on sale for Christmas, telling me I didn't deserve it. You started rumors saying I was trying to steal yours or someone else's boyfriend. Everywhere I went, someone was watching me, glaring at me, pointing and laughing at me. There was no escape.
I tried to not let it bother me, but it did. I was in the group of outsiders, and I was an outsider to the group. I didn't have any of my friends I could really talk to. If I got the chance it was wow, that sucks I'm sorry and would move on to another topic.
Your comments and rumors turned into others stalking me in the halls. A group of seniors came up to me the day I noticed something was off.
We work with the school to help students who are being bullied. Your friend works with us and he has reason to believe that a group of students are planning to attack you. That is why you have noticed me around more often and how I got your number. If you can, walk the halls with a friend and to the bus.
How many sophomores can say they have seniors following them so they don't get attacked at school?
During this time I was not only struggling with harassment, I had lost over twenty pounds from not eating due to depression, my mother had been diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues and organs, and I was struggling with suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.
However, my mother's diagnosis saved me. I felt that if I wasn't around that nobody would take care of her the way I could. She would go to me for so many different things that I felt I was the only one who could take care of her.
2019, I've graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Writing Studies, I've attended the largest writing conference in North America twice, I was editor-on-chief of a literary journal, I've been published across four issues of literary journals, I became a member of an international honor society, I'm healthy and a better person than I ever was.
The chaos you created for me was the second worst experience in my life, but I didn't let you win. Nobody should ever let the bully win. If I let you win, I wouldn't have done and accomplished as much as I have in my life and be where I am today. Sure, I've struggled and still struggle to this day. But I still have the power to say that I am not a victim.
I survived, I'm thriving, and I will continue to thrive.