Monday, April 25, 2011

Teen Bullying: My Confession

I saw this as a headline on CNN and had to respond...

^ Hearing stories like this disgusts me. I literally feel pain for these bullied kids with every inch of my body everytime I hear about stories like Haley and Paige's. I hate that they felt that there is no escape to the pain other than through suicide. No one should feel that way, but I can't deny that I didn't go through the same thing when I was their age.

This is going to be quite personal and I know that I am making myself quite vulnerable, but I'm hoping this will help those who feel helpless when they are being bullied...

I don't know where I got my strength to survive middle & high school, but I was very lucky... I was tricked, lied to, and betrayed by my "friends", had straight up lies spread about me to deteriorate my reputation, confidence, and any chance of having a real relationship with any one, I received multiple anonymous death threats, had vicious emails, nasty text messages, and gut wrenching AIM messages waiting to be read by me everyday, my house was egged, my car was keyed, there was even a hate website created about me, and then there was the constant verbal and emotional abuse at school and at my activities after school.

I don't know how I did it, but some how I survived and the abuse made me stronger. It made me realize that I'm a much better person than those who inflicted that pain on me and I'm sure on others. I didn't know those things at the time though. After a while I felt that I deserved to be treated this way because I was attacked every single day. I was practically blind.

The major things didn't stop until halfway through college, but now that it has slowed down I still am a bit sensitive and protective of myself with what people say to me, call me, etc, but I'm pretty sure that it's only natural to be sensitive after that. When the major bullying stopped I realized that what those "kids" put me through literally destroyed me, they had power over me, and I wasn't happy with who I was because of it. Now I am proud of sticking through it even during my darkest times, but then, I was not.

Now I'm going to be honest, and don't look at me differently because of what I'm going to say, but these stories of kids killing themselves because of the bullying doesn't surprise me at all... I wanted to kill myself when the abuse was at its peak, which of course had to be when my mom was diagnosed with cancer - the bullies had wonderful timing to catching a weak victim. Luckily, I found courage in myself that I wish those others had. I was in a deep depression and I wanted the pain to stop, but I was too scared to go through with it – thank goodness!

I realized that the thoughts I had weren't right and finally opened up to my parents. I was put on antidepressants at the age of 15, but should have been put on it at least a year before.NO ONE that young should have to be put on anti depressants. It wasn't until I was almost 21 when I stopped taking them on a daily basis because I was finally strong enough to get a grip on what happiness was. (I'd genuinely like to thank my friends from Disney Spring '09 for helping with that. They never really knew how much they actually helped me, but they really did. Now for those who make fun of my love for Disney... Now you know one of the reasons why I love that place so much.)

Even though I went through hell and back with this abuse while growing up, NEVER in my life would I ever do this or even wish to do this to another. After what I went through, there was no way in hell I'd want make someone feel that way. Even when meanest of things were happening to me I didn't want those doing it to me feel that way. (well sorta lol) I did honestly hate them, but I mostly wished that they'd some how learn their lesson, but to wish for them to go through this too... No. They probably already were maybe at home or at school and I happened their target to make them feel better. It's a vicious cycle that I chose to put a stop to. If you're a victim of bullying please do the same and end it rather than passing it on to someone else.

The bullying in my life has yet to cease, but I can take it much better now since it is less threatening and a little more "innocent" I guess you can say. I have been happily off antidepressants for 2 years and haven't relapsed and I don't plan to. I no longer receive death threats and that "Annie Webpage" (the hate website about me) was taken down many years ago, but the name calling, the criticizing, and these "jokes" that people think are SO hilarious are not nice either, but you can't expect everything to be happy go lucky. I'm just glad that the worst of it is over. And just an FYI, the jokes and name calling are still a form of bullying no matter what age you are.

I hope that by reading this maybe you'll understand why I am the person I am today BUT most importantly and my whole reason for writing this is if you're one of those being bullied, there is an escape and it's not suicide. Rely on your family and those who you truly trust. They will help you, but don't assume they know that you need them, you must tell them that you want their help. Stay positive, realize how beautiful you really are, and how much potential you have. Set goals for yourself, be excited for what's ahead. Don't dwell on the past and don't let the the pain of the present pull you down. Think of what's ahead of you. It may take a while, but I promise you that you'll see the light, just like I did.

If you see someone being bullied - Protect Them.

If you see/know someone who is bullying another - Stop Them.

If you know someone who's a victim of bullying - Help Them.

Please help me and others put an end to bullying & support the National Bullying Prevention Center:

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