My first day of kindergarten, I cried, and begged my mom to stay with me or take me with her, but she assured me I’d be okay and left. I met a girl who was sweet and funny. We became friends, but she moved shortly after that. I didn’t have friends. People thought I was weird, too small, too ugly, whatever. I wasn’t rich. I was very shy, so I didn’t talk much. Girls laughed at me, called me names, excluded me. For some people, it’s easy for them to ignore the bullying, but for others, it isn’t so easy. Some of us take to heart what you say to us. It affects us in ways you can never imagine. WORDS do hurt.
I remember one time, I pushed a boy because a couple of girls dared me to. He was bullied a lot, and in that one moment, I made a mistake. I pushed him. It didn’t make me cool. It didn’t impress anyone. It only made the boy cry, run to the teachers, and I got in trouble. It also made me cry because of what I did. But I realized that that wasn’t who I wanted to be and that I was better than that. I apologized to the boy, and I never found out what became of him because I moved shortly after that.
New school, same problems. I wasn’t rich enough. I didn’t wear the right clothes. I didn’t say or do the right things. All I wanted to do was fit in, but you wouldn’t let me. You excluded me from group projects because you didn’t think my parents could afford the ‘right’ materials.
Freshman year of high school, I started another new school. I hated it. Again, I found myself with no friends, not fitting in, and I was left alone and lonely. I slowly made friends and somehow decided I didn’t care what people thought about me. I’m not sure where my strength came from, but I found it.
Sometimes I still see myself as that small little girl who couldn’t stand up for herself. The bullying led to low self-esteem and other issues. I’m much better today, but I still tend to fall back in the same mindset that I’m not worth a lot or good enough.
Just remember, your words and actions matter to people. Be a friend. Don’t bully.