School started, and I know what that means to a few people. It means they’re about to be bullied. I know that, until we work together, bullying won’t stop. I also know that, for a lot, it means they will be bullied. I also know the effect that will have on some. I know that some will want to end this, by taking their own life. I know it’s difficult to deal with. I know, I’ve been there. I was the one who was, for the longest time, bullied. I was the one who wanted to end it, but I didn’t. And today, I’m thankful I didn’t, and I would like to tell you why.
But first, let me tell you a bit about myself.
This is me, Kim. I was born in 1980 in New-Brunswick Canada. My father changed jobs often, so we moved a lot. I can tell you everywhere we moved, but that’s irrelevant. So let’s talk about when the bullying really started. I was pretty much bullied all my life, or left alone because I wasn’t pretty. But I think it’s important to know the breaking point. It was when I was in 7th grade and we moved to Rouyn-Noranda Québec. I was in 7th grade, but was put back a year because my problem solving math skills weren’t good enough to go into “Secondaire 1” (I am horrible at problem-solving, it needs to be obvious for me). Anyway, I arrive, I’m the new girl and I can speak English. I tried to make friends, I was always friendly, but not everyone wanted, in fact, barely no one wanted to be my friend. Because some didn’t like me and teased me, no one else wanted to be seen with a girl who is being bullied right? This was hard for me, because bullying never happened to that extent. I was laughed at, called names, judged, everything. I was always in the school yard alone. It sucked, it hurt, and I was so confused and wanted to give up. Being called a bunch of names, being told that I was stupid and an idiot. I wasn’t used to the direct name callings. I was used to being ignored, but not attacked. So, one day, I was ready to take my life. I remember a kid had brought a weapon and showed it (didn’t use it, it was like an exacto knife if I remember well) and I went up to him another day and asked if he still had it. He said “no”, he asked me why, I said “Because I want to die”. I know I shocked him, and two other girls decided to go see the Social Worker at my school. I don’t remember exactly when, but I know shortly after, I was hospitalized because I remember my parents were trying to reach me and couldn’t get a hold of me. Nothing happened, but they were just scared. So I was sent to the hospital so that someone could keep an eye out on me. I don’t remember how long I stayed (remember, this was the early 90s, it’s 2016) but I can tell you, that that day, was the only day I was really ready to take my life. I have often thought it, but never wanted to actually follow up with it. But that day was so difficult for me, I just wanted the pain to end.
Once out of the hospital, I had to go see a Psychiatrist once a week. I didn’t open up like I should. I’m very stubborn, I’m paying for it now, so if this is you right now, stop it. Open up, and let your mind free, you will thank yourself later, don’t keep that pain in.
So my school year finished ok. No one attacked me anymore, they left me alone. I didn’t have friends, but I was left alone at least and I graduated 6th grade.
Secondaire 1 happened, and it was just as horrible. I was so frustrated and ready to give up again. I was bullied, and teased because I was fat and could speak English. Heaven forbid if someone is bilingual, especially when you’re a child. so I missed a lot of days, and again, I was depressed. My parents couldn’t take it anymore, and we moved back to Sudbury Ontario. I was put ahead back in grade 8 (so I’m caught up). But it wasn’t easy. No, I was humiliated, and teased, and laughed at, and spit on, and people would steal from me, and just, bully me to such an extent that if I wasn’t one of the first ones on the bus, I didn’t have a seat. So sometimes, I would walk home, over an hour walk just so I could be left alone. Why was I teased? Because I was the new girl, and I was fat, and guess what? I could speak French! But you want to know the ironic part? This school was a French Immersion school. So my depression lasted, and I was still ready to give up on life. I am such a sensitive person, and so the fact that I couldn’t even get a break, wore me out. I think I broke a record on how many classes missed in those two school years. And when I found out I was going to high school with these girls and guys, ugh, I was frustrated!
High School comes along, and the first few weeks, no breaks. They’re still there, and they are still being the bullies. We had to take the City Bus because we lived so far from the school (it’s a School for Performing Arts). And this one time, I was on the bus, sitting in the front, and them in the back, and they were just talking and laughing about me. I said nothing, I just sat there, doing nothing. There was a guy in front of me who went to our school, he was older, and he just sat there looking at me and looking back at them. He didn’t say a thing that day, but you know what? After that bus ride? I was never bullied again by them. It was the end of my bullying days, all because someone stood up for me. He changed my life, and made me want to live again.
After that, my high school was amazing! I know, I understand it’s not always like that, but you know what? It WILL get better, I promise! But there is one thing you have to do, and that is work on yourself. You have to build a wall to these bullies and know that if they are bullying you, it’s because they are covering up from something that they are struggling with. I know it’s hard to understand now, but I want you to stay strong, because you will understand later. After the bullying stopped from others, I then became my biggest bully, and I am working so hard on that.
But this is why I’m writing this. Because I want you to stay strong, and I don’t want you to fall into this trap. I do not want you to listen to them, and I do not want you to listen to yourself if you’re putting yourself down. I want you to stop insulting yourself. I want you to only post positive things on your social media wall, nothing negative. I want you to look yourself in the mirror every day and say “I am worth it”. I want you to stop being hurt because not everyone will like you, you can’t please everyone, so focus on those who matter. I want you to reach out to someone to talk to if you are hurt. I want you to find that one person you can trust. I want you to work on yourself so hard, and build a wall against those bullies, because once that’s over, it is a stage that is over in your life. Just know, that what goes around really does come around, it can take forever, but it’s there.
I didn’t have a good life, but let me tell you about my life now. I met an amazing man, married him, had two beautiful and healthy children, living in a dream home, and have amazing careers. I have traveled, and although, a little stalled at the moment (I have very young children) it’s going to happen again. I’ve been to Europe, Caribbeans, the US, Cuba, etc… I have had the opportunity to travel a lot. My life is pretty darn good right now if you ask me. 🙂 And yours can be too. Just don’t ever doubt yourself, and good things come when you think positive. I can guarantee you that, and that is why I say work on that now, because it will become more difficult later. Doable, but difficult.
This letter is to those being bullied, coming from someone who was bullied. Life WILL get better, just don’t give up on yourself. Be strong, hang on, and believe in yourself. Be the better person and overcome this. A lot of people love you, and you will meet a lot more who will love you. Focus on those people, they are the ones who matter. And reach out to someone to talk to about your situation. I had one fortunate thing, the Internet didn’t exist in my days… but remember, those cyber bullies, have to hide behind a screen to be tough. Don’t let their words hurt you, fight back with positive words, show them that it does not affect you. And if they are being physically violent with you, then please please PLEASE do not keep it to yourself!!! Get help! You do NOT deserve that, and they need to be put in their place.
As for the parents of the children being bullied. Please listen to them, and tell them that you are there for them. Do not tell them to “stop it” or tell them they are lying. It is so important for you to be there emotionally and be their #1 supporter. You have no idea how important just being there for them is. And let them know that they are NOT what those people say, and help get the tools for them to protect themselves.
Keep moving ahead, and never give up. You are beautiful, you are amazing, and you will be happy, just hang on.
Life is beautiful.