When I told the story of when I was bullied, I never expected it to get the response it did. I told everyone how I felt and how it made me want to do.
I felt violated, and hated and worthless. But even more, I felt helpless and powerless. I think that is what might have pushed me over the edge to decide to kill myself. You see, people knew what was happening to me. I know that people saw it. I know that people laughed at it. I know that people ignored it. I felt as it there was a target on me that was bright and bold as neon, but my pain and anguish was invisible. I tried asking for help from teachers and administrators from school, and that went nowhere, fast. I was told that if they didn't see it, they couldn't do anything about it.
I was screaming for help, but no one could hear me. Those screams nearly drowned out my heartbeat and my soul.
If I only knew then what I knew now, I would know that this was the time to Be Brave.
I should have been brave and stood up to those who were mean to me. I should have screamed at the ones who spat at me and made sure people saw. I should have made sure those who tormented me knew that it was not acceptable and that it would not be tolerated. I should have looked every one in the eye who watched and did nothing and ask why. I should have refused to accept the schools answers that it needed to be witnessed to be addressed and insisted they acted. I should have stood up for myself, but I was so downtrodden it was all I could do to breath.
Now I know better. You can bet the first thing I do when I feel threatened is to address it. It doesn't always require a huge, violent response. I can respond calmly and quietly and let people know that I will no longer be a victim. I can and will walk away, un-friend people, block tweets and reblogs and subtweets and choose not to take part of the unpleasantness. Don't get me wrong, I will raise my voice when needed. And I will never let this happen to me again. Ever. I also refuse to let a school tell me that it can't help me. To be honest, my high school now takes bullying seriously. Not every school does. There has got to be a way for every school, everywhere, to know this is a serious problem and it's not going away. They have to be held responsible to take action -- real action, not just placating the bullied and letting the bully get away with it. There must be a way for schools to be held accountable for actions once they are made aware of a bullying situation happening. No more sweeping things under the rug.
I made myself a promise: I will never again be a victim. From now on, I am going to be brave, for myself. Not only for myself, but for others. I will be brave and stand up for others being bullied. I will stand up to bullies and let them know that bulling is not to be tolerated.
Just think: Bullying wouldn't be much of a problem if everyone were to stand up to bullies and tell them to stop, and to stand up for the bullied and let them know that someone cared, and would be there for them. It's that simple. You just have to #BeBrave.
Have you been bullied? I encourage you to #BeBrave and stand up for yourself, to the bullies, and for the bullied. Tell me about it @loser_gurl on Twitter. Use #BeBrave and tell me how you are brave and stand up for yourself and others.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.