Hi! I’m Jamie, a 17-year-old girl from the Midwest who is passionate about bullying prevention. As a target of brutal and vicious bullying, I am well aware of the harmful, traumatizing, and lasting effects bullying can cause. Before experiencing bullying, I was defiantly naïve about the reality of how bullying affects someone. Like too many, I was one who thought if you were “strong enough,” or just had the right attitude, you could shrug it off and not be hurt by other’s words and actions. This is SO far from the truth, as I learned the hard way. I learned that no matter how much confidence or strength someone has, one can still be hurt by someone’s actions and words and still be strong—it does not suddenly mean you are weak! It means you are human.
No one deserves to be bullied! Being someone who has overcome loss and hardship as a child, I certainly consider myself to be strong and resilient. When I was getting bullied, I was shocked by how much it affected me, especially since I had created an identity that included being emotionally strong. I barely had an appetite, struggled sleeping, couldn’t focus in school, and would come home to just cry. To my shock, I actually noticed that the bullying affected me physically—I literally felt sick and could feel negativity swelling up in my body. My muscles were tense and in pain as a result. All of this suffering and hurt made me question myself, and I began to think that I was weak. My friends also held this opinion, and told me that I should just “let it go” and that it shouldn’t matter to me what this person thinks. Many people didn’t event understand the brutality of what this person did, and even began to make excuses or blame me. I felt so alone, like no one understood me or cared. Fortunately, I am very lucky and grateful that I have an amazing and supportive parent and several trusted teachers who I told about my situation. Looking back, this was the best thing I did to help end the bullying. Overcoming this experience has taught me so much, but most importantly, it has revealed true strength and resiliency within myself rather than weakness. Even though it has been quite a while now, and I am doing great, there are still plenty of times when I still struggle with what happened. Now, after gaining all of this knowledge and experience, I am here to help you. Whether you are being bullied, witnessing bullying, afraid of peer pressure, concerned your actions are hurting others, or something else, just ask me! With zero judgments and my best advice, I am here for you.
WHY I CHOOSE MY PROFILE PICTURE
This summer in Oregon, my family and I went on a hike on Vista Ridge. About three years prior, this forest had burned due to horrendous forest fires. Nearly all the trees (as seen in the photo) are destroyed. However, there is resiliency, life, and color, after this horrible experience as seen with the flowers. I think the flowers are particularly beautiful and brilliant in contrast to the destruction around them.) I think this photo subtly creates a parallel to targets of bullying to flowers, which are resilient and full of life and beauty. The picture also shows a path, symbolizing the curving and changing road of life.
Jamie’s bio written Fall 2017