Stories from teens like you. You can contribute a story, too!
I can’t really remember the time when I haven’t been bullied. I’ve been being bullied for almost my whole life, I wish I was back in kindergarten because back then I could be me and not be bullied for being me. I may only be 13 but I’ve been called horrid names by everyone just for how I look and for who I hang out with. but It all started when I was in 6th grade. I was shorter than everyone and not as pretty. I was getting called horrid names like “toy, anorexic, bulimia, ugly” and lots more, in the bathroom,hallways,in the class and even in the lunchroom. I never really knew why they were doing this but they did. It made me feel bad but I didn’t really mind it much because I was only in 6th grade I also thought that it would all dial down come 7th grade. I was also getting told to go kill myself but I never really listened to them until 7th grade hit me. I was still getting called all of those names then getting told worse stuff like “if you need help I can dig and fill the hole for you and You shouldn’t be alive” I tried telling teachers, guidance counselors and even the principal but Nothing worked and they wouldn’t leave me alone. So I just stopped eating and blocked everyone out of my life thinking wow they are all right i’m really nothing. My mom seeked to get me help and she got me a guidance counselor that kinda helped but also didn’t at the same time. I thought about harming myself and since no one ever knew what was really going on so I thought so many bad things. People tried and tried to talk to me but I didn’t talk back much unless I knew the person pretty well. After I didn’t eat for 2 weeks I ate something because my mom made me. In school I had gym I would always get dizzy and really tired really quick which isn’t like me to be like that.People stopped talking to me because they didn’t want to get bullied too. So I felt really alone and I stopped eating again, I even wanted to die. People started to stare more and started to name call a lot more because I was letting them get to me. I started thinking about ways I could kill myself and I just didn’t care because people just didn’t care, people saw me like this but no one ever did anything about it. I would be in class and just not talk for hours crying here and there. I wouldn’t even know if my teacher was talking to me. Letting them get to me which I didn’t care because I felt worthless and nothing at the time it was just another day for me. I just gave up on everything their possibly could be, all of my friends, family and even my teachers started to worry about me yet I still didn’t care. Then comes 8th grade (the grade i’m in) it’s even WORSE!!! I still get told all of that stuff and I still get called everything I already get called. I try to stick up for myself but most of the time I’m to scared to. Some people think my life is so great when its really not. But now I know i’m stronger and that if I just gave up now that people would actually be happy because I gave in and let them get to me. Just because people get to me doesn’t mean I can just give up and dig deeper than the people who are bullying. I have people who care about me. I mean yes I have made mistakes but who hasn’t. I’m almost just like everyone else but I do have my flaws just like everyone else does. Yes, people get to me but i’m not going to let them get to me to a point where I just give up. They can call me names but their not going to get their way. I know i’m way stronger than that and they are not going to stop me from accomplishing my goals in life so I didn’t just give up.
Let’s start with a little bit of background | I have Atopic dermatitis or ezcema to be simplistic, Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition where your skin is cracked, dry, red, and most of the time itchy. I have a servere case of Atopic dermatitis and sadly, there is no cure. Me and my family have tried everything over the years such as medications, ointment, and moisturizers but after having tried everything you can think of for 13 years, I still have this annoying itchy and dry skin.| Now, let’s get on with my experience in bullying | The bullying started when I was 5 years old, of course it was minor since I was only in kindergarten but over the years it got worse and worse. The worst came in 6th grade, the more popular kids would call me ‘ebola’ or ‘grandma’ because of my dry or weird-looking skin. My friends in that grade would constantly get bullied because they were my friend, so most of my friends either betrayed me because they were getting bullied or plain just didn’t like me. I’m shy when it comes to meeting people but when I actually get to know them, you won’t hear me stop talking. Anyway, I had been at the same school until 6th grade so I knew almost everyone there, the staff, the principal, and even the elective teachers personally. I was a star student to them but when I went to the principal about the bullying, absolutely nothing was done. For this reason I left that school and began homeschooling, now i’m doing VERY well. I now am far ahead of my grade and am about to finish the school year up in only 6 months. I would love to become a child advocate for bullying and let them know they’re not alone. Thank you for reading my story! Stay positive but always remember, you’re beautiful just the way you are.
I would start my story at the beginning, where it all began, except i can’t. I don’t remember exactly when it all started, the first time I was laughed at, the first time I was hit, the first time I was called a name or, the first time my own friends hurt me. I can’t tell you this, because when it first started, I didn’t even know that my own “friends” were bullying me. The first time i can remember been bullied was at the age of 7. I was just like any other young girl in primary school, except for the fact that I was a competitive gymnast. One day I come to school and there’s my group of friends on the playground. I walked right up to them and said “hey, what you doing?” they turned around and suddenly stopped talking. At that point, one of the older girls came up to me. She was a lot taller and I was very scared of her. All she did was look down at me, I could hear the others laughing and whispering behind her. I tried to look at them except the older girl grabbed my shoulder and pushed me away. I wanted to tell the teacher but I knew it would only make it worse so instead I went to the girls bathrooms and sat their crying for the rest of the break. I can remember the next day aswell. I remember getting a drink from the water fountain. I was there when all of a sudden I felt a hand on the back of my head, whoever t was pushed my head into the fountain. I lifted my hand from the button that made the water flow but it kept running, someone else had their hand their. I was there for around 3 minutes before they let me go. They could’ve really hurt me and didn’t care. It got worse as it went on but one day sticks in my head more than any other. It was the first day of high school and I was in the same class as the bullies from my primary. I’d asked to move classes but there wasn’t any space in any other class. Nobody bothered me until it came to PE. We had swimming, everything went well until one of the other students almost drowned. The teacher told us all, to get out the pool whilst she took the girl to medical. I got out and stood far from the edge. Now, I wasn’t a very good swimmer at this time and was still learning. Nearly everyone else could swim. Suddenly, I felt two pairs of hands grad by arms and another on my back. They were trying to push me into the water. I tried to resist but wasn’t strong enough against three people. They managed to push me into the water. I went under and nearly drowned. I managed to reach the surface again, gasping for air. I reached for the edge and tried to climb out, a hand suddenly pushed my head under water. They held me there for a long time. When they let go, I couldn’t breath, couldn’t think, hear and was falling under water. If it wasn’t for the teacher returning, I would’ve drowned. The teacher rescued me and asked why I was in the water. I was scared to tell her so I said that I didn’t know. She asked again and said that it wasn’t like me. I gave her the same answer, she sent me to medical where I was sent home. Until this day, nobody except my class knows about that. Not a single person told the teacher or my parent. I am now 14 and I’m still scared to swim. I don’t talk to my bullies and struggle to make new friends as I’m scared they turn out like my old friends. I am now however, stronger than I was, physically and mentally. I may only have five friends, but their real friends who care about me. I have always wanted to try and stop or reduce bullying.
When I was younger I started getting bullied for my name. For people would sat that it is a boys name (I am a girl), but really it is a name for both girls and boys. If I told an adult I would be given the “T” sign (meaning: Tattletale) . So I started keeping it to myself, crying myself to sleep at night, attempting to starve myself, and ect. Then I started getting older and developing a personality. Now obviously there is always going to be a person out there who doesn’t like you. But there were so many people who hated me that I really couldn’t take it. My friend and I had started to drift apart at this time. After about a year and a half we started talking and hanging out again. But it has been 11 1/2 years and the bullying is still going. I’m turning 12 in two months and the bullying is still happening…..
I don’t remember clearly when I started getting bullied. What I do remember in vivid detail is the few months of winter when I was in third grade, when one of my friends would line a couple of us up on the snow in front of a brick wall and, one by one, shove us in the chest so that our heads hit the wall. This went on almost every day for several months. I never told anyone, because I thought that’s just what friends did to each other. I had such low self‐esteem that I thought that I had to put up with this kind of treatment in order to have friends at all.
As I got older, the bullying grew more subtle but no less harmful. I endured exclusion, condescension, and ridicule from my closest friends, and felt grateful that they had allowed me into their circle. I felt like I had to earn their friendship every single day, and if I did something wrong, I would be alone. I appeared happy, and in many ways I was. But I was worn down with the strain of being made to feel inadequate, as though I didn’t deserve to have people like me.
I changed schools for middle school, and it was the best thing that I could have done. At a new school I learned that pain wasn’t the price of friendship, and by experiencing real friendship, I learned that I was worthy of it. I finally told my parents about the bullying I had experienced in elementary school, and in retrospect I wish I had told them when it was happening. Who knows what they could have done, but what I do know is that I never gave them the chance to help.
While I was in middle school, I had the opportunity to work with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center on their Kids Against Bullying website. My school’s theater company provided the voiceover talent for the animated characters on the website. This was not only a great theatrical experience, but it introduced me at an early age to the philosophy and resources of PACER. Before that, I had never really thought of what I’d gone through as bullying. To be honest, I had fairly successfully blocked most of it from my memory. But this project opened my eyes to the fact that there were other kids who had had similar experiences. I wasn’t alone. That realization was incredibly comforting.
My high school years were a balm for what I experienced as a child. In a supportive environment, with friends who treated me well, I was able to grow and thrive. So when the opportunity to work with PACER again presented itself, I felt as though I could participate as a survivor, not a victim. My classmates and I wrote and performed skits about bullying for PACER’s Teens Against Bullying website. The production process was both educational and therapeutic, because it gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that I was not the same person that I was in elementary school. I’d grown strong and self‐ assured with the help of supportive friends and teachers.
Several years later, when I was looking for an internship to fill the summer between my junior and senior years in college, I knew exactly where to look. Because PACER had such a powerful influence on me in middle and high school, even more than I’d realized at the time, I wanted to give back to the organization. I spent a summer working at PACER, learning the ropes of both the bullying prevention field and the nonprofit world. I had amazing opportunities to work with companies, organizations, and individuals who cared deeply about bullying prevention. I walked away from that experience more knowledgeable and more inspired about bullying prevention than I could have anticipated.
I graduated from Saint Olaf College in 2013, with my degree in Social Work. As I was looking for a job, I kept thinking that my work at PACER wasn’t done. I wanted to learn more, do more, and be more for a cause that was so close to my heart. I wanted to make sure that my future children, and indeed any children, wouldn’t have to go through what I and many others did. So I applied for a position at PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and I was happily employed there for over a year. The position felt like the best possible culmination of my previous experiences. I now have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of students facing the same kind of challenges I did. I could be there for them in a way that I didn’t feel like anyone was there for me. And I had the opportunity to help create real social change around the issue of bullying. I know what it’s like to feel alone, to feel that no one cares what’s happening to you, and that you deserve to be treated badly. But PACER is working to change the culture so that bullying is no longer considered an acceptable part of childhood, and every child feels safe and knows that he or she is not alone. Getting to be a part of that, and to channel the hurt and fear I faced as a child into helping children, has been an amazing experience.
Sarah Busch has been connected with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center for more than ten years, but her experience with bullying goes back much farther. Bullied physically and emotionally in grade school, she knows what it’s like to feel alone.
I would start my story with where it began but honestly I don’t remember. I don’t remember the first time I was laughed at, the first time I was called a name, the first time I was thrown against a locker or hit. I can’t tell you any of this, because when it first started I didn’t know that my own friends were bullying me.
The first time I can remember being bullied, was during grade school and I had recently moved. It was a couple months into the school year and it first dawned on me that I was being bullied, because we had the first bullying prevention seminar at my school. I then thought back to that very morning on the bus when I sat down in my seat, and at the next stop was pulled out of it, thrown on the floor, and laughed at. I thought that it was just some minor horseplay and that what was happening was just fun between classmates. I believed this wholeheartedly because I was never taught any different.
I was told what bullying was and how if you see it you are supposed to tell a teacher. So when I got out of my seat to tell a teacher, I was yelled at to sit back down. I tried and tried to tell the teacher but she just got more and more annoyed. Eventually, I stopped trying to tell people and just sat down. To this day, I still look back at that moment and think, what if that teacher had listened, what if I had kept trying instead of sitting down, what if life as I know it now could have changed because one moment would have changed the course of my history, and all it was, was me listening to what I had always been taught to do.
After the moment I decided to sit back and listen, I believe was the moment I decided I wasn’t important enough for people to care about. My case couldn’t be that bad if the adults I was supposed to talk to didn’t care about it. So I let the harassment continue.
After a short time it progressed rapidly. The bullying went from being bullied on the bus by a kid I didn’t know to having kids in my class bullying me. And it didn’t stop. Every day from start to finish I was being bullied. From the time I stepped on the bus to the time I got off it at the end of the day.
It became so bad that I started telling my mom that I was sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school. The worst part was I never told my mom. I felt like she was going to treat me the same way my teacher did. Not because she didn’t care about me but because I was taught to treat my parents and teachers the same, with respect. Eventually my mom said that I had to stop faking sick, that I had to go to school or I would be held back. So I went to school, day after day after miserable day. I sat trying to pay attention to the teacher while being hit by crude jokes, and
called names I didn’t understand. These names didn’t bother me it was the fact that when I looked confused they would make fun of me for being stupid.
Then middle school came along…
You wouldn’t think middle school would change much, at least I didn’t. I mean the classes weren’t any harder, and it was all the same people, but now hormones had started to take shape in our personalities. People’s attitudes had become more emotional and chaotic, and what would people do to calm them down, aim for the easiest target, the one that was too afraid to tell anyone about what was going on. So it got worse, days started off by playing a game of who could shoot the most spitballs at me, and then moved to who could fit me into a locker better, and finally moved into what embarrassing thing we can say I did. Everyone loved playing these games during the first 30 minutes of the school day before homeroom. This seemed to calm them down most days until lunch. However, some days, not everyone got their share of the games in before homeroom, and on those days, I would be kicked under the desk, or have water dumped on me, money stolen from me, some days all of this before the lunch bell even rang.
Lunch was a unique set of experiences for me. You see for me lunch wasn’t about eating; it was about how do I avoid everyone I can. I would get in line and not make eye contact with anyone because that seemed to egg them on, buy my lunch if I still had the money, go sit down at an empty table and wait for something bad to happen. Now something bad didn’t always happen you see, some days I could eat my lunch in peace and wait until next period to get bullied. However, most days I was harassed at lunch. From people throwing my perfectly good lunch away, to people dumping theirs on me and the worst part was everyone watched, like they knew that it was going to happen before it happened.
After lunch I enjoyed the calm before the storm. The bus ride home was exceptionally cruel. It seemed all the people on my bus had to get in their last hits before the end of the day, so that’s what they did; hit me, pushed me, threw me from seat to seat, stole my backpack, took my homework and ripped it to shreds. Why should I tell anyone, I was used to it by now? To me it was all part of a daily routine, something I was supposed to just let happen, I mean it couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong because what came next was high school.
High school… I sit here thinking what could be the best way to describe how it appears to me. The time of loneliness, the torture from the second you step through the door, a roller coaster of despair that seems to just keep going down, or my personal favorite, the place where you find out who you truly are. Are you a jock who is popular and the star of the team, are you a nerd and the bottom of the totem pole, or an outsider who is just so well rounded they could do anything while doing nothing because they aren’t exceptional enough at any one thing, the last one is like me. I am a little bit of everything but not enough to fit into one area or another.
I guess the best place to start would be the beginning. Freshman year, so many promises that were doomed to fail right from the start. My failure actually starts before the school year even started. It started with soccer tryouts. I had been playing soccer for many years as a goalie and I had gotten really good. However, for me it was more about helping other people to get them better so next year they could tryout again. During one of the tryout days, I had overheard one of the coaches saying how a kid was a strong striker if only he could learn to pass the ball. So thinking I could help him, I ran up and said that to him, little did I know I just painted a big red target on myself. From that point on he made it his goal to make me look as bad as he could. And he made the point clear by telling me so. The only sanctuary I got was when we split up for goalie tryouts. During this we were tested on many things and I counted that me and my friend were two of the best goalies there. After tryouts I found out that I hadn’t made the team, so my mom emailed the coach. The coach told her that I had the skills to be a great goalie; however I was just too short to play on the high school team. I found out later in the year that my friend was told he wasn’t skinny enough. The kid who I had tried to help had a target marked on me and wouldn’t let me forget how I hadn’t made the team. There wasn’t a single day where it wasn’t mentioned, even after the season was over.
The season for bullying never seemed to end. I felt so worthless and I hated myself for being the way I was, I mean it was all my fault. I was asking to be laughed at and made fun of. At least this was how I felt when my freshman year went on. Throughout my freshman year there was a feeling inside me that kept telling me not to join a club or tryout for anything else, because I wasn’t good enough. A foolish part of me thought that this was as bad as my life could get, and yet again I was wrong, it could get worse.
Sophomore year, the next step in my life of torture… It is supposed to be the year you know what you want to do and you start going in that direction. For me it was still another year of misery in the form of harassment. This year I got a little braver and I tried out for the school play. That year our school performed “Little Women”. I did get a role in which I played a character by the name of “Theodore (Laurie) Laurence”. Now obviously being called Laurie in a play called “Little Women” was going to be called for some cheap shots. However they started from the day the cast list was posted to the end of the year. However something happened during my sophomore year that has changed my life forever.
During my sophomore year people just never seemed to run out of hurtful things to say or do to me. In fact they had started to resort to physical violence again, picking me up and throwing me to the ground, stepping on me and kicking me. It finally came to be too much for me and I started to plan my own suicide. I was at a point so low that it is difficult to even put it into words. You feel worthless; like you don’t deserve to stay where you are. I felt like the only way to escape was to end my own life. The thought of death actually brought me joy. I would sit in the corner of my room curled into a ball crying and thinking when a good time to execute it was and what to write in the letter for my parents to read after I’m gone. To think that I might not be writing this essay scares me, but if I hadn’t gone that low then I wouldn’t be writing this at all. It was the fact of how awful being that depressed made me show signs and it saved my life.
One day I walked into my science class and the night before I had been up writing a letter to my parents saying how I was sorry for taking my life. I had already planned on taking my life when I got home. The sleeplessness must have shown on my face because a girl asked me if I was okay, and I told her no, and in response she said that it will get better. And I sat thinking for a second on why she cared and I realized that not everyone was out to get me. I realized that there was a point to my life and that was to help other people. I knew and know that there are people out there that feel the way I felt and people that need help to realize that they are not alone. That the loneliness they feel isn’t the best they can feel, and that they have a reason to live. All in that one brief moment I realized that I wanted to help the others that are too alone to fight for themselves.
So this is where my next chapter begins. The chapter in my life where I am no longer a victim, the chapter where the downhill roller coaster finally turns up and it never goes back down.
That is why I did the Unity Day 2013 Campaign for PACERs. At the beginning, I just wanted to help people in my school, but then I realized that there are people all over that need to know that they are not alone. So after getting Unity Day approved in my school, I knew that there was going to be a campaign there, and I decided to spread out. I then started to email principals from other schools and districts in the state, bringing bullying prevention across the state. I received a proclamation by the mayor of Middletown saying that Unity Day was to be celebrated by the town of Middletown. I set up a table at different events and places across the state and even had my entire school go orange. I received a few awards for my efforts but that was never what it was about for me. For me it was about how someone, somewhere now knew that they were not alone, that someone was out there fighting for them. In a few years I hope to be studying public relations in college, and when I graduate, to work for PACERs because I hope to help the victims of bullying to realize that they can fight, that they are not alone and that they too can stand up and fight for themselves because they are out there, everywhere and they need help. They are alone right now, suffering to a crime that has unforeseen consequences. There are people who need my help to know that they are worth something no matter how worthless they feel.
I don’t know if this is what you were expecting to read when you began this story. As I think back to what I have written, I’m sorry I couldn’t give more specific examples, I just don’t remember them that way and part of me does not want to. I mentioned a few that I do remember. However, that’s the thing about bullying, so much of it happens that it all just seems so usual to us. We remember special cases when it gets more physically severe or emotionally more demeaning, but as a whole it’s just one never ending event.
All I want to do is whatever I can to help others like me, because if I don’t, someone might take that final step I didn’t, and take their own life, and this is something that should never happen.
I was bullied because of my race
it all started online this girl screenshot my snapchat and she posted it on her story calling me names and saying I could not sing. i asked her about it at school camp last year she said her phone was stolen witch was a lie then it becomes verbal bullying she was in the same friends group as me so it made it harder then i become more intense she slammed a metal door on my hand and broke my finger. i had my head smashed pushed on walls my lunch stolen i started geting anxiety and depression. i was not sleeping. i had panic attacks.
I have always been bullied. There are many different reasons of why people bully me and it lowers my self confidence. If we wanna get the whole story we have to go way back to kindergarden. In kindergarden, I had an eye problem that made it very hard to see, and my eyes would roll back. People noticed that and started making fun of me. So, My parents decided to get it fixed. So I ended up getting eye surgery. My eyes were BLOOD SHOT read for about 3 weeks. I then had to put an eye patch over it which made me look like a complete dork. People would always say ¨I do not wanna play with a pirate.¨, I never had somebody to play with on the playground. In 5th grade, I finally got my eye patch taken off. I was so excited. Nobody could make fun of me anymore. I was wrong. Middle school came around and Since I was 4¨8, I was considered very short. People would call me a midget, they would say that I was anorexic and bully me so hard that I almost would physically hurt myself. 8th grade came around and it got even worse. People would say that I was a ¨special Education child¨ and did not belong to be on this earth, people would wish that I would die. I would sit in my shower with the water all the way hot and burn myself, I thought that I would feel better. I am in 8th grade now and am a straight A student. I just wanted to share my story and you can get over this. I wish you best of luck on your journey.
I was bullied since 3rd grade and when I tried to tell someone they never believed me because they that I was lying,because I go to a Catholic school and the teachers never listened and my parents and grandparents never believed me either because they thought I had all the friends in the world. And when I tried talking to my friends they never got what I was trying to say and I tried to end it all but it fails and now I’m scared I’ll get back into the habit of hurting myself…I just need someone who is older then me or as the same age to tell and help me to make the bullying stop.