Not many people know this, but during both my freshman and junior years of high school I was bullied by two different groups of girls, each from one high school I attended.
I am not going to use this post to tell my story, because frankly there are too many like it. I don’t need people to know what these girls did to me, but I do want people to realize that something great is able to come from something that is terrible. I also want people to see that you can eventually grow from being knocked down by bullying.
It goes like this:
For many years and especially when it was happening, I refused to admit I was being “bullied”. To me, I felt that I was weak and that it was embarrassing if I admitted that girls were bullying me. I also thought it would be embarrassing and unnecessary to involve any school administrator, because that was just another way I would be admitting I was being bullied.
Now that I am older and two years removed from the high school world, I am finally able to say that yes, I was bullied. And yes, girls were so mean to me that I was essentially forced to transfer high schools and quit the sport I loved.
Learning to forgive the girls that hurt me, my self esteem, and self image was not an easy task. I think my forgiveness came with time. It also came by being able to finally reflect on my high school experiences that were great when I was in high school.
I realize now that if it hadn’t been for those mean girls, I would not have done some of the things I did, met some of my favorite people, and ended up at the college I am at today.
Transferring high schools was one of the best things to have ever happened to me, even though the reason behind the transfer wasn’t so great.
Central Catholic, the school I transferred to, was a place that gave me so much my previous high school could never have given me. Central Catholic was my second family, my home away from home. I genuinely think I spent more time there than I did at my own house.
Transferring to Central proved to me that it wasn’t me that was the bad person that no one liked, it was other people and their vicious perceptions. Being bullied took down my self confidence about 30 notches and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to rebuild it. On my first day, I immediately talked to new people and met new friends- something I didn’t think I could do, especially on my own. I realized that people did want to talk to me, be nice to me, and be my friend.
My sophomore year was great, I met so many amazing people, had a great group of friends, and was able to be myself and see that people liked me for me. Everything was going good until the middle of junior year. People’s thirst for popularity and boys got in the way of friendships and cheerleading became something that made me cry and that I dreaded going to. Once again, I was questioning my self worth and didn’t want to admit I was being bullied, but I was.
After some advice from my favorite teacher and “second dad” that I have referenced in pervious posts, I quit cheerleading and joined track. Track was definitely
not something I wanted to do. Seriously, who in their right mind would want to run for a sport… (I can say this because I am a runner that does love it). In the end, the girls on the team were my sisters and my second family. Track became my favorite sport and I am forever thankful for being pushed to do it.
Now, what did these experiences do to me?
Looking back, I see that I am SUCH a stronger person because of what happened. I have been told by so many people that I’m straight up, honest, and that I won’t be fake. I tell it like it is. I also will let you know if I don’t like you, and that is good for the most part because it tells people not to mess with me. I’m much more confident in who I am and I realized that yes, people aren’t always going to like me and that’s okay. I also learned not to deal with people that don’t put you first or are mean to you.
I also learned that it’s okay to come out of your shell and talk to new and different people. I’ve developed a strong dislike for people who judge or won’t associate with others because they like different things. I have seen that people that are different than I am are often the people I like talking with the most. I’ve began to try new things such as clubs and service trips to meet new people as well. I’ve learned to be a leader and have earned the respect from many professors and classmates.
Although bullying did hurt my self esteem and confidence, I can now see that in the end I am a better person because of it. So thank you to all of the girls that bullied me, I wouldn’t be where I am without you!