Bullying is no joke


Living every day with the constant fear of someone making you feel like you’re not good enough, you’re a failure, you’ll never make it. Those are just some of the constant fears that you live with if you’re bullied. First I want to define bullying, then I will share my story and experience with bullying.

Everyone has their own definition of bullying but the text book definition is, a blustering browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker, as stated by Merriam-Webster.com. Now to make it clear, there are four parts of bullying, the bully, the victim, the helper and the bystander. Now think of what role you play and what role you want to play. The bully and the victim are easy to define, but what about the helper and bystander? The helper stands up to the bully and the bystander sits there and does nothing to stop the awful thing they’re witnessing.

My experience with bullying started way back when I, now a sophomore, was I kindergarten at Prospect Hill. The first time I was ever bullied was about halfway through the year. Two 6 graders came up to me with a basketball and knocked me over and threw the basketball at my face and ran away laughing. I still remember their faces, the one who threw it was short with a little facial hair that was brown. His eyes brown and same with his short hair. The other was a tall boy with longer hair that was blonde and green eyes. His teeth were held by blue and green braces, no matter how hard I try, I will never forget their faces. The second encounter was with the same people the next day and it repeated almost every day since then until the end of the year. Ever since then I have been more sensitive and passive.

From 1 to 4 grade the words of others and occasionally the actions were the source. In 5 grade a new kid came to our grade and I tried to befriend him but as our friendship went on he turned into a monster. The nightmares I had back then, almost five years ago, are still vivid to me, his face round and plump brown hair and blue eyes, in my dreams he would take me and hang me by my feet and beat me like a piñata until I bled from head to toe. 6 grade came along and it just got worse.

I was lucky to leave elementary school from Ronald Regan Elementary for West, because he went to Eisenhower. But nothing helped, I could not forget. This year of 7 grade was a high spot I met my current day best friend, and friends I hang out with today. Things got better once I had someone I could talk to.

8 and 9 grade were low. With more friends, a new school, and more sports, criticism came from more angles than before. This is when the depression started and I clammed up. I stopped talking, stopped expressing, and stopped caring. People who thought they were helping would say, “Hey I’ll beat them up just tell me who they are.” That never helped because the last thing I wanted was to make someone else feel the pain I was going through. Then just when things couldn’t get any worse, they did. My grandpa died after three and a half years of fighting lung cancer. On top of that my parents got a divorce. That is when I started to sit at home alone, a scissors in my hand cutting me and moving closer to my throat. For some reason I stopped. According to a study done by Arialdi Miniño a statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics, Mortality Statistics Branch, “Suicide is the 3rd highest cause of death in teenagers ages twelve through nineteen.”

That was when I saw a therapist. She diagnosed me with severe depression, so I then went to a psychiatrist who gave me anti-depressants and referred me to another therapist. Depression can have a number of serious effects on a person’s life. A study on the relationship of bullying and depression done by bullyingstatistics.org states “The link between bullying and depression can also extend to other problems, like: low self-esteem, anxiety, high rates of school absence, and physical illness. Teens who commit suicide often suffer from depression. Experts hesitate to say that bullying is a direct cause of suicide, but it may be a factor in a teen’s depression.”

Heidi Stigler, school counselor at New Berlin West for 9 years, she stated, “I think we have a lot of work to do around treating each other with respect and a lot has to do with just conflict resolution and respecting one another and differences between each other.” Heidi Stigler, school counselor at New Berlin West for 9 years, stated “I would like to see an emphasis on treating everyone with respect and that would help with lowering the amount of bullying because if we did that bullying would be gone, but we need every student on board to make it happen.”

So, for now I have hope. But the peace of mind most of you have, is something I dream about. So, now here’s a message to all of you with the same problems with bullying as me, you can always see the light in every situation, all you have to do is be more observant than the people who think they are better than you. And the bullies who put you down are the ones with the problem. When you see bullying or you hear a presentation I hope that you take this seriously and if you don’t, know that you’re one of the monsters that hurts others. I want all of you to know that this is not a joke and needs to be stopped. Stand up and speak up for those who can’t, be the helping hand, save a life.