Editor’s note: The identity of the author of this article is being withheld at the request of the student’s teacher.
Being an advanced child, I was picked on and called “the brainy kid.” That hurt. It made me stand out and all I’d wanted was to fit in.
At that point I was on that 1-4 statistic of children bullied. All of the bullying I went through was verbal. But for some kids it was, and is, much harsher.
A lot of what people overlook about bullying is the psychological aspect of it.
Honestly, if they had hit me, kicked me, hurt me physically in any way, it would have been much easier to cope with. Because I couldn’t change my intellect, I had liked being smart, and I had liked who I was.
And they tore me down.
I felt like I was 6 inches tall and they were the size of skyscrapers. Later it got to the point where I was ostracized and set apart from my peers. I was shy to begin with, so making friends was almost impossible.
I couldn’t talk to people; I couldn’t even talk to my parents, let alone the school. I was scared, I was confused, and I was angry. But most of all my heart had hurt. It had hurt so badly, that all I had wanted to do was go home and cry and never go back to school.
Because I was scared that it would get worse. Those words hurt more than physical blows. I struggled through the last of that year with the “jokes” and the jibes. That experience completely changed my personality.
It made me angry, and I would lash out. It made me look like a person I wasn’t. I had started to turn into the bully, and that is not me. I like to smile and laugh, and I couldn’t do that. What made it worse was that it was never one person. It was anywhere from five to 12 of them.
Running away from one person you barely see every day is easier than running from a whole entire group that is broken up into all of your classes. I knew it wouldn’t get better. I had to stand up for me.
I couldn’t use my words to tell anyone what was going on, so I had to tell the bullies that I was done because I knew it wouldn’t get any better otherwise.
So I told them I liked being smart, I liked school, and they weren’t allowed to tell me any differently.
When you stand up to a bully, you take all of their power. It is kryptonite in the face of Superman. They just fall. And it stopped.
I never heard anything about it again. I learned how to stand up for myself, and how to not be so shy.
And I learned to stand up for others because I know bullying hurts. I know it needs to stop. School is a place where you learn not only academics, but how to survive in society.
So if victims hide from their attackers, the bullies, how do they function in society when they are afraid? They don’t. They barely survive.
Never stay silent.
Stand up and stand tall, even if you are the only one in a crowd, because you are right.
These kids, these victims, need voices, because it’s hard to find their own when they shake in pain and fear.