I’ve struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was young, still in elementary school. Grades 4-7 were honestly hell for me. I don’t remember much of my childhood, because I’ve blocked so much out, but what I do remember from my time in elementary school was terrifying. I felt isolated and alone. I was bullied by girls and even the boys. I honestly can’t tell you who was worse because it was all terrible.
Girls would pick on me for being loud or annoying. I couldn’t be friends with someone because they were friends with them. I had a witches nose.. Man the list goes on. For the boys, it was playing with my emotions. We all have young love or crushes and these boys played that to their advantage. I’ll never forget the day someone told me my crush wanted to be with me and to meet him on the field at lunch. I was so excited. I rushed to the field.. to find him with all his friends. They all laughed at me, saying that he could never like me. I look back and wonder how kids could be so cruel at such a young age. Elementary school was the first time I ever saw myself as a bully, unfortunately.
In grade 7, whenever someone else was being picked on I would jump on board. I felt that if I picked on them with the bullies I would fit in. That just created more self hate and I was bullied for joining in with them. It was an awful time in my life.. so for high-school, I decided to go to a different one than the one near my house. Away from my bullies. I wouldn’t be bullied if I went to a different school, right? Wrong. So wrong.
In highschool, the boys were no different. Constantly teasing and playing with emotions. Girls were very catty and loved to threaten other girls. I felt extremely left out.. like I was walking through the halls invisible trying to find my way. I went to my high-school for the drama program, but found my anxiety kept me from doing what I wanted. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I constantly tried to fit in with the cool crowd, so much so I wouldn’t talk to many people or associate with people who I thought weren’t cool. Grade 10 was when everything came to a head for my high school experience and it was absolute h e l l.
During that time, I stood up for myself and what was right. But that lead to more bullying and more isolation. I had to avoid certain hallways and hide in bathrooms because I was scared of my bully. I avoided so many things.. All to please the biggest bully that chose me as her victim. I’ll never forget entering a classroom after I was balling my eyes out. I’ll never forget hiding in the bathroom or eating my lunch in the bathroom so I didn’t need to eat alone. I’ll never forget the little jabs people did, trying to be funny. I’ll never forget coming home and just crying. I’ll never forget wondering if someone ever liked me or if they were being fake. I hate to admit it… but these experiences throughout my schooling life has shaped who I thought I was. It has caused me so much pain. It’s caused me to feel depression and absolutely awful about myself. It’s caused me anxiety and fear of opening up. It’s caused me to lose friendships and be afraid of trusting others. It’s made me feel suicidal, worthless, empty. But it’s also helped me become the strong person I am today.
Do the demons from my past still haunt me? Yes. I have so much self doubt that has come from all of this. I still have to remind myself of my worth. But I know – I am stronger because of what I’ve been through. The bullies who tried to tear me down never did because I clawed my way up. I’m still here. I kept fighting the urges to die. I silenced their words and still sometimes need to all these years later. I found my light in life – and that is speaking up… speaking my truth, writing, creating artwork and healing from the darkest days of my lives. Because I’ve realized, all my bullies were likely hurting as well. They were probably being bullied to and I never known. If only we could have all been more loving, more accepting and more kind. It’s what we need. To survive. Not only elementary or high school, but life. ♡