The Pain of Being Bullied – One Student’s Story

March 30 2015

Author

  • William Grace Frost, Strategic Relations Director
    William Grace Frost
    Strategic Relations Director

It’s likely that at some point in your life, either you or someone close to you has been subjected to the effects of cyberbullying, bullying, hazing or harassment – effects such as increased anxiety, fear for your safety, humiliation, sense of isolation, loss of sleep, absenteeism, distraction from work or learning, etc.

The “bullying epidemic” has become so ingrained in the culture of our schools, workplace, sports teams and neighborhoods, that everyone, whether aware of it or not, has been affected in some way by the consequences of this “virus of meanness and indifference”. But nothing hits home more than when it happens to someone you care about.

In her own words, a northern California high school undergraduate tells of how her life was inexorably changed by the mean and thoughtless behavior of classmates:

About a year and a half ago I was being bullied online and in person. An incident had happened where some girls had started rumors going around about me that weren’t true. It got out of hand when two boys ended up in a fight about it. One ended up in the hospital with face and head wounds.

The girls who had started the rumors blamed me for what had happened to their friend, and began threatening me on Facebook, messaging me, and making anonymous phone calls saying things like, “It should have been you in the hospital!” and “You should not be alive right now!”

It was a very rough part of my life. I didn’t eat or go to school for the next 3 days, and I barely slept. I was very depressed and I didn’t know what to do with myself. For a while I was frightened for my safety. I was scared to leave my house because I always thought I was going to run into someone and something might happen to me.

I told my parents almost right away what had happened about the fight, but was afraid to tell them about the girls’ threats to me. So initially they didn’t realize the seriousness of what was going on.

A friend of my parents happened to see what was being said to me on Facebook and told my parents about it. They came to me and asked to see my cell phone and the messages I’d been getting. When they realized the seriousness of the situation, they got the police involved.

At that point I was able to share my side of the story and tell them what was happening. Once I showed the police the pictures of the messages and comments these girls made towards me, they went to their school and got the main aggressor suspended for five days and the others involved received in-house suspensions.

After hearing that everything was taken care of and that I shouldn’t be bullied anymore, I started seeing a therapist. After a number of sessions I began to feel much better. In time I started getting myself back to normal, and finally, I felt like I could start to be happy again. Being bullied was horrible and I’ll never forget the feelings that it brought up in me… anger, shame, guilt, fear, sadness… and feeling alone through it all made it even worse.

In looking back, I wish that my friends and others who knew about what was happening would have stood up for me or told those girls to stop. I also wish I had had better skills to help me know what to do about bullying and that I had let my parents and friends know sooner when I was having problems.

For more information about our programs that empower student bystanders to find the courage to speak up when they see incidents of cyberbullying, bullying, hazing or harassment, visit the Safe School Ambassadors page of our website.



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