What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by anonymous reader.

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Bullying
is one of the most serious issue schools face today and it´s an
issue that lies close to my heart because I have personal experience of
bullying. I was bullied severely for 3 years during middle school and
junior high school. The best words I have to describe being bullied are “a personal hell”. Bullying is a hell on earth, a living nightmare. I
have come a long way since I was bullied but I still suffer from the
effects it had on me and I doubt I´ll be able to put it completely
behind me. I have many friends who were bullied and I doubt any of us
will ever heal properly from what happened to us.

Because of the
bullying I´m a very introvert and shy person, keep people at arm´s
length (except those closest to me), I don´t like big social gatherings
(to the point of blatantly avoiding them), my social skills are awkward
to say the least, my self esteem is so and so (although it´s improved
immensely!) and I have constant fears and insecurities. I have friends
that have suffered far worse effects than me, to the point of severe
depression, self-cutting and harming, zero self-esteem or self-worth,
constant social insecurities and many other terrible things.

Why
was I bullied? I was bullied because I was different. I was a nerdy
studious kid that loved classical music, I was shy and sensitive and
very calm so I was a very passive personality, I played an instrument (a
big NO in these days), I was mature beyond my peers, I expressed my
thoughts out loud to myself, I loved reading (and was a total bookworm, I
had very advanced reading level compared to my peers), I was rather
clueless about pop culture and didn´t enjoy it but loved classical music
and literature (I loved Tchaikovsky but not Britney Spears), I spoke in
an old-fashioned way and used an old-fashioned vocabulary as well as
enjoying old things, I knitted and sewed, I had very awkward social
skills.

Some of my peers unfortunately took advantage of this
and used it against me. Everything single thing I did was used as a
reason to mock me and ridicule me. I could barely move without being
taunted, given looks, laughed at to my face, bullied, ignored and
ridiculed by my classmates, manipulated, physically attacked (once at
least). It was a personal nightmare.

I started skipping school
and feigning sickness at every opportunity. I ran away from school after
having been bullied so severely I couldn´t stand it anymore (and this
was in front of a teacher that did NOTHING!). I stopped practising my
violin and concentrating in school so my grades plummeted, I was
convinced I deserved this. I gave my family a very hard time, I cried
more than I have ever cried in my life. I spent every day feeling
terrible, insecure, alienated and scared. I couldn´t walk down the
street without feeling silly and scared, so afraid of that I´d meet
someone, be bullied. I spent two years living a personal nightmare. Two
whole years.

The final straw was the time when I was written
about online. It was stated that me and a few of my friends (that were
also bullied, one of them far worse than me) were nasty, ugly, terribly
smelling, drooling, weird idiots and morons. This was written on a
public blog that the whole school knew about and everyone could see
this. I was verbally abused online.

After seeing this I didn´t
attend school for two days. I refused to go, I just couldn´t handle it. I
told my parents I didn´t want to face these kids. And when I faced them
I felt terrible, absolutely terrible. But I had to face them, I
couldn´t skip school. It was after this that I had to take a drastic
measure that I´m convinced today that saved me.

I changed classes.
The principal wasn´t sure at first but I believe it was obvious I
couldn´t handle being in class with the bullies so I was allowed to
change. I attended class with my best friends. It wasn´t an easy change
and it took a while to settle in but I had to take this step in order to
save myself. It was this or change schools. And it made a whole lot of
difference to me.

After been verbally abused online, the bullying
stopped. I don´t know why but it did (though I suspect the teachers had
a hand in this). I could finally begin to enjoy school and slowly I
started to piece myself together again. It took entire 9th grade for me
to get my groove again and start feeling safe. 10th grade was the best
year of my entire school life. I was starting to heal and piece together
my self-esteem. I started to feel good about myself, matured a lot as a
person, had wonderful friends and had many great experiences at my
music conservatory. I have so many great memories from 10th grade. I
still attended school with the bullies but I had risen above them. They
didn´t bother me anymore.

After 10th grade I went unto a
brilliant high school where I could enjoy being myself all the time,
studied a lot, gained amazing friends, had great teachers and
experienced so many wonderful things. I attended a brilliant music
conservatory that to this day remains one of my most favourite places to
be. I could finally enjoy life and it was amazing.

Right now, I
have put a lot behind me and I have more strength that I did before.
Being bullied left me in many ways weaker than I had been before and
there are many things I fear today because of the bullying. The effects
of it will never go away, never ever. I´ll always have those scars.
But
being bullied also taught me that value of being different and putting
it to good use. I am much more open-minded and respect peoples
differences more because of the bullying. Now, how I´m different makes
me proud. I gained more maturity.

I regularly wished I hadn´t
been bullied. Especially at those times when my most vulnerable areas
are exposed and I feel the scars open up again. Then I wish this had
never happened. But I know I wouldn´t be where I am today, I wouldn´t be
who I am today if it wasn´t for the bullying. I remind myself that if I
hadn´t been bullied, would I be any happier than I am now, despite the
bullying. I, after all have been blessed with many things.

Bullying
is something NO person should ever have to encounter in their lives.
Bullying is one of the most terrible things in today´s society. It
wrecks lives and creates a personal hell. Bullying needs to be stopped
NOW! It´s an issue that can´t be ignored – there are lives at stake.
Bullying is a personal hell I wish upon no one. No one should have to
experience living a nightmare every single day of their lives. Bullying
has to be stopped, no matter the cost.

And I apologize for any
spelling and/or grammar mistakes in this text (English is not my native
language and I´m not an American :))