By: Kelsie Blanton
“She’s got a gap between her two front teeth. You could drive a truck through it!” The dreaded song spread throughout the school bus as she closed her eyes against the tears threatening to escape. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead to the back of the cool leather seat, trying to prevent herself from passing out. Swallowing numerous times to try to push back the lump in her throat, she winced at the pain. The more she tried to get rid of it, the more it radiated to her chest. Was the pain from trying not to cry or was it from the heartache she felt watching her so called best friends join her tormentors?
I can’t let them see me cry. It will only get worse if they see me cry.
She repeated her mantra in her head for the duration of the ride home. As soon as she could see her house, she was out of her seat and quickly making her way to the front of the bus with her older sister and brother in tow. Neither of them took up for her. They just sat back and watched and she was relentlessly tortured.
As soon as the bus came to a stop by her house and the door opened, she ran. That never stopped the kids. They rolled down their windows and yelled things at her until the bus was gone and she was safe and sound in her own home.
“How was school?” Her dad asked.
She never responded. She shoved past her father and ran straight to her room. She hid her tears from everyone for so long, eventually, she felt as though they were a sign of weakness. She was not allowed to be weak—she was too afraid to be weak. If she showed any signs of frailty, they would circle her like vultures and the attack would be even more intense than the first.
“Are you okay?” Her loving step-mother would ask, walking into her bedroom.
“Yes,” she mumbled, wiping the tears away.
“Sticks and stones, sweetie. Just remember, sticks and stones.” The woman she called her mother wrapped her in her arms, causing her to lose control. The sobs wracked her body and she felt weaker than ever.
The whole sticks and stones saying never really helped her. She tried to say it in her head while being laughed at, but it only made the feeling of being faulty even worse. Sticks and stones may break her bones, but words would always hurt her. She couldn’t help but wonder if something was wrong with her because words were so hurtful to her. If everyone else believed that saying and used it daily, then why couldn’t she?
“I love you, honey.” Her mother would say as she walked out of the room.
She could barely muster a smile.
Once she knew her mother was gone and that no one was coming in to disturb her, she reached for the razorblade in her drawer. She didn’t use it every day. She didn’t cut too deep. She only did enough to feel a pain separate than the one she was feeling. Slowly and carefully, she dragged the cool metal across the inside of her arm and watched as the crimson welled up and slowly began to trickle down her arm. It fascinated her. She stared transfixed at the designs the blood left on her pale arm, the contrast of color standing out so well. It was beautiful. Finally, she found something about herself that was beautiful. She cleaned herself up, threw on a sweatshirt, and walked into the living room, feeling much better than before. Her two step-sisters stopped talking and looked at her when she walked in. They knew she had been crying. She froze, bracing herself for the anguish that she knew was soon to come. Instead, the two girls smiled and invited her to join them. They asked her if she had any homework and offered to help. Those girls were the oldest of her siblings and they were always there for her.
Why did she think they were going to laugh at her? Because for eight hours a day, five days a week, that’s all people did to her.
Finally, it would be time for her to go to bed. She lay there tossing and turning for hours, dreading the time she would wake up to get ready for school. Saying her prayers, but instead of saying “And if I die before I wake” she would say “Please let me die before I wake”.
She was at her breaking point.
They didn’t care that she had been in a car wreck when she was eight years old. A car pulled out in front of her grandmother and she hit the dashboard. She spent the summer before her third grade year in pain. She spent her 9th birthday only able to eat soft foods, on a mainly liquid diet.
They thought she was weird?
They didn’t know that her biological mother abandoned her when she was three. She took her to her grandmother’s house, promising to be back in a week, and never showed. They didn’t know that her own mother didn’t even show up to her custody hearing. She was literally abandoned. And even though she had her father, her step-mother, and her siblings (including her two step-sisters), she felt ridiculously alone. They didn’t know that every single day of her life for years she felt like her mother abandoning her was her fault. How could it not have been? She was the last one born. Her sister and brother had six and eight years with her, but three years in with this child, she bailed. No, they thought she was weird, so they made her life even worse.
She considered suicide on a daily basis.
At times, she would hold that razorblade and stare at it—thinking that if she cut just the right way, she would never have to suffer again. Then she thought of the people that really did love her, and how devastated they would be if she followed through.
She put the razorblade down and kept on trucking it.
She forced that smile on her face every single day until eventually, it wasn’t forced. She was truly happy. She heard her name called at her graduation and when they said “I give you the class of 2009” she threw her cap in the air, just like everyone else.
Smiling, she looked around and vowed that she would become successful. She would do the one thing she loved more than anything else—write. She knew that eventually, those people that were hating on her and treating her badly would wish that they hadn’t. Not because she would threaten them, but because she got through it. She realized that by them making fun of her, pushing her into lockers, singing horrible songs, they were only making her stronger—more vigilant. She was going to become a better person than them and she never had to see them again.
This is the story of my life. It’s rough, it’s not edited, and it’s real.
I didn’t write this for you to feel sorry for me. I wrote this so that anyone getting bullied can hopefully realize that there is much more to life than school.
Kids are told that every single day. I was told that every single day and I didn’t believe them. What the hell is more important than school and making friends?
Making a life for yourself, that’s what. Doing what you want to do and being who YOU want to be and not caring what anyone else thinks about you.
Let me tell you something. Ask anyone out there who they respect more: a woman who does everything because she’s afraid of what someone will do or say. OR a woman who does what she wants to do, wears what she wants to wear because she doesn’t care what people think. There is a fine line! I’m not saying scream “Eff the world” and revolt or anything like that, but who cares what people think about you?
Kids are cruel, harsh, and unforgiving, but you don’t have to be. Forgive and forget or you will turn into one of the adults that are cruel, harsh, and unforgiving.
There are so many teens that end their own lives because of some idiot kids at school and that is a tragedy all in itself. One, because their life is over at such a young age. Two, because they just let that bastard kid win. I hear about kids attempting suicide and other kids posting on their facebook “Better luck next time.” REALLY? I have never fully understood why other kids are so cruel. Possibly it’s because their home lives aren’t that great. Maybe they have their own issues they need to work out and they feel better taking everything out on you. I don’t know.
What I do know is that you can make a difference. You can do things with your life. Why let that kid feel triumphant? Why not let YOURSELF feel triumphant? Push through all of the BS, accomplish all the things in life you want to accomplish. Trust me, it’s all worth it. I promise.
If you ever feel like taking your own life, sit down and make a list of all the things you want to do in your life. And then DO THEM.