I remember everyday crying to myself, hating myself, and just wanting it all to be over. I truly believe I was committing self-inflicted pain just by getting out of bed and getting dressed each morning. 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 12 full agonizing years. School was my hell. Where could I turn? The teachers? Ha! They were instigators. One of my "nicknames" was given to me by my french teacher. He made use of my lack of understanding of the language, and made one single joke. My legs have extra bones in them that make running difficult. The teacher commented that I ran like a duck. The nickname Ducky ended up in my grade 8 year book, placed there by a student bully. Another teacher told me my epidermis was showing. That was my first day at PCPS. The whole class laughed, I cried. I was only 9 years old. I had left all of my previous bullies back at Laggan to come to this? New kids, new teachers, new bullies. One boy in particular would threaten to punch me in the face if he saw me at recess. We had recess 3 times a day. There are only so many places to hide. My grade 6 teacher would write notes home to my mother suggesting I get a hearing aid because clearly I wasn't listening properly. This note was not meant to help. I had no trouble listening, I had trouble being bullied by my teachers.
In high school it didn't get better. One day in English class the entire class started chanting "Dumbo", another nickname given to me due to my ears sticking our. They wouldn't stop and the teacher just wanted to treat us like adults so he wouldn't yell at them to make them stop. I ran out of class crying straight to Vice Principal's office, where he explained to me that he was unable to expel the whole school and faculty, so I might as well just leave and go to another school. I lived in a small town with only one high school, where else did he want me to go?!
The worst part? I would try to deflect the bullying off of me and onto another girl. It turns out this girl was getting sexually abused by her father daily. School was her only refuge and I made it hell for her. I am a victim, but I am also a bully. A fact that I can never shake.
Every person who has been bullied knows it has to stop. Some stop it with a gunshot, others with a suicide note. But it is not up to the victims to stop it. It's up to the rest of us. Go see this movie and share your story with someone. Maybe it will encourage them to know that they are not alone and that it doesn't have to end with a gunshot or suicide note.
It can end.
It will end.