Everyone has a story. Including us.
But our story is not about our lives, it's about how our lives were affected by someone else’s.
It would be a shame if our story was never told and nobody ever learned from our experiences.
It started the way most stories start, with a beginning.
It started with the beginning of a friendship…
Ivy’s Story (5th to 7th Grade):
Ivy’s story began when a friend came back from Canada in the fifth grade. Everyone in the class was ecstatic that she was back. They even held a party for her at a neighborhood pool. Fifth grade came and went. The girl was happy to be with her friends again. However, when sixth grade came, the girl began to push her friends away. She began to change, which worried her friends. In seventh grade, things began to escalate. The girl was at a computer with a mutual friend when Ivy approached them.
“Hey, what are you talking about?” Ivy asked them. The girl looked at the mutual friend, John, before typing.
“Promise me that you won’t tell anyone?” the girl typed on the computer.
“Okay,” Ivy responded.
Then the girl typed, “I cut myself.”
Ivy was shocked. She felt confused, because she didn’t understand the reality of what this meant at the time. After school that day, Ivy video-chatted the girl, and they shared stories about how they felt. She told Ivy that despite her depression, she would never commit suicide, because she was too scared. The girl never did anything she was scared of.
On that very same day, both girls had volleyball practice. That was the first time Ivy saw the girl’s cuts. The cut was across her entire left wrist, in a diamond shape; it was a deep shade of red and had started to scab over. Ivy noticed that everytime the volleyball hit it, the girl would flinch in pain. At first, Ivy tried to be someone that the girl could trust. They even made an instagram account, on which Ivy and the girl posted depressing pictures and quotes. Soon after, the adults found out about this and Ivy’s mom confronted her. She told Ivy that she wasn’t in trouble, but to come talk to her if the girl ever got worse.
A couple weeks later, the girl came out of the gym bathroom and walked towards Ivy, smiling. She looked happy. She asked Ivy to come into the bathroom with her, because she needed to show her something. Over the last month, Ivy had finally come to realize what ‘cutting’ and ‘depression’ actually were. The girl took Ivy into the bathroom and pulled up her shirt. Under it were at least twenty scars, covering most of her stomach. Keeping her shirt up, she looked over at Ivy and smiled.
“Do you like them? I’m kind of proud of them,” she said.
Ivy was at a loss for words. She thought she had been helping, but it had only been getting worse. Ivy went to talk to her friend, John, about what she had seen. They had both seen the cuts on her stomach and decided that this had gotten out of hand. They determined that Ivy would tell her mom everything, even though they knew the girl would never trust them again nor would their friendships ever be the same. Ivy called her mom, shaking, and told her about everything that the girl had done to herself. Ivy’s mom did the natural thing and told the girl’s mother.
Things got so much worse. The girl was angry, as Ivy and John had expected. She began to distance herself from everybody. After a month had passed, Ivy and John could tell that she was not getting better. They were never frustrated with her because of her depression; they were frustrated because of the way the girl began to treat them. She began to treat them as if they had no idea what pain even was. They decided, although frustrated, that they would try their best to help the girl.
Soon, Ivy and John noticed that she had begun to bring a journal to school and write about her feelings in it. They began to read it every day between science and religion. Although they knew this was wrong, they felt worried about her and saw no other way to know what she was feeling or how she was doing. One day, they found a suicide note in her journal. They were completely terrified. Ivy and John were so afraid of losing a friend that they knew they had to do something. So, John told his mom. This was when things took a turn for the worst, and for the rest of the year, the girl hated her friends for what they had done.
Jax’s Story (8th Grade):
Jax never knew the girl before she moved to Canada. She had only heard about her from her friend. The two first met at a school, pool party. They became fairly good friends throughout 5th and 6th grade, but in the 7th grade, they became even better friends.
In 8th grade, the girl invited Jax to come with her on a short vacation at a lodge. Both girls had a lot of fun that weekend. That was also the weekend that Jax discovered the girl’s internet friends. Jax was a bit wary of them, but they seemed like nice people. She tried to be friends with them as well, but she didn’t remember to get online enough. Time went on and the girl began to spend more time with her internet friends than her real-life friends. Then, a couple weeks later, the two got into a petty argument which the girl took very seriously. Because of this, she became extremely angry and isolated herself from everyone.
She gradually forgave them and began to talk to them again, but their friendships were never really the same. Ivy and Jax began to video-chat constantly, talking about how they felt towards the girl. Ivy also got an account on the website where the girl made all of her internet friends, but she did not use it very often as well. Yet every once in awhile, they would get on to talk to her internet friends and to check up on the girl.
One afternoon at school, Jax, Ivy, and another friend saw that the girl was crying. Because she and Jax hadn’t been getting along recently, Jax told Ivy to go comfort her. Ivy, not very skilled at comforting people, sat down next to the girl. The girl held a clipboard to her chest, making it difficult to see what was written. Jax, Ivy, and their friend had noticed this clipboard earlier. They were worried it might be another suicide note. Ivy saw that the girl was still crying, but she did not want to make her feel worse. She also did not know how to bring the clipboard up, so she just tried to make the girl smile or laugh. The girl did not do either. While Ivy did this, Jax tried her best to keep their other friend occupied, so that she wouldn’t accidently make the girl upset. When the girl did not show up to the next class, Jax asked the teacher if she could go find her. Reluctantly, the teacher allowed her to. Jax searched all the downstairs bathrooms before going upstairs. She finally found the girl talking to their homeroom teacher in the 8th grade classroom. She went back to class, knowing that there was nothing else she could do.
At the end of the day, Jax and Ivy stayed behind to talk to their homeroom teacher about how the girl was. They talked for so long that both of their moms came up looking for them. That evening, Jax and Ivy checked the website to make sure that the girl was okay. On it, the girl said that she had wanted to commit suicide earlier, but she was okay now. However, the girl did post a rant about how she had felt earlier. After reading this rant, both Jax and Ivy felt very angry. They had noticed that she had been crying for three hours. They had spent an entire free recess trying to make sure she was okay. Just because Ivy wasn’t good at comforting people, that didn’t mean she hadn’t tried. Jax had missed a lot of Spanish class, looking for the girl, and the girl had the nerve to say no one really noticed or cared about her? Although they were angry, Jax and Ivy could find a way of telling the girl how they felt. So, they kept it to themselves, hoping that it would soon get better.
They continued to check the website and saw that the girl would say that her real-life friends had called her fat, ugly, and stupid. They could not remember a single time in which any of them had said this, and they were upset that the girl thought they would want hurt her. Again, they were angry, but they did not know how to communicate their feelings to the girl. Therefore, they stayed silent. Time went on, and the girl rarely talked to either Jax or Ivy.
On the day of the school’s pep rally, however, the girl asked Ivy to tell her about Ivy’s ‘vegetarian story.’ Ivy had not been eating meat for neither breakfast nor lunch for about two months. Ivy told the girl that she would tell it, but she also warned the girl that she may never be able to look at her food in the same way. The girl asked Ivy to send her the videos that Ivy had watched and to tell her all of the reasons that made Ivy stop eating meat. So, Ivy told the girl about what was happening in the meat industry. The girl watched the videos Ivy had sent her and came to the same conclusion that Ivy did. She did not want to eat meat.
A few weeks later, the girl told Jax that they could mess around on Google Docs with one of her internet friends that night. Jax thought this was a fun idea, but when she went onto the website that night to talk to the girl, she discovered the girl had blocked her. Confused, Jax read a message that had been sent to her by one of the girl’s internet friends. It said that the girl had written a very long and serious suicide note and planned to go through with it at midnight. The internet friend said that she was worried about the girl, and that she thought she should let Jax know. Jax was video-chatting with Ivy at this point, and Ivy decided that she had to tell her mom. She knew that the girl would be never forgive her, but she also knew that they wouldn’t be able to help the girl by themselves for much longer.
Meanwhile, Jax had joined a few other of the girl’s internet friends, waiting to see if she was okay. One of the girl’s closer friends said that they had contacted the girl’s mother and that she was alright. Jax stayed up until four a.m. waiting for the girl. She finally passed out, but was woken up two hours later, feeling sick.
A few days later, using her old account on the website, Jax saw that the girl was extremely mad at her for something she didn’t do. She contacted the girl and told her that she had no right to be mad at her because Jax had never done anything. The girl apologised, but Jax still felt angry and fed up. Jax, Ivy, and John had been trying to help the girl for two years. The things that the girl had posted on the website made them feel angry, but they bottled up these emotions, because they didn’t want to hurt the girl’s feelings. They were scared she would cut or even kill herself if they hurt her. They worried about the girl constantly, and when they saw these remarks about them, it made them feel unwanted, resented, and unappreciated. Jax and Ivy finally decided that it had gone on long enough. They were tired of being talked about on the internet, sworn at in real life, and blamed for things that happened to the girl. And so together, they decided to tell their story, because, after all, everyone has one.
This is our story. We are not ashamed of it.
You always hear the stories of the depressed and the suicidal.
But the lives of people around them are being affected as well.
We did not do this out of spite, but so people can know.
We all have a story.
And every story affects another.
This was our story.
This is what we went through.
We watched the girl suffer.
And we suffered with her.
Her story is important.
But our’s is too.
Your story affects people.
For better or for worse.
It can turn around someone's life.
Or turn it upside down.
Make the right choice.
We have a story.
And it’s not finished yet.
Do people realize that they not only have a past, but a future?
You can’t change the past.
But it doesn’t have to define your future.