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An Inside Look at Bullying

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What if someone zeroed in on you and began a stealthy assault that harmed your whole life? This might sound like a plot for a scary movie, but unfortunately, this is the way girls bully each other. A scarier thought is that girl bullying is much harder to fix than traditional “lunch money” bullying.
The problem with trying to explain the stealth assault is that it might not seem that vicious. Girl bullies act in subtle ways that don’t seem malicious to outsiders, making it simple to continue on their warpath. Undetected by adults, a sneaky girl can wage a frontal assault that ends in a nightmare. If you think this type of bullying couldn’t cause much long-term harm, think again. In one case, Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl from Massachusetts committed suicide because of bullying. My heart goes out to her family.
This will sound corny, but I know from experience that bullies eventually mature, and you’re worth the wait. To get through it, throw yourself into other activities. Get a job, or friends who don’t have preconceived notions based on what bullies have said or done. However, if this isn’t enough, there’s plenty more help. For example, there’s “To Write Love on her Arms.” This organization fights against suicide/depression. Once a year TWLOHA hosts an event where their thousands of followers write “love” on their arms (“Oh, now I get the name!”) to show their support. If you need them or love the cause, they’re easy to find!

Another lifeline is “Post Secret.” If you’re an artist, you’ll enjoy this. Write down your secret, decorate it and post it online. The beauty of it is that no one can judge you because they don’t know who you are. There’s also an unofficial scavenger hunt. People write their secrets on slips of paper, then hide them in Post Secret books at bookstores. If you find one, take a picture and post it! It makes people feel like their secrets matter. Some are silly, some are sad, and some really hit home, but they’re all intriguing. I always feel better knowing that there are people out there with the same problems, or that there’s always someone out there who has it worse.

Then, there’s the Trevor Help Project for LGBTQ teens. They have a lifeline you can call for support. The number is 866-488-7386. On that same subject, there is also the suicide hotline. That number varies depending on your location.

You know, parents have good ideas sometimes. They tell you to never let a bully see you upset, and you roll your eyes. But I’m 17, and I’ve been there, and I know that this stuff is true. That bully is in a worse rut than you are right now. They are so self conscious that they need to feed off of your insecurity. That bully needs you, so your maturity helps you both. You’re in charge of your life. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.




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