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An (Updated) Inside Look at Bullying This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Imagine the feeling of waking up each day, knowing that someone had zeroed in on you and executed a calculated, stealthy assault that seemed to harm almost every aspect of your life. This may sound like a great plot for a scary movie, but unfortunately this is usually the way that girls bully other girls. An even scarier thought is that this type of bullying is much more difficult to fix than the traditional “lunch money” bullying that people associate with the word.
The problem with trying to explain the vicious stealth assault is that it may not seem all that vicious. That’s how girl bullies are. They act in subtle ways that don’t seem malicious to outsiders, making it simple to continue on their warpath without fear of consequences. Going undetected by most adults, a sneaky girl-bully can wage a frontal assault that ends in a nightmare of helplessness, and lost friendships, boyfriends, and self-esteem. (Think: the scene in “Mean Girls” where Regina calls that girl’s mom pretending to be from Planned Parenthood.) They make other girls choose sides and they spread rumors all over school. As if that wasn’t enough, now a girl’s own home isn’t a safe place to hide. The battle will resume on the internet. If you think that this type of bullying couldn’t cause as much long-term harm as being physically bullied, think again. In one of far too many extreme cases, Phoebe Prince, a 15 year old girl from Massachusetts committed suicide because of girl-bullying.
This will sound corny, but I know from experience that those bullies will eventually mature and/or give up, and you’re worth the wait. To get through it, throw yourself into your schoolwork or other activities. Get an after school job, or make friends who don’t have preconceived notions based on what bullies have said or done. However, if this isn’t enough, there are plenty of resources to help you. For example, there’s the organization called “To Write Love on her Arms.” They fight against suicide and depression. If bullying is making you feel depressed, there are thousands of TWLOHA supporters who want to help you through it. Just in case you don’t know how to find them, once a year TWLOHA hosts an event where everyone writes the word “love” on their arm (you’re thinking, “Oh, now I get the name!”) to show their support. They have a website and various fan pages, so if you need them or want to support them, they’re easy to find!

There’s also a website and book series called “Post Secret.” This life-line is a bit more creative, so if you’re an artist, you might have fun with this. You write down your secret, then decorate it. If you post it online, people can give you supportive comments. The beauty of it is that no one can judge you because they don’t know who you are. There’s also an unofficial Post Secret scavenger hunt. People write their secrets on slips of paper, then hide them in the 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 so interesting. Sometimes I find myself reading them when I’m upset. I feel better knowing that there are people out there with the same problems. Other times, it helps me remember that there’s always someone out there who has it worse. Or you can just have fun looking at the designs.

Then, there’s the Trevor Help Project for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) teens. They have a lifeline you can call if you need help. The number is 866-488-7386. On that same subject, there is also the suicide hotline. The number varies depending on your location, but National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255.

I learned the hard way that most clichés are cliché because they’re true. Parents always tell you to never let a bully see that you’re upset, and you roll your eyes because the advice is coming from a parent. Clearly they don’t know what they’re talking about. But I’m 18, and I’ve been through it, and I’m telling you that advice is 100% true. The best revenge you can get on a bully is to live a happy life, because 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 to feel better. Yup, that one’s true too. Think of it this way: that bully needs you. Without you, they need to find something else to make them happy, 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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