Just One Picture This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 10, 2013
By , St. Thomas, Canada
“You're fat,” one told me.

“She's annoying,” another said.

“Did you hear she's a lesbian?” someone asked.

“I just wish she would realize that no one likes her and just go away,” one girl said to another.

This was my reality. These were words, but they weren't just words. They were hurt.

I have been bullied my whole life. I have been called, “fat,” “ugly,” “whore,” and “useless,” and I have been told to “go kill yourself.” Wherever I went, the torment just seemed to follow me, even from school to school.

What is it about me? I often asked myself. Deep down inside, the bullying had really taken a toll. After years of abuse, I became depressed.

The bullying really started to affect me last year, in ninth grade. It was an ordinary year, except for one thing: Richard. I really liked him. I thought I could trust him with my secrets, but I was wrong.

Richard was a year older. We went to the same school and rode the same bus. We would text every night for hours. He made me feel extraordinary, and since I was dealing with depression, I desperately needed that feeling.

However, our friendship was a game for him. Eventually his texts became sexual. He began asking me awkward questions, like whether I slept naked, or if I was a virgin. At the time, I thought nothing of it and answered without hesitation. Eventually his inappropriate questions morphed into inappropriate requests – for pictures of my body.

The first time he asked me to send him a nude picture, I said no. So then he didn't talk to me. Whenever I texted “Hey” he'd ignore me. I desperately wanted his attention and approval. I wanted to talk to him, and when he cut me off I felt a loss. Depression began creeping in.

So I did it. I took a picture of myself with my phone and clicked “Send.” With one click I had sealed my fate.

“Hahahaha,” he texted in response. He called me fat, told me I had a terrible figure, and said he couldn't believe I actually did it. He told me that no one liked me and no one ever would. As horrible as this sounds, what happened next was even worse.

After Richard told me these things, he put my picture on Facebook. A friend saw it and texted me. I quickly went online. When I saw the picture I had sent to him only – posted on Facebook for all to see – tears of hurt and disbelief flooded my eyes.

He had captioned the picture “What a fat whore,” and tagged me in it. I remember the horrible feeling when I saw the picture. I quickly removed the tag, but there were already dozens of comments from his friends and people I didn't even know. Unrepeatable comments. I read a few, but I couldn't get myself to read more than a few. Richard had over a thousand Facebook friends who would see it.

I wanted to kill myself. I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't live with myself, and I sure didn't want to tell my grandparents (who I lived with) what was going on. They would be devastated if they knew I had shared this revealing picture. I thought dying was the only solution, my only ­escape from the pain.

That night when my grandparents were asleep, I took over forty Tylenol. I threw up repeatedly. I eventually couldn't take the pain, and I clearly ­wasn't dying, so I went upstairs and told my grandma what I had done. They took me to the emergency room and got my stomach pumped, and I was admitted to the hospital to be treated for depression. I would remain there for three weeks.

In the hospital, I regained hope. I learned how valuable I was. I started taking an antidepressant, and I learned new ways to deal with bullying and cope with negative thoughts and feelings. I feel lucky to have a second shot at life. When I came home, I switched schools, and Richard was punished for his actions.

To everyone out there who is being bullied, considering suicide, or feeling worthless, you are loved. Things can and will get better. You have an amazing life ahead of you. Don't lose hope. You've just got to believe in yourself and seek help if you are struggling. I'm so glad I did.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

thebookwrmgirl said...
Sept. 12, 2016 at 5:46 pm
Oh my gosh!! I can't believe how cruel some kids can be, by doing things like this to other kids. Ugh! I'm so relieved that things seem to be doing better for you, and I wish I could give whoever wrote this article a hug, just to let you know you're loved! :(
ladyharmonia said...
May 18, 2016 at 9:40 am
please tell me that this Richard got in trouble right? because that is messed up.
kayleesoccer said...
Jan. 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm
this is amazing I love it, I cant say I can relate but I know I can say about depression. I lost my little sister when she was 9 because of cancer. I felt so bad and depressed I loved her so much and I really miss her. r.i.p halle Marie wheaton. im glad your better and yes everything will be ok.
Me-myself-and-I said...
Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:44 am
I understand you. The day before thanksgiving, i took 34 ibuprofrens. Then I felt so bad that I told my mom and we went to the hospitial. The bullying got to me, and i wasn't my first time, but it was defently my last. Now I go through  counceling and I'm getting better. I'm the same way. except I didn't send a nude pic. I refused to do that to anyone. But I feel the same. Right now, there is a pic of me eating a huge cheeseburger going around facebook, and it was photoshopp... (more »)
kayleesoccer replied...
Jan. 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm
im so glad your still here you deserve to be! stay hopeful it will all be ok.
Sarah S. said...
Dec. 13, 2013 at 10:51 am
I can completely understand why you would do this. becuase you are so alone and just want acceptness so you just went with it to make him like you. peer pressure and guys like him dont need to be in your life so im happy your happy :)
InspiredWriter said...
Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm
wow. you are such an inspiration. the same thing happened to me.
klegault This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm
Thank you! I truly hope to be an inspiration to help others. I believe that God works through me.
LinkinPark12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm
THIS. I LOVE this. I love your message and the way you've described your story. You're an amazing person and I hope you keep improving <3
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