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Just Imagine This

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Imagine this:

Every day, your three best friends march through the school's hallways, arm-in-arm, giggling and gossipping, but they leave you, the last member of their circle, to trail behind them without someone to link arms with.

You can feel their eyes burning into you as you walk to your lunch seat. It's not a good feeling, but still, you tell yourself it's not all that bad; at least they're not making fun of you. Just keep your head down, ignore it, it'll pass. And don't make eye contact, because you don't want any trouble; you just want to sit in the cafeteria and eat lunch like everyone else.

Time goes on. Suddenly, something changes. You sit yourself down at the lunch table, just like any other day. To your utter shock, your friends get up and switch their seats to the next table. You are left by yourself. You turn to them for an explanation and receive three, cold stares that all convey the same message: WE. DON'T. WANT. YOU.

The hurt you felt coursing through your chest in that one moment is far worse than any form of pain you've ever felt. Little did you know, it was just one of the many deep wounds that you would carry with you from then on.

And so the tiresome weeks and months of the sixth grade pass. It becomes impossible to brush aside the sneers and snide comments that are inflicted upon you by your former ’bffs’. What you once passed off as playful banter, has now become a horrible form of torture. You wish they would just stop. You tell them to, you ask them nicely, but they just laugh.

“Don't pay any attention to them.” You think to yourself, clenching your teeth and holding in your frustration. “Don't let them get to you.”

Oh but it's extraordinarily hard to do that, especially when your small tower of self esteem is constantly under attack from merciless words and hurtful actions. Despite all the friendly gestures you've made to please them and win back their friendship, it soon becomes clear that all your efforts have been in vain. They push you down, laugh at you, and call you names that you will never repeat.

To think that these are the girls you once called your 'best friends', is unbelievable. What did you ever do to them to deserve such cruelty? The scariest part is that you have no one else to turn to for support. No one in your class will accept you; you know that because you've tried to make new friends. Nothing works. No one wants you. So you become the girl who's stuck floating around and not belonging anywhere. You feel so isolated, so betrayed, so...unwanted.

Depression looms over your young life. After school, you lock yourself in your bedroom and let the tears pour. Once you've had your cry out, you realize that you still have to go back the next day and face them. Terrifying thoughts penetrate your mind and you become so distressed that you can hear the rapid beats of your heart, pounding like a deep drum in your chest.

You lie awake many nights, praying to God that you fall asleep and never wake up. You truly believe with all your heart that death is preferable to what you have to go through every day. You can't do this anymore. You've been hurt too much and you've thought about dying too much. You are exhausted and you're tired of feeling worthless and alone, so you make the decision to finally speak up. And guess what? You do.

The bullying doesn't cease right away; in fact, it takes an excruciating amount of time for it to stop, but eventually it does. Even so, you still don't fit in anywhere. You spend the rest of middle school, and two years of high school as that shy, goody-goody, quiet girl; the girl who desperately wants to express herself, and laugh loudly with people, and just be herself, but can’t... because she’s forgotten how to. Just imagine that.

Well, now that you've walked in my shoes for a little while, can you relate? It’s been five years since I was nearly bullied to death (literally), and since then I've had many blessings, as well as many struggles. It would be a lie to say that I'm not happy, but the memories and the pain haunt me to this day. They are engraved on my heart and no matter how hard I try, I cannot forget them.

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