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Bullying Is Not What You See It As
Bullying is still here. Its never going to be solved with a anti-bullying campaign sign in the hallway, trust in the students, a way to reach people, and teachers looking for abuse in the hallways. For most of my life i have never stayed in one place for too long, before I came to Park City, the longest I had stayed in one place is two years. I never had to worry about bullying because I always knew I wouldn't have to deal with them for long. Of course, don't get me wrong, not all places I had ben bullied, or manipulated into buying someone else(sadly), most of the time most kids didn't even know they could do that kind of thing! All the anti-bullying speeches kept us at bay untill we hit the age around eaight years old. I remember that was my first experience.
I had just moved into Washington state, Seattle. We were on a small island called Bambridge Island. Everyone was so nice there, and I got a chance to visit some of my old friends there and they are all really loving, except for these few people on my bus. It was never flat out bullying like you think it would be, just "friendly teasing" that often times dug for soft spots. At the time I was diagnosed with serious anxiety and would often times have panic attacks just sitting in class, so my parents had never ben shook if i had cried at school. Wich was all fine until it slowly started spreading off of that small buss and all over the playground. That same "friendly teasing" was all I heard, and a lot of the kids had told me it was alright because "I was popular and they were doing the school a favor." We ended up moving to the other side of the island, where things were much happier, and I meet thos friends I mentioned earlier.
I moved to Park City with high expectations. I had previously ben living in my home town, Logan, in our busted old house because the water pipes had broke and we were repairing it. Logan was fun and the school I went to was uninteresting for the most part; I was left out of most of the fun activities because of the strong scocial classes among students, no one ever did anything, but I became accustomed to the word "outcast" fairly quickly. Park City was beautiful! And my mother said they had the highest ranking schools in Utah, including the private schools. I was excited and ready to start fresh. My expectations were crumbling as I soon was taken fond of my the "school dump truck" I found myself sucking up to the "popular kids" who then held me at arms length. I wasn't allowed to socialize with the "lower kids" but was never really accepted by the higher ones. Soon it turned into just about everyone "not enjoying my company" and I got hit with the wrong end of the rumor mill. Soon attention turned to my ever so slightly better anxiety attacks; lets say that year only went down hill, and i did get pelted with some snowballs and a frisbee (not sure if that one was an accident still). We moved again and I was faced with another challenge, middle school.
For those who do not know how school works here in Park City, here is your guide: Preschool(that my mother teaches) is technically not funded by the school district, but no one minds that. Then you have k-5 like most places, but then things get a little messy from there up. 6-7 is at one school and 8-9 is at another across Park City, then the rest of the grades are in the high school right next to the 8-9 graders. So I was in my first year, with was the beginning if "all students in one school" so everyone from my old school, and three other schools were piled into this hard to navigate maze of a school. For those who don't know me, I'm dixlixic (that word is a crime against people who are dixlixic, do you know how hard that is to read and spell? It's like people with a lisp cant pronounce lisp, life is cruel.) I never made it on time for the first month. Most teachers were understanding, besides my home room, who doubled as my math teacher. He would always point fingers in my direction for not having the correct binders on the correct days, and incorrect papers in incorrect binders. I never handed in my homework on time for the first two quarters until I just combined all my binders into one, witch was still looked down apon. As for most children it is monkey see, money do. With constant asks of "you know where you are sweetie?" and "have the right papers today?" In sarcastic voices triggered a few cleche bathroom crying sessions. Wich is where I'm met the "living venus fly trap" as we will refer to her. This was my first case of what i like to call "loyalty syndrome" where they offer there "friendship" in exchange as you as there "pet" never treated as an equal, but part of the friend group. "Friendly teasing" was more than normal, but at least it kept me far from "stalker". He was creepy. At any geven chance he would touch me, stand no more than three inches from me, and tell the whole school that we were dating even though we were not. Harassment of "being with" the creepiest kid in school spread like wildfire. "The living Venus flytrap" dumped me as her friend for a more popular group of people and spread several rumors that i was harassing her. Her mother was, and is, in the school district and so then, and to this day, if I looked at her wrong i got in trouble. She used the "bully report system" to make everyone think i was sending her death threats and tripping her in the hallways. "Stalker" took full advantage and got my address from her and began to actually stalk me. When I finally got to switch schools again, and move to a new house, i was relieved, even if it was only 1/2 a mile away and still in the district.
I found a friend who introduced me to who eventually would become my worst nightmare, then left me at his mercy. "Lier" was apparently just like me! He went to my school aswell and also had a little friend problem. We accumulated our "kingdom of losers" witch than sorted itself out into our small friend group. "Lier" was the king of all of us, but no one was lower than me, "kitty". Yep, I fell for the "loyalty syndrome" again. With "stalker" on my heels again, and my parents going through there crisis, these were the only friends I could find. We were the oucast group filled with two porl loving racists, a "reformed" bully, k-pop obsessor, two sexual harassers, and me. They soon convinced me that i was never to amount to anything, and i was only weak; my only was of surviving was with this awful group of people who always overstepped there boundaries. Once they had scared off "stalker" for me, they saw it as if i was forever independent to them, and sadly so did I. "Friendly teasing" changed quickly to blatant harassment. They mocked everything i did and liked. It cane to the point where I walked through the doors and was ready for harassment. I continued like this for two years, just empty and ready to he hurt. It didn't even fase me when they treated me or referenced to me as an object. Sit still. Don't talk. Don't wear this. Move here. Say this. Wear this. Don't question it. All the while the convinced me I didn't have a choice.
Bow your thinking "whats the happy ending?!" Right? Well. Here's the closest thing to that right now, we're still working on it. Half way through the last school year "lier" decided to "open up to me". Now I'm a sucker for helping people, and he knew that, so he tells me that he's being abused at home, and he has never found someone he has felt like he's ben friends with before he found me (this is how he got the name "lier" btw) I opened up to him about all the things i had ever been hurt with, and all my weaknesses. He then opened up to all the popular kids he had been promised popularity from about all of MY weaknesses and problems. They ate it up, but they were careful; no one said anything to me, no one said anything to hint at it, no one warned me about it. I didn't even know until the last day of school. My friends begged me to join them on the last day of school, even though i had a half marathon in Jackson Hole to leave for. Turns out i had just enough time to join them for the last day of school, and my mother was to pick me up right after. Mistake. Everything folded out infont of me. "Lier" and his sidekick, another one of my friends, ran around with the popular kids that day. Whenever I walked into a room they ran out, laughing and pointing. The "reformed bully" broke it down for me. I sat in the form casually taking sketch books, hoodies, and baceball caps from the "take whatever you want that was left in the lost and found pile" waiting for some consultation; "Lier" to come up and apologize, or for a teacher to come up and fix the mess i was so blind to. No, I sat there. I told myself i was used to it and tryed to hold strong. I felt myself shaking, but I refused to cry, not there. I walked myself to where my mother was to pick me up, she did so, and when I reached my room, I broke. I couldn't remember the last time I had an attack, I thought i had put those behind me, but I shook and cried aimlessly for hours on the floor. I didn't have time to morn over myself, because i had to pack and leave, we were already late; that may have ben the biggest mercy i had received in a long time.
I'm sorry to upset you further, but sadly i have more to tell. This summer was fun for the first half. I was ent to several camping trips and adventures. It seems to be a reoccurring thing for me to see brighter sides of people that may not exist, until its too late to see what their intentions really are. My parents sent me to girls camp, because that is what we do every year. I was not included in any of the inside jokes, group activities, or bonding experiences; so I found myself friends with a nice book. I tend to do stupid things like that. When it comes to making my mark and being treated equally, I give up to easily. It had not ben until four days until my next activity that I realized the consequences to my actions. Take note here we are still not entirely sure who this harassment was from. Weather from the girls in my ward, or by ny old friends, but our best guess is it was from the two girls in my ward who have a particularly big grudges against me and my family, for only heaven knows why. My safe spot through my multiple years of falure and harassment, I had found, was a swing set. Now it wasn't always the same swings, any would suffice. After the school year had ended, so hat the life of my backyard swing. Out if habit every day I would go out to the swing, only to remember I had brken it. Recently I bike down to Trailside Park and sit there for hours on end listing to my teenage edgy music, and fantasize about storys I'll probably never end up making on paper while I swing. Four days before i was scheduled to visit my old friends on Bambridge Island did three hispanic twelve year old girls open my eyes. Apparently they recognized me from online diss-posts directed towards me. I had never seen or heard about these posts until then, and at first I didn't believe them. The en they dug up things that no one would know by looking at me. My baby blanket I still sleep with, my harassment past, the stretch marks on my legs and my sibling rivalry with my sister. I was shook, I had hoped with the summer in place, I wouldn't have to deal with harassment, but it fallowed me anyway. I was so crestfallen, I nearly begged my mother not to send me to camp on Bambridge. I hadn't told her about the girls at the park, so she was mostly confused. I was shipped of anyway, slightly bitter. The whole thing slipped out to all of my old friends. Everything. Most of the time I don't even think they bew what i was saying, I talk fast when I'm distressed, a remnant of my anxiety days. They expected me none the less, and I had a good time, for the first time in ages. I wasn't worried about judging or holding myself back. These friends were just as transparent as I always was.
When I got home my mother herd from my friends parents about the posts and got by brothers and all my brothers friends into trying to track it down while i was gone. It came to no conclusion though. Sadly what apps and account they were using were not under any name, or person, and were not linked back to my accounts online. We were all horrified to find out that there were several pages of social media just makeing fun of people behind there backs. We never found mine, but we reported account after account of smear campaign pages, most of wich we don't think the people being posted about knew that it was happening.
I'm sure that at least some of the people in my town have seen my "smear page" and others know me from ny other mistakes in life. So what am I to do now? My mother even offered to let me transfer schools to a nearby town, wich I greatly conceder. Sadly I was never one to give up easily, do the thought of staying and fighting for my place haunts me, but I know it is not the wisest decision. Moveing had always assessed me in ridding myself of my foolishness of letting others think they can control me. One of my friends who truly understood me, for she had ben bullied my many aswell, moved towns. I'm tempted to apply to her school but if I were to, I would consult her first.
My decision of what school to attend is not the what I'm asking you to pay attention to. I only with that you understand what is really the problem here. The anti-bullying program is not stopping people. Kids are more clever than you think. They know how to bypass rules and get what they want. Schools that pride themselves on being "bullying free" are not looking at what there kids are really doing. Here in PCSD kids are bringing drugs to school, harassing others behind there backs, forcing kids out of there school like me and my recently moved friend, and all the while make it seem like it is the victims fault. They stab you and tell the world they are the ones bleeding. And tgey hide behind things like "freedom of speech" and "group rivalry" to justify there actions. Please, look closer to how people treat others, not everything is as straight forward as it looks in movies and books. It's a new generation, wich means new ideas and new motives. Everyone is taught to play the victim. They blame others for there actions and blame teachers for bad grades. People who are being hurt are being taught it's there fault, and they should be thankful anyone even knows there name. Kids are so self correct that they think people should be thankful for being hurt by them, and i have to admit I fell for it. Not anymore. I refuse. Please help me. Help me stop this, because kids now arnt cutting each other anymore. There handing the knife to there victims and telling them its there fault for the slashes on there body. There not cutting you, there makeing you cut yourself and then getting you in trouble for making them see such a horrific thing. There not stabbing you, there pushing you to the floor with a knife in your chest, then blaming it in ignorance and "past issues".
My aunt had bullying when she was my age. There were eggs cracked oh her head, instruments dumped in the trash, spit balls spat, and motes in her locker. Back then there bullying problem did not address that sort of behavior, only physical violence. Now it is almost the same way. We have not covered the things that we should. Mental manipulation, rumors, and anonymous and unseen comments online are looked over; as much as an egg "accidentally" dropped on another's hair was back then.
Bullying isn't gone, it just looks different.