This is BULLYING AWARENESS MONTH on The Y94 Morning Playhouse. We are asking members of The Playhouse Family that have dealt with bullying to share their story to let others know that it does get better.
Young or old, bullying is never ok. Share your story by emailing Zero at firstname.lastname@example.org
All names can be changed to protect the author's identity --
This is the story of Alexis --
I am often asked how I survived the bullying.
People who are outside of it maybe think it's this scary group of people that go to your school that you don't know. This shadow group of unknown people. That's not how it works. Or at least not how it worked for me. I knew who the bullies were. They were my best friends. I was bullied from 8th grade to my freshman year, and every day they picked on me. And for a bit one person made comments implying that I’m gay. They would make jokes and call me names. During PE, one person in particular would make comments while we were changing in the locker room, implying that I was into her and watching her change. She would grab her chest and say "you like these don't you, that's why you keep looking". That person would say that I was staring at people of the same sex while they were dressing. I am not gay, and I am accepting of those who are. But, when this person labeled me as gay, I felt, in a way, violated and disrespected. I did not like how people would label me with names, they felt that it was all a joke, but it was torture and abuse to me.
I repeatedly asked them to stop, but they ignored me every time. It took them over a year, but they finally stopped when another student offering support jumped in. My school therapist/counselor, arranged mediation with herself, a few student conflict mediators, the students, one at a time, and me to discuss the comments. I remember one of them saying, "I wanted her to explode in anger. I wanted her to start screaming and have a meltdown." I can’t tell you how angry I was to hear that from someone who I thought was my friend. When I heard that, I felt like my life ended because I felt like all of my friends were trying to do the same. I felt abused. I felt tortured. I felt that I was used for their entertainment. Some of them felt and still feel that I "snitched," "ratted," or "tattled" on them, but I know that I do not deserve to be bullied. And most of all, I felt that I was used by my friends for them to gain popularity. They don’t and didn’t know how the bullying affected me. I tried so hard to get them to stop and understand that enough was enough, but none of them listened. There were so many silent witnesses who I wished would’ve spoken up or at least said something positive to me.
From my experience, I felt that I needed to take action to prevent this from happening to others. So whenever I see in my college classrooms or now my workplace things happening that I know are wrong, I say something. Silence doesn't help anyone. Sometimes silence can hurt more than words.
Bullying happens in the classroom and through phone calls, letters/notes, text messaging, Facebook, and even behind people’s back. It’s hard to stop bullying because most bullies are able to cover up their tracks. Bullies bully where people can’t see or hear them. Bullies bully when teachers aren’t looking, and bullies bully when the victim isn’t looking. My experience with bullying was tremendous, and my story goes on and on. But all I want to do now is help others who are being bullied and prevent bullying from happening.