It was a walk I dreaded every day. The large intimidating brick walls caused me to slow my approach. My stomach would tighten, and my breathing quickened. I would tense up to the point where I felt like a board. My strides became shorter the closer I got; my nerves, already cracked, start to crumble a piece at a time. Others walk past, unaffected by what looms in front of them. They do not have the worries I have. They do not understand the dread this day could bring.
As I entered this chamber of horrors, the eyes of many peer at me, or so it seemed. I felt like an outcast, easy pickings due to my shy and quiet manner. My esteem, once bright in my younger years, have dimmed until they have become a faint distant glow. I hear laughter and wonder, and I know, that they are directed at me. I am afraid to look at who is snickering at my expense. Sometimes I believed that I was stronger than what I’ve become, that I was brave enough to stand up for myself. But as it always happens, I hear the words that shatter my illusions. I’m left to face these trials alone.
I get to my first destination of the day. I sit staring at paper, at times etching a drawing just to get my mind off what awaits. There are a few more giggles behind me, but I try to ignore them. You would think that after a year of this intense fear of being mocked, I would have become numb to it. You would be wrong. It gets worse as each day passes. I could tell my teachers, but that may bring more retaliation. I did not want that.
I made it through another day of verbal abuse and being laughed at behind my back. I thankfully enter the sanctuary of my room, the day repeating itself in my fragile mind. Maybe what they say is true… that I am ugly, my speech is not good. It must be true, since they repeat it every day. I have started to believe it. What’s the point of fighting it? It will never change. Those stinging words will stay with me for the rest of my life.
This is what it could be like for kids every day when they attend school. Bullying is a major problem and its emotional scars can run deep. It’s sad to think that in some situations, the bullying can become so damaging that it will lead to the unthinkable. It damages the emotional being of a fragile child, or teenager, who, at that age, words can do more damage than physical bullying. With social media, it can reach outside the confines of school walls.
Worthlessness, depression, thoughts of suicide are some of the results that can come from ruthless bullying. In some cases, these effects reach far into the adult life of the victims. Some are able to shut the door and lock away those traumatic days, while some carry it with them well into their adult lives.