By Amy Temple ©
I'm sitting here writing this to you proclaiming I am a survivor of bullying and harassment. I can very easily say junior high school was the worst two years of my life and I am not exaggerating! Every day I endured horrible name-calling, taunting, pushing and physical threats. I remember being so scared walking down the halls in between classes I would literally huddle up against the wall, clutching my book-bag. I would often go home sick. God bless the school administration. They tried so hard to contain the harassment but it was a very big school. There was only so much they could do. As you can imagine, all of it royally messed me up not only physically but emotionally and mentally. Low self-esteem, fear, anxiety and insecurities became my constant companions.
My parents and I moved to a small town during my first semester of ninth grade. High school was a completely different atmosphere and I was very grateful for the changes, let me tell you. Most of the students didn't care if I was in special education. They accepted me and moved on. I was so scarred by all of the trauma I endured that I pretty much kept to myself. I didn't snub anyone. I was friendly but I was very cautious. That's not to say I didn't endure any harassment. I had a male classmate who frequently asked me out. We met during english class second semester of my sophomore year. Honestly I thought it was just a crush and that it would pass once the new school year began. It didn't. We had two classes together that year and the harassment continued.
"I started to watch the popular kids and wished I could have a piece of what they had."
Of course I tried making him understand I wasn't interested but to no avail. I ended up having to get a teacher involved. The truth is, he was a popular guy and he knew it! He would be charming. He would be friendly. I don't think he was used to hearing the word "No" so I provided him with quite the challenge. All of that attention didn't help me as far as finding any relief for my issues were concerned. I began reading all kinds of self-help books when I was fifteen, trying to find a cure. I wanted to be free from all that I had been feeling. I would have done anything! I started to watch the popular kids and wished I could have a piece of what they had. I even began to think that if I dated a popular guy that would solve all my problems. So I asked one out. It was a complete disaster! The whole thing made everything worse.....actually so much worse. Being a small town school, everyone knew what I did. Most of the students quickly moved on but for the boy and his friends, they made a big joke out of me! It was completely humiliating!
All my fears, anxieties and insecurities doubled! It stayed with me for a very long time. It affected me in all areas of my life for an embarrassing amount of years. I can't tell you how many self help books I have read over the years. I just could not understand why it had to happen to me. I went down the whole "Oh, woe is me" route from my teenage years until I was well into my adult years. As I have gotten older and going through this pandemic, I have come to realize that I have been giving all these individuals too much power.
I have finally picked myself up. I am pressing forward to the life I was made to live. I am a survivor not a victim. And I intend to keep living this way!
Written by Amy Temple ©
"I am an American inspirational and motivation writer/blogger and the author of the 2017 memoir "I Am Not Stupid" which is about living with learning disabilities and is available on Amazon. I regularly contribute to several websites, which can be found at my Linkedin profile:
What inspires me are people who are not afraid to stand out in the crowd and follow their own path'.