After sharing my own story about how I used my own negative experiences with bullying to promote kindness, I wanted to share others’ stories as well. Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us will encounter some form of bullying targeted at us during our lives. Yet, how we choose to respond to those experiences and carry them with us moving forward is important. Today, I asked a few of my friends to share how their own experiences with bullying shaped them into the person that they have become and will become. Each of them answered the following question:

How have your experiences with bullying shaped you into the person you are today?

Chris

Hello! My name is Chris. I have been a friend of Katie since preschool when we grew up together in Pennington. Katie has been like a sister to me and I’m honored to be a part of this thing she is doing on her blog to promote kindness! I would like to share my story of not just bullying but other moments in my life that makes me who I am today. 

When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with autism and high anxiety. It makes it harder for me to process information be sensitive about things and it  makes me zone out randomly. My anxiety makes me have anxiety attacks and hard for me to do things that I wanted to do.  When I was in kindergarten the teachers noticed I was having a tough time in the classroom so I they recommended that I take special education to get the support I needed. In elementary school I had nice teachers that supported me and helped me get through everything. It was when I was in 5th grade when my anxiety came in and I knew middle school was coming and this is when it really starts.

When I was in middle school I had mean teachers who didn’t understand my disability and didn’t know how to help. I would have anxiety attacks and I wasn’t learning much in the classroom because of the teachers not understanding me. My district recommended that I go to a school where I’d get better help. I arrived at the school and the at teachers were much better, but the kids weren’t nice to me they came from abusive families and bad backgrounds. I was the only one there that came from a good family, I missed my friends like Joe, Tim, Matt and Andrew. It was so hard to leave them, especially in 7th and 8th grade. I then went back to my district for high school where I hoped for a fresh start.

When I was in high school, and I started my freshman year I was so happy to see my friends again Joe was happy to see me and so was Andrew and Tim and Matt. I had a very supportive teacher named Mrs. Dinardo who I still keep in contact with today.  I also met a girl named Kim who I became really good friends with and I ended going to senior prom with her because she was a senior and I was freshman everyone called me lucky. But after that, things got hard I started to get bullied by a group of people who would cyber bully me on social media and threaten me.  For the next three years they would do the same thing over again and it would get worse every year. I didn’t want to go to school and I didn’t look forward to the new school year starting because I knew they would come after me again.  I also had a toxic relationship and I also had a seizure in senior year which was the most horrific experience I ever had.  When I graduated high school I tried different jobs who had mean bosses who didn’t understand me and were abrasive to me. At one of those jobs, I was bullied by the same people that bullied me in high school. I also lost my grandparents who I was so close to.  The worst part about this it happened all at one time for three years. 

All of this has made me stronger, I care about all of my friends and I show kindness to everyone! I couldn’t have gone through this without the support of Katie, Joe, Andrew Tim, and Matt.  I’m pleased to say that I have a great job as an office assistant now that’s been the perfect fit for me with a great boss who I know keep in contact with.  I’m probably the most happy I’ve ever been in my life.  I have now began a relationship with Kim that I met in freshman year and it’s been so great so far! I’m also learning how to drive with a great tutor! My message to everyone who reads this is be kind to everyone you meet you never know what’s going on in a persons life or what they’ve gone through. I shout out to Katie for letting me write on her blog! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it and I hope I inspired all of you!

Wyatt

Hi my Name is Wyatt. This stuff is a bit hard for me to talk about. I’ve been bullied all my life, it started in kindergarten. Honestly I’ve never really gotten over how much I hated my life during what my parents call “grade school”. In short terms, there were days that I was afraid to go to school, with how much I was hated and made fun of because of who I was. See I’ve never been the kind of person that likes to hurt people for fun. Honestly, I’m the complete opposite. I was hated so much that no one would sit with me at lunch, so I constantly sat alone a lot of the time, so you get why I never really wanted to go to school in the first place, I didn’t see a point in it. One of the worst days of my life was when I was in art class in sixth grade. After I was done with my painting, I went to turn it in, and the teacher laughed and held it up in front of the whole class and everyone laughed at me, it was one of the most embarrassing, and hurtful times of my life. I remember going home early that day because I couldn’t show my face in school the rest of the day, and I went home and cried. In fourth grade everyone picked on me because I was shorter than everyone else. I’ve never felt so ashamed and alone in my life than when I was in grade school. I had no friends whatsoever. There were days during elementary school where I ate lunch in the principal’s office because I had no friends. It’s really sad and pathetic to think about how you’re only friends during your childhood, were faculty much older than you. Life was horrible from elementary school, to the end of middle school. There were points during school, when I was younger where I wish I wasn’t born or who I was because no one liked me and no one wanted to be my friend. It kills me to see how much hate there is in school when you’re younger and everyone hates you for no reason. The only happy times that I had were when I was at church, or when I was away at camp for two weeks. Those were the only places where I really felt I was accepted for who I was. Another horrible time was when I was in middle school, and I asked a girl to the school dance, and everyone recorded me getting rejected. That was one of the most humiliating days of my life. I’m really surprised that I didn’t want to kill myself for who I was.

It’s important to remember that practically all of us have a story when it comes to bullying. Not many of us like to admit it, but it’s important to remember above all else to choose kindness, compassion, and love.

XOXO – Katie <3

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