harassment

‘The neighbors called social services. My stepfather forced me to sleep in the parking lot during freezing temperatures because I’d ‘made too much noise.’: Child abuse survivor says ‘I’m re-claming my power’

“My bully wasn’t a kid on the playground, but inside my home. I remember waking up to cold water being thrown on my bed. While other girls my age chased butterflies and dreams, I hid in closets from my living nightmares. I knew I had to reclaim my power.”

‘My principal told me, ‘Some kids just like to be bullied.’ She stared squarely at my parents. ‘Unless it involves blood, don’t call me.’ I felt so alone.’

“All of my materials were stolen and vandalized. I would barter with my bullies. ‘If you’ll be nice to me for one lunch hour or recess, I’ll give you my lunch.’ I literally gave them everything I had, but everything wasn’t enough. There wasn’t a single morning I didn’t beg my mother to not make me go.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘Ugh, you’d be so much prettier if you just lose some weight.’ I was only allowed to drink water. I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.’: Woman finds confidence after lifetime of body shaming, ‘I set MY OWN beauty standards now’

“At 14 years old, I tried to end my life by downing a whole bottle of antidepressants. I dropped out of high school and was ‘promiscuous’ at every opportunity. The bullying was relentless. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. When I went to the doctor to get my weight checked, she looked at me with disgust. ‘How did you get so big? Why are you so overweight? Your body is mostly fat!’ I was speechless. I couldn’t even look her in the eye.”

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