“Do you remember your middle school and high school years? Was it good, bad, or ugly?
I thought my middle school years were peachy. I was making new friends, or shall I say ‘friends,’ which is supposed to be everyone’s dream, right? Having a lot of friends, having sleepovers, talking about boys, and eating lunch together.
Well, I was wrong. It all started in middle school and it went from good to bad to ugly… real quick.
I was the small girl in school, which meant I was an easy target. I thought I had a good group of friends, but they went from friends to enemies fast. Honestly, I should have seen it coming. There will always be gossip wherever you go, but sometimes people have enough.
I remember walking through the halls and girls randomly coming up to me saying I was talking about them. I would be pushed around, they would threaten to beat me up, and lies were constantly being spread about me. It all came from my group of ‘friends.’ I learned to distance myself and I made it through my middle school years, not having a lot of friends and basically keeping to myself.
I guess I should skip to the high school years because that is when sh*t got real tough. The good parts were skipped over and it went straight to bad and then to ugly.
Walking into high school, I didn’t know what to really expect. It was a big change and I was nervous. I became friends again with the girls I was on-and-off again getting along with in middle school and they weren’t the best influences… but then again, I shouldn’t have been a follower. We would party, skip school, and lie to our parents.
Yes, I regret it, but I was young and dumb.
Well, I should have learned from my middle school years, but I was the kind of girl who tried to please everyone and accept apologies, and become friends with everyone, regardless of all the backstabbing things they did to me. Forgive and forget was my motto back then. Now I have a different motto.
I guess things got really bad when I wanted to be a model. I had braces and was short and wasn’t the most attractive girl around, but I had a dream and a goal and I didn’t want anyone to stop me. I signed on with an agency in Minneapolis, ‘Perfectly Petite,’ and the group of girls would post on my Facebook wall making fun of me and saying I made it all up. Unfortunately, people joined in and I was made a laughing stock.
I kept going about my business, but I was being harassed and bullied via social media, phone calls, text messages, and during school. Girls would call me and threaten to beat me up and run me over with their vehicle. Girls would push me around in the hallways, push me into lockers, and slap my books out of my hands. I was called names and would be called ugly and other horrible things.
It was one thing after another and it got to the point of me never wanting to go to school, and I mean NEVER. Did I ever contemplate committing suicide? Eh, rarely. Did I get depressed? Yes, very. I had to see a counselor.
I was that girl eating lunch in the bathroom, faking to be sick to stay home, calling my parents to come get me for lunch, and skipping school. I was terrified to go to school and the school did NOTHING.
We had a meeting with the school and they told me I could go sit in the library before school started so I had supervision. I was basically being treated like I was being punished. The school continued to do nothing and I started failing my classes, due to never attending. My mom decided to pull me out halfway through my sophomore year of high school because it was only getting worse.
With pulling me out of school came having to go to school once school was out. I went to school after hours to catch up on schoolwork, take tests, and do projects, but my grades were not changing from failing. I was basically being homeschooled at that point, but nothing was working — as far as changing my grades from failing to at least passing.
The bullying got so bad my mom brought me to a new school, but only a few of my credits from my old school transferred over, which meant I needed to retake my sophomore year.
HOW WAS THAT FAIR?!
I worked hard to graduate but was taking sophomore year over and also taking junior classes, so I was doing two grades at once. Easy? Nope. Stressful? Yes.
I am lucky the teachers and other staff were so patient and understanding. I worked very hard and only graduated one year late. I should have graduated in 2013, but I graduated in 2014 instead. Was I ashamed? No. Was I upset? Yes.
Not only did I finally graduate high school and overcome the mean girls, but I also didn’t give up on my modeling career. I ended up being able to travel to a handful of states and get paid for my photoshoots. I ended up in several magazines, working with Inked Magazine (the biggest tattoo magazine out there), and also landed a cover, (one of the magazines you could even buy at Walmart and Barnes and noble).
So all in all, how did I OVERCOME THE MEAN GIRLS?
I NEVER gave up on myself, even though it was hard. I kept pushing toward my dreams and goals. I realized no matter what they said or did, none of it mattered. They were irrelevant and all jumped on the bandwagon to attack an individual, whom half of them didn’t even know well. I blocked several social media accounts and several phone numbers. I even changed my phone number. That was the best thing I could have done for my sanity.
Girls are MEAN. Girls are VICIOUS. Girls are JEALOUS. Girls are INSECURE. All these words make up a MEAN GIRL. Bullies thrive off hurting people because they have issues within themselves.
What I learned is to never stop being yourself. People who are meant to be in your life will be in your life, regardless of what route in life you take or what differences you have compared to them.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kyleen Joan. You can follow her journey on Instagram and on her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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