The Freshman Bullies

Gag me. Freshman year of freaking high school.

Worst year of school in my entire life.

Okay, that’s a lie. It’s the second worst. My worst occurred within college, but I’ll tell you about that later.

Remember how I said my friend group started branching out and making more friends? Well, it continued. And again, I only really liked my original group. The new coming members didn’t really acknowledge my existence, and I only got invited to things because I was a part of the “originals.” (Yes, that is what my original friend group started referring themselves as).

If people thought I was quiet in junior high, they had no idea what they were getting this freshman year. A brick wall, a thousand feet thick, and guarded with knights in shining armor.

I made some acquaintances who were kind to me, and there was this one girl in my orchestra class who started becoming my friend. We knew each other in junior high orchestra, but we didn’t talk much. She started sitting next to me in class and throughout high school, she became my closest friend. I seriously love that girl. She saved my life in so many ways.

Pause.

I know I’m talking a lot about the negative things that have happened to me, but I want you to understand I am genuinely a happy person. I did my best to remain positive through all the crap that happened, but the defensive and coping mechanisms only enhanced my anxiety. I don’t hate anyone. I don’t blame anyone. I, for the most part, have forgiven everyone who has hurt me, and am working harder than ever to forgive the ones I haven’t yet.

Again, this blog is an exploration of why I have anxiety and a mild form of PTSD, and how it came about. Which means, I do have to tell you a lot about the negative.

I love my life. I wouldn’t change anything that happened. I love the person I am now, and without these experiences, I wouldn’t be as strong.

Continue.

This year was the first time I ever experienced bullying. It happened in gym class—cliché right? At this point in my life, I was NOT fit. Like, at all. As I mentioned last post, I was the DUFF. I weigh less now (and am still healthy, thank you) than I did all throughout Junior High and High School. So, gym class was not my favorite and exercising with others watching humiliated me.

And these girls caught on.

I started hanging out with a girl in gym who I knew from junior high and who had always been kind to me. Yet, in this class she got into the clique of well…not so nice girls.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if my acquaintance defended and stood up for me, but…standing up against bullies was a direct path to becoming a social pariah.

I didn’t understand what was going on at first. I honestly thought these girls were just being stupid. One of them was in another class of mine, and always asked to cheat off me. She would praise me for how intelligent I was, but I still never let her copy. She would mutter something under her breath, but then leave it alone until the next assignment. It wasn’t until they really started directing their hostility towards me, and began locking me out of various rooms during our group activities I got the hint.

People called me naïve, in fact, they still do. But I promise I’m not. Despite knowing what’s going on, I still look for the best in people and hope for the best, and only after it starts becoming detrimental to my mental health and stability do I finally leave the relationship. (This is strictly speaking of these bullies and abusive relationships I have been in—all which will be explained).

It was when they locked me out of a room in front of the rest of my class, I finally had enough. Doing my best not to cry from the humiliation wrenching my heart, I asked a girl who I knew was unconditionally nice to everyone if I could join her group.

Why I hadn’t joined her group from the beginning? I was afraid. I didn’t know her as well as I knew the girl who turned out to be a coward. I made the easy choice, which turned out to be the WORST choice.

I stayed with her and those girls in gym for the rest of that year. Again, I was taught not everyone was as unkind as those girls, and people had hearts. I don’t remember a lot of what those bullies said to me—I think I’ve repressed most of it, but I still get suck a sick, humiliated feeling when I recall about the way they treated me.

From the moment I first offended someone, my mother has always taught me, “Be nice, and no one will have anything bad to say about you.”

This is only sort of true. Those bullies said a lot of crap about me, but…at least they could never honestly say I was unkind back.

Always and Forever,
Natalie Carroll

Comments

  1. I love you and I want to hurt all these people! And you're right! Always being kind does not mean they won't say bad things about you! It's what you do with it that makes you who you are! Those people who REALLY KNOW you KNOW they are not telling the truth! You have had some horrible people in your life and I wish I could change that, but I know you are stronger because if it! You will recognize it faster each time you experience it. I wish I could say it gets better but people are people and you can only control you and how you respond! I love you with all my heart! I love that you're doing this, but I have to admit it rips my heart out! I hate that you had to experience any of this!!! Writing for me is very helpful....you're much braver than me though! I'm still afraid to put it out in the world! You're so amazing!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's definitely not easy revisiting all this, but honestly....it's helping me finally put my past to rest.

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