The Long Journey | Forums | TeenInk

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madisonperkins59 posted this thread...
on May. 16 at 9:51 am

It is the starting of my eighth-grade year; I am in class and we are going around introducing ourselves. When they got to me, I said “My name is Alexis” in the middle of me talking one kid yelled out what is wrong with you, why do you have those? He was talking about the crutches I used to walk with. I had to explain that I have Spina bifida which affects my walking. Will you ever be able to walk without those? Another student asks me. Enough questions for now! The teacher tells them. “Thank you” I said to her. After class, the teacher asked me to stay back. Sorry about what happened in class today, she tells me. I don’t mind when people ask me questions about my disability. I get it, I’m different from them so they are curious. It’s better to ask questions if you don’t know something. If there is anything that you need just ask me, I would be happy to help you, she says to me. Just treat me like the other kids in the class, I tell her as I am leaving the classroom. I’m on my way to my next class and I walk into the room and everybody stares at me. I’m walking to my seat and they're still looking at me. I want to tell them to stop looking at me, but I just can’t find a pleasant way to tell them to stop staring at me without being rude. So instead, I turn around in my chair and just looked at them the way they’re looking at me. But I couldn’t help to notice there was this one girl from my 7th grade year diamond, who just couldn’t stop looking at me. So, I ask her, is there something you want to ask me? If not, could you please stop staring at me? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? She asks. So, you know it’s bothering me and you still going to keep doing it. I ignored her, and she stopped because she was only trying to make me mad. This is the second year I have had to deal with this girl. She just won’t leave me alone. I would think it wouldn’t bother me when people are staring at me because I have lived with this disability my whole life. Two hours later, we are at home from school. “I had a good day” my sister says. How was your day, Alexis? My mom and dad ask me. Good, I tell them. Are you sure? That didn’t sound very convincing. It was okay, I guess. Hey mom, is it too late to homeschool me? Why homeschool you have never been homeschooled. I can’t stand those kids at school I tell her and it’s not only the kids it’s the teachers too. I don’t want them to treat me any different from the other kids, I can do pretty much everything than the other kids can do. Well, tell them that then. Alexis, it’s your last year until high school so you need to enjoy the time that you have. High school isn’t all fun and games. Alexis, you are staying in school and that is the end of this conversation. But mom, I say in a whining tone. No, Alexis, you are not going to be homeschooled. Now go find you something to do instead of bothering me and don’t go ask your dad either, I will him I told you no. Oh man, I mumbled. As I was going to my room my sister asks why don’t you like school? Don’t worry about it and why are you eavesdropping on my conversation. Anyway, you wouldn’t understand even if I told you. “I’m not that much younger than you we are only a year apart, not even a whole year”. This has nothing to do with our age. Oh, what’s wrong? I explain to her what’s wrong, and she says, “I don’t think I can help you with this.” See, I told you you wouldn’t be able to help. I am an excellent listener so if you need someone to talk to, I could help with that. I’ll always be here if you need someone to talk to, she says as she is turning on the TV. One thing that I had to learn once you block out all the negative people that try to put you down, you will be all right. They will only keep bothering you if they see that you are bothered by their negative energy. During school, I tried my best to stay away from diamond. I will not be getting myself into an unnecessary drama this year. Then out of nowhere “Alexis have you seen the post that Diamond put up about you. What post are you talking about? I asked, but everyone was silent. I will say nothing to her. You guys won’t show me the post so I can’t say anything to her. "As I was walking down the hall, I hear footsteps approaching me from behind and someone calls me trying to get my attention. But at this point I am annoyed, so I kept walking. It was one of my classmates coming up to me and before she said anything, I told her, "if you are going to tell me about the post, I don’t want to hear it”! No, I came to ask you if you were okay. Yes, I am fine, I tell her as my voice cracks. Do you want me to tell someone like a teacher or the principal that Diamond is messing with you? No, do not tell anyone, I say clenching my fists. Ok, but if this gets any worse than I will say something. I’m not going to just stand around and watch this happen to you. Go to class, you will be late; I tell her. “You are not going to just sit here and let this get to you.” Well, I'm most definitely not going to go to class and have everyone laughing at me. Come on, Alexis! No, I’m not going anywhere. Ok, but you better not be sitting here when I get out of class. Chill, there are only a couple of classes left so I won’t be missing too much. Soon after, school was over and now I have to go home, and answer all the questions about how school was. When I got home my mom asked us about school. Can we not talk about school, I say as I am going up to my room? “What happened, Alexis”? I don’t want to talk right now. Will you leave me alone! Who do you think you are talking to like that? You need to change how you talking to me because I did nothing to you. If something is wrong, you need to tell me so I can help fix it. Ok then in that case, can you take away my disability? Alexis, you know I can’t do that. So exactly like I said you can’t fix my problem. What’s going on, I’ve never seen you like this. Nothing, I’m fine, I tell her. I’m just in a bad mood right now and if you don’t mind, I want to be alone. Ok well take you and our bad mood upstairs to you room before you get yourself in trouble. “Well I’m going to go make dinner.” Let me know if you need anything. Going up to my room and Imani comes in right behind me. What do you want? I ask her. I was going to ask you to help me with my homework. Never mind obviously you are in a bad mood right now. So, don’t worry about it. No, Imani I'll help you just give me a couple of minutes. “Are you sure?” Yes, I am sure. In the middle of me helping her with her homework she asks me “What’s been going on with you?” What do you mean? You know what I mean. That don’t work with me. Something is wrong with you because yesterday you asked mom about homeschool and today you just run up to your room after coming home from school. This isn’t like you something is wrong and I am going to figure out what it is. I don’t know how you are going to find out but you can try. “Oh, I will and when I do, I am going to tell mom.” Back at school, have you told your mom what’s going on yet? Jada asks. No, and I don’t plan on telling her either. Why not? Because she doesn’t need to know. “But she does need to know.” It’s just some post on social media and it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t think it’s a big deal. “I am going to tell somebody because I am not going to stand around and act like everything is okay, she says as I grab her arm begging her not to tell. Well you are going to tell them yourself. No, no one is telling anyone anything. You know what maybe we shouldn’t be friends if you can’t keep a secret for me. This isn’t something that needs to be kept. And as a matter of fact this isn’t a secret at all. I don’t care if we won’t be friends or not! You are so busy trying to keep yourself from being called weak.“You are not even looking at the damage that you could do to yourself by keeping this from the people that wants to help you. Alexis you need help! You can’t do this by yourself no matter how much you try! You have not been to not one class since all of this has started. Admit it you are scared. No, I'm not! I just don’t want to make anything worse than what it is already. So, you think a solution to this problem is just hiding in the bathroom. Alexis, it’s ok to admit that you are scared but it does not make sense to come to school every day and just hide in the bathroom. You might as well have just stayed at home. If I would've stayed at home then I would've needed a reason to stay. Later that day, everyone was at home and my mom calls me downstairs. I already know I’m in trouble when she calls me by my full name. Why did I get a call from the school? What’s been going on, she asks. Nothing, I say as I am biting my bottom lip. They wouldn’t be calling me for no reason, Alexis! Well, now you don’t have to worry about going to class for the next couple of days. I hope whatever was important that you had to skip class for was worth it. Either you want to tell me what’s going on or you can just take the in-school suspension. In-school suspension! Yes, what did you think was going to happen. Did you not think they were going to call me and tell me that you haven’t been going to any of your classes? Alexis, it’s up to you to tell me what’s going on because I am trying to help you but your pushing me away every chance you get. You are only hurting yourself by holding this in because you are scared to let someone help you. I don’t want it to get any worse. Alexis, it’s going to get worse if you don’t let someone know what’s going on. Locking yourself in your room hiding and going to school and skipping class isn’t going to fix the problem. You sound like my friend Jada. Oh, so you have heard this before. Mom, I haven’t been going to class because one of the girls in my class put a post on social media about me and it went around the school. She’s been messing with me ever since I been going there. Alexis, you’ve been going there since you’ve been in 7th grade. Yes, mom I know. When did you plan on telling me this? Last year it was only a couple of kids making fun of the way I walk and this year she puts a post online to embarrass me around the whole school. Why didn’t you say something about this last year? Because I wanted to deal with this by myself. “This isn’t something that you should be going through by yourself.” I’ve noticed something was wrong last year but I was going to let you come to me when you were ready. But I didn’t think it was something this serious. Is this why you asked me about homeschool after you came home from school. Yes, this is why I asked you about homeschooling me because I am tired of being bullied about something that I have no control over. I didn’t ask to be born like this. I know Alexis. No, mom you don’t know! You can walk perfectly fine but I have to use crutches and wear braces to help me walk. When you were in school you didn’t have to be worried about being stared at while walking down the hall and you didn’t have kids coming up to you asking you why you walk a certain way. I hate that I was born like this! “Alexis you don’t have to be like everybody else.” I know I don’t have to be like everyone else. The next morning, we got to the school and my mom went to talk to the principal about diamond and to see if she can get my in-school taken off. The principal called me into her office and the first thing she asked me is why didn’t you tell me when she first started bullying you. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want it to get worse so I didn’t say anything about it. Who else knew that diamond was bullying you? Everyone knows that she was messing me, I tell her. Did anyone know that you weren’t going to your classes? I told her no because I know that Jada would get in trouble by the principal even though I told her not to tell anyone. My mom glanced over at mom when I told the principal that no one was with me because she knew that Jada was with me trying to get me to go to class. I glanced back at her and shook my head slightly just to let my mom know not to say anything about her being with me. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want her to get in trouble because when someone is not doing something about me being bullied, they are a bystander because she didn’t do anything or say anything even though I told her not to say anything. The principal calls diamond to her office so that she could take down the post and apologize to me, but when she got there before anyone said anything she says “I didn’t do anything to her, I don’t even talk to Alexis.”. Diamond no one said that you did anything but you just told on yourself, the principal says. Why are bullying her what did she ever do you to make you not like her? Well, she started it, she says. I smirk and shake my head. You sound like my little sister, I tell Diamond. Oh wow, now you are going to try to get me in trouble with you. Well, that isn’t going to happen, I tell her. Yeah, your right it’s not going to happen because I am not going to get in trouble. Diamond and Alexis for now on you guys stay away from each other and if this happens again then you are going to be in trouble and diamond take down that post on social media. So, nothing is going to happen to her for bullying my child, my mom asks the principal. “If this incident happens again then she is going to get in trouble but since this is the first time, I have heard about it is just going to be a warning. So, this is the second year that this girl has been messing with her and she just gets away with it. Did anyone report the bullying that went on last school year? I just found out that she was bullied last year. Well we can’t do anything about an incident that happened last year that was not reported. Why didn’t Alexis say something about this last year? the principal asks. She told me that she didn’t want it to get any worse. That was the same reason for not telling me this year. This is unacceptable that a bully just gets away with bullying a child. There should be some type of consequence for this because this is not okay. Not only for my child but for anyone else’s child that is being bullied. Later that same day, my mom is upset and now that she told my dad he is upset too. So, we have just been walking around the house and not talking to each other? Why is everybody so quiet today? Imani asks. Well, I think mom is mad at and dad is too. Why would they be mad at you? Because she went to the school today and she found out that someone from my 7th-grade year was and is bullying me. Don’t worry I will go talk to them because I don’t think they are mad at you. She walks upstairs to their room and not even 10 minutes later she is back downstairs. A couple of minutes after she came down, they came downstairs. “Alexis why do you think we are mad at you? My mom asks me. You didn’t do anything wrong. But you haven’t said anything to me since you came from my school and not even why we got home from school. Yes, I know Alexis but that does not mean that I am mad at you. But you have to promise me if something happens that you would come to me and I shouldn’t have to force you to tell me anything. You should be able to come no matter to come to me whether it is about school or not. But mom, what if I am not comfortable talking to you. Then talk to your dad! Really mom that is even worse. This goes for you too Imani.

madisonperkins59, Chicago, Illinois
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