Was I Not Good Enough | Teen Ink

Was I Not Good Enough

January 11, 2020
By Reagan0703 SILVER, Bakersfield, California
Reagan0703 SILVER, Bakersfield, California
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

School had always been hard, not academically or physically but socially. I remember how it felt to try and make friends, it was scary and more disappointing than it should've been. I move a lot which causes me to change schools quite frequently. Making new friends became something that I could do in something like autopilot. It was simple hellos and what's your name and we should play at recess or hang out after school. But once when I moved I guess that wasn't good enough in order to make new friends. 

When I was in first grade I had moved to a new place not too far away from where I had lived. My first day at school was the worst first day of school that I had ever had. I remember they used to say I was weird for being so short which at the time I was very short for my age but still that didn't give them the right to make fun of me for it. Every day it was constant teasing and laughing at me for being shorter than everyone else. I had hated school for it. I'd come home crying to my mom about it. Somehow I was still able to continue going to school for the rest of my first grade year.

During my second grade year, it got worse. It wasn't just laughing and calling me names anymore, it had turned into pushing me down and excluding me from anything that they possibly could. I felt so alone at school like I was one person facing an army. Eventually, I just stopped going. I would just tell my mom I had a really bad stomach ache or that I didn't feel good. Soon enough she caught on and started sending me back to school. I didn't want to tell her that it had gotten so bad that I didn't want to go to school anymore. I was embarrassed, in my seven year old mind I figured that she would just think that I was being a baby. I understand now that she would've taken me seriously. 

When I went back to school nothing had changed. Each day just became another thing to get through. I hated myself. I hated that I was short. I figured it was my fault and that something was wrong with me. I felt like I wasn't good enough to play with them or talk to them or be friends with them or even be near them. I had never had too much trouble making friends in other places but for some reason there it seemed impossible. I told myself that I wasn't good enough for them. It sounds silly now but back then it sounded pretty reasonable. 

A few months away from the end of my second grade year someone in a different class had noticed what was happening and had told my teacher everything. I was shocked when she confronted the whole class one morning and I was even more shocked to find out that someone had actually noticed. The bullying that had lasted almost two years had finally come to an end. It didn't happen right away but sort of slowly. People started to actually talk to me and ask me to hang out with them. It took me a while to get used to it and for awhile I kept feeling like it was just going to end suddenly like it was some dream. By the end of the year, I actually had some friends! I was so happy, which was something that I hadn't felt in a while. 

When we're young you can get bullied for things like being "too" short but as we get older the bullying shifts more to things like what clothes you wear, your makeup, who you hang out with, how you act, and so on. Sometimes no matter how hard you try you just sort of feel like they're right even though they really aren't. It can feel like your drowning in a sea of social expectations and it's suffocating. It took me a while to realize that people's opinions don't define who I am. I am myself and I finally feel like that's true.  

The author's comments:

Bullying is never ok. If you know someone that is being bullied or if you're being bullied then you need to tell somebody cause it will get better, trust me. The change might not happen suddenly but it will get better. I wrote this article to spread awareness about bullying from personal experience. Sometimes it's hard to admit that you're being bullied so I was hoping this could help someone to tell someone about it if they are being bullied or know someone who is being bullied. 

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