Gender & Identity, Life

I was bullied in middle school, but it was a turning point in my life

Bullying is cruel and stems from an ingrained hatred for someone you don’t even know. It took quite a toll on me.

Trigger warning: Mentions of bullying, anxiety, self hate, and abusive relationships.

Middle school is universally a trial-some time for most of us, and being bullied in middle school really didn’t help my case. It’s the age when you’re a fresh teenager and you’re just genuinely (and hungrily) trying to figure out who you really are.

Middle school is that age when everything and nothing feel cool all at the same time. It’s also the age when we’re extremely vulnerable as it shapes a huge part of our adult personalities in the way that it passes. For me, middle school wasn’t all bad, until I was bullied. The first two years were actually pretty great; I was a popular girl, and I loved being the center of attention.

But, eighth grade is when everything changed for me. I switched schools mid-semester and I ended up in an alien land where nobody knew who I was (and didn’t want to, either). I felt lonely and isolated.

The icing on the cake was the fact that I was bullied in that new school.

Up until then, I hadn’t been insecure about the way I looked. I was a happy-go-lucky 12-year-old who suddenly wasn’t so happy-go-lucky at 13 when all of her flaws were magnified and made fun of. The bullying made me hate the way I looked. I became excessively critical of my physical features and my personality as well. I felt as if the two were directly proportional – the more good looking you are, the more people like you. It was honestly a very screwed up way for me to look at myself but it was the sad reality of my life for years.

Over the course of high school, I went through a transitional phase where puberty wasn’t the worst to me. Yet I still held that belief very close to my heart – wherein the more good looking I’d be, the more people would like me.

This philosophy really got the best of me when it culminated in an abusive relationship with someone who I thought only wanted the best for me for four long years. My bullying experience in middle school really twisted my perception of reality and made me extremely desperate for friends in the sense that I’d accepted the first person who came into my life and was decent enough to me – as a good friend of mine. 

I allowed people to walk all over me because of the insecurities I developed from bullying.

For four years I thought that being demeaned, manipulated, anxious, and scared were the normal thing to be in a close relationship. It’s honestly scary what being bullied in eighth grade did to me. It made me an anxious mess who didn’t believe in herself.

It took me the longest time ever to get over being bullied and finally get to the point where I stopped getting affected by what people had to say about my looks and finally to where I am today – absolutely and wholly confident about who I am and what I am made of.

Bullying is cruel and it stems from an ingrained hatred for someone who you don’t even know. And it took quite a toll on me. At the mere age of 13, when I was supposed to get to know myself on a deeper level, I began despising myself – all due to the twisted perceptions of other people.

I suffered from an identity crisis that lasted for years until I finally realized my worth. This identity crisis led me to have various insecurities and internalize self-doubt as an essential part of who I was. And it took a lot of effort to let that go, completely.

Bullying is absolutely horrid and I sincerely wouldn’t want anyone to go through that experience.

I’ve learned a lot in my 21 years of existence, and one lesson that will always stay close to me, because of my experience is that I’m here to spread love and only love – there is no place for such shallow hatred in my heart where I’d make a person feel bad about what they look like or who they are. Nobody deserves that.