To the educators who told me to expect to be bullied
Thank you. Thank you for sitting me, a scared 13 year old student at your school, down in your office and saying there was little you could do. Because I had come to you about the abuse I was suffering. I wish you had seen how big that was for me, that I didn’t go for help. Ever. Except it was bad enough that I cried half the day. It was bad enough I couldn’t walk down the hall and feel safe. So I went to you. And you said to expect it. So, Thank you for telling me that “kids like Me” should accept and expect to be bullied. Thank you for screaming ultimatums at me as I was having a panic attack. Because when I stumbled out of that office, and I went back to my math class, I opened up my computer. And I opened up word press. And I wrote my first post. And it was liberating. It was so. So liberating. When you basically rejected me, when you pushed me away and told me that I was worth nothing basically, that I deserved the abuses, you taught me self-advocacy. And while I now wish I could go back and stand up and say that under the law you had to protect me, now I know how to protect myself. You made me feel small and weak, you made me feel like who I am was a bad thing.
Thank you for making me tell myself a hundred times a day I am worth it. Even now, when it is getting better, I still tell myself. I still make myself believe it. And that still makes me smile. Learning that skill, supporting myself, has helped me.
Thank you for treating my panic attack like I was being ridiculous. For telling me to stop and giving me ultimatums. You taught me that the rest of the world won’t stand up for me. You taught me that I need to be able to support myself, even when I am at my worse, darkest point.
Thank you for leaving me to fend for myself. Except, i can’t thank you for that. I can’t say thank you for letting people abuse me because it was too much work for you to try and improve it. But I can say thank you for showing me how badly we need knowledge in the world. Of people like me. Of the laws. Thank you for giving me the idea to write, to share my story to inspire others. For now, I feel if I can help one person I have done by due diligence. I want to help other people who do not know what their school is required to do, who do not know how to fight for themself. I can show them how. And I want to. Ellen page said, “And because… maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.” First off, listen to this speech of hers it is incredible. I cried. Secondly, I can connect with her opinion on this. What she says about this, how she wants to help people, this is how I feel, how I think. So thank you. Thank you for teaching me.
Sincerely, the girl you told to expect to be bullied.