Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Hello my sweet friends. I hope you are all doing so well. I have been basically doing a blogging series about my personal experience with bullying and the impact it had on my own mental health. I am going to continue that today with another high school bullying story. This story of bullying was probably the hardest one I went through emotionally. To fully understand the bullying that went down, I feel like I need to share the backstory and what led to the bullying taking place. I think sometimes we think that it is just unwarranted people being mean. Which yes, bullying is very much like that too. But, with my personal experience with bullying, I feel like it usually evolved out of drama, which makes it almost deeper? I am not sure if that totally makes sense but let’s get into it!
So let’s start with this, towards the end of junior year, I had a “thing” with this guy that wasn’t in my personal friend group. He wasn’t a great guy looking back and I should have seen the flashing red flags (but that story is for another day). This all started when he asked me to junior prom. I wanted to go with my friend group because I was so much more comfortable with them. However, at this time, I was still trying to get to know him better and figured it would be a good idea to learn more about him and his friends by going with their group. Their group was like second tier popular. So they weren’t the most popular at our school but they were still pretty popular. I actually went to school with one of the boys in the group. We actually were best friends until we went to high school. His girlfriend was a cheerleader and very well known. The rest of the people were okay except for one girl who had issues with a couple girls in my friend group. However, her and I had no issues and we would still talk from time to time. We had ordered a party bus for after prom and everyone had to contribute their share. It turns out that I found out they had made me pay $20 more than anyone else had. So I guess you can say the bullying/meanness started there. The first part of prom was okay and then we went on the party bus. It was fine and everyone seemed so welcoming. The guy I was with, though, got super intoxicated and was not doing well on the party bus. He was basically passing out and incoherent. I kept trying to make sure he was okay by giving him water and trying to keep him awake until we could take him home. The night went fine enough, not the best dance, but still fun. The drama didn’t start until the next day. The next morning I woke up to a snapchat from the guy I went to prom with. He ended things just like that. He said we would be better as friends and that was that. We had been a thing for about 4 months so I wasn’t shattered but it was still hurtful nonetheless. Once again, there still wasn’t much drama, it was just disappointing.
However, when I got to school on Monday, things completely shifted. I was going about my day when I sat down for lunch. Out of nowhere a girl came up to me and (I want to keep this clean so I will just allude to the rumor that was started) asked me if I did something when I was “drunk” (which I wasn’t) on the party bus. She told me that a girl on the party bus (the same one that had issues with my friend but not with me) told them that I had done something inappropriate with my date on the party bus. This DID NOT happen. My date was literally incoherent and basically passed out the entire night on the bus. I had been trying to keep him up and lift his head up because I was concerned for his health. Somehow this got misconstrued or MADE UP that I did this. And oh yeah, it spread like a wildfire. When I heard this rumor, I immediately started having a panic attack and sobbing in the lunchroom. I didn’t get why someone would say that and want to hurt me. I had thought we all had a good night. I started to think deeper about the girl that started the rumor and later found out that my date, who I was also casually dating, she liked. Apparently, she thought he was going to ask her and their friend group tried to set it up so that they would go together. But, he chose me. I didn’t know this as I didn’t even know she liked him or wanted to go with him. I simply said yes to the guy who I was liking at the time. But, I do think that was part of the reason why I was targeted. And this girl had also started rumors in the past so I wasn’t super surprised. I was obviously hurt by this and people in the school were treating me differently because of this complete load of shit. It was so upsetting. It didn’t end there though because every weekend after the breakup, one of the girls in the group would post a snapchat story of my ex and would spell my name wrong. It was literally just a picture of my ex and my name purposely spelled wrong. For no reason other than to hurt my feelings. They did this every weekend and basically tortured me on social media. Their photo captions on IG and FB were always somehow targeting me or making fun of me using the fake rumor about me. This went on for months and even continued a bit in school with them making fun of me in the hallway. They even started to attack some of my friends. I had NO idea why this had been happening, none at all. I genuinely didn’t have any real problems with any of them that would make me understand why they were so ruthless.
The impact that this had on my mental health was strong. Instead of high anxiety, I fell into a depression. I was embarrassed, upset, and sad. It felt like everytime I started to heal a little bit and things would get a little better, they would post something else to hurt me. Eventually it got to the point where one of our friends confronted the main girl doing this. She had nothing to say for herself. However, the torment kind of dwindled at that point. At one point, they even tried to use one of our mutual friends (Who was one of my best friends) against me by posting a story claiming she was with my ex. She wasn’t. They did this just to torture me. It was so upsetting and the depression lasted quite a while. I wanted to delete social media and eventually I knew it was the best decision to delete all of those people off of social media. There wasn’t much they could do when I couldn’t see what they were posting. It wouldn’t be bothering me so they wouldn’t win. I knew that was the best decision. This is an example of where bullying happened more online than in person. It is important to also know that rumors are NEVER okay to start and that they can be incredibly damaging. My reputation took a hit after that rumor was spread about me that had literally 0 truth to it. The girl that made fun of me every weekend on social media actually at one point even said that the rumor was fake. Even she knew that didn’t happen. Since this dealt with cyberbullying, let’s take a look at some cyberbullying stats.
41% of children and teens that were cyberbullied developed Social Anxiety Disorder.
14% developed an Eating Disorder.
25% self harmed.
26% had suicidal thoughts.
25% deleted social media.
37% developed depression.
(According to Broadband Statistics)
All of this was a result of cyberbullying. We need to wake up and protect our children and teens from cyberbullying. It is never okay or justified. Bullying is bullying, it is as simple as that.
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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