If You Really Knew Me

October is Anti Bullying Awareness Month. As you know Bullying has become a big issue in the past two years. In the past year or two, a college freshman committed suicide because his roommate found out he was gay through a webcam and showed his friends, three other teenagers killed themselves because of their sexuality as well. Bullying has been going on for years before these acts of suicide. The difference is it has always been “swept under the rug.”

MTV aired a show a few years back called, If You Really Knew Me. The show’s focus was on youth subcultures and cliques. In the show teenagers would attend Challenge Day, on this day students from their clique would befriend another person from a different clique. Challenge Day’s mission was to let students participate in programs designed to break stereotypes and unite the students. In some episodes, students would open up about being bullied. Like many young people on If You Really Knew Me who have been bullied, I was a victim of bullying also.

On the popular social network Youtube, teens have been uploading videos of themselves showing index cards that say how they feel. The videos are titled, “If You Really Knew Me.” Teens express how they are treated because they are either gay, or they are perceived as ugly and not wanted. I will show one of these videos in my blog.

My story starts out in third grade. Picture a girl with straight and curly hair (more frizzy hair than curly.) Anyway, I had a lot of hair, and it was hard to maintain. I also had skin that was discolored. I’ll explain, I was born with dark patches on my neck, chest, stomach, back, and arms. And to top my appearance, I stuttered, a lot. In a nutshell, I pretty much was an easy target for bullies. From third grade to eighth grade I was bullied. That is five years for torture.

For example, I used to stutter when I got nervous during public speaking in grade school. One incident I got so nervous I was literally speechless. I just stared at my classmates. One of the teachers asked another student to read my presentation. I was so embarrassed. I think students who are in a similar position as I was feel hopeless. They feel like their nerves are going to overcome them for the rest of their lives. But that is not the case, life does go on, things do get better. I grow out of my stuttering days because other people in high school and college gave me a chance to understand who I really am.

Like many victims I didn’t tell my parents I was bullied. The main reason I was scared I would get bullied more often because I told on them. Looking back I wish I stood up to my bullies, I wish I had told them I would be a better person when I grew up. I can say now I embrace my hair. It’s still frizzy but I have met people with the same type of hair as me, I embrace my skin. When at the beach I don’t cover up, I show what I got and who I am. The only big change that I have received is I no longer stutter! Funny as it seems, I stopped stuttering after I graduated from grade school. I wonder why?