DROWNING IN HER WORDS

This is the kind of story that prompted me to host the topic on “Bullies”.  This girl is beautifully brave and I hope you hear what she has to say.  Her voice is only going to get stronger with our support.  Help Courtney share her her message, her voice!


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DROWNING IN HER WORDS by Courtney

At the age of eight, no one really knows what self confidence is, or how much their actions can have an affect on other people. Needless to say, my peers at school had no idea that their calling me names would have a lasting affect on my self confidence.

To them I was just there for their own twisted enjoyment.

In third grade, it escalated when I wore all black to school after losing my grandfather.

“You look so stupid. Don’t you have other clothes, clothes with color you stupidhead.”

“In the old day, when you were in mourning you wore black. Widows often wore black for long periods of times. It was a way to show your feeling of sorrow.” My voice was shaky, barely audible. But from the laughs surrounding me, I knew they heard me just fine.

“You’re a geek!”
“Yeah how would you even know that? We haven’t learned that? Nerd!”

“I read it in a book,” this time my voice was even softer, more of a whimper, like a dog whom had just stepped on a thorn and got it stuck in his paw. Yes, that’s what I sounded like, except the thorn was my supposed friends.

The blow came so unexpectedly. But the sudden stinging in my stomach was too familiar to ignore.

Between the crying and the fist to the stomach, I knew what was coming next. I ran to the fence bordering the playground, and got rid of everything that had been in my stomach that day. Of course, the teacher saw this, but didn’t see the children hit me.

“Sarah,” as we will call her, “walk Kris to the nurse please,” the teacher had just set me up for more pain and she didn’t even know it.

“Yes Mrs. Thompson.”

We began walking to the door, I walked as slow as possible because I knew once I reached the door and we entered the lone halls, so much punishment was headed my way. Why did you have to get sick and draw more attention to yourself, I kept asking myself as I watched Sarah.

She reached for my wrist, as if she was going to help me up the steps, but I knew better. The doorway to hell opened in front of me and sucked me in.

“Listen you little geek, if you say anything about what happened,” her grip on my wrist was increasingly tightening, “I will make sure everyday is just like this one. And if my Joshy gets in trouble,” the kid whom had hit me I assumed, “and misses even one day of school for your lame butt, I will make sure you pay.”

Sadly, I knew she was serious about her threat.

That was the start of the physical bullying. But when they learned I wouldn’t rat them out, in fear it would get worse, it became a regular thing. By the time I reached middle school, I had gotten to used to it that the physical bullying didn’t bother me as much as the words.

Nerd, geek, ugly, misfit, fag (though I am not gay and identify as demisexual), useless, waste of space, no good, skeleton.

These were the things they called me. And after years of hearing it, it’s what I believed I was. My self confidence was lower than I would like to admit. And it only helped to make my eating disorder, anxiety, and depression worse.

By high school, I was determined to get better. I made myself believe that their words wouldn’t hurt me.

But one day, I upset the wrong girl.

That afternoon I found myself cornered at my locker. She looked into my eyes, and I know she saw the way they pleaded with her to stop. But I began drowning in the hot lava that were her words. Just as I thought it was over, she put her hand against my face and pushed my head against the cold metal locker door.

I broke that day.

Never had the bullying been so cruel. My sense of self worth barely existed, but in that moment, whatever was left of it faded completely away.

The bullying I faced greatly influenced my suicidal feelings.

Bullying happens at all ages and at all levels of severity. And each case is important. Because you never know how much something is affecting someone. My only wish is that people would take the time to think about how they would feel if someone was treating them the way they treated others.


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Courtney is a 17 year old writer, blogger, YouTuber, and most importantly, mental health advocate. She suffers from PTSD and depression. But she found my voice in the world, and tries to use it to inspire others as well as educate about mental illnesses. She is also the Content Manager for Stigma Fighters Teen. Find her at http://courtneysvoice.com/ or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneys_voice

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9 thoughts on “DROWNING IN HER WORDS

  1. Courtney, I am so very sorry for all that has happened to you. It’s unacceptable for people to treat one another with such cruelty, no matter what age. You are a brave young woman. Keep standing up for what you know is right.

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  2. I got called all of those things that are bolded in the middle of the column. Add a slew of others, and I often hated myself for a long time, going on up into adulthood. I was also physically abused at school, and told regularly by the adults that were supposed to protect me that I needed to toughen up in one way or another. I was fortunate enough to have a few people that supported me unconditionally, or I likely would have ended up a statistic.

    I take great pride in being a geek and a nerd these days. It’s who I am. I own those titles.

    Being a geek means that I am passionate about the things that I love and that I don’t have to apologize for it. Being a nerd means that I have a healthy intellect and I’m proud of that.

    The rest of those horrible things were all lies those people told me so that they could feel better about themselves. They’ve all grown up and become decent people, surprisingly. I’ve grown up and found confidence as an adult.

    Courtney – Looking at your bio tells me that you already have taken steps to get beyond those things that caused you pain and put you in a terrible place. I just want to make sure you know that the rest of us geeks and nerds are all here to support you and those who face the same things you and I have. Take care of yourself, and never be afraid to reach out if you need us.

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  3. You are amazingly brave. I am 45 and just finding my voice. I am happy to follow and support your work. I was bullied and abused. I hear you and I know it is still happening. TY for taking action.

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  4. I am going to share this with my middle school age son! He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in third grade and still gets ridiculed for having to go to the clinic so often. Some of his closest friends do defend him and understand but there is always the minority that will call out any differences in anyone!! He is actually a pretty popular guy but he still gets hurt by dumb remarks by kids who don’t know him or know any better than to pick on someone who is different, no matter the reason! Thank you for the reality check that too many kids need and so few will see!

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  5. Courtney I’m so glad that you’re using your experiences for GOOD – I think Stigma Fighters is a really worthwhile cause, and using your voice there will be important for those who are still too beaten down to use theirs. Kudos to you for writing 🙂

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  6. Exactly what Lizzi said, as she does it so well. Such a horrific experience(s), and yet you are turning it into lessons for the good! You will make a difference!

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