School seems like a safe place to be, right? In fifth grade through seventh grade, school was never looked upon as the source of my problems, but the solution. I felt protected from the outside worries and doubts, but somehow, the harsh words would seep in.
In fifth grade, it wasn’t all that bad at first. I was alone for most of my time at school, but that didn’t bother me too much. I was shy and somewhat socially awkward. Being totally nonchalant about everything and a little bit weird, I didn’t have many friends. Well, friends that I could hang out with a lot of times and feel like they’re not doubting the relationship. Some rumors spread about me; I do know that, though I never thought too much about it. I was playing the school drama game where I was the strange kid with glasses and a bad haircut. Not having a lot of friends meant I had another passion to strive for, and that was school.
Sixth grade was worse. I was verbally bullied almost all the time during supervised study. “You’re so ugly,” one of them told me, “That haircut makes you look gay.” I would have quoted the rest, but some things may be too inappropriate to share. It would irritate me when the teacher didn’t do anything about it. Depression soon kicked in and my life seemed like a nightmare that wouldn’t end. I was so scared, I fled inside my body. I couldn’t tell anyone or anything. I was ashamed to let my life drop to the lowest form of misery I would ever experience. I was angry and frustrated at myself and everyone. Deep inside, everything felt like it was falling apart, but on the outside, I tried to keep it together with the fakest smile I could put on. It was so hard that I started to cry when walking home. The wet tears would slither down my face and drop onto the pavement. “At least in the rain you can’t see my tears.”
Seventh grade was much better, but I still felt like an animal trapped in a cage. I couldn’t trust anyone except myself. I was nervous about to opening up to anyone, even my family. I didn’t want to be judged based on my feelings. I started to take into consideration about seeing the councilor. My body was telling me two different things; to go get help or to stay safe and not let anyone know who the real Nicole is. If I didn’t end up seeing the councilor, I don’t know where I’d be right now. Still in school or six inches under.
Yet, here I am now, as many close friends I could ever wish for and how much they could impact on my life. Even though I will always have these emotional scars to carry with me, I don’t see it as a bad thing. I don’t wish for pity. I don’t wish for attention. I wish that someone would hear me out and just understand and not question why people feel the way they feel. I believe words can hurt. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
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