Running up large hills is hard work. Every week the girls track team runs up this large hill. It takes a lot of energy, focus, and courage to reach the top. At the finish line you’re stronger than when you started, and with practice those hard hills will feel like nothing. I believe it takes courage to live on with a horrible experience in life but each day is stronger than the last. Like running up a hill it’s difficult and you have to have the mental strength to move on, it’s hard along the way but through the experience you become a lot stronger. This is my senior year of high school and I am running up that hill everyday.
I was sexually assaulted this year and have been harassed by the attacker’s friends day after day. It is hard enough living each day with that horrible experience in the back of my mind but even harder when the attackers friends call me names, throw things at me, start rumors, and purposely shove me in the hallways. At one point it escalated to being assaulted in the school locker room. After that I had enough and decided to conquer that “hill”.
I am very proud of the strength and courage it has taken me to stick up for myself and other victims of harassment. From the start I knew what I was getting myself into. Sticking up for myself could and did lead to more harassment but after some thinking I learned to become stronger and just keep my head up high. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong and the only people those friends are harming are themselves. For the most part I ignored the name calling; I began to form an invisible wall that deflected anything harmful. Deans and Counselors made it clear to specific students their behavior towards me is unacceptable and there will be consequences if the harassment continued.
Everyday is a struggle. Each day I wake up, keep my head up high, believe in myself, and I know that it’s going to get better. Hills are not easy to run up, but neither is going to school and being harassed. Everyday is practice for the next and when I look back now I know that I have accomplished something great. I have accomplished setting an example to other victims of harassment, not to let others put them down and get away with their behaviors and actions. I have accomplished living through the most difficult part of my life. Most importantly I have showed myself I have the strength and courage to live on.
It is challenging living with a horrible experience along with the everyday harassment, but I know each day will be stronger than the last, and I will be prepared for any hill ahead of me.