It wasn’t until middle school that I started getting teased. I wasn’t even aware that such cruelty actually existed in the world. I was pretty thin at the time; skinny face, skinny body. But little did I know that it wasn’t “normal” to be skinny, well at least to my peers. I was being bullied. Although it never resorted to physical violence, it damaged me emotionally. My self-esteem had lowered profoundly and not only did that affect me at the time, it still has an impact on my life today.
People would call me names and make fun of me for the way I looked. By saying “people” I mean my peers, the kids I looked up to because I didn’t know any better. I just wanted to be accepted. At the time, I had just moved from a private school to a public school so I wanted to fit in. New life, new friends, new beginnings, but this wasn’t what I imagined.
I wasn’t a strong person. I was young and naïve. The things that the kids said to me wounded me to my soul. And it didn’t help that I’m African. That only gave them more of a reason to tease me, because of the history of where I’m from. The bullying damaged me more so because it came from the people that claimed they were my friends. It made me feel as if I was alone in the world, the worst feeling to ever have.
Meanwhile, there were two positive outputs that came from this situation in my life. I have learned to keep my guards up when it comes to people in this cruel world. Everyone is not who they seem to perceive themselves as. I have also realized that other people will not define who you are. Cruel and judgmental people will always exist, it’s up to one’s mindset to see how or if it will majorly affect them. No one else can define who you are unless you give him or her the opportunity to.