This month is National Bullying Awareness Month and I’m going to share my story.
I know I’ve shared several times throughout my blogging journey that I was bullied when I was younger. I know I talked in depth about it in 2010 VS. 2019 – The Decade Of My Confidence Journey and A Decade In The Making | My Confidence Journey. It’s two of the most vulnerable blogs I’ve ever put out on the internet. This one will be too.
When I realized that this month was the month of bullying awareness, I knew I had to say something. I wanted to share something I have never shared before. I know sharing my story can help someone, anyone. If this can help one person, the job is done.
The year I realized I was different. I remember sitting next to my best friend in my class and someone calling out something about me being the only bigger person in the class. I remember looking down at my stomach and legs thinking, “am I big?”. I’ll never forget it. That was the first time I ever question my size at 8 years old.
The Worst Of It
My best friend left my school and that’s when I started to get picked on. People would make comments that I was the biggest one in the classroom and that I couldn’t fit in the desks. I remember 6th grade in the hallway, everyone was invited to a pool party but me. I over heard a guy say why didn’t they invite me, know I was there in the hallway. The quote was “I don’t want to see all that in a bathing suit”.
From time to time I would say one or two words to someone. I was trying to fit in when I was so different. I remember asking my parents to buy my Sperry’s because everyone wore those on Fridays for spirit days. There were so many times I tried to fit in and no one accepted it.
I remember at the lunch table I would be told I couldn’t eat that big of a sandwich or people pointing out my cellulite. It was constantly people name calling or ignoring me at all costs because I wasn’t in with the crowd.
Being My Own Best Friend
Throughout my time in middle school I didn’t have a best friend. I didn’t talk to enough people that we could’ve been close. No one wanted to hang out with me or even invite to me to things. I was completely out of touch. No one knew anything about me, nothing but the fact that I liked to sing. I would sing in my choir and perform in a talent show, but that was the only thing outside of the classroom I would do. Kindergarden is when I started performing, as I got older, that was the only thing people were interested in.
I remember always coming home from school in the worst mood. I would be so sad and depressed. It would turn from mad that no one spoke to me today to crying at the foot of my bed because I felt so alone. The only thing that was there was my singing.
Using My Voice For Help
I would always write how I felt about what was going on in the hallways or the lunch room on my computer. I’d make it a song. I would go up to the piano and try to play it to go along with my lyrics. That was my therapy – music. I would always sing. I would always be singing in my room, I would sing my songs in the mirror and pretend I was on top of the world. In reality, I wasn’t.
I was alone. My lyrics were dark. My thoughts were dark. There was a point that I thought I couldn’t get out of it. I just kept singing. When I couldn’t use my real voice to stand up for myself, I would use my singing voice.
I mentioned I performed in talent shows. Even though that may sound like a very bold thing to do as a person who was bullied, I knew that being on stage was where I belonged. It was the one night I could forget about everyone’s thoughts about me and worry about my own. I was able to be free. Even though all eyes were on me, they weren’t on Cheyenne, they were on the Cheyenne I wanted to be.
I kept using my voice to help save me. When I felt like I had no one, singing was always there for me. Singing wouldn’t judge me for my cellulite or my long dark hair. Singing didn’t care if I was plus size. My voice was my best friend. Singing became my true passion.
The Signs That Should’ve Told
Something that I look back on a lot were what were the signs that could’ve said “hey something is going on with Cheyenne”. Here are just a few:
I would sit on the side of the benches at recess alone. I would be reading a book or just watching everyone play. It truly was an “outside looking in” moment every day.
I would skip school constantly. I remember I was skip Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – P.E. Days. I didn’t want to be judged any more than what was already happening in the class room. I would make up excuses to not change in the locker room in front of everyone because I was so insecure about my body. I remember people laughing at me in the locker room because I wore tight PJ shorts under my skirt because it sucked my stomach in.
Teachers would ever judge me for skipping school. My grades weren’t slipping, but my mental health was. It was a battle every day to want to face these people. I remember the last day I ever saw them. I walked away from that school without saying a single goodbye to anyone. I wanted to leave it all behind me.
Realizing That It Happened
Fast forwarding a whole 5 years later from that point, I went to college. Something I never thought I could do because I was stuck on the “I’m going to be an American Idol”. My English teacher assigned a paper and said to write about your life. That’s the day I realized I did have a story to share.
After a lot of thinking and going back to the archived memories I left behind, I remember there was a lot of hurt in my heart for younger me. I wrote my assignment based on being bullied. Back in high school, I remember I always used to gravitate towards assignments that had to do with bullying and I couldn’t remember why. I knew there was some type of connection. It’s like I had blocked out during my whole high school experience what had happened to me until that one day in English.
Learning That I Survived
Coming to terms with the fact that I had been through something like this was hard for me to take in. As I was going through it, I didn’t realized bullying was the term. I know people were mean, but I didn’t know there was something out there about it. The school I went to never talked about bullying. I just knew I was different, alone and had the lowest of self-confidence in my life.
I never said anything to anyone. That was my problem there. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid. I felt like I was defeated and already judged enough. But I’m not afraid to talk about it. I’m open to telling everyone and anyone my experience and my journey to confidence.
Knowing You’re Not Alone.
It wasn’t until I launched my blog where I got to publicly talk about what happened to me. There were so many people when I initially launched my blog that related to me or gained a sense peace knowing someone that went through it. They knew they were not alone.
There is always more to this story. As I keep writing, it reminds me of all the little things that happened that shaped me today. I’m thankful to have a platform where I can share my story. If I could go back to that little girl in the lunch room at the other side of the table and tell her all the things she would do, she probably wouldn’t believe me.
If you are being bullied or know of someone who is bullying someone, click here for several resources on how to help stop bullying and cyberbullying. No one deserves to be treated the way I was treated. By you becoming aware, you can save a life so someone never has to go through what I went through.
Sending lots of love.
Remember to be kind because you never know what the person is going through.
I’ll see you all tomorrow for Chey-O-Ween Day 26!