I got this letter from an eighteen-year-old girl after she read my piece on called “Lessons from Middle School We Keep Forgetting,” which I had shared again on my Facebook page.
I am so happy that I found your page. I have been silently reading your posts and the responses from your “tribe” for a long time, and when you posted about “the populars” and middle school, I finally had to participate.
You are very inspiring. What you write is so honest, and I think it is going to help a lot of people. I have dealt with relentless bullying for my entire school life. I am still finishing school; I just started my senior year. When I started school, I was at a very small country school, and there were only about seven girls in my class, and they all just decided they hated me from day one. Everyday, they told me how fat and ugly I was. Whenever my mom came in to tell the teachers about it, they all said how nice and lovely the other students were, and they suggested she get me some help. I got to a point when I was so sick from this, like physically sick. My body just manifested everything that was happening to it on the outside, and I was sick all the time. Finally, when I started middle school, I thought it would be better, and it kind of was because I made a friend, but I was still horribly bullied, and, this time, it was by older kids.
Finally, when I started high school, I found an amazing group of friends that I am still friends with, and we take care of each other. Of course, there is still so much bullying, but at least I have people who have my back now. I also struggle with what I think is becoming a full-fledged eating disorder because of all this bullying and because of how much like shit I feel all of the time because of what I’ve been told about my body and myself for so long.
I really have to just thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences. Reading your page is making me stronger, I feel. I really hope to keep reading and getting lifted up by them everyday as I finish this school experience and try to move on to better things. I find it amazing that women are fighting so long and hard for equality and rights and a voice, when everyday, really, it is women who are taking away these things for other women. We treat each other like shit, and it is so nice to come to a place on the web where none of that happens, and it is all about helping each other and being loving to one another.
Please just tell me it gets better after high school.
Thank you, A.
It does get better. My friend Gina Frangello said,
“I think there needs to be some kind of campaign like the fabulous It Gets Better one for gay teens; this time focusing on the very real fact that so many kids who are terribly bullied end up being the movers and shakers of the adult world and how adulthood offers those who didn’t ‘fit in’ to narrow childhoods or limiting towns/neighborhoods a chance to allow themselves to shine. So many young women, who at A’s age turn against their own bodies, end up being the most confident and generous women whose lives impact others—like yours, Jen (and other women we know). It’s so vital to hang in and wait for the day when you can write the script to your own life…”
I am not sure what the campaign is yet, but it will start here. With you guys, my Positively Positive family. Post a note to A if you like, as she will read this as well. I love that I have high school kids that read me and follow me on social media.
Any of you other kids reading this, yes, yes, yes, it gets wildly better!
Let’s start the campaign right now. Please let A know any experiences you have had with bullying or any sage wisdom or love you can offer. Let’s move from a fear-based world to a love-based world. Right now.
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter and take one of her yoga classes online at Yogis Anonymous.
Jen will be leading Manifestation Writing/Yoga retreat at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts in February 2014 as well as retreats in both Costa Rica and Tuscany in 2014. She travels around the country leading her signature Manifestation Workshops. She is also leading a New Years Retreat in Ojai, California.
*Image courtesy of Bryant McGill & Simplereminders.com.