Bullying: an ordeal I’ll never forget

Corinthiann+St.Andry+was+bullied+in+sixth+grade%2C+and+she+wants+to+bring+awareness+to+bullying.+Bullying+is+never+OK%2C+and+she+is+sharing+her+story+so+others+can+help+bring+awareness+to+situations+of+bullying.

Photo provided by Corinthiann St.Andry

Corinthiann St.Andry was bullied in sixth grade, and she wants to bring awareness to bullying. Bullying is never OK, and she is sharing her story so others can help bring awareness to situations of bullying.

The first-period bell rang as students shuffled into their seats. It was the start of the second semester at Pershing Middle School. I sat down at my newly assigned table in English class. There were two boys and three girls, including me. Little did I know that this seating arrangement was the start of a withering black hole for me.

Every day I learn more about myself. I learn how to take care of myself better. I learn how to defend myself. Yet, back in sixth grade, I knew none of these things. I was depressed. I felt alone which led to much of my depression.

I lived with my grandparents at the time. My father would work 12-hour shifts, and I was home alone with my grandparents. My grandmother never left her room, and my grandfather was always asleep. I felt alone and isolated. I never felt motivated to take a shower or brush my teeth so much so that I would go to school without taking a shower for a week. 

I grew up never understanding good hygiene. My parents never demanded that I take a shower or brush my teeth. Taking care of myself was just an unnecessary thought that I had buried in the back of my head. 

Being depressed all the time didn’t help either. I would eat three to four meals a day, including snacks in between. I was already overweight before, but I gained an insane amount of weight in a span of four months. I gained about twenty pounds which is a lot for an eleven-year-old. Now not only was I unhygienic, but I was also overweight. 

The teacher sat in a corner in the back of the classroom. There were six tables in two rows. I sat at the middle table in the first row. I was already an insecure person. What made it worse was the students at my table. With the constant chatter of students echoing throughout the classroom, the conversations my tablemates had about me fell on deaf ears.

My tablemates always looked at me differently because of my size. I was always the “fat girl” that everyone could talk bad about. 

“She can’t even run in P.E. because she’s so fat,” one of the boys said.

I just sat there and took it. I did not know how to defend myself. 

One of the girls at my table did not like me at all. She always made fun of my weight, and she talked behind my back. I only knew this because a good friend of mine told me she would say nasty things when I wasn’t looking.

My friend said, “She called you the Hunchback of Notre Dame because she said you always sit with your back hunched.”

I was glad my friend told me, but I was still hurt.

This continued for about a month until I told the teacher. All she could do was console me and say that she would talk to them. She also brought it up to the principal. This did nothing. 

I told my dad about the bullying, and he went up to the school to talk to the principal as well. The principal said he would handle it. I held all my trust in one person. I thought things would finally get better.

A few weeks went by and still no change from the students. No detention. No talking.  Nothing. The bullying did die down towards the end of the year, but this experience would scar me for the rest of my life. 

Now I understand proper hygiene. My self-esteem has improved significantly. I wear and look how I want when I want. I know how to defend myself when needed. Although I have grown as a person, I will never forget that moment. Whenever I get bad anxiety, this memory clicks back into my mind.

Bullying has long-lasting effects on children whether it is mentally, physically, or both. According to cdc.gov, bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, self-harm, and even death. It also increases the risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. 

Bullying prevention has grown a lot since sixth grade. Many students go through or have gone through so much worse than me, and I want to bring attention to these sorts of issues. To help prevent bullying contact stopbullying.gov or contact Cybersmile.org to call for help. 

No one deserves to go through what I’ve gone through with bullying. I have grown so much since 6th grade, and I am happy where I am now. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”