Age 18 from Illinois
When I was in 7th grade, just 12 years old, my best friend started becoming a victim of bullying when her older neighbor began harassing her over Facebook messaging. She had been adopted, so that was the topic of the harassment. My best friend was very strong, and did not take this nonsense, so she told her parents. They responded by talking to the girls mother which then spiraled into a feud amongst the adults. When my friends bullying had seemed to simmer, mine was just beginning. I was a much weaker target, as I was very soft spoken. My friends neighbor started getting a gang together. She and 3 of her friends would comment on every one of my Facebook posts and "like" all of my posts in spite of me. It was very devastating- I felt as though I was being attacked and could no longer be who I truly was without being criticized. I did not stand for it though. I would still make posts and even comment back. In my mind, I was showing them that I didn't care. But I was just fueling them further. My friends neighbor, the original bully, had family that were my age that went to my school. She also had a cousin that knew of me. I was then harassed by two more people because of this girl. Now it wasn't only online, but in school too. I was always a very logical girl, so I told my mom. She did exactly what I would've wanted. She consoled me when I showed her the messages, she helped me with what to say and how to stand up for myself properly and not let these people win. Even though my self-esteem was extremely low at this point, I was able to come back and learn to deal with them. Now, 6 years later, I am stronger than I've ever been after I stopped allowing people to hurt me. To anyone reading this- things get better! If you feel even the slightest bit victimized, speak up. Don't let mean people get you down. And trust me, karma exists!