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How School Bullying Caused My Anxiety

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Anxiety and bullying aren’t a good mix.

I first started experiencing anxiety when I was in sixth grade at a school in Superior, Wisconsin. It all began when I started getting picked on. I was the small girl in school and always was; that never changed.

My anxiety got a lot more intense when I went into ninth grade, which was high school. It was an even bigger school with even more kids. Homework was hard, tests were hard, but what made school even harder was when I was picked on, again.

It was like I wasn’t waking up from a bad dream, but I couldn’t just “wake up” from what was happening. I was stuck dealing with it.

I was taunted, teased, shoved against lockers, had books knocked out of my hands, people threatened to beat me up and someone also threatened to run me over with their truck. Don’t worry, I was never actually run over with a truck, but of course, I thought I was going to be and watched my back like an owl watches a mouse under the snow.

While being bullied in middle school was hard, being bullied in high school was even worse.

I never wanted to go to school and would fake to be sick, or ask my parents to come to get me for lunch so I didn’t have to eat in the bathroom stall. I would have my mom drop me off late, pick me up early, drop me off at different doors (where I thought the mean people wouldn’t be). I would skip classes and sit in the bathroom or go to the library, and I would skip school a lot. All of this caused my grades to drop to failing.

The bullying got so bad that we had several meetings with the school officials. Do you know what they told me? They told me to go to the library in the morning so I could avoid the conflicts.

When the school officials didn’t help me, my mom pulled me out of the school halfway through my 10th-grade year. I started “homeschooling,” so to say, and would go to the school at the end of the day for a couple of hours to do homework, tests and projects. Even though I was doing that, unfortunately, a lot of courses still failed me and only a few teachers gave me passing grades (and I am forever thankful for those teachers).

Even though I had left that school in Wisconsin, I still had severe anxiety. I couldn’t go into Walmart alone. I couldn’t go into the gas station alone. I couldn’t go to the mall alone. I couldn’t try on clothes without my mom being by the door.

I hated having anxiety.

I attended another school in Minnesota halfway through my 10th-grade year. It was a smaller school and I knew a lot of people there; I also had relatives at this school. I loved this school and they worked with me, due to the circumstances with my old school in Wisconsin.

After all the hard work I did at my old school, I didn’t receive enough credits, so I had to retake my 10th-grade year at the new school. I wasn’t only taking my 10th-grade year over, but I was also taking 11th-grade courses. I wanted nothing more than to graduate on time, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I ended up graduating a year late, in 2014, when I should have graduated in 2013.

I am now 25 years old and my anxiety from being bullied still clings to me, but not as severe. I still get anxiety over small things that shouldn’t cause anxiety, but I believe it all stems from my traumatic experience as a teenager.

I believe the anxiety I dealt with and the bullying I encountered helped me become the woman I am today. I am now a wife and a mother, soon to be a realtor and couldn’t be happier with where my life has taken me.

Photo by Clarissa Carbungco on Unsplash

Originally published: January 14, 2020
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