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To the Girls Who Laughed at Me in the Movie Theater

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An ad on bullying and mental illness in young adults was playing as I entered the movie theater today. I was alone and looking around for a place to sit. I quickly noticed you and your group of friends looking down at me, pointing and laughing. I sat down and tried not to let you get to me. However, I’m a self conscious person and am always worried I will be judged for my appearance.

When my mom came into the theater with our concessions, I told her I wanted to move seats, to where I had originally wanted to sit. I looked down as we sat in the row right below you and your friends. My mom noticed you were making comments about me. She asked you why you were laughing as I walked out of the theater in tears.

I sat on a bench crying, wondering what I did wrong. Why were you laughing at me? Why were you staring at me and making fun of me? Don’t you know not everyone is the same? Don’t you get that all people are different, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful?

The ad that had been playing in the theater crossed my mind. Young adults were speaking about their experiences with bullying and mental illness. I wondered how you could watch that seconds before you laughed at me. Did you not think about it? Did you not realize your actions could hurt?

Just like the people in that video, I have been bullied. I struggle with mental illness. You didn’t know that, but that is no excuse. You did not know that going to see this movie was the first time I had left my apartment in weeks. You didn’t know I changed my outfit multiple times before leaving because I was worried that people, people like you, would judge me. You didn’t know I looked in the mirror and said, “I’m ugly.”

I am not society’s definition of beautiful. I am absolutely not your definition of beautiful. My eyes hold a lot of pain in them. My hair is in a messy bun, and my outfit is not trendy. My body is not thin. My body is heavier than yours because of the psychiatric medications I have been on for a year now.

There are so many things you didn’t consider when you judged me. You didn’t consider my story, you didn’t consider what I may be going through, you didn’t consider my feelings or my heart. You didn’t consider how deeply your actions would affect me.

I struggle with mental illnesses. I fight every day to stay alive. I fight so hard. I am a survivor of five suicide attempts in less than a year’s time. Simple tasks like going to the movies are difficult for me. I have been through hell. I have experienced more darkness than I ever knew existed.

My point is, please, be kind. Be respectful. Consider other people’s feelings before you make fun of them, before you judge them. Open your eyes to a universe outside of your own. Realize there is so much more to life than the latest trends or fitting in. At the end of the day, these are all material things. I have discovered a life without kindness is a miserable one.

The most noble thing you will ever do in this life is showing kindness, love, care and respect towards others. Your life will become so much richer when you begin to live a life of pure love.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: June 6, 2016
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