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Keep Growing - @californiayyye_

Keep Growing - @californiayyye_

I started this blog because I knew there were young girls somewhere that had been through/are going through what I did when I was younger. I started this because I wanted them to know that no matter how hard it gets, it gets better. And I know how cliche that sounds, but it's the utmost truth.

Bullying is such a serious matter, and one that hits home for me. One that ultimately made me who I am today. Bullying was just one thing I refused to talk about. I put on this tough guy face all the time, who would believe that I had been constantly bullied for five long years. Looking back, if I had talked about it some of the issues I have today maybe wouldn't be as grand. Maybe. Who knows. I don't.

It started when I was in the fourth grade and continued until my sophomore year of high school. I was so sweet when I was in the fourth grade. I just couldn't for the life of me understand why my glasses, dark skin, or hair bothered somebody else. I always felt I was doing something wrong to make them bully me. It wasn't until years later I realized I was doing nothing wrong. I was just being picked on for being me.

As years went on, the bullying got worse. It was harder to explain to my mom why my day was so horrible, so I didn't. I just started saying my day was great, when really I had spent a whole day being ridiculed. I remember crying in between classes. Holding everything in. I felt I had nobody to tell; nobody would understand. Of course I had friends, but I didn't want anybody feeling sorry for me. See, I was at a point (5th-7th grade) where I wanted to be liked. I didn't want to give anybody anymore of a reason to talk about me.

This was also the time where my body started developing. I was losing my baby fat, and growing up. I was thick. I had thighs that I personally was not ashamed of. I had no problem with my body, until it became a problem to have thigh thighs, big butt, and bigger boobs than the other girls. I started hating my body. For an adolescent, early teenage year old girl that was probably the worst thing possible. The bullying got worse, and so did my attitude towards everybody around me. They say that bullying victims often times turn to bullying others to cope. In my case this is true. My victims became my siblings. I took my anger out on them with no remorse. Every opportunity given. My parents weren't having that though, so I was quickly accosted and told to get my attitude in check. I could have chosen to tell them what was going on, but I didn't. I maintained straight A's and had essentially no academic problems. There were to me no signs of bullying. I made the decision again and again to not tell a soul about it, and ultimately I have only myself to blame for what happened afterwards.

Come high school, things changed. You see all your close friends getting into long relationships and you're just there. Your priority is still being accepted and wanted. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough. I was in band, and felt these were the only people I needed. You never imagine your high school bullies to be your best friends. The people that know everything you're insecure about. They know everything about you and begin making your life miserable. My ninth grade year was by far the worst year of my life. I went to school to essentially learn and was more worried about what somebody was saying about me and what people thought of me. I spent period and period in the nurse's office because I had a "friend" in just about every class. I cried just about every day. The most important thing to me - music - became less and less important and enjoyable. I finished ninth grade with straight A's and hoped the next year would be better.

My sophomore year was the year I changed schools and had my first breakdown. I think it was a culmination of everything I had been going through, holding in and my anxiety of starting a new school and worrying about making new friends and hoping it was going to be different. I made myself sick worrying about this new school. I came home one day and couldn't hold it in anymore. I knew why I had had that breakdown, but I told my mom it was stress about finals.

I remember vividly every encounter. Some days ere easier than others. When I moved back to California I told myself I would let go of what had happened and move on. Junior year was spent with great people and I was so happy. Something was still missing. I still felt I wasn't good enough to be wanted by a guy. Unfortunately, I searched for that in all the wrong places and it was disastrous. Those ways came to light and I felt I had to tell my parents maybe why I did the things I did. It didn't excuse anything, but gave insight.

I am not going to end this post with false hopes. It is hard as hell to get through this, I deal with depression and anxiety and I still have days where I shut down and can't get out of bed. It's a slow process. It takes time and effort. You have to want to get through. You have to work on knowing that you are on this Earth for a reason. We all have a purpose.

Today my self esteem and self confidence is high. I embrace the skin I'm in. People are always going to have something to say. Their entertainment is seeing how they can hurt you. They thrive on knowing they can get you off track, even if for just a minute. Don't give them the satisfaction. It is so hard to ignore what others have to say about you. It's not impossible. It's not impossible to love yourself so much others are jealous. It's not impossible. You have to find an outlet. Focus on one thing that makes you so happy you can't stop smiling. For me it was writing and reading. I wrote short satyric pieces and read anything I could get my hands on.

Surround yourself with only those that are going to build you up. Negativity should not be allowed in your life. Period. Wake up everyday and start your day with positivity. Know that today will be better than tomorrow. You have to know that it will get better. Build yourself up and nobody will be able to break you down.

Be Self Driven - @AMzooted

Be Self Driven - @AMzooted

Overcoming Struggle - @BathingAfrican