The Strongest, Bravest, and Purest Souls!

…are the mentally disabled people with special needs.

If you’re from my generation, I’m sure you remember the series from the early ’90s, “Life Goes On.” And if you remember this television series, then you automatically think of Corky Thatcher, the mentally challenged middle child of the Thatcher family, played by Chris Burke. He, in real life, has Down’s Syndrome.

I’m not writing this for personal gain. The chances are that neither Chris Burke nor any of the other cast members or producers will ever read this post, which is only proof that I write strictly from my heart and about what I’ve noticed on many, many occasions throughout my lifetime.

The Mentally and Intellectually disadvantaged have the purest and sweetest of hearts, yet they live in a world that looks down on them. They’re unwanted- shunned, ridiculed, and brutalized. Yet, most of them maintain their smiles and their unconditional kindness. Their moral compasses never waiver. They’re innocent, childlike, and have hearts of the purest gold.

They Exhibit the Most Resilience

I write books about unsung heroes, who are different and who bullies target daily. But I’ll tell you this:

These courageous, amazing real-life heroes are the best of the human race! I admire their unbreakable will, unshakeable courage, dogged determination, and amazing ability to keep smiles on their faces even under the most challenging of circumstances!

These are the people who have the fortitude to overcome odds that would be overwhelming to a cast majority of people. And I state this with full conviction.

These beautiful souls also work the lowliest of jobs- jobs that most people think are beneath them. They display the best work ethic, the most dedication, and the most pride in their work. Yet, others treat them the worst and supervisors and coworkers devalue the mentally disabled.

Most Others Don’t Appreciate nor Value Them

These angels have more heart and soul than those who are “normal” and twice their ages.

You have to wonder how they do it. How do the mentally and intellectually disabled find the resolve to go up against such tremendous odds every single day? How do they keep pushing amid jeers, jokes, and cruel insults? Situations under which most “normal” people would’ve thrown in the towel?

Another reason why I salute the mentally and intellectually challenged is that they don’t let on that they even realize it when the rest of the world is showing it’s booty to them. They’re the people who never complain nor seem to feel sorry for themselves like most “normals” do any time life gives them a one-two punch. Yet people give them the least respect. Others devalue and abuse these people the most- all because they see them as having the least power of all!

The mentally and intellectually disabled don’t retreat into drugs and alcohol. Instead, they retreat into their work and hobbies. They keep their minds occupied with things that interest them.

They Display the Most Talent

I’ve found that these people show the most talent in the arts. Many of them draw and play musical instruments like professionals! Yet, others overlook those talents because of who they belong to!

I don’t claim to know for sure, so I can’t speak for all the mentally and intellectually disabled. But through my observations over the years, I’ve come to realize that, maybe, the reason the mentally and intellectually disabled seem to handle adversity with such grace and aplomb is that they’ve accepted it as their normal.

I’m not saying that they don’t get hurt by it because they have feelings too. They have the same desires as everyone else- to be loved and accepted for who they are. We all have the desire to be apart of something and to be included. Humankind is hardwired that way.

But the mentally and intellectually challenged have such a way of bouncing back from years of repeated rejection- back to their cheerful selves much quicker! And they forgive much more easily!

They Forgive the Quickest

That’s what makes them such beautiful souls! They’re the brightest and most brilliant lights in a very dark world! And it will go to their credit and be celebrated in The Afterlife!

Therefore, all I can say to the millions of earth angels is this:

Keep up the good fight! Keep being a shining example to the rest of the world! I love you all!

My novel, “Kids Under the Latch Key,” is a first-person narrative about a mentally handicapped young man named Randy and a group of neighborhood kids who take him under their wings and protect him from the cruelty of several people in a small Southern town, who bully and label him because he is different. It is narrated by a now middle-aged Grace, who is one of the kids who befriended Randy and tries to protect him before an unexpected and tragic turn of events intervenes. The tragedy prompts Grace to question God and gives her a new perspective of the world and of people in general.

“Kids Under the Latch Key” by Cherie White

The Bully’s Worst Nightmare: Truth

To bullies, everything is all about appearances. They work hard every day to put on the best and most convincing fronts. It’s what they’re best at.

Bullies are some of the dumbest, most incompetent people on the face of the earth, yet they’re talented at making themselves look intelligent. They make themselves look bigger, better, and more important than they truly are. They always have an image to keep up. But that image is false.

Truth shatters that image and lays bare their imperfections. Confront them with the truth about themselves, and that facade immediately melts away, and those true colors bleed through.

The truth hurts, and it’s maddening. Anytime bullies are confronted with the reality of who they are, they become enraged, going from zero to one hundred in a split second. Instant bitch mode is activated, and all hell breaks loose.

But this is a typical reaction from bullies. Their overinflated egos can’t handle being wrong and someone calling it out. It’s as if you hold a mirror up to them and show them their naked reflections and all the stretch marks, cellulite, and bumps of fat they’ve for so long kept hidden from the rest of the world.

When another person addresses a bully’s bad behavior, especially in front of an audience, they immediately bristle. They will deny it; they will fight it, but they can’t escape it.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Looking at The Bully’s Perspective

Bullies perceive their target as their enemy even when the target has done nothing to them and even as they’re ritually abusing and torturing the poor soul. And once the target speaks out about the abuse, that enmity only increases exponentially.

The bullies get a fix on the target and he/she is all they can focus on because they feel threatened.

Bullies and abusers only see from their own perspective and their perspective has the target as an opponent to be punished- a threat who must be contained and even eliminated. Bullies aren’t concerned with the fact that their anger and hatred are irrational. They don’t think that they’re destroying a fellow human being much like themselves- a human being with thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Bullies are oblivious to the fact that the impetus of their violence comes from the primal part of their brains.

Know Your Bully

Understand that if you’re a target of bullying, your bullies see you as the enemy, right or wrong. They view you as bad and evil and they want revenge. They have no inhibitions of destroying you because they think they’re the good guys and they’re doing the right thing by destroying you: evil enemies must be annihilated.

In the Mind of a Bully, The Target Owes Them Respect

And when the target doesn’t show the bullies the respect they feel they’re entitled to, or in the way the bullies think it should be shown, they become enraged and seek to destroy the person.

The power-dynamic between bully and target is always zero-sum. The bully feels the target deserves nothing but hostility and abuse from them but, in contrast, the target owes them respect…and he owes it to them as they’re abusing him.

From the bully’s perspective, the target must atone for their flaws, their shortcomings, and their evil by lying down and “letting” the bullies torment her.

But when and where does it stop?

It doesn’t. As we know, bullying only gets worse until somebody dies or leaves.

If you’re a target of a bully, understand this. It doesn’t matter what the bully’s perspective is. It doesn’t matter what the bully thinks. Neither the bully nor anyone else has a right to violate your boundaries, physical nor psychological.

I want you to know that you have a right to learn, work, or live in a safe environment. You have a right to be in a nourishing environment that allows you to flourish. And you owe respect to no one who hasn’t earned your respect. Bullies and abusers deserve no respect from you. Anyone who deliberately sets out to hurt you does not deserve anything from you. Understand that you must value yourself and put yourself first.

If someone is abusing you, you have every right to take care of yourself. You have not only a right but an obligation to yourself to either walk away from the person or, if you can’t walk away- if the bully won’t let you walk away, then you have a right to defend yourself. Realize that you are valuable, and you matter just as much as the next person.

And everyone has flaws, not only you. If anyone bullies you, then they have no business coming anywhere near you. Always remember that.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Toxic Conformity

Conformity can be good because we conform to sensible laws and rules in order to ensure a safe and well-run society. Conformity holds us together. However, toxic conformity is never good and can place us in danger.

What Toxic conformity brings:

Toxic conformity brings unawareness, silence to wrongdoings and injustices. Also, it promotes abuse of power and totalitarian authoritarianism.

In a toxic environment, bullies in power demand that you agree with everything they say and do. Right or wrong, they expect you to keep your mouth shut if you disagree. Moreover, you’re cannot give off any nonverbal language of opposition. In other words, you must go along if you expect to get along.

Because, if you don’t, the powers that be will subject you to ostracism, rejection, smear campaigns, even physical violence. And in extreme cases, the bullies in power will send mobs to your door. Consequently, you may endure physical torture and murder.

Schools and workplaces with a culture of bullying demand total conformity, absolute loyalty, or- toxic conformity. Totalitarian authoritarian communities and societies also demand these things. In these types of environments, there’s no margin for error.

Expect to be Ostracized if You Don’t Conform to a Bully’s Buffoonery

Moreover, you can’t deviate even the slightest bit without being punished in some way, shape, or form. And it doesn’t matter if the deviation was an honest mistake. In other words, they don’t allow you to be human. For instance, in schools and workplaces where people practice toxic conformity, creativity isn’t allowed. In communities and societies of this nature, the head honchos forbid free thought and expression.

Understand bullies see anyone who doesn’t conform to their rules and standards as a threat to their power. And they will make that person pay dearly for daring to be different. Anyone having the audacity not to stay in lockstep with their morals (or lack thereof), rules, and standards faces danger.

As I mentioned, if you dare to be different- to show creativity and talents, God help you. Having your own thoughts, opinions, and ideas puts you at risk of the bullies’ hatred and brutality.

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, it’s imperative that you find a way out of that environment. Otherwise, you may pay dearly with your health and peace of mind. I realize that it won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

 Change, especially positive change, is never easy.

However, persecuted people have uprooted and left their home countries for the US in order to attain freedom. And they found a better life. So, how much easier would it be to leave a toxic school or workplace? Find an environment where you’re free to be yourself, express different ideas, create, grow, and flourish. Only then will you truly be free!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What is DARVO and How do You Spot It?

DARVO is just another term for gaslighting but is more in-depth. Bullies will discredit the victim by discrediting the claims.

DARVO is an acronym that stands for:

D – Deny – Anytime the target calls out their bullies’ abuse, the bullies will first deny the behavior. Bullies will counter with things like,

“That’s not what I said.”

“That never happened.”

“That’s not what I did.”

Or, they may not necessarily deny it, but may minimize their behavior by saying things like:

“It wasn’t that serious.”

“I didn’t hit you that hard. That was a love-pat compared to what I could’ve done to you.”

“If I was mad, you’d know it.”

A – Attack – Next, the bullies will attack you. They will discredit you by discrediting your claims. Also, bullies will use gaslighting to make you question or doubt yourself. And they will say to you, things like:

“You’re overreacting.”

“You’re crazy.”

“But you’re just looking for a fight.”

“You’re a drama queen.”

“You’re being paranoid.”

“But you’re being difficult.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

“You just won’t leave well enough alone.”

R – Reverse

V – Victim

and

O – Offender – The bullies will blame you for their behavior. They’ll claim that you did something to them to make them act the way they acted. Therefore, your bullies will make statements such as:

“It’s your fault.”

“You asked for it.”

“But you had it coming.”

“You made me hurt you.”

“You’re the bully, not me!”

I want you to know that DARVO has been around since the beginning of time, only today, it has a name. Down through history, it’s been the most common manipulation tactic of psychological abusers. Only 24 years ago did someone put a name to it! DARVO came from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, who first introduced the term in late 1997.

You can read more about Dr. Freyd and DARVO here:

https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 More Reasons You Should Write About It

Many targets of bullying don’t speak about the bullying they suffer and for many reasons. They may feel a degree of shame and fear that if they talk about it, others, including their parents, will think that they’re weak. Another reason is that if they speak up about or report the bullying, they might suffer retaliation from the bullies. Or they may fear that no one will believe them. Some targets worry they might be blamed for the abuse they suffer.

1. Writing about the bullying and abuse you suffer helps you to detox.

It’s very important to use writing or other healthy approaches to detoxing some of the negative and painful experiences out of the body. Otherwise it festers and can lead to negative thinking, bad habits, and even lead us to abuse ourselves.

2. Writing about it gives you a voice.

It gives you a chance to be heard. When people target you for bullying, your abusers will use everything in their arsenal to silence you. Understand and by silencing you, they get to bully you freely and with impunity.

3. Writing about the bullying allows you to keep a record of the bullying you suffer.

It gives you evidence ahead of time should you ever have to take the matter to court. When you document the bullying you suffer, using the 5-W (what, who, when, where, why), you are able to establish a clear pattern. Therefore, you will more likely present your case in a more understandable way, rather than if you verbally presented it.

I realize that writing can be tedious at times. It takes a lot of patience to write it down, especially if it’s painful to think about. However, anything worthwhile requires some discomfort and yes, even a little pain.

But the benefits outweigh the sacrifice because writing about it puts you in control!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Teachers Who Label Bullied Students

Mobbing at work concept, sketch of boss kicking his employee with red heels from behind on chalkboard

Many teachers and school staff often stick targets of mobbing and bullying with labels. They brand them with labels, such as, “trouble,” “difficult,” or “problem child.” This sets the targeted child up to be discriminated against by their school. Therefore, it creates a very hostile and dangerous environment when adults are prejudiced against the poor, kid.

In these types of situations, the target is only bullied worse. Why?  Because he/she isn’t afforded the same due process that their classmates get. As a result, the school staff ends up empowering the bullies. Even worse, they end up supporting the bullies, even encouraging them to bully that child.

We must realized that targets may act out due to prolonged bullying and resulting stress.

Let’s face it, no one can withstand the intense pressure of bullying and mobbing for long. A person can only be pushed so far. If you kick a dog long enough, you’ll get bit eventually.

When a target is bullied and mobbed by their classmates, they are forced to submit to horrendous and downright grotesque abuse.  And this kind of bullying is unfathomable to most adults. The message targets receive from others is just to “shut up and take it.”

In fact, when you’re a target of school bullying and mobbing, your world becomes quite Kafkaesque. Even you have a hard time believing what you’re experiencing. So, is it any wonder that no one else can believe it either? The questions, “What the hell?” and “Is this really happening?” come to mind.  You feel as if you’ve stepped into the twilight zone.

This is because being mobbed is the feeling of being crushed by nonsensical, bizarre, and blind abuse.

Even worse, you’re powerless to understand or control what is happening.

The target suffers mistreatment, isolation, exclusion, and yes- even brutal physical beatings. Therefore, he’ll be too afraid to plead for help because he knows that the school staff will ignore his cries. And what’s more frightening is that his bullies will take retribution on him for daring to open his mouth.

Eventually the target snaps and acts inappropriately due to long-lasting and extreme stress. The bullying and abuse she suffers will be ignored but the target’s reactions to it won’t be ignored. Therefore, the target becomes re-victimized by the very adults, school, and system which is supposed to protect her.

Here’s an example:

A girl is bullied by everyone in her class. The teacher either doesn’t see it or thinks the girl deserves it. And maybe, the teacher thinks that bullying is only a right of passage that builds character. During one occasion, the bully sitting behind the targeted girl pulls her hair. The target then gets fed up with being mistreated. Unable to tolerate any more abuse, she turns around and punches the bully who pulled her hair.

Now the teacher, very conveniently, doesn’t see the other girl pull the target’s hair. However, she does see the target turn around and punch her in the nose. Therefore, the teacher punishes the target without even considering what the other girl did to prompt her to punch her.

The message the teacher sends is crystal clear: The target has no recourse, and the bully now has carte blanche to continue bullying her in the future. So, this same scenario repeats itself a few times. And, the next thing you know, the target gets a bad name with the school staff. That’s when everyone becomes very suspicious of her.

The principal catches the target in the hall between classes. He tells her, aloud, in front of the other students, that he is watching her. The other kids, especially the bullies, overhear the principal. As a result, they take it as a green light to continue their abuse because they know they won’t be held accountable.

After all, if the target reports the bullying, who’s going to believe the “problem child?”

So, the school staff continue to harangue the target, making her situation much worse than what it needs to be. And their justification for their treatment of the target is to protect the other students who fit into what is “normal” and who obey the rules. Therefore, they use that to defend their emotional abuse of the target. It’s all an excuse for their singling her out for humiliation in front of God and everyone.

Understand that, when this occurs, the school is willingly participating in destroying another human being.

Therefore, it’s imperative that targeted students and teens hold on to their sense of self, pride, and confidence. They must hold on to those treasures with everything they have.teacher bully

It’s also crucial that parents and grandparents teach them how- they must teach these children to believe in themselves even when it seems that no one else believes in them. They must teach them to know their worth even when others don’t.

They must teach them to love and respect themselves even as others hate and disrespect them. Why? Because it is during the most difficult times that they’re need these virtues the most.

With knowledge comes power!

What Bullies Want You to Believe & What You Should Believe

Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. Also, they’ll use redundancy and repetition to make you believe their lies too. Here’s what they’re most likely to try and get you to think of yourself and what you should believe:

1.What bullies want you to believe

Apart from us, you can do nothing, you are nothing, and you never will be.

What you should believe

Apart from you, I’m better off. I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m somebody, and later down the line, I’m going to be great and do great things.

2. What bullies want you to believe

You’ll never find happiness without our permission.

What you should believe

I don’t need your permission to be happy. I’m much happier without losers like you in my life.

3. What bullies want you to believe

Nobody will ever like or love you.

What you should believe

Maybe you never will, but I don’t mind because you don’t matter. There will be others who’ll love me for me. I’ll find my tribe.

4. What bullies want you to believe

You’re nothing without our approval.

What you should believe

I’m nothing with it because you are nothing. I don’t need your “approval” because it will never define me. Your opinion matters not because, for something to matter, you must first value it.

Therefore, always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Environment That Conditions You Most

What is the environment that conditions and shapes you the most when you’re in school or working? I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t the home!

Our environments determine our mental health.

They have ways of molding and shaping us, especially during our formative years. For example, a child who grows up in an abusive environment is, more than likely, going to either grow up to be an abusive adult. Or worse, they will grow up to be weakened and powerless. Remember that a person’s formative years (childhood) is the most impressionable and it determines their future!

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule. There are a few kids who develop a strong sense of self, either through dogged determination or an outside mentor. Those are the kids who make it out and create successful lives from themselves. However, most do not, and it’s sad.

You have three types of environments:
  1. Nourishing Environment (Very Healthy)
  2. Neutral Environment (Somewhat Healthy)
  3. Toxic Environment (Unhealthy)

Understand that the environment you spend most of your day in, will the one that will likely condition you. And if you spend most of your day-to-day life in a bullying environment, your mental health will suffer!

For example, a certain school kid lives in a loving and healthy home. But his classmates at school bully him mercilessly and without fail.

Now, let’s do the math:

A child or teen who is growing must have around 10 hours of sleep per day. So, subtract 10 hours for 24 hours and you’re left with a total of 14 waking hours. The average young student then spends about 8 hours per day in school. Subtract 8 hours from 14 waking hours and you have only six waking hours away from school.

Then we must figure in school bus time, or commuting time, which, for the average schoolkid, is 30 minutes to 1 hour, one way. Therefore, that’s 1-2 hours roundtrip (Keep in mind that most kids who are bullied at school are also bullied on the school bus).

Subtract that from 6 waking hours and the schoolkid in this scenario has only 4-5 waking hours at home in her loving and nourishing environment.

24 Hours (One Day)

-10 hours (Sleep)

-8 hours (School)

-1 or 2 hours (School bus)

= only 4 to 5 hours awake at home

So, that bullied child, although living in a loving and nourishing home environment, spends twice as many waking hours in a toxic school environment. Therefore, the bullying he suffers at school is likely to nullify the love and acceptance he gets at home. And he will be conditioned either to hate himself, or not to think much of himself. Because he spends more time with his bullying peers than he spends with his loving and accepting family, he’s still more likely to have self-esteem issues and lack confidence.

Now, do you see how this works?

Even sadder, the self-esteem and confidence of kids who are bullied at school and abused or neglected at home will take an even bigger hit to their mental health! Why? Because they never get a reprieve from bullying, as abuse at home is a form of bullying in and of itself.

In conclusion, how a student is treated at school has a huge impact on their mental health. It doesn’t matter how loving and nurturing their home life is. Granted, having a positive home life certainly helps, the bullying a child or teen suffers at school will likely negate any love and acceptance she receives at home.

So, how do we reverse the damage school bullies have caused a child?

We simple create opportunities for the child to make friends outside of their school. This will create more positive social experiences for them. It will help to create a more even balance between the bullying and negativity they suffer and the friendships and positivity they enjoy. Even better, it might even tip the scales and create more positive experiences and social interactions than negative!

Therefore, the resulting rise in positive experiences and interactions outside the school environment will serve to buffer person’s self-esteem and mental health from the blows of negativity they get at school.

You can help the youngster create these positive connections and experiences by sending them to summer camp. Also, you can do it by enrolling them in a martial arts class or attending neighborhood family get-togethers where there are other kids present. Attending church and church functions is another great idea.

approved not rejected concept with checkbox

There are many, many opportunities available for the seizing! So, go for it! Give your bullied child these wonderful experiences! They will turn into awesome memories that will last a lifetime!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Sexual Harassment and the Bullied Girl

Sexual abuse in schools with a warning sign of a sex predator abusing and attacking young innocent student victims represented by a yellow hazard sign with the criminal act illustrated as a symbol.

Often, when a girl is a target of bullying, the torment she suffers leaves her wide open for sexual harassment.

And this isn’t discussed enough. The harassment can range from inappropriate and embarrassing comments to unwanted physical touching. Though I’m female and am writing this post from a female perspective, I do realize that this can happen to bullied young men as well.

I cannot tell you how many stories I’ve heard from other female victims and survivors of bullying.  And I can relate because, numerous times, my bullies subjected me to this type of behavior when I was in junior high and high school. Young creeps on the bus, in the halls or the lunch line, would sneakily run a hand up my skirt, put their hands on my behind and other such disgusting acts.

As any woman or girl knows, when people hurl sexual comments at you, grope,  and feel you up, it leaves you feeling cheap and violated. And your first thought is to blame yourself. You wonder what you did to bring it about.

“Was my dress too short?”
“Were my jeans too tight?”
“Did I have on too much makeup?”

Even worse is when other girls blame you.

Yes! This happens all the time but most girls are silent about it. Other girls only assume that you “must have done something to make him do it”- that somehow, you “asked for it.”

Such incidences can attract the ire of the guys’ jealous girlfriends. Therefore, these girlfriends will accuse you of trying to steal their boyfriends. All the while, the pig who violated you walks away free as a bird. This only doubles the victimization. It’s no different from what a rape victim goes through!

Bullied girls can also be sexually harassed by other girls as well, only in different ways.

Girls harass other girls by verbal means, making statements such as,

“Nobody will $%#! you.”
“I’ll bet you’re still a virgin, aren’t you?”
”You’d $%&# anything that moves!”

These are only a few. I’ve heard worse. Sometimes, the other girls will encourage the boys to harass the victim sexually, then turn it around on her, calling her a whore, slut, floozy- take your pick.

In school, I knew another bullied girl who others referred to as “Tuna Fish.” I’ll say no more.

Sexual harassment at work and workplace. Touch knee. Movement against sexual harassment

Understand that any time a female is the object of bullying, she has comments and remarks directed at her which are unspeakable. They’re so horrible and explicit that you don’t dare repeat them by mouth, much less write it in a book or article.

There is no limit to the low that bullies won’t sink.

They can be inventive to the raunchiest, raciest, dirtiest, most vile, hurtful and demeaning comments and actions. And anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of such would be shocked if they heard or saw some of the things a bullied girl has.

Understand that bullies show a side to their targets they would never in a million years show to anyone else.

Objects of bullying witness firsthand the shocking evil and cruelty of which people are capable, and they see the absolute darkest sides of the human character.

Bullies are experts at fooling bystanders and authority.

They are highly skilled at manipulating a social infrastructure. Bullies are also very aware that if the victim reports such abuse, others will not believe her. Why? Because the same bullies have meticulously ruined her once good reputation. And who’s going to take the word of someone with a notoriously bad name?

Understand that bullies will only show the worst sides of their characters to their victims and no one else. And why not? To bullies, the victim is both inferior and powerless.

When a person believes that you are inferior and powerless, they could care less about what you think of them.

As far as they’re concerned, any opinions you have are irrelevant. Whereas, anyone the bullies see as equals or superiors will only see the best sides of their character.

With that said, if you are a bullied female, I want you to know with every fiber of your being that it isn’t your fault. Know that you never asked for that kind of behavior, nor brought any of it on yourself.

And if you are bullied and endure sexual harassment, do not take any blame for it. And for goodness sake, don’t be afraid to report it! Know that bullying will not last forever. When I became an adult, the bullying stopped, and I am now very well-liked, loved, and respected.

I want you to know that this is only one chapter in your life, not the entire book. You too can overcome and move on to love, happiness, and success. Just don’t give up! You are beautiful! You are a great person despite what others may tell you or how they may treat you. And there are people who love you and care for you!

You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!