Bullying happens every day within our school systems and on social media. It happens to kids who are different, who have disabilities and who are a little awkward. Children in school are under a lot of pressure. Everyone is fighting to be accepted. You either fit in or you don’t. If you don’t fit in, you often become a victim of bullying. Children picking on their peers are not kids being kids. It’s a form of abuse. It is the same as spousal abuse or child abuse. It can be verbal or physical. Whatever form it is, it’s abuse, peer abuse.

     When I was in school very few people had computers at home. They were big and information was saved on a floppy disk. We were just learning about the internet and there were no cell phones. We didn’t text or surf the web by a small phone you could put in your pocket, but bullying was just as prevalent. In the modern world, bullying happens on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and through texts. Children are abusing each other using the internet. Words typed are just as painful as words said. They leave wounds no one can see.

     Words hurt. Words break hearts and souls. Mean things said or typed over and over leave wounds on the heart and soul that no one can see, ones that could take years to heal. They destroy a person   from the inside out. It can lead a person into mental illness and even to suicide. Bullying can also be more than just things said or typed. Some children get beaten up each day, shoved in lockers, knocked down and have things thrown at them. I had rocks thrown at me in my own yard.

     The bullying I faced led me into depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety and self-injury. It took most of my adult life to mend the wounds the words my classmates and teachers caused. It wasn’t just words either. It was cologne poured down my back, it was gum thrown in my hair, and it was pushing and shoving and much more. It took years to rebuild my self-esteem, to learn to love myself, to change my way of thinking and everything else bullying ruined. I even thought about taking my life and at one time made unsuccessful attempts.

     There are children of all ages committing suicide because of what they face each day at school, on the internet and even walking home from school. Some children just can’t handle it and see that there is no other way out. They suffer so badly nothing can bring them comfort. They have been beaten down so awfully that they can’t find enough strength to fight to go on.

     Can you imagine day after day being put down, finding lies about you on social media, being beaten up just because you’re different? It’s just like a wife being belittled continually by her husband or beaten by him. It’s the same thing. It’s abuse. Weather verbal or physical it is very harmful

     Take a stand against bullying. Can you just stand by and allow children to be abused at the very place they are supposed to feel safe and by their own peers? Stopping bullying can start with the parents. Teach your children to accept all children and to stand up when they see someone being put down or hurt by others. Teach them to sit with that kid who sits by him or herself at lunch, to say something nice, to tell someone if they witness others being picked on and to get to know a person inside out. If you’re not a parent you can help by sharing your own experiences through writing, videos, talks, and you can support stop bullying causes.

     Let’s all step up and say stop the abuse. Let’s tell the bullies to stop and be kind.


     I had a dream since I was in high school, a dream that I thought I could never make come true. I doubted my abilities to make that dream a reality. I even gave up on it for a while. I struggled with my self-esteem and feared my dream was never meant to come true. I tried but failed. I tried again and failed. Now with encouragement from my husband and determination, I am finally getting closer to making my dream to have a book published come true.

     It has taken me four years to write my memoir, Escape to the Garage. It is written, but not ready for publication yet. As I wrote my memoir the better my writing improved. I learned a lot. I had to go back and rewrite parts of my beginning chapters with my new and improved writing abilities. I also am attempting to edit, even though with my learning disability I am not good at finding grammatical errors. I’m not good at grammar, period.

     Let me give you a peek into my memoir. In first grade I found myself struggling to learn. My classmates were able to read simple words when I couldn’t even sound out letters. My teacher ignored my raised hand for help when we were assigned in-class work. It was that teacher who first called me a “retard” in front of my whole class. That same year I learned I had a learning disability and I had to repeat first grade.

     The label of “retard” followed me through out my school year. In second grade when I tried to do my own classwork and got a good grade, a teacher called me a cheater in front of my class. My classmates began to call me a retard, dummy, stupid, idiot, and other names. Day after day, on the bus and in class I was called names. A girl who pretended to be my friend was assigned to give me answers on tests.   

     In my memoir I take my readers into my life as a young girl being tormented by my classmates and teachers. I bring my readers into my mind as I slowly slip into self-hate, sadness, and anguish. Those words didn’t break my bones; they broke my heart. As my memoir goes from first grade to ninth, grade, you see me slip further and further into mental illness. I cope with my inner pain by imagining getting hit by a car and other accidents that would leave me hurt and unable to go to school.

     The one thing that kept me from hitting rock bottom of my mental illness was the family garage. My grandma was the secretary, and my grandpa, uncles, and Dad were the mechanics. Every summer and on the weekends, my siblings and I took turns going to work with my dad. Every morning during the summer and during the weekends we went to a break the guys took called “Coffee Break.” During coffee break my cousins Denny and Russell, and my siblings and I played in the junkyard and in the old barn behind the garage. We had many adventures and I take my readers into those exciting times. My cousins were often the only friends I had.

The guys from the garage, my grandparents, my cousins and can you guess which one is me

     My mom fought the teachers to get me help, my grandparents gave me endless love, and the guys and my cousins gave me acceptance. Those were not enough to keep me from falling into darkness, but they did keep me from hitting rock bottom. I imagined my death several times, but I had my family’s love and acceptance to keep me from attempting to take my life. The garage was my escape from the darkness with in me and from the bullying. My family was my strength to keep living when I was losing all hope.

     The bullying even followed into my own back yard. One day classmates were walking past my house while I played in the yard. They started calling me names and throwing rocks at me. My mom chased them away with a broom. Even though I didn’t have any wounds on my skin, my heart and soul were bleeding and bruised. When I tried to make friends, they either moved away or were turned against me. I often felt alone. I felt like I was invisible in a school full of kids.

     It wasn’t until high school that I was allowed to do my own tests. I became obsessed with studying and it paid off. I made the honor roll and began to get high grades, but it didn’t stop the name calling. In high school I stopped talking unless I had no choice. Then tragedy struck our family and I fell deeper into depression. At home I argued with my parents and when my brother teased me, I broke out into violent fits.

     I can’t give away the whole memoir. You’ll need to wait until it is published to find out what happens to me, a target of bullying. My memoir shows how bullying is a form of abuse that rips at the soul and the mind. It shows how being bullied tears a person apart inside and worsens to mental illness.

     Years after I graduated from school I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Those who have Borderline Personality Disorder are often subjects of abuse. I had loving parents, wonderful grandparents, and caring siblings. The abuse did not come from home; it came from my school years.

     Words hurt. They cut deep, leaving wounds no one can see. They tear a person’s self-esteem apart; they distort his or her thoughts and breaks a person’s insides into many little pieces. With therapy and years of hard work, the targets of bullying can rebuild themselves and heal the wounds, but the scars never go away. Choose to be kind to everyone, even the kids who are different. Save a child from years of struggling with mental illness. Be a friend, not a bully.

     Writing this memoir was and is my therapy. It took me so long to write this because I had to relive the abuse. The day my book gets published and I am holding a copy in my hand, I’ll be flying high. Because of my persistence and encouragement from my husband, family, and friends, my dream will come true. Working on making my dream come true keeps me standing tall within the light.


A large number of children in our schools are being bullied. Some of the children, after years of being put down, pushed around, and teased, decline into mental illness and even commit suicide. Bullying is a form of abuse that not only affects children in their younger years, but also follows them into their adulthood. Mental illness can be a combination of an imbalance in the brain, genetics, or an unhealthy family life along with the continuous belittling happening at school and online. We look up to our teachers for protection, but they can also be bullies.


When I was in school, hardly anyone had computers at home. We went to the computer lab in school to learn how to use them and how to surf the internet. There were no laptops, tablets, or cellphones that connect you to social media. There were also no anti-bullying rules or movements to bring awareness to bullying. It was a big problem in and out of school.

The bullying began for me as early as first grade. A teacher called me a retard in front of my classmates when I couldn’t learn like the rest. The name retard stuck to me like fly paper. That’s when the sadness slowly began to creep in. Year by year the bullying by my classmates and teachers continued. Slowly the self-hate, sadness, and hopelessness increased.


By the time I was in high school, I had sunk into a world of deep sadness and silence. I coped with the pain of the bullying in school by imagining awful things happening to me, like being hit by a car and going into a coma. I even imagined my own death. I day-dreamed of any way possible I could avoid school and the constant taunting, but the teasing didn’t just happen in school.

I was harassed on the bus and even while playing in my own yard. One day a group of kids threw rocks at me while I was playing. They called me dummy, stupid, and retard while the stones flew through the air hitting me. My mom had to chase them away. I didn’t feel safe even at home. I even became sensitive to my younger brother’s, brotherly teasing. One little comment and I burst into a violent fit. I hit my brother, screamed, and threw things. It didn’t take much to send me into an angry fit. After I calmed down, I fell to my knees cried and pulled my hair.


By the time I graduated from high school, I was slipping down into the darkest hole of depression. I struggled with mental illness throughout college. I began cutting and attempting suicide. In college I was diagnosed with major depression and had to take a year off.

The mental illness continued into my adult years. After a bad relationship, I was told I had depression, anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder (BPD). There was a history of mental illness in my family, but according to everything I read, BPD usually happen when a child suffered from some form of abuse. The only problem with that theory was I had very loving parents who would have never laid a hand on me. They were always supportive, loving, and encouraging. So what abuse could have triggered BPD? When I told my therapist about what I faced in school, she concluded my borderline was brought on by the bullying.


It was believed that my mental illness was a combination of genetics and the abuse I faced by my classmates and teachers. It took me several years to undo what they did to me. They tore away my self-confidence and self-esteem. I had to rebuild it. The bullying from my childhood led to bad relationships in my adult years and struggles with my inner anguish. I struggled for years to learn to love myself and to realize I deserved to be treated well by others.

“Childhood Bullying Can Have Lasting Effects on Mental Health,” an article by Cari Nierenberg, states, “Bullying can have a lasting effect on a person’s mental health: A new study finds that children who were bullied frequently when they were 8 years old were more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder that needed treatment as an adult, compared with kids who were not bullied.” You can find this article on Live science at https://www.livescience.com/53034-childhood-bullying-lasting-mental-health-effects.html.


Bullying is a form of abuse. It can lead to mental illness and suicide. It’s up to us to bring awareness to bullying and to push schools to enact stronger anti-bullying rules. We can save children from years of mental turmoil. If a child is being bullied, it’s important to get her or him help before he or she falls into the dark hole of mental illness or before he or she takes his or her life. Bullying is not a joke. It is a very real problem. Let’s save our children from struggling with the wounds bullying causes, not only in their childhood, but also into their adulthood.

I struggled for years to overcome the damage bullying did to me, but I am now in recovery from mental illness. I work with the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Taskforce to bring awareness to bullying. If I can help just one child avoid years of struggling like I did, I am making a difference. Let’s make a difference together so children and adults can stand in the light of recovery from mental illness brought on by bullying.


I overcame the damages caused by bullying I am standing in the light of recovery telling my story and speaking up for those who can’t.