Commentary: Inside the mind of a victim


Emily Waite

It can be difficult for students to focus on learning when they feel constantly bombarded by negative voices.

Piper Larsen, Reporter

Rumors. Gossip. Talking. Crying.

“They said ____ about you.”

*Who even is that person? They don’t know you. You don’t know them. Who told them that? Why would they be spreading that? You never did that.*

“Everyone thinks you did ____.” “You are the talk of the school.” 

*Nobody cares what you have to say about the situation because they said ____ first. You can’t defend yourself, because nobody believes you. Why did you go to school today? Everyone thinks badly of you.*

“Nobody cares.” “You seriously only got a 70%?”

*Why did you even try today? Go home. Nobody talks about you when you stay home. When you aren’t here nobody stares at you. When you don’t come to school nobody knows you. Why are you so dumb? You could be smart, but you suck at everything. Why are you even here? Why do you even try? Why did you even show up today?*

*You don’t mind school, but the people mind you. The people here don’t like you. So why are you here? Go home.*

People don’t understand the pain their words can bring upon other individuals. 

*Walking through the halls as a freshman, not knowing anyone, but everyone knowing you. The senior boy on Snapchat called you cute. Now there are rumors. You are being called a wh*re as you walk through the halls. You are being called a sl*t on social media.*

“They said you did ____ with this person.” “I heard that they did ____ two weeks ago.”

*You can’t confirm that the rumors aren’t true, because everyone believes that one girl, that one girl who doesn’t even know you. This rumor defines you.*

Walking. Hiding. Talking. Crying.

“Wow you put on weight.” “They are fat now.” “Not to be mean, but they got huge.”

*Look at you. Those people are talking about your weight. Why didn’t you eat healthier over the summer? Why didn’t you at least go for a run, or go to the gym? Why’d you spend your time relaxing and being happy? Now you aren’t happy. You would be happy if you just got up. Look at you. You are fat.*

Walking through the halls now being called a variety of words for being “overweight”. What even is “overweight”. 

*You thought your body was fine. You thought your body was your business, not theirs. You thought it was normal to get bigger as you grew. As that is the definition of growing.*

“Why do you dress like that?” “They’re just looking for attention.” “Do you want to get raped?”

*You want them to believe you are okay. You want them to think you are confident. You don’t like being vulnerable. You pretend. You don’t believe yourself, so why would they believe you? Your body now defines you. You wore what you wore because you liked it. Nobody else likes it. Why would you dress like this?*  You stopped dressing that way.

Struggling, eating, talking, crying.

“She lost so much weight it’s insane.” “She’s anorexic for sure.” 

*You stopped eating. You can’t physically eat. The food doesn’t stay down anymore. Do you have a problem? No. You like the way your body looks when you don’t eat. You’re starving yourself. You give your food to the dog next door. At least you aren’t fat anymore.*

“Did you even eat today?” “Maybe you should try eating?” “She’s so thin, literally anorexic.”

*You are eating. You’ve been trying so hard to gain weight. You hate when people think you’re anorexic. You hate when people point it out. Everyone always talks about your weight.*

“I could literally throw her.” “Why do you care, I wish I was that thin.”

*Everyone talks about you. Everyone criticizes you. You wear sweats now. You stopped going to school. You pretend. Your body defines you.*

Faking. Trying. Talking. Crying.

“Ew have you seen their acne?” “Why is there so much sh*t on your face?” “Do you even wash your face?” 

*You try to make it go away. You spent $300 on facial care supplies this week.You wash your face every morning. You wash your face every night. Why did this happen to you? Why are you so gross? You need to fix it. But you can’t because now, people know you only for your acne. Your acne defines you. You don’t like when people notice your “flaws”.*

“They’re wearing so much makeup, it’s disgusting.” “Dang she really cakes that sh*t on.” 

*You started covering it up. Nobody likes a person with acne. Acne is disgusting. You thought this was what you were supposed to do. They don’t like seeing your acne. They don’t like seeing your makeup. No. They just don’t like seeing you. You spent $560 on makeup this month. And they don’t like it. You pretend.*

“Nobody cares about you.”

*You look in the mirror. You feel horrible. You hate yourself. Everyone else hates you too. Why are you even alive?*

Changing. Hating. Talking. Crying. 

“Remember when he was a she?” “Why would you even do that?” “Do you still have a pen*s?” 

*You felt off. You felt different. You feel great now. You feel better about yourself. Why are they criticizing you? Your body is your body. You thought your body was your business, not theirs. Are you weird for changing? Is anyone even going to be friends with you? You stop going to school. Now you get harassed on social media.*

“I thought you were straight.” “Don’t fall in love with me.” “Nobody wants to be friends with a fag.”

*You would never. You don’t “fall in love” with ignorant people. You thought you were friends. Your sexuality came out. Now you are “weird”. You feel different. You feel alone. You don’t have any friends. You thought people would be accepting. You didn’t think they would care. You can’t tell anyone else. This secret only you can know. You pretend.*

Why do you feel broken? 

Every comment shared about your appearance, your sexuality, your ethnicity, your personal life, your weight, your political vision, your opinions, your gender, your habits, your belongings, your entire self…all broke you.

You are broken.

Social media plays the biggest role in this constant degrading use of speech. Bullying is insanely horrifying. Nobody understands the pain that bullying has brought to this world, until they become victims themselves. 

Some would say, “you are your biggest critic”. Which proves itself to be very true, however, the reasoning behind that quote is false. You wouldn’t be capable of criticizing yourself without someone else pointing out something that is “wrong” with you. When you were just a child, you didn’t look in the mirror and hate what you saw, you just saw you. After a couple comments on your appearance you realized that you have “flaws”.

Walking through the halls of high school without a care has now become a privilege. Students stopped showing up to school, not only because of other students bullying, but also from teachers commenting on any of these topics. Some students get physically sick from the thought of going to school, due to the amount of anxiety that comes with it.

If you walk confidently through the halls, you are most likely pretending. Every single student has become more aware of criticism than ever before. Not only in-person mental abuse, but mostly on social media. 

“You can just stay off of social media”. 

This is what teachers, parents and staff tell students who are victims of harassment. However, it is much harder than they presume it to be. Regardless of your social media time status, people still comment, abuse, degrade and harass. Even telling an adult, most oftenly, makes the situation harder or some even worse.

We can gain more freedom with ourselves and the world, if we just try to hold back on commenting, sharing, gossiping and lying. When we were younger we were taught to “always use kind words” and if it wasn’t obvious enough, we as a society have lost that knowledge. We can bring it back again by working not only together, but also individually on ourselves. If you catch yourself saying something degrading but correct yourself, you are one step away from accomplishing something that could change the world.

Bullying can cause a large variety of mental disorders, such as, severe social or regular anxiety, body dysmorphia, depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and any type of personality disorder. Being bullied is life threatening. If you do find yourself suffering severely from any sort of mental health problem, don’t be afraid to contact a professional. You are not the only one, I promise.