CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Editor's note: Because of the sensitive nature of this story, the author's name has been withheld.
Bullying is a painful thing to see happen, but it's even worse to go through. In today's world, bullying isn't just physical; it's emotional and also can be done over the Internet. That's called cyberbullying, and it happens every day.
We live in a day and age when you can do and say anything online anonymously. With just a few keystrokes, you can destroy someone's life. You can say anything to anyone and pretend to be someone you're not. People have been broken down and depressed by the things others say to them over the Internet.
I have personally experienced bullying, both online and in person. The amount of pain and pressure it causes is unthinkable.
If, like me, you have no one to turn to, the pain increases and becomes impossible to even explain. People often think of the bullied as the nerdy kids who never talk, but they're not the only ones; girls who walk around smiling every day can be picked on and harassed, too.
I wasn't just bullied once or twice. It has been going on my whole life.
When I was younger, I was shunned and not allowed to play with other kids because of my skin color. When I got to elementary school, it was because of how I looked and dressed. I got called names and even threatened.
In middle school, drama didn't arrive until eighth grade. That's when everyone had some type of ridiculous problem and dragged me into it. My year was ruined because so many people I cherished as friends began to turn away.
When I got to high school, I thought everything would even out and everyone would drop the drama. Instead, more drama just came my way. The first thing that happened was my friends told me a girl I'd never had a real conversation with now hated me.
I got even more confused and quieter than I already was. I figured no one cared about my drama, so it was better to conceal it.
Then, other people began to hate me for no apparent reason. Things got even worse.
One morning in mid-February, a girl with whom I already didn't see eye-to-eye confronted me. I didn't let my guard down. She saw this as me trying to start something with her.
Later that afternoon came one of the most regrettable things ever to happen to me: she hit me, and I fought back.
We began a fistfight in the middle of the hallway. Hundreds of eyes watched us in utter shock. I wasn't the type of girl that would ever fight, but now, I was in the middle of one trying to stand my ground.
I was suspended for that -- the first disciplinary action on my record since I began school.