My name is Kate and I am 22 years old.
I started being bullied in middle school. The boys started getting taller and the girls were getting prettier, apart from me. I was considered overweight for thirteen. I didn’t have many friends, except food. Food was my comfort and the only thing I had control over in my life.
The kids at school could make fun of me, make animal noises at me in the halls and throw food in my hair, but they didn’t get to control what I ate. So I ate everything. It wasn’t just my weight that made me a target for bullying, it was my economic status as well. Our family was poor. My sister and I were raised by a single mother, and she did a phenomenal job. However, she couldn’t clothe us in the latest fashions and that caused issues at school for me.
Fast forward to high school, I was much thinner but still being bullied. I was called names almost every day, kids continue to whisper behind my back, spreading rumors that weren’t true and laughing at my clothes, shoes, and car. I have struggled with depression since I can remember and the constant years of bullying didn’t help matters.
I remember when I started contemplating suicide. I was fifteen. I just couldn’t handle the bullying anymore. I figured if I could just end it all, then I’d be happier. I wouldn’t have to see the mean girls at school anymore. Every day I would think of different ways I could take my life. I was always too scared to go through with any of it.
One day after school I was sitting on my bed sobbing. I had a terrible day at school, girls whispered mean things behind my back as I walked to class and gum was thrown in my hair at lunch. I was crying so hard because I didn’t know how I was going to survive three more years of high school like this. I had a pair of scissors in my hand. I was shaking because I knew the pain I was about to inflict on myself was not going to be pleasant.
I pressed the edge of the blade against my wrist and pressed down. I winced but kept going, until I heard a scream that I still hear to this day. I looked up and my ten-year-old sister was standing in my doorway pale as a ghost, with tears running down her face. I have never seen my sister so frightened.
I dropped the scissors and collapsed on the floor. Seeing how I hurt my sister made me realize that I needed to find help. I frantically searched the Internet. I needed something, anything at all to help me stop. I stumbled across Family & Children’s Services and COPES. It is free, confidential and available 24/7.
I had no idea what I was going to say to them or if it would even help. I called the COPES hotline and I heard a voice on the other end and they talked me through my crisis. I told them what had just happened to me and what my sister had just seen. They didn’t make me feel crazy or abnormal. They listened and calmed me down.
They provided me with information about Family & Children’s Services and how they could help me. I even got a follow-up call making sure I was doing alright. I ended up telling my mom everything. She enrolled me in counseling at Family and Children’s Services right away.
I attended sessions regularly and eventually had my sister attend so she and I could talk about what happened. I apologized for what she had seen and that I would never hurt myself again, six years later, we have mended our relationship. Because of COPES and Family and Children’s Services, I am alive, healthy and pursing my degree in Children’s Counseling.
Because of COPES and Family and Children’s Services, I am alive, healthy and pursuing my degree in children’s counseling.