When I was 13 years old, the cyber bullying began. At the time, Myspace was new and everyone was using it. I was already bullied in school and spent the majority of my middle school years in the counseling office being counseled and kept away from vicious bullies. When the cyber abuse began, I felt like my own home was a prison. I wasn’t safe anywhere.

People would post horrible things about me, mainly commenting my weight and how I was crazy. Girls would prank call my house and say awful things. It got so bad that the mother of my bully called me and called me names. The word “fat” still rings in my ears to this day. I lived in a constant state of fear. My mother fought for me and battled the school to get justice for me, especially when I began having thoughts of suicide and began to self-harm. I didn’t want to continue fighting, I was beginning to feel that I would never be able to go online or go to school in peace. Some days I wouldn’t go to school at all. After my suicide attempt, a lot changed for me.

My guidance counselor gave me a voice I didn’t think I had. She went to the principle and school board with my story. As she had been seeing me for almost two years in constant depression from the cyber abuse and had all the print-outs of what people had said, she felt it was her duty to help someone who had lost her way. Through her encouragement and faith in me, we waged a battle against the school and the people who tormented me. It was not only a victory for me, but for the other people I knew were going through it as well. Other girls and even boys began to come forward and say that they were dealing with the cyber abuse as well.

Today, I work closely with anti-bullying and suicide prevention organizations to tell my story. I want to help give people a voice like my guidance counselor helped me.

Never lose hope. A quote I live by “hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” - The Hunger Games.

You are not alone. There is help out there. I hope my story can help you to realize that you have a voice and it will be heard!

T. Calandrelle