Recently, there was a 10-year-old girl who committed suicide by hanging.
While it wasn’t explicitly stated what caused her to take her own life, it’s truly devastating for a child to have those kinds of thoughts.
I know how that feels — because I have been in her shoes before.
I was only 9 when I first manifested suicidal tendencies.
I did not attempt it, thankfully — but the one thing that started it all was when I wrote “I want to die” in my personal diary.
Growing up, I have always been quiet and introverted — in fact, it was not uncommon for my teachers to tell my parents “she’s very quiet” during parent-teacher meetings.
My introverted nature was pretty much like a huge “kick me” sign on my back.
I was an easy target for bullies back in school, because they knew that I didn’t have the guts to fend for myself.
The First Encounter.
My first encounter with a bully was when I was five.
My memory is hazy, but I remember this girl who would constantly pull my hairband off from my ponytail and then refuse to give it back to me.
This went on for two whole years, all the way until I completed preschool.
As much as I hated her, I refused to let it get in the way of my life. I just put up with it, hoping that it will eventually go away.
After that, for a moment everything went incredibly well for me.
I became quite popular in school. For the first time ever, I started coming out of my shell and I befriended most of my classmates. I was also doing extremely well in my studies.
I excelled in everything, particularly English, in which I received 100 marks for three consecutive exams. I was practically like the golden child among my siblings due to my good grades back then.
I thought maybe I could finally stop living in fear and start enjoying a childhood filled with nothing but wonderful memories… but I was wrong.
When She Came Back Into My Life.
What I didn’t know was that this girl would eventually reappear in my life again and return me to the worst childhood I could ever ask for.
In third grade, I was forced to transfer to another school closer to my house.
And out of everyone in the world, I ended up being in the same class with that bully again.
The only thing that came to my mind when I saw her name in the class list was: “Am I living under a curse?”
From that moment on, I knew that school was going to be awfully bad for me.
Having to restart all over again in a new, foreign environment was stressful. This is where it all started going downhill again.
I reverted back into my old introverted self and I wasn’t opening up to my other classmates at all. I couldn’t accept the fact that I have to leave my friends behind and start anew.
Plus, it didn’t help to know that I might be spending the next 3 years of my life in the same class with the girl I hated and feared at the same time.
I was hoping so bad that she won’t remember me… but she did.
My Worst Nightmare
It’s probably a self-esteem issue, or she’s just destined to be the devil’s child — but she took things up a notch and made everyone’s life, mostly mine, a living hell.
One of the most outrageous things she did to me and some of my classmates was when she borrowed our Math activity books and then kept them for weeks, so we’ll all get into trouble and get scolded by our scary Math teacher.
On another occasion, she threw my new pencil box onto the floor and stomped on it as though it was a piece of trash. I can still recall that cunning smirk on her face as she did that.
She did quite a few other things to me, and she made me feel completely out of place in school.
No one believed me when I told them how she was treating me. In fact, most of my friends were still friends with her despite everything.
I spent the rest of my childhood thinking something was wrong with me, and I thought I deserved all those things that she did to me.
She was the sole reason why I had to spend my childhood living in fear and pain.
I felt utterly defenceless throughout and for a while, I actually wanted to die because of her.
Why Do Child Suicides Happen?
I know that some of the things I mentioned may not seem like a big issue.
If you ask me right now about that part where she kept pulling my hair band off, I’ll most probably just laugh it off and say “yeah, that was really immature,” jokingly.
But that’s the thing: What I think is funny right now, was not funny to me back then.
Children don’t often get that support that they need because adults don’t treat them or their concerns seriously.
The reason their voices are not being heard is because their issues are not considered to be as important as adult issues, and that is something that we have to change.
To the bullies, they probably see their words or actions as another one of their usual shenanigans and it’s something that they can forget about in the blink of an eye — but these cruel memories can stick in the victim’s mind like a stubborn stain.
These are the scars that someone has to see for the rest of their lives just for the sake of another person’s short-lived enjoyment.
[Image via @_manasidalvi]
The Permanent Damage.
Even after all these years, I can still feel the humiliation and anger from these unpleasant events.
It may not be noticeable, but these memories still affect me in many ways even as I’m approaching adulthood.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I grew up with major anxiety and trust issues.
That is why it is very important to educate children on why bullying is wrong, and how they can defend themselves in these situations — or else they’ll end up with a completely unnecessary emotional baggage later in life.
They may be young and innocent, but in the end they are still humans and they have feelings too. It won’t take up much time to listen to what they have to say and help them out if they need it.
For more stories like this, read: I Reached Out To My Bully After 10 years – Here’s What I Found Out and Standing up for Myself.