I'm sitting here writing this to you to proclaim that I am a survivor of bullying and harassment.

I can very easily say junior high school were the worst two years of my life.Every day, I endured horrible name-calling, taunting, pushing and physical threats.

I remember being so scared walking down the halls in between classes that I would huddle up against the wall, clutching my bookbag.I would often go home sick.

God bless the school administration. They tried so hard to contain the harassment, but it was a very big school. There was only so much they could do.

As you can imagine, all of it royally messed me up not only physically but emotionally and mentally.Low self-esteem, fear, anxiety and insecurities became my constant companions.

My parents and I moved to a small town during my first semester of ninth grade. High school was a completely different atmosphere, and I was very grateful for the changes

Most of the students didn't care if I was in special education. They accepted me and moved on.

I was so scarred by all the trauma I endured in junior high that I pretty much kept to myself. I didn't snub anyone. I was friendly but I was very cautious.

That's not to say I didn't endure any harassment.

I had a male classmate of mine who frequently asked me out on dates for almost a year. We met during English class second semester of my sophomore year. I honestly thought it was just a crush and that it would pass once the new school year began.

It didn't. We had two classes together that year and it continued.I tried making him understand I wasn't interested but to no avail.

To tell you the truth... he was a popular guy and he knew it. He would be charming. He would be friendly. I don't think he was used to hearing the word "No," so I provided him with quite the challenge.

All that attention didn't help me any as far as finding relief for my issues were concerned.

I began reading all kinds of self-help books when I was fifteen, trying to find a cure.

I wanted to be free from all that I had been feeling. I would have done anything! I started to watch all the popular kids and wished I could have a piece of what they had.

I even began to think that if I dated a popular guy that would solve all my problems.

So, I asked one out. It was a complete disaster! The whole thing made everything worse…actually so much worse!

Being a small-town school, everyone knew what I did. Most of the students quickly moved on but for the boy and his friends... they made a big joke out of me.

To make a very long story short... I was completely humiliated!All my fears, anxieties and insecurities doubled.

It affected me in all areas of my life for an embarrassing amount of years.I just could not understand why it had to happen to me!

What made them think that I would be too stupid to not say anything?

I went down the whole “Oh, woe is me” route from my teenage years until I was well into my adult years.As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that I have been giving these individuals way too much power.

I have to pick myself up and keep pressing forward to the life I was made to live.

I am a survivor, not a victim, and I intend to keep living this way!