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The 4th grade me. Still a little girl. Shy. Goofy. Awkward. Afraid to stand up for myself. When I was in 4th grade I met a new girl. A girl that moved just down the street from me. Naturally my mom wanted to help me make friends. Her quiet kid. Help me make some more friends in this neighborhood (we were in a new school district). So, she introduced us. She, of course, had no idea how terrible and abusive this girl could and would be.

In the beginning of our friendship it was fun. She was nice. She was new and still on her best behavior. Time goes by and she starts to get mean. I can remember the first instance: We spent the night at her older sister’s place. I didn’t want to play a game, so she started hitting me over and over again with a pillow. Not playing. No. Me hiding in a corner crying because she was hitting me so hard while I was yelling, “Stop!” Eventually she did when her sister came in the room.

But, for some reason… I stayed friends with her. My older self knows this is because I was shy… and, didn’t really have any friends at this school.

Time goes on and on. I’m in 6th grade and I’m still friends with this girl. I start to make new friends. Branch out. She gets jealous. She’s controlling. She calls me on the phone and asks: ‘if she got lost in the woods and my new friends wanted to play would I go look for her?’ This made me mad so I said, “Why are you in the woods? I’d get a teacher to find you.” Her mom was on the line and begins to tell her daughter’s 11-year-old friend how terrible that I would leave my best friend to die in the woods…. I guess the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

We are now in 7th grade. I make a couple of new friends (that I’m proud to say I’m still friends with today. I love them) and she makes a couple new friends. She still gets mad when I try and hang out with my new friends… so, she makes up a lie and tells her newest friends that I think they’re sluts. I’m at my locker. A shy, small, never get’s into any trouble girl…. and, the “wild” girl of 7 grade comes up behind me, spins me around, and slams me against a locker. Yells at me for calling her names. Makes fun of me for not even wearing a training bra in front of MANY kids. And, leaves laughing. I cry.

We get older. 8th grade and 9th grade. Our bodies develop. She gets boobs. I don’t. She tells me that it must be so hard to not have any boobs. Boys won’t like me. She’s bigger than I am. She’s not fat. She’s just bigger. I’m a super tiny girl. Always have been.Β We are in our swim suits and she tells me that I may be fatter than her because she sees a roll on my belly. She was always so sad for me that my teeth were so crooked and she had naturally straight teeth.

I’m 16. I’ve kept those friends I met in 7th grade. And, I’m making new friends. I’m realizing I don’t need to be friends with this girl anymore. I never needed to be friends with her. She just made me think I did. The last day I spoke to her: I sat down with a couple of friends at lunch this day. Didn’t respond to my bully’s waving me over to her table. That night I see her. She curses me out for ignoring her and calls me some lovely names. I tell her where to put things and say I’m done. No more. I should have been done years ago. We are no longer “friends”. And, that’s it. We’re done.

I make so many more friends. I meet people that I’m still so happy to call friends today. I still think I wasted many of my years with this girl. It’s like she took me over and I had no control over anything. I felt stupid. And, who would want to be friends with me anyway? Right? The torture she put me through goes beyond what I wrote. I still feel the scars in me. I’m still hurt and angry at her. I feel sorry for the children she will raise. Will they be bullies too?

Being young is hard enough. I didn’t need any help feeling more insecure about myself. I don’t thank her for anything. I could say she helped shape me to be the person I am today…. but, those feelings and the sadness I felt when I was so young…. were terrible. The best thing I ever did in my young years for myself: was to tell her “No more.”

Sadly, many kiddos don’t have a chance or can’t say ‘no more’. Β Their bullies won’t stop. I have a 2-year-old girl that I want to protect and keep safe. The best I know how to do this is to share my stories with her. To share how it felt to be bullied.

Have you heard about this movie? I’m planning on seeing this documentary, BULLY. I have a feeling it will be a film that I think should be shared in all schools.

– Chelsey


Clever Girls Collective. Find showings in your area for The Bully Project and buy tickets here.

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Categories: about me


  • Katie D. on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Girls can be so incredibly cruel to each other, and I can recall many nights in middle school crying over my “friends” and how mean they could be to me and each other. I wouldn’t say I was bullied, but I did have to wade through the waters of some not-so-nice stuff. I think about this a LOT as the mom of two girls (2 and 4 years old).

    When I look back and think about the girls who were the worst, I realize that they had really had a self-confidence issue. I want my girls to have enough confidence to never treat anyone else badly to make themselves feel better and to never let other girls make them feel less than. If this is the ONLY great thing I accomplish as a mom, I will be completely satisfied.

  • bonrush on said:

    I'm so happy you shared this. I didn't realize I was bullied until I graduated High School. It's crazy the power that some people can have over us! I know these things make us who we are today, but I don't want my 3 kiddos to go through what you or I went through. Well, I think you're awesome and I'm sure happy you made it through to now help sooo many people with your words πŸ™‚

  • Heather on said:

    I had not heard about this documentary but I definitely think it should be shown in all schools, it starts SO young these days. It's a shame. I dealt with my fair share of meanies throughout middle and high school. I was shy and a bit overweight, and I had a best girl friend that was equallly as awkward as me, so we were dubbed lesbians since we were always together. Ridiculous. I dont wish bullying on anyone! Thanks for sharing your story with us, Chelsey <3

  • Lenyer on said:

    I am so glad that you got away from that girl! I am a teenager and have been home schooled my entire life. But even so, I was bullied. My brother has always been bullied. It has never been anything major, but even the mean name calling affects how you view yourself. We now have a friend who has a few disorders, nothing major. He was on a ton of prescriptions. He is behind in school by a few grades and has always been majorly bullied. His first week in high school was so bad that he almost committed suicide. Thankfully, he went and told his parents about his suicidal thoughts. He has been taken off of his medicine and is now home schooled and has, for the first time, friends. Kids can be so mean! Very mean, especially the ones who are “popular”. I really feel for all the kids that are bullied. I hope that this movie gets played at schools. It is a message that has to get out. Thanks for writing!


    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yes, any sort of bullying is terrible. I'm glad your friend told someone about his suicidal thoughts. And, I hope you get to see the movie too.

  • Autumn on said:

    Thank you Chelsey for sharing your story. I have similar ones of my own (we probably all have some emotional scars from bullying).

    Just wanted to let you know how much your blog means to me… It’s especially helpful and uplifting to read when I’m breastfeeding my lil man at 2am! And it’s like I have a friend to talk to when I’m all alone for 10 hrs every day while hubby’s working.

    To me, you aren’t a tiny little girl! You are a woman and mommy I admire and look up to very much (and I haven’t even met you)! πŸ™‚ I hope one day to find the time to finish my own blog… And that I can share my thoughts and experiences as eloquently as you do!

    Thank you again. Take care!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thank you so much for the kind comment. Those late night feelings can be so lonely. πŸ™‚

  • Lovisa on said:

    Tank you for posting this. It's just so important to let people know that bullying has many different faces. I am so tankful that you named all those feelings so many of us have experienced. Blog posts such as these does so much for world peace, so once again, thank you!

  • Moorea on said:

    I feel you my friend. I was bullied by a "friend" in middle school and jr high. And then I was bullied my freshman year of college.
    this was a great thing to post about for you and for people in the blogging community, and that movie trailer made me cry. my little sister has been suicidal from bulling as a teenager and I can't even stress how important it is to me that people and schools start to recognize how dangerous bullying truly is.
    xo Moorea

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I'm afraid there are many kids with those sort of "friends". Even adults with those friends. They tear you down. <3

  • cat/@dearbadkitty on said:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your story. It definitely brings up memories. I'm so glad we have a discussion forum for kids now. Bullying has got to stop.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Me too. So weird wandering back to those memories. πŸ™‚ It really does have to stop.

  • Eulie Cienfuegos on said:

    I worked as an educator for 40 years and witnessed far too much bullying in the classroom. I've been trying to come up with ways for parents and teachers to help solve this problem that just seems to be getting worse. I think it's fantastic that it's such a big topic of conversation these days though. 20 years ago, bullying was something that people just didn't talk about and kids had to suffer in even more silence than they do now. Thanks to people speaking out like you and films like 'Bully', bullying is finally something that is being addressed, and will hopefully be less of a problem for children in the future.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I'm so glad that people are talking about it more. Bullying is just torture.

  • lisa on said:

    omg that video just brought tears to my eyes…. although we have a long way to go, i am beyond scared for my son to enter middle school & high school…. thank you for sharing – i am definitely going to watch the full documentary too!!
    ps – you were such a cute lil kid! i love your glasses B)

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thanks for reading! And, my glasses… they were fancy. πŸ˜‰

  • Meghan on said:

    First of all, I should not have read this or watched the trailer at work. Trying not to cry for sweet young Chelsey : ( And that trailerjust kills me; so damn sad. Secondly- thanks for posting this. I'd heard about it, mostly because of the controversy over the MPAA rating. But I kept forgetting to check out the trailer and get more information. I was lucky enough not to be bullied TOO terribly as a youngster, but I got a fair share of it, mostly in Jr High because I was new and "weird". (My favorite was when a girl tried to hit/punch me while I had my back turned to her but I, not knowing she was there, happened to move. She hit the locker instead.)

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Oh yes. I should put a warning on this post… 'do not view/read in public. you may cry" Hee. I totally cried watching the clip.

  • Elena on said:

    Chelsey I feel for you! I was bullied very badly myself. I will always have scars. I have such a negative attitude towards school because of it. I absolutely fear it. I have a 20 month old and I pray every day that she doesn't have to endure some of the behaviors, name calling, torture that I had to. She will not endure it; I will be sure of it. And I don't want her to share my attitude toward school obviously. I want her to love school and love learning! I'll have to check out the clip later when The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse isn't playing the background ;o)

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I have those negative feelings towards school to. I am trying not to pass those feelings on to R. So far she loves learning new things… but, she's only 2. πŸ™‚

  • ana {bluebirdkisses} on said:

    thank you for sharing Chelsey. Bullying is horrible and destructive. I was bullied horribly when I was younger. I won't really get into details but one of the episodes ended in me getting stabbed in the back at the local library with a wooden pencil. Kids can be horrible and its the #1 thing that worries me for my son. Its not drugs, not smoking, although those are close second and third concerns. its the bullying…because it leaves lasting life long scars just like what you mentioned.

  • jen on said:

    wow, thanks for sharing your story! i feel like so many girls go through something so similar and now that i'm a teacher i see it happen from time to time. of course it's not acceptable! i agree, that documentary should be shown in schools. bullying is a really big issue and i feel like it's worse today then when we were young.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      No teacher ever knew about the bullying I went through. This is why I think the movie should be shared in schools. Hoping that the kids that see it…. hopefully know they are not alone… OR, if they bully…. they realize the damage they do.

  • Sarah on said:

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this and using your experience to promote this movie and this message. I’m sure dredging up these memories is hard but the 14 year old knobby kneed, freckled, brace faced me thanks you.

  • Sadie on said:

    Chelsey, thank you so much for writing this. I was bullied A LOT in school! I saw the preview for this film a few days back and I was so excited to see it. The only way to fight this is to raise awareness! I am terrified to send my son to school one day.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I am too. But, I'll just have to keep communicating with my girl and hope that we can always talk about anything.

  • Carolina on said:

    I HATE bullying. I am so sorry you had to go through that.
    It makes me so mad! It's not fair.
    I am so scared for my children.
    My oldest is in kindergarten and I recently went on a field trip with the class and I could already see the bullying of the kids.
    They were picking on a little boy. It made me mad so I stood up for him and told the other little brats (I didn't call them that, but thats what they were) to stop because they were not being nice.
    Luckily my son is NOT one of the bullies. He befriended the other little boy.
    Judah came home one day and said another little boy made fun of him. I had put a shirt that was slightly big on him to wear to school. Judah came home and told me that another little boy was saying he was wearing a dress and other thing.
    Then my son for a while would keep saying he was sick and didn't want to go to school.
    I fear for my son. I don't know how to protect him. πŸ™

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      That's hard. I think communication and stressing that your son can tell you anything is important. I never thought to tell my mom about what my friend was doing. She knew she wasn't very nice, but she didn't think it was a big deal. I later told my mom more… when I was 18. πŸ™‚

  • Leigh Ann on said:

    I'm so sorry you were bullied. I homeschool my kids and this is one of the reasons why. Nevertheless my kids were bullied at the park by a bigger girl last year. I was able to watch the whole situation. We prayed for the girl and talked to her but she never said a kind word. Finally I brought it up to her mom who was clueless and she yelled at me. I should have known better than to talk to her about it but I didn't want to just slink away in silence. At least my kids didn't have to suffer long.

  • lifewithkaishon on said:

    I am so glad you were able to get away from her influence! I can't wait for this movie to come out. Kaish is going through some hard things this year in regards to bullying. Very sad. And very hard for kids to understand why their own friends are being mean sometimes. Of course when they are older they will look back and understand what was happening. It is just so hard in the midst of it.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Oh, that makes me so sad that Kaishon is going through some bully stuff. I think it's so important for our kids to know that Junior High and High School are just a tiny part of our lives… it gets so much better. There are still bullies… but, not like when you're a kid.

  • Summer on said:

    I saw clips of that documentary on the news last night and just those few short segments left me in tears. How horrible to have to live your life being tortured every day single day. I'm glad you learned to stand up for yourself and make friends who cared about you.

    I'm a high school teacher and I worry about my kids and the way they treat one another all the time. I dread seeing this movie because I know it's going to be torturous to watch, but it's also necessary. I hope to give me students a chance to see it in the future as well after I've viewed it for myself first.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I really hope kids in school will be allowed to watch it. I've heard there are 2 f-words dropped in the movie which got it a R rating.

  • And along came Lyla on said:

    Extremely moving. And inspriational. Thank you.

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