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Bullying can shape a life, cause emotional scars

The other day I was sitting in school and my teacher handed out a magazine with an article written by Taylor Swift. It was about being bullied.

According to her, she was bullied pretty bad in high school, and her tool to get over that was writing songs.

Also, the article states that one in every three kids has been bullied at one point in time or another.

In middle school, I guess I was one of those kids. It all kind of started when I was in sixth grade. I've always been chubby, especially back then, and it started with one kid who decided to call me out on it in health class. I remember the subject was on healthy dieting, and he blurted out in front of the whole class: "You should try this sometime, Jonah!" I remember the whole class laughing at me.

Things only got worse as I got older. In seventh grade, I didn't make the Peewee A hockey team. I was the only seventh-grader who was on the B squad. The rumor going around school was I was too fat to play at the A level. It got to the point where even my friends were making fun of me.

I remember having a crush on a girl, and asking my friend what he thought about me asking her out. He told me maybe if I was skinnier I'd have a chance, but otherwise it was a waste of time.

Eighth grade was the worst year of my life, though. I got really sick that year and missed like two weeks of school.

When I walked in the front doors for the first time back, I went up to one of my friends and said, 'what's up?'

He turned around and walked away, saying he didn't want to be seen with me. The rumor going around was that I went to a party, got drunk and got molested, and that's why I wasn't in school.

After hearing that rumor (which, looking at it now, was completely ridiculous) I never wanted to go back to school again. I don't know why, but everyone believed it.

I missed over 75 days of school that year, due to migraines and horrible anxiety. I would be so scared to go to school I'd have panic attacks, which in turn would lead to stress-related migraines.

I almost failed the eighth grade, because I got picked on so badly.

Ninth grade was the last year I had major problems. One of my friends threw a party that summer and decided it would be a good idea to take his mom's Subaru joyriding.

A different kid there came to my house later and shot a pool ball through a window in my basement.

My mom was upset, so she went to his mom's house and told her she wanted it replaced. His mom told my mom about that party (she overheard her son talking about it on the phone).

Everyone got in trouble for it, but that kid told everyone that I told my mom on them, and that she was the one who had told everyone's parents (which wasn't true).

After that, he had all my friends turned against me. I had no friends anymore, and the kids who used to be my friends became the worst bullies I ever had.

After getting made fun of for two months straight, I snapped and ended up fighting my old best friend. That was the first time I stood up for myself, and though I'm against violence, the bullying decreased and decreased until eventually it stopped completely.

I never restored that friendship, but besides the emotional scars, I recuperated.

Looking back, if I would have had one person stand up for me, or take my side, it would have made a huge difference. But I never had a single person on my side, not even my so-called 'friends.'

As I got older, people matured and it stopped completely. (I haven't been bullied since the beginning of ninth grade).

But I'm still an incredibly self-conscious person, and I can thank bullies for that.

I just want people who go through the same stuff I did to know it gets better, and to tell someone if it's happening to you. Don't resort to drastic measures because people wise up as they get older, and the kids who were "popular" in the eighth grade are the kids everyone hates in 12th grade.

Personalities are one thing no one in the world will have in common, so love yourself for who you are. If someone had said that to me when I was younger, I might have turned out better.

Jonah Bowe is a junior in Detroit Lakes.