When I was younger, I knew that someday I'd be able to survive the self-swallowing black hole I'd been diving into. However, as the days moved forward, and I'd sunk deeper into the unknown waters, all I wanted to do was to get even, even if it cost me myself. That's when I knew I needed help, someone to talk to, but could I find one person that would really listen?

I'm nine years old, and it's break time at school. So, I reach into my lunch bag to grab my sandwich, but all I attain is absolute nothingness. This isn't the first time this happens; in fact, I haven't eaten my school lunch for about four months now. It never bothered me much before, but right now I'm really hungry, and I have nothing else to consume. I know they took it; I know it. And when I look up and meet the eyes that never frighten me, even though the hands of these eyes' owners still do, I know I was right. They stare back at me as they gorge my food. Like they've won. I've always wondered why would anyone be mean to the people whom have never hurt them? I have not ever really understood. They can't know how much I need the food, right now. I'm sure if they did know, they wouldn't have taken it. That I'm diabetic. That I'm low. That I'm sweating so much, the fabric of my uniform is sticking to my body. That I'm nervous. Afraid. That my vision is getting blurry. That being nervous drops my sugar level even more. I'm sure that if they have known that I'm going to pass out any minute now, they would've stopped. Right? I turn around to look at someone else, someone who doesn't know what I don't have. Even so, I see my classmates staring at me, and suddenly, the tears pool into my eyes; I squeeze my fists shut on the fabric of the uniform they have ruined by kicking me earlier, nervous that I'd start crying. I hate crying. But then one, just one, tear slips away, and it erupts the laughter in class. And now they're calling me a crybaby, even though I don't usually cry. Nevertheless, it's hard to control my emotions when I get a hypoglycemia, every emotion is heightened with it. But, they don't know that. They can't know that.

I'm ten and I'm at the principal's office, because someone has reported me to the teacher for cheating on an exam. I was sitting beside a girl who picks on me daily, but I wasn't cheating off her paper. She, on the other hand, was cheating off mine. And I let her, because I'm an idiot.

The year after, I'm the new girl again. And I'm at the school hall, shoving my brand new books in my unused grey locker, trying to avoid the whispers, the stares, and the fingers pointing at the Jean skirt, I was really happy putting on this morning, coming from girls I thought I had the chance to be friends with. To share a brand-new start with, a blank page, wide and white enough for me to write a fresh story. The excitement I had this morning about getting the chance to be a new person, person people wouldn't hurt and mock, vanishes as I realize that I can't control this. I have no control over this. This will happen to me, because I'm not as good as everyone else is. And I realize that the worst thing about beginnings is that everything is possible, you aim to write your story, but someone else might even write it for you.

It's a few weeks after I just turned twelve when I have been locked for straight six hours inside the girl's restroom. It's dark, and it's wet, and it's really cold in here, but I know I'll get out. Usually, I get out of almost everything. I keep waiting; the further time I spend here, the longer I become incapable of breathing. The darkness of the room lurks in a corner, looking straight at me, mirroring me. And when I cocoon myself with my jacket, the shadow nerves itself to crawl at me, finally getting hold of my dimly lit angles. I should be out soon; that's what I tell myself, because my friends locked me inside. They said they would come back. And I wait, wait, and wait. But they never do.

I'm thirteen today and I'm still ignoring the calls I'm getting in the hallway. The mockery notes I have been emptying from my bag all day. The money. The food. According to the rumors, I am now poor. In need of cash and sustenance, because one of my "friends" started a rumor. And it's okay, because she didn't think anyone would believe her. Well... everyone did. But I forgive her, because that's what I do.

I'm thirteen again when my class is done with P.E, and we all go change. When I'm done washing up, I don't find the clean clothes I always bring inside my bag. And I spend the next hour in the restroom, locking myself by choice, sweat sticking to my skin, until someone finds me. And I ask them to call my parents, because I'm not feeling well. Even though I think I've stopped "feeling" a while ago.

I get my first panic attack today while I'm fourteen years of age, right in the middle of the exam. Right when I start smelling my burnt hair. Right when I notice that the girl behind me is holding a lighter, and I hear her whisper wanting to burn off the split ends for me, so I could have better, longer hair. I don't want her to touch my hair, but I don't say anything about it. I just squeeze my eyes shut and count a hundred, until it's over, until the tears gather beneath my lids. Until they dry and are no longer there. Until I start running out of time to work on my exam, knowing fully well that I'm going to get an F. This is the day I finally decide that I hate girls, and that I never want any as friends. And the minute I get home, I chop my hair off.

I'm fifteen currently, and I'm as restless and addlebrained as a whirling dervish, unstoppable and unleashed. Today, I forgot my book of first period and had to leave the class as a punishment. I also heard a rumor about someone who stole multiple phones at the break time. That's the thing about our school, you hear what's going to happen when it's a fresh thought. Suddenly, I feel uneasy, not only because of my phone that I left in my bag. But because of the smirks that I have been catching as they get thrown at me, from multiple girls of my class. They're so mean, the smiles, almost demonic. And they fuel me enough to give me the power to climb the stairs to my class, where my bag is in my chair, where I find it empty. My books are not even there; it's a void full of absolute nothingness. And the minute I tell the supervisor, she accuses me of lying to cover up the fact that I didn't bring anything to school today, which is why I have spent first period in the hallway. Later, I find out that my classmates told her so, and because they said it first, it's somehow more believable.

A year later, I get received threats of sending my private photos virally if I don't move school. How do I receive them? I find them in notes inside my locker attached to a photo of me with my cousins in a sleep over. Hurriedly, I call dad to come to the office, feeling fear gripping me from the lungs. And the minute he gets there, I tell him I want to move, but I don't convince him, because I never tell him the truth.

The same year, I'm sixteen. And one of my ex-friends exposes the most private parts of me; she reads my diary, loud and clear, in class, pretending to read the homework we'd been told to write. Only this time, I don't feel used; I feel like I've been fueled, and suddenly, this whole ordeal is becoming funny. This is why I'm laughing now, and why they're looking at me like I've lost a brain cell, or two.

Today, I'm seventeen when I don't remember who I am anymore as I bully my first victim; the one who spilled yellow paint on my once was a nice skirt on my first day at school. I'm seventeen minus-feelings when I bully back the one who stole my clothes. And when I blackmail the girl who stole my phone with pictures of her that I took myself, I'm seventeen minus a heart. I'm a bully minus oneself when I make all of whom poured gas in the fire of my destruction, and I smile, even though I'm a sobbing mess from the inside.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”– Harvey Fierstein

I don't want you to sympathize with me; I want you to listen. To do something. I am broken, yes. And no, that does not make me a decent person. I am good because I chose to be, after all the harm that had been inflected on me. A person who lets other people harm them without fighting back or saying something about it for the sake of being "good," could still be a bad person. Only, for themselves only.

We should, at no time, feel like we have to be the victim to not be the offender. If we are forced to face harm, then we should stand in the middle of crossfire, armed, never barehanded.

I am now considerably older. And I know what you're thinking, I've gone through a lot, even though I haven't told every story. That it's okay, what I've done, is just a reflection to what was done to me. That I survived. And I agree; I'm a survivor. Even so, I don't feel proud of that. Because surviving is something people do when the ground shakes beneath them. When they no longer have balance to stand straight, anymore. When chaos comes to life, swallowing every bit of order, so many people’s lives are wasted for. When everything starts falling apart, the segments rise and fall, collapsing into the thin air nobody is ever able to find. Surviving is the act of learning how to stand on a shaky ground without falling. It is embracing Chaos as the New Order. It is knowing the parts were disintegrating, and us, with it.

Holding on to the pieces, is survival. Even though the pieces eventually fall into complete ruin. Survival is what we have been endeavoring, if only we know how much surviving can suck the light out of us and realize that surviving is not winning. Sure, it is something. Surviving is not easy, but it's not everything. And I'm so sick of this, the whole process of romanticizing breakage. Because I believe that instead of glorifying the victims of bullying, we should be stopping the ones who victimize them.

I wish I'd talked to someone sooner, someone like the person I am today, someone who knows how to stop it. But the worst part about being bullied in my society, is half the population believes that it's just a movie thing, and the other half believe that it's the natural flow of things. That you need to be bullied so you could grow up much stronger and wiser. But is that really the case?

Because Today, I'm twenty three, and I still get panic attacks and suffer from severe anxiety that stands in my way every time I try to sidestep it. Because today I'm claustrophobic, I can't stand staying in small, closed, dark places for more than a few minutes without panicking so much that I can't even move my body, at times. Because today, I can't fully trust my friends, I'm insecure, and I still think that the people I love, the same ones who claim they love me, are out there trying to get me. To break me. Because today, whenever I get a hypo, I remember that feeling I've suffered from for years as I let people take what belonged to me. What I needed. Because right now, I never tell my most private things to anyone, because I can't trust anyone not to spill my secrets to the world. Because today, I can't love. I can't trust. I can't cry in front of anyone, sometimes not even alone. And I can't let myself feel afraid.

They have done this to me. But I have also done this to myself when I knew I needed help, but was too afraid to ask for it. However, I was a kid, and so were they. And we both needed guidance, and we never got it. This is not a punishment for those that have hurt me. Nor it is a good-bye message.

I'm not Hannah Baker, and this is not Thirteen Reasons Why.

I have not written this so I could remind those of the damage they cause, no. This is me trying to bring awareness to one of the most important issues so many societies suffer from. Because if I had gotten any chance of attaining help, this wouldn't have happened, all of it. If the schools' counselors in my country actually noticed what was happening or even cared, I would've had come forward. There are schools that don't even have a counselor, because "why kids would need emotional check? They're just kids."

Just kids sometimes want to end their pain. The apparent turmoil that happens right in front of everyone. But the only version of the end kids know, is to make away with oneself. Yes, suicide. I know I have thought about it, for more than I can count. But the only, only thing that stopped me is knowing that God would never forgive me. I fear God most. But some people were designed to fear other things more intensely, because they're fragile, and that's how they break.

Having said a lot, I have one more thing to add. I hope if you're being bullied, traumatized, or simply just picked on, that you find it in you to reach out to someone who can help you. And I hope that even before you contemplate that, you'd have someone by your side to make it easier.

If you're a parent, talk to your child. If you're a sister or a brother, check on your siblings. If you're a counselor, pay attention. You're needed more than you could ever imagine. I hope my story could give green light to what is happening in most teenagers' lives, because bullying is not just a movie thing. It's real, and it's breathing.

Take it from someone who learned it the hard way.