Growing up I was very much a loner. My mother and I moved around so much, I could never maintain a friendship and stopped seeing the point in trying. I was always teased, bullied, considered the weird kid. I was quiet, shy or the nice girl. I would give something away that I really wanted just to make friends. Later I regretted it. When we played dodgeball, I was always the main target that no one could get out of the game. When we played kickball, I kicked it out the furthest. Other kids liked my artwork, said I was nice but they never talked to me.

Middle school was when the bullying got really bad. My first day of 6th Grade, I was threatened by an older girl, saying she was going to beat my a**. Girls made fun of my lipstick being green, orange, brown or pink, the way I dressed, my hair, my weight, everything. So, I decided to try and fit in. I became the bad girl and a bully to one person, which lasted a day because I felt terrible. I was suspended from school for tagging and calling a teacher a b**tch. Later, I was suspended for taking alcohol to school. However, no matter what I did, I never “fit in.”

The first two years of high school have a lot of bad memories for me. Hello depression! The teasing and bullying were nauseating at times. Eggs broken over my head or in my bag. My weight was a joke daily when going into English class. I never ever looked up or straight ahead…ever! Freshman year was the year I decided to take a bunch of pills and Tylenol while staying at my Granny’s house, hoping that I would just go to sleep and never wake up. I did. So glad now that my Granny didn’t have to deal with that situation. This was when my emotional eating started.

Sophomore year was me bouncing around from clique to clique, trying to see where I belonged. This led me to a group of friends that had many personalities. One friend was super controlling over me and tossed me to the side when I wouldn’t participate with her and an adult man. Two other girls used to brag about how they would steal things and how they did it, so I started to steal. That led me to being arrested at 15, walking through the Mall in handcuffs while others mocked me to their friends. Those friends at the mall who I also stole for, denied knowing anything about what I was doing. Later on, they complained about how their 16th birthday party was cancelled because of me. This was also the year I lost my virginity and that guy’s cousin trapped me into a dark corner, forcing me to do a sexual favor to be able to leave.

There was so much going on. I wish my mother would have noticed anything. She did find and read my journal but I made up situations to make myself feel better about what I did or what happened. I still have that journal. All I will say is that there was a lot of yelling, name calling and me getting hit. This was when I moved in with my Grandparents. My junior year, I started with no credits to graduate. I didn’t care about school because I felt like no one cared about me. This is the year, I got saved and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and savior. I pretty much turned my whole life around living with my Grandparents. By my senior year, I was graduating with extra credits, was in varsity swimming, choir, on a bowling league and more. I was good and I had legit friends!

Adulthood is for another time…

– Amanda Matteson