I've had to deal with some really horrible bullying and cyberbullying. But I've tried to fight the good fight and to do something about it on a bigger scale, especially because I kept meeting others who were struggling, too. With my mind and heart heavy due to my situation and that of others, I started to research cyberbullying. Ryan Halligan, Megan Meier, Jeffrey Johnston, and more and more names kept coming up. Reading their stories and the decisions they made to end their cyberbullying cut me deeply. I remembered an organization my mom had told me about called DoSomething.org. It's a place for kids and teens to do something to better the world. I decided to create Unbreakable, a project to help me heal as well as heal others who were bullied. I didn't have much of a plan at first—I just knew my goal was to end cyberbullying.
Soon, I got more passionate and wanted to tell more people what was happening. I wanted to be a voice for all victims of bullying. I printed out hundreds of pages of websites made just to attack kids. I sent a letter describing myself, my Unbreakable project, stories of suicide, and pages and pages of bullying sites to media outlets, politicians, law enforcement, celebrities, school superintendents, and anyone else I hoped would listen. The Tampa Tribune, ABC News, and Bay News 9 responded. Soon I was on a media train with Unbreakable. I created an Unbreakable Facebook fan page. My page targeted cyberbullies and the creators of the cruel sites. It also told the stories of Ryan, Megan, and Jeffrey. In the beginning, the page was mostly a surge of congratulations to "whoever this is" speaking out. (Before the media buzz, I didn't tell people that I was behind Unbreakable.) One student who had previously cyberbullied people posted, "I don't know who this is but you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for standing up and speaking out." I think it's awesome that my project has encouraged others to change their ways, and that Unbreakable got a lot more students to think and care about this important issue.
When I was 15, a freshman in high school, I was bullied over the Internet and at school. I felt like it came out of nowhere. One day the group of girls I called friends turned against me viciously over MySpace. They created a fake MySpace profile for me, which contained my cell phone number and instant message name. They photo shopped obscene sexual photographs of me and posted them in this profile. I was getting calls and began being stalked by strange men. These girls would make up sexually explicit rumors about me even though at the time I was a virgin. They would instant message me and tell me I was going to die. They were going to kill me. I was afraid to leave the house, to have friends, to pick up the phone. I lived in fear for so long. I knew they were looking for a fight and I refused to give them one so I deleted all known online presence and changed my number. I became recluse, a prisoner in my own home. Once I graduated high school I applied to college outside of my hometown to run away. Now, I am 22 and still have to live with the effects of these cruel girls. Trauma is hard to recover from but I know it is possible and I am stronger now than I have ever been. I am not that scared 15-year-old girl but I am still haunted by the girl I used to be.22 year-old girl from Middletown NY