Trigger warning: This post deals with bullying and suicide.
I hated school, I never felt like I belonged and I had no idea where I fit in. I wasn’t a happy or confident kid, I was scared and insecure but even more terrified of people knowing that I was weak so I tried my best to act tough. I wasn’t happy at home and school was worse.
Some girls in the year above me used to target me. I would always fight back but I was on edge all the time. I had known Claire from kindergarten and deep down I really liked her, I always did but I remember having feelings of annoyance, jealousy and anger towards her and not knowing why.
I do not remember the things that I said and did but I remember that I was mean then I would go home and not think twice about it. It wasn’t until a few years after high school that I met someone at a party who recognised my name and told me that she worked with Claire and that Claire had told her that I made her want to kill herself.
I remember being physically sick. How could I have made someone feel so bad? I had no idea I had caused so much damage to a person. Guilt hit instantly. I don’t even think I had anything to do with her at school by the start of year 9 which meant that all this damage was caused by me before the age of 14.
For years I wondered how this could have happened. I wasn’t a horrible person, I actually always wanted to help and care for others but for some reason Claire had copped the wrath of my insecurities and fears during my childhood.
As a mother now this frightens me.