So all the girls had stopped talking to me. Including Trish. The person I was looking out for, being honest with, and in defense of. So many things ran through my mind when Heather made her little, "Bye Deja'...oh wait, not you. Bye Trish!" comment. A lot still runs through my mind when I think back to that moment, even now. Trish had been acting so paranoid in class and whining about their tweets possibly being about her and asking me constantly what they were saying.....when she had already went back and told them what I said or something PRIOR to that? So I have NO IDEA why she was acting so upset and freaking out over their tweets and if they were about her? I'm not sure if she felt guilty or was scared they would say something to me or what.
A lot of people started acting differently towards me. Other "friends" I had in the class we were all in together. People in theatre. I'm not sure what it is they were telling people, but I knew it couldn't have been what actually happened, because I hadn't done anything that was anything they should feel confident telling anyone about. They were the ones being bad friends to each other and me. So what were they telling people? "We backstabbed Trish and was talking badly about her to some random guys we've never met in person, and Deja' went back and told her"? No. So I know they must have been telling people a different story. But who knows. I'm not even sure what Trish told them I said.
Anyhow, remember I told you guys I had started getting into theatre more and had tried out for cheerleading again for the first time since 7th grade? Let's talk about that.
Junior year, I tried out for the cheerleading squad and made it. For our school, at least at the time, they had separate tryouts for football and basketball cheerleading. A lot of people would try out for football cheerleading first semester and then when second semester rolled around, they would quit so they wouldn't have to cheer for basketball season. Cheering during football season was way more fun, because there would be way more people at the games, the student section would be filled with all your friends, crushes (and enemies), and it was an all around better vibe cheering at that time. You would stand on the track the entire game and cheer in front of everyone, whereas with basketball season, you would be cheering in the bleachers, except for during half time. You get the point. Being on the squad during football season was better.
But the thing is, I didn't try out for football season, because I still wasn't sure if I wanted to cheer yet. So when second semester was about to roll around, and I heard there were going to be tryouts for basketball season cheerleading, I went for it! I made it, and it was kind of strange being a cheerleader all over again and getting a bunch of attention from people all suddenly. I will say, this time around was a much better, fun experience.
Apparently though......me being on the cheerleading squad was a problem. Again.
You know how in the movies, the cheerleaders are the super popular girls and they're all stuck up and bully people throughout the school? It was actually the opposite in my experience. I was always the bullied cheerleader. People couldn't stand when I was on the team, whether it was the other cheerleaders (like in 7th grade), or whether it was random haters throughout school. I just can't win.
So in theatre class, there was this girl who we'll call Sophia. She wasn't really someone I truly considered a friend, but we would talk quite a bit in theatre class. Her, me, and this other girl - Amelia - who I will say was friends with Christina and all of them, just not super close to them, as far as I know, but friends nonetheless.
One day, something happened with Sophia and I in theatre. I don't remember what it was, but I believe we had an exchange of words. I told you guys, I was starting to be more slick at the mouth and speaking up way more than I did when I was younger. I don't remember it being anything extreme though. Just a small exchange of words about something she had done - because I can't imagine why I would've done something to her and then gotten mad at her for it.
I get home after school, and I start seeing all of these tweets on Twitter from Sophia about me. And she was bold enough to say my actual name too. "Deja' really think she scares somebody." "Anyone can make the basketball cheerleading squad. " ....and just a bunch of random tweets about how I think I'm so tough and how being on the basketball cheerleading squad isn't anything special and I'm just like???? What did me being on the cheerleading squad have to do with anything? I mean, her jealousy was overflowing and she was telling on herself. How embarrassing.
Before I knew it, Christina started jumping into it and tweeting things about me as well. I guess she saw this as her opportunity to speak her mind about me, even though the entire situation had nothing to do with her, because she wasn't even at Heather's slumber party? Nor was she in theatre class when Sophia and I had our words. So the fact that she was jumping into it being so hostile towards me really made it clear to me that mean things were being said about me around the school. I didn't even know her and Sophia were friends?? Maybe they weren't. Maybe Christina just saw this as a chance to talk her trash to me too.
She started tweeting things like, "I'm gonna smash this girl's head into the computer", along with a bunch of other psychotic tweets. I believe Hilary was throwing in her two cents too. It was just a free-for-all at this point. Trish made sure she stayed out of it. She did her dirt and then pretended like she wasn't involved.
I had a conversation with my mom and she caught wind of the tweets and told me to print them all out. My mom has a friend that's a police officer, and my mom reached out to her and asked if she knew who the resource officer was at my school, and she did. My mom let her know to relay the message to him that she would be coming up to the school the next morning to address her concerns.
My mom would usually get involved when I was being bullied throughout my time in school. And it was nice being defended, but at the same time I had a love-hate relationship with when she'd do that. Because when everything was said and done, I would still have to go to school and face those same people by myself at the end of the day. And I didn't like looking like a "snitch". I didn't even tell my mom half the time. She'd usually just notice a huge shift in my mood and end up finding out that way - and I believe that's what had happened this time as well.
My mom told me, "Those girls are gonna turn on Trish too. Watch." It was unfortunate, because Trish's mom had actually went to middle school with my mom and her siblings at the same middle school Trish and I met at. So our parents knew each other! Which made things even more awkward.
So the next morning, my mom and I go and talk to the officer at our school about what's been going on. My mom hands over all the tweets I had printed off the night before. The officer reassured my mom that he'd handle it, but she wouldn't be able to stay because it wouldn't be fair for her to be in the room if their parents weren't. So my mom left, and he called Sophia into the office first.
She comes in trying to act all innocent. So the officer starts questioning her about what's been going on and she plays it off like everything is fine and nothing is going on. He calls Christina in. She plays the same little act and acts like nothing is going on. He then brings up the tweets. They both deny that they ever tweeted any of those things and would absolutely nevahhhhhh. Imagine how dumb they both felt when he pulled out those screenshots. I don't know if they forgot I was a Virgo or what. We always come with the screenshots in our back pocket. Duh.
They proceed to make excuses for why they tweeted what they tweeted. I mean, the lies started flying out. Left and right. Lie after lie. There was one point where he specifically questioned Christina about her tweet where she said she's going to smash someone's head in the computer. Guess what this girl said? "I wasn't talking about her. I was talking about my sister." The officer goes, "Oh, so domestic violence is happening in your household???" That shut her up. Another guy who worked in the front office walks into the room and the officer informs him of what's been going on. The guy looks at the girls and says, "Why do you guys keep bringing up cheerleading? Did you try out for the team???" They say no. He goes, "Okay, then what are you so mad for??????? If you're so mad that she's a cheerleader, maybe you should've tried out and made the team then." Silence. These girls looked so stupid. I wish all of their friends they try to show off for could've seen how defeated and guilty they both looked. So the officer tells them that they have to get their parents to do something...I forget - I think they had to come to the school, and they were also at risk of suspension. But I wasn't there for that.
I left the office feeling a lot better, but also a bit worse, because I had no idea what they were going to try to pull since I "snitched". The only thing I remember happening a bit later was Sophia purposely bragging to her friend directly in front of my desk in Spanish class (I had that class with her too, unfortunately ) that she, "Didn't get suspended". She made sure she was loud about it and right in front of me.
Eventually Amelia, the other girl in theatre class, who I should mention was in a few other classes of mine and who I spent quite a bit of time with, ended up not talking to me because she had a problem with me defending myself against all these girls. I really gives no f***s.
Fast forward to senior year.
Boy oh boy. This is where it gets really good.
Cheerleading tryouts for football season happened over the summer. But the rule this year was if you cheer for football season, you're required to cheer for basketball as well. Which I had no problem with. I tried out over the summer and made it. I was excited to cheer and also excited to prove a point - that I didn't make "basketball cheerleading squad because anybody can", I made it because I'm actually very talented and because I can cheer - and plus, I had never even tried out for football squad in high school prior to senior year! So that whole point was invalid. I knew this. Tons of other people did. But now these haters were gonna know too. They didn't want to see me cheerleading for football season. Lmfao.
Senior year starts, and in the beginning, I decide not to take theatre. I don't want to see the faces of Sophia and whoever else that had started acting weird towards me junior year. I ended up transferring into the class eventually though after other people in the class kept begging me to come back.
I'm also taking that early college course again, the computer class that Heather, Hilary, Christina, Trish, and Amelia were in, and go figure, they're all in it again. But I notice something very strange.....
Trish is no longer sitting with them. She's sitting in the opposite corner of the room by herself. Every single day. I don't know what happened over the summer, but they all must have had a falling out with her. Which was bound to happen. JUST LIKE MY MOM SAID. I tried to warn this girl, and look at what happened. She ended up with nobody.
Me, on the other hand, I started to make new friends and get closer to people that had always been nice throughout high school but who I didn't know well - since they're in the computer class with me. I actually ended up making a ton of friends (many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis 'til this day!).
I end up landing a role as a main character in one of the theatre productions our class puts on.
Cheerleading is going great.
I get invited to a party by this new girl.
I make even more friends.
I get into my first relationship, so now, I have a boyfriend that's looking out for me, so I don't have anything to worry about.
Homecoming rolls around and Sophia is nominated. Along with another girl who we'll call Lana who happens to be a friend of mine, because she's on the cheerleading squad with me (and we went to middle school together). I did NOT want Sophia to win. So I started making posters for Lana so she could win.
The night of homecoming, I'm stressing because I feel like this terrible girl is going to win. I feel like it's between Sophia and Lana winning, for sure. My mom is at the game and goes, "Someone who you might not even be thinking is going to win might win." Sure enough. Some other girl ends up winning. I wished Lana had won, but I was happy for the other girl too! As long as Sophia didn't win. It was great being able to laugh about her loss. After the homecoming half time, I got back on the track with my squad and proceeded to cheer my butt off. If I was Sophia, I would've felt very stupid in that moment. She not only had lost homecoming, but had to watch me cheer for the football players after stressing so much the year before how I'd never make the squad for the season. Hilair.
By this time, I have a whole bunch of friends. We're a big group. We have group phone calls over the phone, different classes together, we all stand together in the morning, we all eat together at lunch, we hang out outside of school. I finally didn't feel alone anymore. And it felt fantastic.
Months later, I believe during spring break, Sophia goes on a beach trip with a bunch of girls from school. Lana goes too. I'm not sure what happens, but Sophia gets beat up by Lana during the trip. There's that karma again.
Prom happens, I get a whole makeover. I slay. All eyes are on me at prom. I get compliments about it for weeks.
Trish is still sitting alone in class.
Heather, Amelia, Christina and Hilary are all still friends, but I know they're hating because they didn't expect the glow up from me. I was always the silly, jokester friend that was kind of "in the background", if you will. Now I have a huge group of friends, a boyfriend, and I'm gaining all these wins.
I graduate. Unfortunately, I have to sit right next to Sophia, thanks to our last names being almost identical. Great. I hated sitting next to her. If she ever reads this, girl, I hated sitting next to you. I really wish I hadn't had to on my special day.
More months go by.
I think my birthday rolls around and Trish comments happy birthday on my post? I ended up texting her.
For those of you that have been reading all of this and wished I had gotten a chance to speak my mind to the exact person that caused all of this mess...
Oh, I did. And I didn't hold back at all.
I remember telling her how I couldn't believe she had turned on me and went back and told those girls what I had said when I was only trying to be a good friend to her. I told her I noticed her and them stopped talking, and I told her she got her karma and that's exactly what she gets. I really let her have it. She responded saying how she knows they weren't good friends and if I want to say that's what she gets then I can go ahead and say that. Well girl, I did say that. And I'll say it again.
But I did end up hanging out with her after! I invited her over to a little get-together I was going to. I would never be a friend to her the way I was before. But I talked to her occasionally. We followed each other on twitter and what not. I eventually made a new twitter though and never followed her again. Didn't really care to. She caught wind of that and got offended. Oh well. Me not following you on twitter will never compare to what I had to experience my junior year of high school, thanks to you. Kick rocks.
Me and my mom eventually ended up seeing Sophia at my favorite clothing store. She rushed and returned what she needed to and then got out of the store as fast as she could.
Other than that...I did see Heather, Amelia, Hilary and I believe Christina as well on my college campus, but I never talked to them and I never will again. I actually run into Amelia a lot, and every time, it disgusts me.
My Bullying Experience had a happy ending, fortunately.
I had a phenomenal senior year, and no, it wasn't perfect, but it was packed with fun and I learned a lot.
I grew so much after being bullied for all those years. All of this has made it EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for me to have loyalty in all of my relationships. I don't tolerate being lied to or backstabbed. And if any of my ex-friends, exes, or even friends are reading this story nodding their heads and thinking of times I flipped sh*t after being told a lie or being betrayed by them, even if it was "small", THIS IS WHY. This is what all of that stems from. Going through hell in school and feeling extremely alone all because I was being a good friend to somebody. It happened to me all throughout school. With Kelsie, with Trish, and with whoever else.
I now stand up for myself like no other, and I'm so strong. Some people are probably reading this story and in shock I was ever bullied, because of how outspoken I am NOW whenever I feel disrespected. Getting like this didn't happen overnight. I went through a LOT to get here.
But this isn't the case for everyone.
Many people aren't fortunate enough to have the happy ending I did. Tons of people end school on a terrible note. Some people even commit suicide and never make it to where I am now. I could've committed suicide. In elementary, middle, or high school.
After everything I've learned, if I could go back now and I experienced those same situations, I would put people in their place, and I would've snitched ten times more if that didn't work. Nobody in school should feel ashamed to tell a trusted adult about what's happening to them, including me.
If any of the people that bullied me in school ever read this, or if I ever got the chance to have a chat with them as adults about my experience, I would definitely want to genuinely know what their problem was. What their problem was with my hair, me being on the cheerleading squad, me being a good friend and everything in between. I would tell them how they made ME feel like I was the problem and had me constantly questioning what was wrong with me. I'd tell them how they made school absolutely dreadful for me, when it shouldn't have ever been that way at all. I'd also like to know how they would've felt if I had killed myself after being tormented by them at school. Oh, and I'd tell them how pathetic I think they are.
For anyone reading this who's a bully - stop bullying people. It shows how insecure you are as a person, and I promise you, the damage you do to other people are going to stick with them for a REALLY long time. It's not doing anything for you, and when and if you graduate, all those people egging you on and laughing at you being obnoxious towards other people are going to move on with their lives, and you're going to be left behind feeling irrelevant. Or, you might just end up getting beat up the way Sophia did on that beach trip.
And for anyone who are the victims, keep your head up. It's okay to tell an adult what you're going through. It's okay to stand up for yourself. Remember that school doesn't last forever. But even then, I get it. Those experiences stay with you. Far long after school ends. I graduated 8 years ago, and I still feel the effects of everything I went through in school. Sometimes, you just need someone to talk to, and if you ever need advice, check out my advice page on my website.
For anyone who read this wondering why I was targeted so much and wondering if I was actually the problem - I wasn't. I know it sounds very weird hearing about someone being targeted constantly for what seems like no reason, but this is a reality for a lot of people. If you're one of the lucky ones that was never really bullied, you won't be able to relate, but yes, I went through all of this and got treated like this by all of these people for literally.....no reason at all. I mean, I can see why Heather and Hilary were mad - because whatever Trish told them made them angry, which makes sense - but they were still wrong either way. Other than that, with the other stories, I have absolutely no clue what triggered the jealousy and hate. Probably never will. But this is my truth, and I wanted my story to be heard.
Thank you so, so, so much for reading and listening. It means more than you'll ever know.