Lex Ellenthal
Bullying Survivor
Female | Greenwich, CT   United States
GHS senior: 'being bullied -- it hurts like hell'
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: Massive
9/10/13 12:21 AM
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Following the suicide death of Bart Palosz on the first day of school, Greenwich High School senior Lex Ellenthal started You Never Know Who, a Facebook resource for kids enduring bullying and other problems. Below, in her own words, is her story.

The bullying started with one girl, in kindergarten. She came to school with a plastic Disney princess phone, and told everyone it was real. I was the only one who didn't believe her. After I exposed her phone to be a toy, she had it in for me. She was the first one to bully me. She wouldn't let me play with all the other girls. I only had one friend, and she was too meek to defend me. The girl had tons of friends. They all backed her up.

Soon, it went from one girl excluding me and taunting me to all the girls save for a few belittling me, to the entire grade making school miserable. Here's the thing about being bullied -- it hurts like hell. And you don't want to remember it. So you build a wall in your brain that blocks off those memories. No wall is perfect though; there are cracks, and the pain can leak through and soil the rest of your memories. So when you think about third grade, you don't think about how awesome your teacher was, you remember the boy who called you a baby and the kids who held a witch hunt, chasing you around the playground, convincing the teachers it was an innocent game of tag. So, while my memories are scattered, few and far between, I do remember. I remember the names they called me -- "fat," "ugly," "freak," "loser," "emo," "goth," "weirdo," and the taunts, "why don't you just go cut yourself?"

And I listened to them -- I hurt myself.

The school didn't do anything.

I can't pretend I'm totally innocent in all this. I'm not saying I was asking to get bullied. But I didn't really fight back in the best ways. I turned mean. The kids who had never picked on me simply stood by and watched -- they became my targets. I was a tormentor too, and I regret it every day of my life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I had the guts to apologize. Kids who were mean to me directly, I became violent with. I remember one boy was making fun of me at the bus stop, and I kicked him so hard that his shin was raw and bloody.

The bullying lessened in eighth grade, though it was still an issue. That's when my struggle became more internal, as I berated myself. I learned to blend into the background, to be nondescript, to avoid doing or saying or being anything worth mocking. Still, kids found ways.

When I entered high school, the bullying ceased completely. I don't know why. I always just assumed that kids matured, or that in such a large school my former tormentors lost track of me. I thought it was amazing. Bullying ended in high school. How great to be free at such a young age.

With Bart's recent death, I learned that I was an exception, and that plenty of kids were still suffering at the hands of their peers. So, I started You Never Know Who. It's a support network for students either being bullied or dealing with mental illness. They can read other kids' stories on the Facebook page, then they can choose to text or email whoever they think could be of the most help to them. Our mission isn't to end bullying or to cure all the mentally ill high school students -- we know that's simply impossible. We just want to provide a safe space and a supportive community for kids who are having difficulties. I know that if something like this had existed before, I never would have gotten to such a bad place.

Thank you for allowing me to tell my story.

-- Lex Ellenthal

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Story Details

Name: Lex Ellenthal
Age: N/A
Country: United States
Location: Greenwich, CT
Gender: Female
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Profession: Other
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