Lately I have been put into a situation to think a lot more about how the bullying that happens to some of us in our youth leads to long-term anxiety, phobias, and finally depression due to not being able to get it out of our heads. (Note here that, if this is you, I hope you will seek some help). Even though life might start to get better in the later years, these post-traumatic-stress disorders do not for many people. One part that fascinates me is the idea that some of us are wired maybe for this and may also be wired to react to bullying in a way that leads to further bullying and a further continuation of this cycle. Chiara shares her view on this and how it continues to affect us with her story. She also points out the importance of how different cultures in different parts of the world make this even more difficult. ~Alan Eisenberg
I’m a pin-up model that was born & raised in Germany. It didn’t even take me 16 yrs to figure out this country obviously isn’t where I belong. I already was the odd one out & a victim of constant bullying in elementary school, but the days I literally underwent hell definitely were my high school days.
It took only a few days before I started to get bullied & punched for the way I looked & the way I was. The first people to bully me were older girls who simply enjoyed assaulting the weak & helpless. But soon not only the entire school, but also the whole district had figured out I probably was the most timid, vulnerable & unique personality they’d ever met… In other words, they had finally found somebody to play on.
I used to like my tutor a lot during the 1st year. Unfortunately, my opinion changed dramatically when the nice lady started to bully me as well. It got worse every year. At age 13 I started to cut myself & got to feel the first signs of depression. My tutor’s & schoolfellows’ endless bullying reached the top when a bunch of girls – mainly two of my classmates – stole all my remaining friends & started being in cahoots with my tutor.
I ended up being stalked, blackmailed, threatened & fatally bullied not only by the whole school including its teaching staff, but also by the principal. I eventually changed schools in the middle of grade 9. I wouldn’t mind saying my new school was great. I actually totally loved it in the beginning. The staff was probably the loveliest one a student could wish for! And, apart from a few exceptions, all the students were friendly & treated me with respect.
But nevertheless, there was one thing that wouldn’t stop hunting & destroying me: The main reason why I’d been bullied at my first high school was the fact that people found me “ugly“, and nobody minded telling me, not even my “friends“. Whenever another student saw me they’d scream: “Ugly!!!“ or say to their pals: “Look, this is the ugly girl I told U ’bout!“ I knew that wasn’t over, despite my change of school & I was right.
By now it didn’t only happen at school but also whenever I was outside. Every single teenager or school child who saw me yelled the same old word: “Ugly!!!“ or something like: “Ew, look how ugly that girl is!“ I started to ask my schoolmates for their opinions; most of them answered: “Well yeah, in my opinion You’re ugly – but hey, only the character matters!“
While my depression was becoming more & more severe due to a whole lot of personal problems, now I also sensed the first signs of a social phobia which kept getting worse. Thank Goodness, I graduated shortly afterwards. The last few months of school were nothing but a torture.
By now I suffered from an extreme depression with physical impact, an anxiety disorder & a severe social phobia that doesn’t even allow me to do phone calls. I never leave the house, except for travelling or photo shoots – which can only be done at “teenager free“ times & along with somebody to protect me. I’d love being able to acquire a profession or visit a trade school like other people my age do.
I’m incredibly scared of my film studies that will start in Sept. … even though nowadays I’m aware the reason for my long-lasting suffering is the fact that Germany is a country where uniqueness is off-limits….. But hey at least my unbearable experience of life has brought me a kind of mission: Encouraging people who are in similar situations & being encouraged by people who have been in similar situations! I’ve created a website that isn’t only dedicated to my model work but also to my life story & the fact that I want to be an inspiration & hear other people’s stories. You can see it at: http://chiaral-chiara.wix.com/chiarathebat