It’s Pink Shirt Day today, which means it is also anti-bullying day. I was bullied in the 8th grade. I made friends with a girl named Morgan. She lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I thought it was wonderful going to her house. She had a Swatch phone which you could talk into from two sides. Her apartment was huge and she was very wealthy. At first I liked hanging out with her and going to her house. But then, she made me feel badly about myself.

Morgan, Alex and I used to hang out together. We were a trio. One day, things started to change. I noticed that Morgan was talking to Alex about me behind my back. I didn’t know what she was saying but I knew it wasn’t good. Other classmates told me that Morgan was gossiping about me. I felt uncomfortable with the situation, but I was unsure how to handle it.

I was 13 years-old at the time. I was scared. I felt vulnerable, but I didn’t know who to turn to for help. At the time, I had tickets to a Mariah Carey concert. I was supposed to go with Morgan and I believe Alex as well. I can’t remember the details. All I know is that I cancelled the plans. I told Morgan and Alex individually:

“I don’t want to be your friend anymore. We can just be acquaintances.”

To this day, I regret telling Alex this. The reason was, she was innocent. It was all Morgan’s doing. But I didn’t find this out until later in life.

So, with the information that I no longer wanted to be her friend, Morgan made it her mission to make everyone in my 8th grade class hate me. She tortured me verbally. She made me afraid to come to school and see her face. I remember one day, I was sitting in English class, and Morgan was sitting in the seat behind me. She was repeatedly kicking my foot. All of a sudden I couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Get the fuck off my foot.” I said to her
“What did you say?” She asked incredulously.

My poor English teacher was alarmed by the whole thing and sent me to the principal’s office.

Another time, Morgan was making fun of me, and I caught her in the hallway. So I smacked her in the face. I was tired of being verbally abused by her.

Finally, I reached out for help. I asked my brother if he could defend me against this girl. My brother drove a 79 Oldsmobile at the time. He drove to my middle school one day and picked up me and my friends. We spotted Morgan and her crew walking down the street. My brother shouted out the window at her:
“Morgan is a hoe bag! Honk if you see a hoe bag!”
With that he honked the car horn.

I will never forget that day. My brother was tired of seeing me being abused and he came to my rescue. I will love him forever for that.

Still, each day, I would come to school with severe anxiety attacks. I was afraid to run into my bully, my abuser.

The only good thing about my conflict with Morgan was that it allowed me to become best friends with Mint. She and I bonded after I rejected Morgan from my life.

Also, a miracle happened in 2013. Alex and I reconnected and confirmed the fact that Morgan was indeed crazy and abusive. We rekindled our friendship and bonded over the crazy shit that we went through at 13.

When I reflect upon my experience being bullied by Morgan, I remember how scared I was. I thought it would never end. I believed she would always be torturing me. I was convinced that I would never get away from her. My world was so small at 13 and this bully was such a large part of it.

I feel for children today who are being bullied because it is less overt. Much of it happens over the Internet. It’s more insidious and harder to figure out that a child needs help. But trust me, they do…need our help.

If you are dealing with a Morgan out there, hang in. Tell someone that you’re being bullied. Don’t hold it inside like I did. You are strong, you are powerful, you are brave and those who love you will listen.