Hopefully, no one will notice the red mark on my head. If I had just gotten to school earlier, I could have been in and out of my locker and avoided Lisa. But it was too late. She said her few words and my head hit my locker. I kept my head there until the sounds of laughter faded away. She got her feel for the day. I should be safe now at least until lunch. Maybe I’ll skip lunch. I have no one to sit with anyways. There are only so many times I can “pretend” to go to the bathroom so that no one will notice that I’m all alone. Maybe I’ll not come back from lunch. This can guarantee that I won’t be hurt physically or through words at least for today. But what about my parents? I can’t tell them what’s going on. They won’t understand. They already think I’m doing poorly in some of my classes because I don’t have it together. It’s not that at all. School is not my priority. My safety is, but there is nowhere that I feel safe.
If we look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for children, we can see that safety and security are near the bottom, meaning that this is the base of the pyramid. It is the foundation before an adolescent can climb up the pyramid to meet other needs. This hypothetical adolescent can’t reach “doing well in school” or creative pursuits or hobbies until she feels safe and secure. The problem is that she doesn’t have a safe place. Adolescents can have a difficult time communicating their feelings. If you are an adolescent experiencing bullying and/or you feel that you don’t have a safe place to go, please know that many adolescents face this. You are not alone and can overcome this. You don’t deserve to be treated this way. Please try to talk to your parents/caretakers and/or and an adult you feel that you can trust: teacher, school counselor, or school principal.
Here is a link on getting help for bullying: http://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/