Lockers: A Flashback to School

LockersWhen I see a set of lockers, all I can think about is my short, but traumatic stay at a public school. It was fifth grade, and I had just left a private school that I had attended for three years. I thought that bullying at the private school was awful, but once I started public school things got much worse. It was an absolute nightmare.

The students and teachers at this public school had no clue how much anxiety and depression I was withholding. During my time there, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The teachers, despite my diagnoses, seemed to think I was simply a “trouble child.” They obviously had no experience in dealing with a student with my level of mental health needs.

As bad as the teachers were, the youth seemed to be even less accepting. I would get multiple phone calls a day from my so called “friends” harassing me because of the behaviors I couldn’t control. I reported them to the school, but nothing came of it. The teachers brushed it off as “kids being kids.” With the anxiety I was feeling, the constant teasing and bullying was detrimental to my mental health. 

I barely left my house when this was occurring, let alone going to school. No one seemed to have any compassion towards me. They ignored my feeling, and left me alone on several occasions. When I was by myself my depression was almost unbearable. I didn’t know how to manage my anxiety, so I ended up keeping it inside until I would yell, scream and kick.

I ended up exiting that school in October 2007, and started at a therapeutic school in January of 2008. There I was able to stay until I graduated high school with highest honors. My journey can be seen as a reminder: even through struggles, you can make strides. Despite me cringing when I see lockers, I can also see the progress I’ve made in my life, even though I had many challenges.

Rachel is a young adult who has aspired to be a writer her whole life. She lives at home with her mother, father, and 6 wonderful animals.