Daniel: During the beginning of my middle school years, like most other teenagers, I began to develop feelings for others that I previously hadn’t. In comparison to my fellow peers I seemed to have been ahead, and I wasn’t particularly desired by many in a physical sense. No one ever told me, but most evidence would suggest i’m not the next Channing Tatum. Therefore i sought after romance online.
At the time, things such as mental health, or even online dating/chat rooms, were not talked about or openly used like they are today. This is where I would experience bullying for the next 6-7 years of my life, beginning when I was only 12. I began to find companions on the chat rooms, and I developed relationships with them. Many of these people were like me at the time and very emotionally insecure.
Over time these significant others became possessive of me. I became more of a toy than a human being, and I would have to ask permission to do things such as sleep or have dinner. I was 14-15 at the time and didn’t know any better but to fear losing them, thinking things would get better. They didn’t. I was black mailed on my than one occasion by these people with explicit pictures an messages I had sent previously.
At the time, no one talked about mental health. I fell into a diagnosed depression and anxiety mix. I felt isolated from everything else in the world, and ultimately I began to self harm. This continued for 2 more years before I cut all ties to these people for good.
However, I don’t look back on my past and feel sorrow. When I needed the mental support, I never got it, because of the stigma around mental health. I believe that because I never got support, it motivated me to start advocating it for others. I see other children just like me who are going through these same things. They happen whether or not people want to believe it.
I am a mental health advocate because it’s something we all have a right to talk about. If a person broke their leg it would disable them, and people would help that person. Mental illness is just as disabling and I want people to understand it’s not something to fear. I was lucky to get out when I did, with minimal damage, but some aren’t that lucky.
Project cinderella-story Project Cinderella Story is to turn everyone’s life around from bullying, mental illnesses, & prevent suicide. Project Cinderella Story is a project to turn everyone’s life around, away from bullying, mental illnesses, and to prevent suicide. We are a group of kids looking to making a difference, and WE WILL. This project goes out in the name of my friend, Amanda Todd – Avery Cantello
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