"Hi, I’m Helena. I turned twelve this year and will begin junior high in the fall. I’ve lived in the same town and attended the same school system for most of my academic career. I attend a church youth group, play softball, take pre-AP classes, and have a voracious appetite for learning about animals. Someday, I want to own my own zoo. Okay, well, maybe a zoologist or biologist or a large animal vet.
My mom, Elaine, moved us to Texas when she got a promotion with her job. I was at the very end of Kindergarten when I transferred schools. I enjoyed the last few weeks of my new school with field trips, games, and movie days and made friends quickly. I’ve always been outgoing and friendly, so meeting new people has always been an experience I relish.
It was sometime during second grade when things began to change for me and life became somewhat awkward. My vast vocabulary intimidated some of my classmates and they made fun of me when I used words they actually did not understand. Instead of asking me what I meant, they called me names like stupid and walked away from conversations. I shook it off and skipped on to something else. My closest friends included teachers and other adults, while schoolmates bonded strictly with each other. I never thought anything strange about my attachments to older or more mature people. It felt natural to have conversations with individuals I felt connected to, who understood and accepted me.
Let’s get this story started with how I think this whole “bullying” thing began."