Cyndie Viera’s Story

“I was raised by a single mother who worked several jobs to make sure my siblings and I had enough food on the table to eat along with basic necessities. I was raised in Paterson, NJ where I was bullied by my classmates because of my overbite and because my mother could not afford name brand clothing. I would tell my teachers and they would tell me “sticks and stones break bones, but words don’t hurt.” Which is a lie. I would lie to my mom and say I was ill to avoid going to school. I tried to bring up teasing to my mom and she would tell me that not everyone was going to like me in life, to get over it. But at the age of 12 how could I get over such malice? I hated high school and often would cut class to avoid being bullied. I would hide in the bathroom for hours, until one day I noticed there were comments written about me in the bathroom. I did get some counseling while at school, but the bullying increased. I was so angry and bitter growing up because I felt like everyone let me down. It took me several years to open up about my experience with bullying. I’m 28 years old now and I was bullied from the ages of 7 to 21. If it wasn’t for my school counselor, I probably would not have made it to see 28. I am all for raising awareness on bullying/cyber-bullying. No child should take their life because of bullying. More parents should be held accountable for the actions of their child. The foundation for how you treat people starts at home.”