Student Unpacks Baggage to Teach Others

Kiana Valeri, Student of Journalism

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Stuck in a time loop — hoping to get let out into a place where time promotes progress — *Addy, 15, does everything she can do to forget.

Everything she can do to heal.

Everything she can do to stop hurting.

Only a few people can tell what she is going through day after day with a glimpse of her smile she plasters on for the hallways of NHS. None of the students in the halls, the whisperers or the gossipers, know her real story.

Here is her real story; at 14 years old, her life halts.

Starting with sexual assault, it takes four months to build up the courage needed to tell her mom.

With the weight of shame on her shoulders, she falls; no longer standing tall.

A year marks 15; she grew an eating disorder losing 30 pounds.

She scores her right wrist from hatred of herself that grew from the bullying at NHS.
Building a connection with her doctor, she visits him three times a week to find a solution.

Her solution features:

running from her baggage,

running from the bullying

and locking herself out.

Four walls surrounded her at all times standing tall to block everything out.

Leaving NHS she jumps into three different online schools, James Madison, then Ashworth College hoping to find one that suits her.

Until the walls of her room slowly fuse, suffocating her by her thoughts only hoping to breathe again.

She remembers: “Your baggage will never go away; your best of times will be the hardest to remember.  Your hardest times will be the hardest to forget, but that is because your hardest time has the most valuable lessons.”

She returns to NHS still feeling the stares from the people walking past, knowing they don’t see the battle scars under her sleeves.

(* Name changed to protect the individual who does not deserve judgement.)

Update since Publication:  Addy withdrew from N.J.S.D.  She continues her healing process.

Message of Hope:  Resources exist within NHS and the community to assist individuals.  Resources include:

Sexual Assault

Reach Counseling (920) 722-8150

(920)722-8150 — 24-hour sexual assault line

Christine Ann Center

24-Hour Helpline: (920)235-5998 or (800)261-5998

If in danger, call: 911

*School counselors and/or school social worker can connect students to advocates from Christine Ann and Reach Counseling. They can meet with you at school.

Sexual Assault Center

Bullying Resources

  1. Talk to a trusted adult — this adult can help connect students to help at school
  2. Talk to a trusted teacher, counselor, social worker, administrator, or police school liaison officer

NHS School Handbook


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