FROM THE BEGINNING.
Note to self: Breathe deep. What you are about to read is something I have never shared until now. Yes some people know about it but its never something I have wanted to share because I never wanted to feel like a victim but I now know that sharing my story does not make me a victim, it allows other people the space to share their own experiences and feel empowered instead of weak.
Here goes. In 2007 When I was 13, I was Head Girl of my Intermediate in Tauranga. Things were going well - or so I thought. I had a group of friends who I did everything with, until one day I didn't. I was talking on the phone to my best friend who was scrolling through Bebo at the time when she said 'Uh Johnelle, there's a hate page about you'. My heart sank with confusion as I had no idea what I had done to deserve this. My 'friends' had made this page and were encouraging other students from my school to join it. As my friend scrolled she saw comment after comment filled with mean things.
The next few days were a blur, I wasn't myself, I felt broken. I didn't know what to do. How could my friends do this to me? Who do I turn to? I did what any child should feel like they can do & I told my parents. They took it very serious and were absolute rock stars. My Mum did everything she could to sort the matter out & make it go away.
From there my whole school, my town and even the world found out when there were articles about it in the paper. As a 13 year old going through that experience made me grow up pretty quickly and I can say it changed me a lot - in a good way.
Since then I have felt a massive passion for helping and empowering others to be confident and strong people because there are too many people in this world who will try to knock you down and if you're not confident or strong you might just let it get the better of you and I don't care who they are but NO ONE deserves to feel alone or like they're not good enough.