Bullied teen shares story to help others before it's too late

By KBJR News 1

May 28, 2014 Updated May 28, 2014 at 10:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - 13-year-old Kayla Miller's story isn't just hers.

"I'm sharing my story to show other people you can overcome anything," Kayla read from her six page typed letter.

Her story belongs to anyone who has ever been bullied.

"Picture yourself in 4th grade, clueless to what a Virgin is and being used to automatically saying no to the questions they ask me, like are you retarded and so on? Of could I said no. They all laughed at me as I walked back to class," she read.

As the years went on, the name calling only escalated.

"(They said) I was a whore. They'd make up rumors that I couldn't keep straight," she recalled.

It wasn't just bullying in school, but online as well. Kayla couldn't get away from it.

Her depression only added to the emotional pain

"It wasn't soon after I found myself face to face with a broken mirror in front of me. A mirror I broke," her story states.

She became addicted to cutting while attempting to quell the pain.

"I didn't just do it once or twice. I didn't just make a scratch. It was serious Soon I ran out of room on my wrists so I moved to my thighs. I also ran out of glass, so I got razor blades. Five of them. Brand new."

Noticing a drastic change in her daughter's behavior, Kayla's mom stepped in.

One day I just told her, what is going on? And she finally spilled the beans to me that she was having suicidal thoughts. I was devastated. "Dayna Marken said.

Kayla was admitted to the hospital not once, buy twice. She finally sought help at Amberwing, a mental wellness center in Duluth.

"Middle schoolers and teenagers are at the point in their lives where their identities are very fragile," said Becky Hoversten-Mellem, a therapist at Amberwing.

"They all take it to heart and take it very personally and they tend to take it as reality. They start to internalize it. Some of that can come out often as depression."

Hoversten-Mellem says teens who reach out for help and start talking about the issues generally tend to start feeling better.

It helped turn the page in Kayla's life.

"I've learned a lot more ways to deal with things, then taking in other people's perspective, just getting my own perspective, and getting my own coping skills," she said.

She admits the emotional pain, however, still lingers.

"Some days I can just roll my eyes at people and continue on with my day. But other days I just find myself crying in the bathroom and just can't take it.""

Kayla says she's a fighter and will win her battle with her own story.

"I want to talk to talk to more people and then I also want to get involved with people who are going through it and just share everything"

"Just because there is a bad chapter in your book, doesn't mean the whole book is bad," her story ends.

Kayla's family reached out to us with their story after seeing our previous Speak Up Speak Out series in April.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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