WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Isolation, a change in personality, a drop in grades; all red flags one Williamson County mother said she couldn't ignore. She said she knew her daughter was being bullied, and almost to the point of no return.
"Say what you will. Say what you want. But I will no longer be who you taunt. Give me your best shot. We'll see who will win. You versus me. Let the games begin."
This is 16-year-old Autumn Myers' poem about bullying, it's a first-hand account. She reads from what she calls her, "Book of Awesome," a source of encouragement she often reads when she's down.
What could make this beautiful and talented beauty pageant competitor and actress down? She said she was the victim of bullying.
"It made me feel really bad about myself," Autumn said. "It made me feel like I wasn't pretty. It made me feel pretty worthless."
When Autumn reached junior high, her mother, Adrienne, said she noticed a change in her honor roll student.
"I seen her hurting herself because she was hurting so bad that she didn't know, she felt like she deserved it," Adrienne Myers said.
So, Autumn switched schools. But it didn't take long for the alleged bullying to begin again.
"I felt even worse whenever it started happening again," Autumn said. "It got so bad that I just didn't want to go to school."
By Autumn's freshman year, she began to cut herself and post her suicidal thoughts on Facebook.
Adrienne Myers thought, "Oh my goodness, I've got to intervene. I have to step in."
That's just what she did.
Two months ago, she sought professional help for her daughter. She and the doctor decided homebound schooling was the best idea. Now, with aspirations to join the Navy, Autumn excels once again.
"If I wouldn't have found out and I wouldn't have intervened, we probably wouldn't have her today," Adrienne Myers said.
A message the Myers have for any victim of bullying: you're not alone. They encourage anyone who's been bullied, or sees someone being bullied, to have the courage to report it.