Keta Meggett: Every flower must grow through dirt.
Posted on April 09, 2015 by Society Nine
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This is the seventeenth profile in our Society Nine Storytellers series where badass female fighters across all sports, media and culture in our community share their definitions of femininity, strength and empowerment and discuss what they fight for.
Have a story to tell? Submit it here! Tell us who you are, a little bit about your journey and what you fight for – in life and sport.
Meaning “pretty flower” in a small village in Africa, Keta Meggett (pronounced Key-ta) shares her story of being bullied and abused and how she overcame her traumatic past. ----------- I am Keta - a fighter, actress and philanthropist from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California. During my freshman year of high school, several girls (eight to be exact) began bullying me for my looks and for being biracial. At the same time, my parents were going through an ugly divorce, and my mother was seriously injured in a car accident, leaving her in a coma for 39 days. When she awoke, the doctors said she would never walk again. Feeling like I had no one to turn to, I kept the secret about the verbal and physical abuse that I was experiencing to myself. Eventually, however, my grades dropped from straight A’s to C’s and D’s due to the huge depression I was in, and my parents realized something was wrong. I finally confided in them about what had been happening at school, and they went in to speak to the principal.
The following day, the girls who had been bullying me surrounded me and said they had seen my parents at the school. They began physically assaulting me and beating me, leaving me with several broken bones, a severe concussion, and damage to my pancreas and liver. Hospitalized for a week, I was unable to return to school that year. I struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder from that incident which progressed even into adulthood. It took extensive therapy to learn how to cope with the traumatic and horrific experience.
I went on to become a successful actress and never spoke of my high school experience – not until one day when a director I was working with asked me to think of a time when I felt particularly vulnerable. I shared with him about having been bullied and assaulted, and the difficult recovery. Realizing that I had a powerful story, the director encouraged me to use my story and acting career as a platform to help other children overcome being bullied as well as being a bully.
Today, I share my story at Team Bully Buster events to show children and teens that bullying is harmful in many ways, but also that bullying can be overcome. Team Bully Buster is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to deal with bullying from both sides of the issue. Founded by me, Team Bully Buster’s anti-bullying education programs are designed to help children learn what bullying is, why people bully, and how to stop it. It is a unique, engaging curriculum that incorporates student participation, skits, question and answer sessions, and physical activity. Our end goal is to leave kids with the necessary tools to recognize bullying when they see it, and put a stop to it. Team Bully Buster brings together personal trainers and professional martial artists to add a physical education element to our program. We use physical challenges to get kids pumped up and involved. We strive to teach kids at school that physical education can be a positive outlet.
I could have never have imagined why something so horrific happened to me. My whole life was affected, but I come to realize why. The certainty of my calling is EVERYTHING. If it weren’t for my experience of being bullied, I would not be where I am today. I am currently a pro-wrestler on the cast of WOW Superhero’s as “Keta Rush the Bully Buster,” I compete in Brazilian jiu-jitsu studying under Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet Headquarters, and I just took home the gold medal in my division at Gracie Nationals. I swept everyone with my favorite submission, the “Triangle!” Additionally, I train in Muay-Thai with a fight coming soon and I’m looking forward to being in the cage again. Getting to work with loved ones and close friends gives me the opportunity to change the lives of students, one school at a time. I get to teach them everything I wish I would’ve known from confidence to self-defense. One school even made Tuesdays “Team Bully Buster Day,” meaning the children can wear their Team Bully Buster t-shirt that we gifted them.
There is no better feeling in the world than being proud of myself for overcoming the traumatic experience – ending up on top, not a victim of my circumstances, and being my own boss. I believe if you don’t create your own goal, someone else is setting them for you.
Currently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of her past, Keta Meggett has become a strong activist against bullying. Her experiences led her to begin fighting and wanting to teach the world to stand up for what is right. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Keta now resides in San Fernando Valley, CA where she passionately educates kids about self-defense, health, and fitness in order to end the cyclical reality of bullying with the help of her non-profit organization, Team Bully Buster.