Friday, November 30, 2012

Being Bullied...A Short Memoir

A friend of my daughter's shot and killed himself yesterday after school on the sky bridge.  He did it in front of his friends.  He was being bullied.  My heart broke.  I took my 13 year old to a candle light vigil last night.

I know what it's like to be bullied.  I know what it's like to want to die because of bullies.  I know what it's like to want to kill another human being.

I remember being picked on for the first time in my life for having big boobs in 5th grade.  I'll never forget it.  I was told that I was "over developed" for a 5th grader.  I cried.  Little did I know I'd love having big boobs later in life!

I remember being teased in 7th grade because I had the same shoes as the biggest nerd in school.  I think I cried again then too.

I thought that since I had escaped junior high school without being bullied the rest of my school years would be a breeze.  I was wrong.

I started being truly bullied my freshman year in high school.  To this day I have NO idea why they treated me like they did.  Hey guys, why did you?

In our church kids in high school can choose to attend seminary classes.  They are classes held weekdays.  We studied the scriptures.  We learned the Gospel.  We learned to love one another, or so I thought.  The kids that bullied me were kids from seminary.

Weren’t these boys trying to be like Jesus?  Not when they continually vandalized our house, threw things at me at lunch, made fun of me during classes. 

Bullying is much more than being teased.  And unless you’ve been there you won’t understand.  We all get teased.  I got teased about my boobs and shoes but that didn’t make me want to end my life.  These boys did.

I think it all started with toilet paper.  They toilet papered our house.  It’s what we did back then.  It was fun.  Heck, I even remember my dad taking my friends and I out late one night for the thrill of it!  

It was funny at first.  But they started doing this every single weekend.  And they didn't stop with toilet paper.  They used eggs, shaving cream and I even think they might have used poop.  I've blocked that part out of my memory. 

It became our Saturday ritual.  My dad would get donuts and we’d clean up the disgusting mess these “good Mormon” boys left for us.  This went on for months until one night when my dad caught them.  He saw who it was and drove over to their houses in time to see them washing themselves up outside with the hose.  Ah, sweet victory.

No.  It wasn’t sweet.  School and seminary became unbearable.  These boys started throwing things at me at lunch.  Gross things.  They started making fun of me in class.  It didn’t stop.  It happened every single day.

Ewwww…My sister even went to a dance with one of them.  I had to stand there and pretend to be happy for all of them.  Gag. 

I became suicidal.  It consumed my thoughts.  So did murder.  I wish I was kidding.  I would lay in bed and imagine smashing his (their) face in with a brick.  I tried to hang myself with a belt.  I overdosed.  I also started cutting myself with a razor blade.  I was a mess.  I would beg God each night to take my life.

What the heck?  This is so hard to type and think about again but I can’t help it.  How can some STUPID boys have had so much influence over me?  There is no rationalizing this.  I still carry the scars with me today. 

Those scars have faded and healed but they are still there.  A couple of years ago one of the boys apologized to me via a facebook message.  I told him that I wanted to die because of him.  He had no idea. 

Do bullies really know what they are doing?  Do they realize the lasting effect of their actions?  How can an adolescent brain comprehend these things?  Ahhh…stupid adolescent brains. 

I am living proof that it does get better.  I still battle depression every day.  I still think about those boys.  I wonder if they ever think about me.  I wonder if they regret what they said and did.

Some might wonder why I’m putting this on the internet.  Actually I know some will and I couldn’t care less.  I’m writing this and posting this so that maybe someone will see this and know they aren’t alone. 

Suicide sometimes might feel like the only option for relief from the hell that others put us through.  Actually I’m wrong.  When you are in that state of mind it IS the only option for escape.  But it’s not.  IT’S NOT!!! 

Help is out there.  Know the warning signs.  If you suspect that someone you love is suicidal take them to the ER without hesitation.

Kids and adults don’t talk about wanting to die if thinks are ok.  Take those words VERY seriously.  I don’t think we take them seriously enough.  Don’t wait to get help.  Don’t make a counseling appointment for them weeks out and assume that’s all it’s going to take.  TAKE THOSE THREATS SERIOUSLY enough to seek IMMEDIATE medical attention.  I mean it, immediate.  Call 911 if you have to. 

These kids that witnessed this terrible tragedy yesterday are going to spend a lot of time using the words “if only”.  It breaks my heart.  We need to learn from this.  Society needs to learn from this.

Bullying needs to stop.  There needs to be a ZEZO tolerance for them and their actions.  I’m talking jail time here people. 

Are you being bullied?  What do you do?  You need an advocate.  I’ll be your advocate.  I’ll fight for you.  If not, FIND SOMEONE YOU KNOW WILL FIGHT FOR YOU.  I can’t tell you who that will be.  Some might turn to a parent, a friend, a clergyman.  It doesn’t matter.  Find someone.  Get the help you deserve. 

You are amazing.  Bullies aren’t. 

I’m here for anyone…I’m not kidding.  I’m here to help.     

***There have been comments made on facebook and other media that this was a selfish act.  This was an act out of desperation.  

 There have been comments about the school and not needing to protect it's students.  They say it's a parent's job.  BS!!  We send our kids to school and trust that they will be protected and taken care of.  

I've had to deal with a bully issue at this junior high.  Excuse me, I had to FIGHT for my child.  It was a FIGHT.  I was the bad guy.  I was told by one employee at the school that in order for my voice to be heard and protect my child I would have to FIGHT.  I was told that otherwise they wouldn't do much, if anything, to stop this problem.

I truly believe that more bullies would be turned in if kids felt that they would be heard.  And that something would be done about it.  But they know it won't.  It's time that changes.  And I'm going to see that it does.  





Miss Angie said...

This completely breaks my heart. Both for you and the kid who killed himself.

I think it's hard for people to not see suicide as a selfish act. In some cases it is (such as my friend who tries to kill himself every 6 months just for attention) but in cases like this it's desperation. When someone is hurting so much they don't stop and think how their death will affect other people-they just want relief.

I can't believe how horrible these bullies are. I can't believe their parents, teachers, etc. don't step in.

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