Over the past month, there has been a lot of news reports about teenagers, college students, and people that have committed suicide over bullying. Many of these tragedies were over being bullied just because of sexual orientation. I will never understand making someone's life miserable due to them loving someone of their own sex. I do not care the justifications that bullies make. I don't care if you think it's a sin. I don't. Bullying someone to the point that the only option they see is taking their own life is sickening, and in my eyes, ten times a worse sin than homosexuality.
I've been picked on dating as far back as elementary school. I have horrible teeth, and literally can remember being teased about them from first grade on. It is with out a doubt the source of my self esteem issues over my teeth and appearance. Sometimes I've love to throw a brick at some of the bullies heads. But I disgress...
I don't remember much about teasing or bullying in middle school. It was probably there, but I've slept since then. (Child birth also zapped some of my brain cells, I swear.) Now, high school, that I remember. In particular, I remember one boy who seemed to be the head of the teasing department. He was the typical cocky, richie rich, prep asshole. I know, harsh words, but I literally remember this guy always having some crack about me.
One time I remember being in fencing (Yes, I was a fencer. hehe) and he was there. I hated that he was there. Fencing was my refuge from the prep crowd. The fencing room was my safe spot, but there he was. I was dating a guy at the time, and Richie Rich seemed to find it hilarious. It's like he couldn't accept that someone would like me. (Insert some more self esteem issues here.) I counted the days until he swapped over to health for the year. I also went to school during the time frame (and I'm guessing it probably still happens) that if you didn't have the right brand name clothes you just were not worth a damn. (Let's not mention that garment A and garment B look the same except for pattern/color.)
I ended up doing what most bullied kids do. Internalized the entire damn lot of insults, quirks, ect. In my head I had these fabulous arguments and come backs for them. Wanting to tell them to be glad that they can have anything they need(and want), no worries about eviction notices, no worries about utilities being turned off, ect. Not everyone's world was as perfect as their's.
Thankfully, I had some kick ass friend's in high school. Fencing team helped me keep my sanity. I also had some other friends that all stuck together through our four years there. I wish/hope that I can get back in good touch with all of them. The years (oh hell, almost a decade now) have sent us in many directions.
Now, only once in my life have I contemplated suicide. At the time I was alone in Chicago, emotionally abused into a pulp by the guy that I dated at the time, and feeling a wee bit of a failure at college. God only knows why I didn't do what I thought about that night. I do know that it took me a while to crawl out of that dark place. (Man, are my journal entries from that time interesting...) I am glad I crawled out. Glad I ended up finding a pretty spiffy guy that was willing to take on damaged goods and saw something in me that I still strive to completely see even now.
My point to all of this rambling - It really does get better. Nothing will ever be perfect. Life is an ever evolving puzzle with complications and surprises, but it's not always bad. On my bad days, I just have to remember that I have a husband that loves me despite my faults and a beautiful daughter who thinks I'm magic. (Seeing the world through a toddler's eyes is truely a delight on a daily basis.) If I could have someone learn one thing from this - don't keep it all in yourself. I tend to do that. It's what my husband and father in law call "Getting lost in my head." While I'm usually a-okay with that thanks to my personality type, sometimes I will over brood, over think, and totally fubar myself. Talk to some one. Write in a journal. Just get it out. Find an outlet for your frustration. Do what you have to to get it out.
This is definitely a post that I could not leave without some songs. These are very meaningful songs that have struck something with me recently - be recent happenings or past memories. They have stuck with me.
Three Days Grace - Pain - "I'd rather feel pain, than nothing at all." Been there, done that. You can only take so much of being numb.
Three Days Grace - Never Too Late - It never is to late to try to pick yourself up, right the wrongs, and make things work. There is always tomorrow and a path through the maze.
Linkin Park - Waiting for the End - A very true song about how sometimes life gets out of our control, and we find ourselves waiting for the end. The song also talks about how this isn't the end, but the beginning of a new chapter.
Katy Perry - Firework - To be honest, I didn't hear this song until today, but it struck me hard. (As in teary eyed.) She's dedicating it to the It Gets Better Project. It is a song about finding that spark inside of you. The goodness we all have and showing the world.
I can only hope that my generation will raise children that won't bully or judge. I know that won't completely happen, because Utopia is impossible. Yet, I hope that maybe we can help minimalize it, so that ten years down the road, it's not children my daughter's age in the news for this. A mom can hope, right?