I don’t know why it’s like this, but it seems that kids always look for the differences in others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be when it leads to bullying.
Since I was in second grade, I have been asked if I am a boy or a girl. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really say the letter R. So kids wouldn’t understand when I said girl. Often when this happened, they would make their own conclusions and label me whatever they wanted.
I haven’t really talked about bullying on here before because it was a relatively small part of my life. I was teased and isolated. I was made the subject of dares. I hung out with all the troubled kids, but usually just avoided kids all together. I avoided using school restrooms to the point that I would pee in my pants during class. At one point I basically stopped trying to make friends because it seemed ridiculous to think that anyone could ever want to be around me.
Why am I saying all of this? Why am I bringing up memories that still make my heart hurt and my throat close?
Well, I read about this girl today that is making a difference. She is talking about bullying and telling her story of how it drove her to suicide. She was saved by her mom, but that kind of thing should never happen.
For me, bullying was just a small part of a much larger problem of loneliness and isolation. The words and deeds used to hurt me did not have as much of an effect as the words and deeds that weren’t done to help me. I wanted to die, not because I felt hated but because I didn’t feel loved.
That’s why having a best friend has made such a difference in my life. She helped me to finally feel loved and for the first time in my life I didn’t think about suicide on a regular basis. The darkness has come again now that we have been apart so long, but her love has made all the difference.
Sometimes I wonder if it could have happened sooner. I wonder how many people didn’t stand up or step in during that time of my life. And how many people did I not step in for. I would always step in if I saw someone being hurt, but I know I missed opportunities to step in when I saw someone sad or alone. I think most of us could probably step in more than we do and make a difference.
I’m glad that people are speaking out and making a difference though. If you want to check out the story of the girl I talked about, click here.