Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Getting Better

So there is all this big hoopla about gay suicides and celeberty youtube videos--not to make light of the situation but I just don't get it. I remember what it was like to be 13 and worry about what would happen in school each day, how it felt to be picked on and teased and a bunch of rich, thin, successful people telling me it was fine?

Would have earned a big middle finger from teenage me.

If we really want to stop bullying--whether gay, straight, nerd, jock, fat, thin, ugly or pretty--then we need to share the stories of what bullies are doing. I think most teachers, parents, and all adults would benefit from knowing what kind of beahvior really is going on in schools. Because telling kids one day you'll be out of high school isn't solving a problem. Not in the slightest.

I think if people understood what teenagers are truly capable of--the physical violence on a daily basis, the verbal threats and taunting, the fear that such a social environment can create. Most people would be surprised by how far it does go and how uninvolved teachers are in protecting students.

I know that I never once ate lunch in the high school cafeteria for all four years I was in school. I was too scared of all the harrashment I faced that day to be able to do that--I spent days in the library, other days outside by the back docks, other days I would hide in the bathroom for the full 40 minutes. I was always on guard against people---even the ones who were nice I always expected to say shite, to start shite about me because that did happen ALL the time. And while I was only physically threated a handful of times--one of the times I actually punched someone back--it was worse to constantly be picked on, tease, name called, and scared...

I learned to survive by becoming a snob... I turned all my energy into studying and writing, reading and researching... I figured out that my best chance was to get into all the colleges I wanted and I would leave that town and never look back.

And I did that.

Now I have an amazing life--one filled with all the things I never thought I would have growing up. And yet I still wish that I could have gone through a normal high school experience. I wish that I had made more than one friend through those years, I wish I had done more and been more, I wondr what it would have been like to not be constantly the target? What would school be like with out the bullying?

I wish that people understood how hard it is to go through that. How extremely terrible and diffcult it is to even trust and relax in that situation. Hearing how awesome it can be is not an answer--the answer is to talk about how to stop what is happening now. Today.

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