No More Bullies

Posted on March 24th, 2013

shutterstock_108383702In elementary school, there was a boy in our class that…I dunno…stood out a bit. He wasn’t cool & obnoxious like the rest of us. He was an innocent. I watched him get tortured (literally) every single day from kindergarten through high school. He was sweet, quiet and never fought back. Day after day he was beaten, teased, insulted, humiliated. It seemed normal. Some of his worst bullies were my good friends.

Here is the part that sickens me: I remember the abuse, but I don’t remember if I ever tried to help him, or if I ever hurt him myself, and that not remembering tears me to shreds. The fact that I don’t even remember my place in all of that evil makes me sick in shame. Years later he found me on Facebook, and his posts about being bullied as a child and how haunted and damaged he still is by that pain…I am ashamed of myself for it.

As a young adult I lost my best friend to suicide…he was only 21. He started pulling away from me suddenly and acting out of character. I expressed my concern to his closest friends, but around them he acted ‘normal.’ They thought I was just jilted by rejection. I thought maybe they were right, and so I decided for my own sake, to pack up my broken heart and leave town suddenly leaving no contact info even though I knew I was the only one he could spill his guts to. His friends loved him, and they teased each other mercilessly, but it was all in good fun. Their teasing hurt him, and he would tell me about it, but refused to tell them because he knew their intentions weren’t bad and it was “his oversensitivity problem” which he was acutely aware of. He was about to leave for college, which was something that terrified him, but selfishly, I just disappeared leaving him alone.

A month later he killed himself, in a spot that was very special to us.

Statistics show that 30% of kids are bullied, which leaves 70% of kids watching and potentially doing nothing about it.

Yesterday a friend of mine was complimenting her kids’ school on the tough stance they have on bullying, and the kids are programmed very young that you never EVER want to be called a bully. They train kids to be heroes. Yet I have other friends that complain that their kids’ schools do nothing.

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people…I wonder how many of those suicides had bullying as a catalyst? Sometimes I think morality and compassion should be taught as fiercely as math & grammar.Having suicide as the third leading cause of death among young people is totally unacceptable. To me, that’s an epidemic.

CCSF has decided to put some energy into this issue, and we are working on an inspirational video about the topic. We want to hear your stories.

If you have something to say about this issue, please contact me directly. Whether you want to share your feelings in video, audio or in writing, we ask people of all ages to come together & get this out in the open.

Lets have a conversation about mental illness, bullying & suicide. It might just save a life!

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