Yesterday, a young man from my hometown took his own life. Now, people are trying to find someone to blame. Of course, they blame the school system.
I didn't really know him, but I knew who he was. He use to come in the place I worked, before moving to Virginia, nearly every day.
He was bullied. It's sad, but it happens. It happens to a lot of us- Bullying doesn't target a specific gender, sexual preference, race, etc. Anyone can be bullied. I was bullied some growing up, and I know many others who were as well.
For more than a week, you could see on this kid's facebook that he was reaching out. Continually talked about ending his life. Who stood up and said something? Who asked for help for this young man? No one. I'm not apart of his facebook page. After hearing about his death, I went to his page. I read his posts where for days straight he hinted to taking his life. And a post from a week ago again. People want to blame the school system for doing nothing but giving the bullies a slap on the wrist, but no one, including his friends, stood up to say "He needs help".
I'm going to get a bit more personal here- and I may totally regret this, especially if my family reads this, but I think it's time to stand up and say something. I use to have suicidal thoughts. Alot. Until this day, noone has really known that. Twice I actually tried- again, only maybe 2 people even know of one of those instances.
When I was 14, I took nearly 20-25 Tylenol at one time. Being 14, I thought it would do it. I felt trapped, I felt alone and I felt empty. Killing myself was the easy way out for me. I took the pills and went to school. I started throwing up at school and ended up at Vanderbilt hospital. I must have thrown up all the medicine, the doctors said they didn't know what was wrong with me and ruled it a small stomach bug. I don't think a single person knows about that. All anyone knew is that I had a really bad headache and took more Tylenol then I should have and the headaches could have made me sick. I was known for having headaches so bad that I would get sick often, so it was believable.
When I was 16, I actually cut my wrist. I was at a point in my life where I was confused all the time, and again, I felt alone. I felt as if noone would notice if I was gone. I didn't cut deep at all, but when I saw the blood, I asked myself, "What is wrong with you?!". I didn't want to be this person. I hid the scabbed up cut from everyone. Wore long sleeves, or covered it with a watch. My mom saw it one day as I was helping to cook something and grabbed my arm and asked what it was. At this point, it had healed that it sort of looked like a burn. I went with it. I told my mom that I was reaching across a pot and skimmed the side of a hot metal pan. Some how, it was believeable and she didn't question me.
Why didn't I tell anyone? I was embarrassed.
I'm saying this because maybe, there's someone out there who feels trapped and just wants to give up. I want them to know that you're not the only one who deals with things that make you feel like noone in the world can understand. There are people who do care and do understand. You just have to talk to someone. Find a way to let it out- other than cutting yourself or trying to commit suicide. There are better options. Yes, It will be hard. But life is full of challenges. Hard times always come and go. Don't take the easiest route out of it all and take your own life. Every single person in this world has the potential to grow up and be great at something.
As far as bullying goes, It's tough. I like to look at it this way. They are jealous of you- or one person starts something and their posse just follows. Sometimes, they are in the same shoes. The may be bullied at home, or they are being bullied to bully you- pure pressure.
People need to start standing up for themselves. Friends need to speak up when needed. Parents need to listen when a child has something to say and teachers need to speak up if bullying is noticed or unusual behavior is seen at school.