As I write this, I am somewhere along the feeling line of physically painful heartache, pissed offedness (Yeah, I’m making up my own fucking words now), and feeling that I’m living a lie everyday. Last night, a beautiful 15 yr old girl died in my town. It would be one thing if she died in a car-wreck or some other type of accidental manner, but Tori’s death was entirely preventable!
I can’t help feeling like we as a community failed this beautiful soul; you’d think one of us “adults” would’ve been able to see the pain she was in. I know that someone in the high school she attended had to know she was being bullied. I can only imagine who alone she must have felt to consider suicide her only method of escape. I’m not just saying I know how alone she must have felt, to be empathetic; I remember being the first time I considered suicide an option, it was the time my dad choked me on the stairs and I held my breath so he’d think I was dead. But for me, school and classmates weren’t my personal hell like they were for Tori.
School, it was like my fucking fortress of solitude; perhaps part of the reason I got a degree in education, was so I could help provide someone else with the safe haven that I had. There were times when I literally slept outside of the auditorium doors; I knew if I went to hang with one of my friends who had an apartment, I wouldn’t be dragging my ass back in the morning.
In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard or read comments from a myriad of people who were upset with the school administrators for not doing anything. Yes, I feel their anger but I can’t fully embrace it-You know why? Because they had crappy ass counselors when I was in Middle & High school too (Not all of them, Martha Street rocked!). Shit, my mom and original guidance counselor met and discussed how I got along with almost everyone, from every “clique” in my school.
Here’s where the failure part comes in, they never once discussed the hand shaped bruises across my neck or my black eye. If they weren’t “capable” of preventing that, how can we honestly expect the majority of these people to help our kids? We can’t, well at least not completely on their own. If you’ve ever seen a teenager with a phone in their hand, you know they could type out a manuscript for the modern day version of Moby Dick, in the amount of time it would take some administrators to whip out their phones. Can you imagine all the rumors and innuendo that could spread via facebook and Twitter by 10 teens, in the span of an hour?
Now, imagine you are the person who the lies and rumors are being spread about….who do you tell? Do you meet with that same school counselor, a group of friends—although, you never know how many lies have been made up about them, using your name of course. At first, I thought maybe the bullies had been through something traumatic themselves and that is why they’re bullies. But, that’s a fucking bullshit copout! I experienced some really painful & fucked up things, but I never intentionally hurt someone. Instead, I’ve always tried to be nice to everyone (I did say try. Every once in a blue-moon, you run into someone who is generally just mean, and even I can be persuaded to give up my attempts at kindness……
This piece will be ongoing, as I’ve got many thought’s about this devastating situation….but I also had surgery last week, and I’m already pushing it ;).
- Minnesota Teen Commits Suicide after being Bullied for Months (jdjournal.com)
- What Should I Do If I’m Bullied? (education.com)
- Ryan Alexander Cranford, 17, Morgantown, WVA (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- numerology for Darnell Young (edpetersonnumerology.com)
- Bullying a Strong Risk Factor for Suicide in Gay Youth (nlm.nih.gov)