Reach out to those who cannot speak up

Okay, forget the schedule. I am torqued, and I am going to write what is on my mind. I know full well no one will read this (new blog, tiny blog), but, you know what, maybe someone will.

I saw THIS (http://www.chicagonow.com/portrait-of-an-adoption/2014/02/11-yr-old-boy-bullied-for-being-a-brony-fighting-for-life-after-suicide-attempt-how-you-can-help/) today while on Epbot. The poster wrote her own thing, and now I will write mine. Not on bullying per say.

Bullies are jerks, and often, they are hurting jerks. Ever see “Breakfast Club”? If not, go watch it (then come back.) This movie perfectly captures every kind of person. There are five main characters: The princess (queen of school, loved by rich father, used as a tool of her parents war- no sense of self and a snot); The nerd (high expectation parents, though they love him, bullied by the jocks, seems happy-go-luck but isn’t inside); The jock (father molding him to be a clone, a ‘good job son’ boy, little sense of identity and miserable); The basketcase (the weird one everyone ignores, including parents, has no social skills and isolates herself); and the Criminal.

The criminal comes from an abusive home, where fist-fights are common and its the law of the jungle. He is fundemntally someone very hurt, who takes his hurt out by hurting the rest of the world. All five are hurt, and have different ways of showing it (princess and criminal bully; jock and nerd hide it; outcast just hides then explodes). The bully, obviously, is the most harmful of the three options. The criminal and the princess use this- or the highest and lowest of any schools food chain.

Obviously, I am not going to defend them in the slightest. I am stating facts. Now here’s another fact: no one ever stands up for the victims.

Everyone says, let live and let live; it isn’t MY problem, I shouldn’t get involved, I don’t know what’s going on. BS, in my frank opinion. Even my uncle is that way, much to my horror. Though, he had a point: 8 out of 10 people will avoid a fight, the 9th will fight if he has to, and the 10th just is looking for a fight. I’m the 9th. Bullies are the 10th. And the rest of you? Cut the ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ nonsense.

Look, I’ve been picked on my entire life. I am weird, I am different. I am socially stunted, and personality an oddball. I am the basketcase, so often, I’m the outcast. Most words directed at me were either condescending, pitying, or mean. Needless to say I detested this. Fortunately, my current group doesn’t do this. But I was ALONE. I had no friends, only pals. I had no one I could trust, confide in, or ask for help. And with all the abuse I got at home, I needed that. Desperately.

I actually tried to kill myself at 17. It failed. Why? Long, long story not appropriate for here. But it failed and I didn’t try again, though to this day I wish I were dead at times. And why did I? Because of all the abuse I went through. And because NOBODY CARED.

Humans need human comfort. We need friends, family, somebody to care and love us. Deprive us of that, and we will kill ourselves. Or torment us so much that we CANNOT take it anymore and we will. When the darkness starts to outweigh the light is when a person looks to the noose. They don’t have to be goth/emo/cutter/smoker/addict to be hurting. They don’t have to be physically assaulted to be wounded. They don’t have to have no family to feel alone. Perfectly ordinary (seemingly) people can be hurting so deeply.

Another reason I’m writing this? JewWario, a happy-go-lucky ball of sunshine if there ever was one, killed himself. Shot his head off with his wife pleading at him from the other side of the door. This man has no obvious sorrow, no obvious problems. The viewers (he’s a reviewer), his family, they don’t know why he did this. He seemed happy. Obviously, the happiness did nothing to stem the will to die.

And that’s why the ‘not my problem’ philosophy bugs me so much. A kind word, ONE KIND WORD, can save a persons life. On Pintrest, you occasionally see this story, about a valedictorian’s speech. He was bullied. On the way home, he had all his books, and some jerks knocked him to the ground for being a nerd. One student was worried, and offered to help him gather the books. They got to know each other through high school. When he gave his speech, he explained that on THAT DAY he was planning on committing suicide- that’s why he cleared out his locker and had all the books. If the student HADN’T intervened, he would be dead.

It really is that simple. One person can make a world of difference. One small, seemly random act can change everything. Something like that happened to me: my friend, who I know live with, gave me this friendship ring a few weeks before I tried to kill myself. It was a simple thing, and said “Loyalty, friendship, love.” A silly, cheap bookstore ring. I cherished it (lost it when I moved in, it is hiding in my carpet I swear). That meant the world to me. That she noticed my crying. That she CARED. And that’s WHY I moved in with her family, and chose her family. Though it helped nothing for the first attempt, if I hadn’t moved in with these guys, I would have killed myself when my mom died. I am positive of that- and I can’t count on it failing twice. She saved my life, though she will never know it. By getting a cheap, 3 dollar ring.

Your actions mean everything. It isn’t enough to NOT bully. It isn’t enough to keep a civil tongue. You have to reach out. See the kid in the back of the room? The one hunched over a book, hair blocking their face? The one with shining eyes, for no reason, because of some memory? The kid who walks alone, sits alone, says nothing to anyone? The one who looks hopefully at those talking… but cannot join in?

Go to them. Talk to them. Find a common ground. Find something. Not small talk, not pity talk, human-to-human talk. Real talk. Let them know you are willing to talk to them. Show them you are genuine. And try more than once. On the second or third try, they will open up. By then, its too much of a hassle for a pity person, it means its a real person.

You never know when a simple skin word will save a life.

(PS. If you really see someone bullied, if you do not want to stop it, go up to the kid afterwards and just say, “hey, forget it. Those guys are jerks/idiots. You are much better than that” or something along those lines. Reassure them, if you can.)

 

(PPS: why did I bring up the crinimal at all? Because they usually START as someone bullied or abused. The then take out their pain on others, creating an endless vicious cycle. By the bulling phase they are kinda helpless- but if you get to them BEFORE that, not only will you help them but you would prevent future victims. )

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