Friday, November 18, 2011

This Has To Stop

I was getting ready to go to work this morning when I caught the end of a story about a 10 year old girl who committed suicide, possibly related to bullying. This is not an isolated incident. And we're not just talking about suicide. Bullying can also lead to violenceI just want to take a teeny bit of blog space to reiterate the message of the It Gets Better campaign and let y'all know that it doesn't only apply to LGBT bully-victims, but it is true for everyone. 

Social hierarchies are vicious. As a former bully-victim, I want everyone out there to know that it can get so much better. I was an ugly child, I was too skinny, I was a nerd who wore glasses, I dressed only for comfort, and my parents weren't sitting atop a pile of money. Kids noticed. I was teased pretty relentlessly throughout elementary school. But IT GOT BETTER. I am really grateful for those kids who were wise beyond their years and didn't just hop on the bullying bandwagon. I am also extremely grateful for my parents, who from a very early age told me that some people are just assholes, and that I shouldn't take their shit to heart. You, too, are important and can do or be anything you want to be -- anyone who thinks otherwise can 'take a flying ride on a rolling donut,' as my dad would say. I'm still too skinny, I am still a nerd who wears glasses, I still primarily dress for comfort, and no one in my family is sitting atop a pile of money yet. But I've managed to build a life surrounded by people who don't care about that stuff -- they care about me.   

If it doesn't get better on its own, you can make it better. Talk to your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, teachers, sympathetic classmates, counselors -- anyone you trust. Find the people who support you and spend your time with them. Be strong. Know that you are not alone. Lots of us endure bullshit, and you, too, can come out on the other end with the power to break the chain. And remember, the minute you graduate, you can move. You'll be mobile enough to find the people who are mature and secure enough to accept you for who you are. Because we're out here and we're rooting for you! 

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