The Damn I Happen To Give

Everyone is talking about the bullying and the suicides and all the videos telling kids to hang in there, things will be ok. I read a post about how these videos are insulting and in the end, not enough. That maybe just telling kids to wait until the storm passes is making the situation worse.

His point is that we need to make things better right now and kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves. I couldn’t agree more that things need to change. I think school administrations need to take bullying more seriously, I think parents need to open their eyes and in the end I think it’s about fucking time bullying is taken seriously.

I’ve written about bullying many times and it’s something that is very close to my heart. Whenever I hear about kids being bullied to the point where they just want life to end my heart breaks because I’ve been there. I’ve been bullied to the point where I spent part of the school day in the bathroom crying and I’ve contemplated suicide.

I wish we could just give each one of these kids a good dose of confidence and a set of boxing gloves. I wish there was a way to just teach kids how to stand up for themselves and maybe you can but I know I was far too afraid to take a stand. I just wanted to be left alone. I’ve never been one to stand up to the crowd of kids taunting me, it’s just not in me.

I can say one thing though, these videos telling kids that eventually it will be ok, could have helped me. To know that I wasn’t the only one suffering and that it wouldn’t last forever would have helped me so much. I would have given anything to know back then that I wasn’t alone.

So maybe just telling kids it will get better is important in itself because no matter how much we fix the world around us, being a teenager will always suck and will always be hard. If we can make a few kids feel less alone then that’s a win in my book.

9 Comments

  1. Pauline

    October 7, 2010 at 9:22 am

    “I think parents need to open their eyes and in the end I think it’s about fucking time bullying is taken seriously.”

    Amen to that! Teachers also need to be more actively involved and open their eyes and ears as to what’s going on. If they see bullying, they need to tell the perpetrator(s) parents and discipline has to be handed down.

    It takes a village to raise a child and the same village to stop antisocial behaviour from developing and spreading.

    1. Robin

      October 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      @Pauline, It sure does. The more positive people kids have in their life to help them the better off.

  2. Amanda

    October 7, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I know I’m not the first person to say this, but it’s the adult’s behavior that’s teaching the children to act this way. They tell them that gays can’t get married, can’t serve in the military, are sinners, etc and then they’re surprised when their kids are bullies. Of course. They are the one’s who are teaching them to discriminate.

    And I see both sides of the story. It certainly does get better. High School ends, and you go to college where you can meet people who are just like you. However, if someone is really hurting I’m not sure that telling them that 4 years from now things will be better is really helping them.

    1. Robin

      October 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      @Amanda, This whole thing for me is about making things better but also helping the kid to survive day to day. Some kids, like me, just need to find a way to get the hell through it. Also, I think kids NEED to get involved in something at school, getting involved in colcorguard/marching band saved my sanity.

  3. Maureen

    October 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I think that every effort to reach out to a kid who’s hurting is a good thing. What might work for one, might not for another. So – yay for the videos, yay for teachers, adults & parents who step in and give support, yay for friends or just good kids who stand up and tell the mean kids to stop being idiots.

    It’s good to give these kids the confidence & support they need to withstand it.

    But, additionally, I think we need to start making the bullies feel ashamed of themselves, making their parents feel socially ostracized for raising such cruel human beings, and we need to start holding kids legally responsible when they do illegal things, even when they’re just kids, even when they’re doing them in school. Schools should not have their own set of rules for dealing with criminal behavior that supercedes any legal recourse. Kids who are being harrassed should be able to file a police report for each incident, even when it happens in school and when the harasser is a child. Those police reports will create a paper trail for future legal action, restraining orders, arrests. This is what happens when adults harrass other adults – I don’t know why kids get a pass.

    1. Robin

      October 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      @Maureen, I couldn’t agree more Maureen, as usual.

  4. Shelli

    October 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    It breaks my heart when you talk about being bullied. It breaks my heart when every time I ask a child at work (it’s part of our questions that we ask during physicals) if they are bullied and they say that they are. It. Breaks. My. Heart. I want to pull these children, that are not of my own flesh, onto my lap and hold them and tell them that they are worthy of so much more than what they have been subjected to. That they are loved. That they do not deserve to be bullied. Did I say it breaks my heart? I feel physically ill. Now, your words will come from my mouth when another child tells me that they are bullied.

    1. Robin

      October 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      @Shelli, I’m not much of a kid person, particularly a teenager kind of person but if I ever met a kid/teen who was being bullied I’d have to hug them and tell them if I got to where I am right now then they can too.

  5. subwow

    October 12, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Robin, I don’t think Micael is saying that these vids are an insult. (Perhaps I missed it?) I think he’s just frustrated with all the hurt that the LGBT community has to endure and asking why we cannot do something about it NOW rather than have to ask these kids to wait. I think he understands that NOW is not going to change everything for everybody everywhere, and so the videos do serve their purposes.

    Now speaking of comments on these suicides… I read in a comment in one of the posts that talked about the recent string of deaths of young people, the commenter actually blamed it on modern parents catering to their kids too much and therefore kids could not take the heat. She also said suicide is selfish. I know some people think suicide is selfish (esp. if you have seen the movie Sunshine Cleaning you’d agree with it) But NOT an appropriate thing to say in this context. Ugh.

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