Some of you may have seen this on twitter already, but I wanted to just say a few words about something very close to my heart right now.
I’ve been sitting on this, but I really want to say something. I have all of these terribly raw emotions twisting inside of me, and since I can’t help this person until a few days from now when I go to see them on the first flight I could get, I feel like I should DO something about this. Say something.
Because something good has to come from this.
Someone close to me, a teenage boy I have known since they were a little kid — a wonderful, bright boy who used to joke that I was his 2nd mom — tried to commit suicide a few days ago. Because of bullying.
The whole thing has made me absolutely sick to my stomach. People can be cruel. I’ve known this for a long time. I endured bullying because I was the weird bipolar aspie, and yes, I was suicidal a few times as a teen and young adult. I’ve even dealt with suicide in my extended family.
But I never imagined having to look this so squarely in the face through someone else’s eyes. Especially not someone who I feel so protective of.
Some of his stories were seriously bad enough to make me double over retching. Psychological abuse may not leave the outward marks that physical abuse does, but it can be just as devastating.
I’m so torn and full of raw, helpless rage. I want to throw things and scream and just rage forever. My dear little teenage boy’s mom hacked apart a dead tree in her backyard with a chainsaw to deal with the fury. My only weapons and tools are words. I am trying to do my best with them.
The abuser was an authority figure, someone who my near and dear little teenage boy was supposed to trust and look up to. That’s just WRONG, guys! I want to find this bullying person and put them in their place (obviously I won’t), but that would make me just as bad as them. Instead, I will simply condemn their behavior the only way I can.
This is WRONG.
I don’t know if this all has a point. Hell, maybe I’m just typing these things out to make myself feel less useless, more capable of DOING something.
But maybe someone will find some meaning in this. Maybe some little good thing can come out of this.
I have nothing new to add to this discussion. If you’re reading this, chances are, you already think the same way I do. Chances are, you’ve tried your hardest to not be terrible to people, and this sickens you as much as it sickens me.
All I have is a plea.
Please, just remember that what you say and do has an impact. Be kind. Be mindful. Don’t be horrid. Use your powers for good.
Please, guys. Please be good to each other. This has to stop.
(And just so everyone can breathe a bit easier, this person is getting professional help now and has been taken FAR away from their abuser, so silver lining there.)
Please, just do one good thing or say one nice thing to someone for me today. You never know what pain the people around you may be hiding. Be a listening ear or sympathetic shoulder, and you will have my eternal gratitude.
If you’d be so kind as to share these wonderful words and deeds with the world and if you could use #WordsSaveLives, I would love to be able to show this boy that something good has come from his horrible experience.
Stay fiery, peeps. And don’t let ANYONE put that fire out.
2 thoughts on “It Has to Stop — #WordsSaveLives”
My son is an aspie. It is my daily job to explain why kids and teacher say horrible things to him and to each other. Bullies are young and old, so we see, and I have to do my best to lessen their effect on him. He asks to be homeschooled a lot. I explain that he needs to understand what is out there now, in order to deal with it later. I worry that what happened to your sweet young friend could happen to my son, but if I cocoon him now it will be like throwing him to the wolves later. And again the fear that he will not survive it. Just wanted to share with you since you shared with us. Chin up and wrap your support around your friend with confidence that it will help.
It is sickening. Bad enough when kids verbally abuse one another, but even worse when people in positions of authority and care do it. The words we say to one another matter. We should never take them lightly. I’m constantly telling my chatty 10-year-old that what comes into her head doesn’t have to come out of her mouth. We all need to learn to filter and weigh what we say. That doesn’t mean we never say things that may hurt, or that will be hard for someone to hear (the truth can sometimes be hurtful and hard), but the way we say those things and the words we choose can make a huge difference. Learning to see ourselves in others and treat one another as fellow human beings is a great start.
OK, I’ll stop there since I’m starting to write my own blog article in your comments, Rae! Clearly I agree with you, and I wish your friend all the best. 🙂