Bullies and Suicide

I’m from Vancouver and there has been a recent tragedy and a young teenager committed suicide due to bullying. She also made a YouTube video of her story and how it all happened.

This is really unfortunate. Not just this particular tragedy, but suicides induced by bullying. Suicide is not the answer. I can’t imagine the difficulty children, teenagers, and adults go through when they are bullied. So I’m not going to assume how painful it is. I’ve  had my personal experiences with bullies, minor ones. You see, I was chubby during my childhood and up until my early teens. I recall this guy who I had a crush on ask me if I was “the short fat girl” when I added him on ICQ back in the old days. I don’t remember being too perturbed by it. Fast forward 5 years when I had grown into my body and had lost some weight. Grade 12 grad photo day, he said we should take a photo together. He sees a preview of the photo and says “we look good together”, cue my inside LOL.

Another experience I had was when I was 15-16, I was a stupid teenager who thought it was a good idea to become involved with a “playa”. It lasted 2 weeks, thank goodness. Fast forward a month or so and I meet this girl he’s been on and off with forever, I greet her nicely, she responds with a snappy retort “OH, YOU’RE Helen”. Lol. Anyways, I get a text from my older brother shortly after that and he asks me if I’ve made a new Facebook (or Friendster, I don’t remember) account, I say no, why? He goes ahead and sends me a link of this “new” Facebook account of mine.

Turns out, it’s a hater who made a fake Facebook account about me and another friend of mine (who also dated this dude). It makes fun of how we’re “oriental pigs”. LOL. I wasn’t offended or hurt, it was literally a LOL moment. I still don’t know if it’s her, not that I care. So I go ahead and message this secret admirer of mine. I tell her, “”thank you for all the time you spent making a fake account about me, I really appreciate it. She responds with an extremely defensive, “Blah blah (I don’t remember the first part because I could’ve cared less), If we ever got into a fight, this girl *** would be on MY side”. I tell her, “LOL, I don’t expect her to be on my side, we’re not even friends. I don’t fight”. I continued to flood her with sarcasm for every response she had for me. It was a short back and forth, she probably realized how stupid she was.

Who the heck takes the time to make a fake hate account about a TOTAL stranger, who just happened to date the same shitty guy? I eventually reported the account and it got deleted, I never heard from my hater again. At no point during this endeavor did I feel horrible about myself. I felt sorry for her because she was clearly insecure. I was a stranger to her and she took the time to write malicious things about me. Pity.

I’m confident about who I am as a person, hate me if you’d like, I don’t really care. Sure, I have my days where I’m insecure about my body/appearance, but never my personality or my whole being. But these days, I’m more confident in every aspect of my being than I have ever been.

What’s the lesson here?

Bullies WANT a reaction from you. If you don’t give them the reaction they want, they will stop eventually. Bullies are nothing more than severely insecure people, who we should pity really. But then that would also be a form of bullying.

I understand that it is SO difficult for some people to be resilient and not to let others’ judgements get to them. It is a learning process. Resiliency is gained from life experience. If you cut yourself off from life experience, you’ll never learn what it’s like to learn from the struggles you go through. I agree that it’s unfair for ANYONE be bullied. I understand that bullying is prevalent in all walks of life. Man, woman, child, teenager, adult, seniors, and animals all get bullied at some point or another.

Bystanders also have a responsibility. Don’t be one. Or if you can’t stand up for someone, walk way and tell someone. That may seem harsh, but I’m sure more than one of you have stayed quiet in the presence of someone being bullied and just stood there. If you don’t walk away, you’re giving the bully an audience. It will feed their purpose.

If you’re being bullied, tell someone. Telling someone is not something to be embarrassed about. You’re not a coward for seeking counsel in your parents, friends, teachers, etc. You’re being brave for talking about what you’re going through. It takes a lot for a person to talk about something so sensitive and damaging in their lives. So applaud yourself for talking about it instead of shaming yourself. Your friends and family are there for support. In the cases where there is no personal support to turn to, seek counsel from social networking sites, chat with others going through the same thing, talk to a hotline, etc.

Suicide is not the answer. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering people must go through when they are being bullied to the point where they’re paralyzed. But think about the pain after you’re gone. Your friends and family have to live the rest of their lives without you, that may be just as painful, if not worse.

To the bystanders out there, your silence is just as damaging. So speak up. It brings tears to my eyes every time I see media coverage of individuals being bullied. The recent one was that hall monitor in the U.S.A. that was being bullied by the young students. I cried, it was so sad. (I have leaky tear ducts btw, when people cry, I cry).

We all have so much to say after the fact. But when the bullying is actually happening, half of us probably stand there paralyzed.

Speak up. You have a voice, so use it.

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