Tyler Clementi, an 18 year-old Rutgers University student took his own life recently because of bullying and teasing. His death is one of the latest to make the news where bullying by classmates led to a suicide.
Bullying, teasing and the deaths that result from it has become a pandemic. School administrators are finally starting to being called out and forced to deal with a problem that has plagued kids for decades. But unlike the past, it can not and should not be ignored or swept away.
I too was bullied and teased from first grade through my senior year in high school, not because of my orientation, but because I was breathing. I too thought of suicide or at the very least running away, but in the didn't.
Someone else mentioned they also were told to ignore it - which never worked. I'm not sure I know anyone that it's worked for.
There is nothing worse than the pain you feel when you are going through it. And at 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, the only thing you want is for that pain to end. And it doesn't matter how.
One of the best things I did was join the military and then go to college. The best revenge against bullies is to live. Not just to live but to thrive. To live life to its fullest, to chase whatever dream you have and succeed at it.
While the pain of those years will never completely go away, it helps to form the strong person you will become. And then it ceases to matter. You are able to do things others can't or won't, because of your strength.
It does get better.
I have traveled through out the world where many of those who bullied me never left the city.
It does get better. And it's worth striving for.
KatieBabs Blog has a stirring post on bullying and getting better. For every comment left on the post up to 500, she is donating a dollar to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and to the Trevor Project.