We all need to step up and take responsibility for allowing bullying to happen in today’s society and work together to stop it.
How many more young people are going to take their own lives before we realize that this is getting worse, not better?
Unless you have been bullied, you can not truly understand what a person goes through at the hand of their tormenters. This is not just something that happens to children or teens and the affects do not disappear when you turn into an adult.
I have been a victim of just about every kind of abuse out there from the time I was a young child. I am now in my 50s and let me tell you, it does not get any easier. I still find myself struggling everyday to get over the pain of being bullied, abuse and discriminated against.
When I started school back in September 1960, I was excited and happy to be going to school. What I didn’t expect was the reaction from the kids who had attended the school. It was a fight from my first day of school. I was bullied, humiliated, teased, pushed, hit, embarrassed, ignored, slandered, laughed at, joked about and it never stopped. This happened every day from the first day of school until I moved out of the town when I was 16 in 1977.
People do not understand how you can feel so bad about yourself and when I hear of a young person who had taken their own life to get away from it all, I understand. I understand because there were so many times when I thought it would have been just easier if I put an end to it myself. I sometimes contemplated that on a daily basis. I had no one to turn to. When it got to the point where I would seriously think of killing myself, I would think no, because if I did, then they would win. I learned to shut down my senses. I taught myself how to feel nothing at all. I would go to a place in my mind and shut myself right down when the abuse started, so no matter what they did or said, I didn’t feel it.
I promised myself that as soon as I could I would get away from this place I would. And I did that, when I was 16. I had just started dating the first real boyfriend I ever had. He was moving away to the Northwest Territories to get a job and I ran away with him. I told myself it was because I loved him so much, but I know I would of loved just about anyone who would of taken me away from that town.
It wasn’t long before I realized that no matter how far I went, I could never get away or escape. It was too deep inside me to ever be able to get away from it. So even though I was far away, got married and raised a family, I never forgot. I tried to work on that for years to say that it didn’t matter to me. The things they said and did didn’t matter because I survived. But it still hurts. I have since moved back to that community, I am here by myself. My children are not far away and it is for them that I try to keep going because being a mother and a grandmother are my most important roles. I am not married, I don’t think I will ever be again because I just cannot trust anyone to allow them to be a part of my life. I am better alone.
I did think that I would be able to forget, but I can’t. Every time I see one of the people now who treated me so badly, it kills me inside because I can see that it doesn’t bother them at all to have bullied me and they are able to live a happy life and have no guilty feelings for what they did to me. I wish they knew how much they hurt me and how I can never get over the things that were done to me. I am trying though, but every face I see, every street I walk or drive down, hold bad memories for me. The school, even though it is mostly redone since I went there, still gives me shivers when I go by.
I wish I could put a stop to the abuse. I wish that I could say that no other person would have to go through the hurt and the suffering, but I can’t. We have to try though because no one person should ever be the victim of abuse and bullying. Not another young person should ever have to think that killing themselves it the only way out. This is serious.
I am 52 years old and have lived as a victim to all kinds of abuse and it has not been easy. We need to all work together, because it is not going away and what we have now is bullies raising bullies, the cycle will never stop. Everyone needs to step up and help any child who they know is being bullied or abused. We owe it to our children to keep them safe and let them know that someone does care and someone will help them all then need to do is speak out and we need to listen.
Teachers, principals, counsellors, daycare providers, policemen, doctors, nurses, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents — everyone who is part of a child’s life needs to help put a stop to bullying and keep our children safe, please.