Monday, October 3, 2011
Bullying: That Was My Past, This Is Our Present
Turn on the television. There it is, another kid committing suicide because of bullying. I find myself glued to the television, I watch the Youtube videos, I hear what people are saying...poor guy. If only I could have been there for him. To hold his hand and tell him, it can and WILL be alright. Talk about it, call someone, SCREAM! An intensity impregnates my body, starting in my stomach, growing to every extremity. My mind begins to swirl asking itself, how do we live in this crazy world? Crazy, we don't even know each other, but I understand. Time goes by as I am sitting there thinking about it...I cry.
I can sit here and tell you all the statistics of how many kids kill themselves from bullying or are being bullied. But if you are reading this and you are one of the kids being bullied, we both know it doesn't mean a damn thing. It's happening, it is real...but it doesn't have to continue.
I know lately my posts have been a little melancholy in nature. Some not about dating, and that is alright. My blog is not just about that. It is a forum, a place for discourse to happen amongst men, boys, guys, people. We sit down, discuss, share...together we learn about our lived and shared experiences. Some of my readers maybe have never experienced bullying, I say you are lucky and I hope you never do. It plays on every level that is YOU. It creeps into every crevice of your brain, slowly draining into your body as the neurons deliver every painful blow. Your body doesn't know what to do with it, so instead you find yourself holding on to the feeling, gripping your hands so tight, until they turn white, knowing that if you opened them the hurt will be released. You try but to much avail, you can't.
...truth is, I have been called a faggot since I was about 8 years old. Has it ended, no. Even into adulthood I have experienced the same bullying, kid's words hurt when you are young. It is the end of the world, you want to pull yourself into a ball and cry and wish it all went away. You wonder, why would another human being want to hurt me? What did I do that caused disruption in their daily life, to incur such hatred, such dislike? Is it because of the color of my skin? My sexual orientation? My height? Maybe I am not butch enough. Maybe, my financial status isn't the same as yours. Who knows?
There was a point in my life that I questioned who I was because of the bullying. In adulthood, I figured the reason I was gay was because I was called it every day of my life. Have I lost you? All the bullying and name calling, I thought, made me gay or made me believe I was gay. How fucked up in the head do you have to be, right? Here is an adult questioning if his mere existence as a gay man was made up because of bullying and name calling. Am I the only one who has ever had that cross their mind? I tried to conceive in my head the idea that what I was doing was wrong and the only reason I could be doing anything that I am doing in my life today, or at that point, was because I figured better to be it, what they were calling me, than to try and be something else. It was too much work, too much effort. People had me figured out...had I?
My boyfriend at the time never had a clue that things like this were running through my head. Instead I would poke fun at him for being bisexual, and not knowing what he actually liked. I would go into fits of rage, rage that I had pent up in myself..because underneath all of what people thought me to be or formulated me to be, I never truly knew who I was. Inside was a kid struggling to break free and make sense of who he was apart from the name calling. It was a constant mental torment. Just a fraction of the craziness I had in store. It was me trying to break free of myself and who I thought was created for me, and he was on the receiving end of my battered soul search trying to reclaim my childhood.
Home life for me was easy. My parents were and are very loving people. I just never thought I could go to them about being called names. Instead as a young boy, I would sit in my room and listen to Mariah Carey's, Hero, over and over. Sometimes I wondered to myself, would any of this ALL be over? Will someone really come and make it all better? When I grow up, would I be free to be myself?
I see the people who end their lives due to bullying, and I wonder why? Why? Wasn't there someone you could turn to and call a friend? Where is your family? But, could they really help? You can be surrounded by a million people but yet still feel so alone...I know that feeling. The idea to end my life never crossed my mind...instead I wished for bad things to happen to me, to end it all. Sometime I would go for a drive, swirl down the winding street, get onto the freeway in the middle of the night, and hope that maybe I'd get into a bad accident where I ram into a wall. Or, I would take walks, to escape reality, and hope that maybe I was assaulted. I know what you are thinking, how fucked up is this kid? ...bullying plays with everything in your being. Logic and common sense aren't present, only the feeling, this feeling that is stuck inside every ounce of you flowing through your cells, carried by your blood, you can't escape it.
...a good friend told me, Daniel that was your past. True, it was, but bullying is another kid's present, and for some unlucky others, their future. Together WE need to put a stop to it. Volunteer, talk, ask, listen...be there.