Senseless Bullying…. What a waste.

This story is really depressing and brought back a lot of memories of my high school years.  I’m sure you’ve heard by now about this Freshman that was bullied so harshly by fellow so-called classmates that taking his own life was the better choice.  I can’t begin to understand what he went through as it seems the bullying in schools now is at least a few levels more intense than the worst of mine in four years of high school.

Jamey Rodemeyer Suicide

During my Freshman to Junior year, I was teased for what I wore, called names, and a host of other horrible pranks that don’t require detail here.  Just know that for 10 months out of those three years I dreaded getting on the bus knowing what was awaiting me when I got to school.  I wasn’t athletic (still not), I wasn’t the attractive “popular” kid, and I didn’t have a lot of friends.  With a last name starting with W, I generally sat in the back of the room and stuck to myself a lot.  I guess that made me a target, to this day I really don’t know for sure why I was singled out.  The treatment I received in high school during this time launched me down the road to depression that lasted into the first few years of my marriage to G.

It wasn’t until my Senior year that I finally had enough of the treatment and I fought back physically at first, then with words.  The singular event that was physical resulted in the other guy getting a broken nose and causing a nice dent in a locker door.  In all but a few cases, I realized that I was smarter and quicker on my feet with a battle of words and generally would smack down insults and teases relatively quickly.  The teasing eventually stopped only to be directed at some other poor soul.

What most don’t realize is that the pain from bullying often carries with a person long after the actual abuse stops.  The torment from three years was at times excruciating to deal with and I would retreat into my own world of online chat, bulletin boards, and other Internet related stuff.  I internalized the pain, anger, and “why me” thoughts until it became too much to handle and I broke down following a huge fight with G that I can no longer remember its subject.  The point is that I could have easily gone down the same road as Jamey Rodemeyer.  I personally did not, but so many others have.  It started for me in high school, and it took almost a year of therapy for me to determine that.

Kids can be cruel, plain and simple.  The slightest bit of weakness or difference is amplified in a group of kids and often targeted.  The reasons vary, but they’re all senseless.  I told myself for years that all those kids that targeted me were less mature and didn’t know themselves well enough to do anything different.  Lemmings following the pied pipers.  It needs to stop, there needs to be some form of discipline that is effective enough to make a would-be bully think twice before making fun of someone else.

I’ve made my peace with all of them, personally, within my own life.  I had to, for my own sanity.  What they did was cruel, terrible, horrible…. describe it anyway you want.  The support from G and making a success of my life is what made me overcome my hang ups in the past and move past them completely.  Jamey will never have that chance, and that is sad to think about.  My mind often wanders at times thinking about all the people that don’t get the chance to live their lives completely and what are we all missing out on because of that?

4 thoughts on “Senseless Bullying…. What a waste.

  1. I was bullied in elementary and Junior high to the point where I dreaded the end of the school day. That was in 1960 0n and off through 63 but I was able to continue with no adult intervention. Basically I took a beating and it was over. My son was bullied when he was about the same age. We ended up home schooling him and, at the age of 28 he is now working on his G.E.D. As you said, it seems to intensify with every generation. From my most recent experience with the problem (a female 16 year old grand daughter), the anonymity of the internet has made it much more unbearable. Non-relenting! And the teachers and parents are helpless and/ or useless. Is there a solution? Or do we just continue to lose kids to suicide?

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    • I’m an optomist, so I do think there is a solution. We are (adults) smart and should recognize the problem. My fear, especially for my daughter, is that there is a “it’s someone elses problem” syndrome. That needs to be fixed first before the real bullying situation can begin to get rectified.

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  2. I think of this often, too. The most extraordinary loss is personal, but the world as a whole is less for the lights we lose to bullying.

    My siblings and I were often mocked and had few friends as a result of being poor and “different.” As I grew and both my seething glares and “hurkin'” muscles became prominent, I was teased less and less, but my siblings continued being subjected to bullying for a long time. Some of the teasing my youngest sister was subject to was so brutal, just reading about it in my old journals about a year ago had me struggling hard to suppress rage. In one of the cases, the parents were all sitting around and just laughing as if it’s “just kids being kids” to walk around gesturing in sync with horrible taunts like, “DUUUUUH, I’m M, I’m retarded, DUUUUH.” With their parents there! Argh!

    I love my little guy so much, but you’d better believe he will never, ever get away with such cruelty. Mostly, I hope I raise him in such a way that he’d rather help a kid up than knock him down.

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