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Bullying

Let’s take a break from the light-hearted humor of my usual blogs and discuss something deadly serious.

Generally, I don’t share and like facebook pages of teens who’ve killed themselves. I don’t know them, and I don’t know the entirety of the situation they were in. I’m not going to jump to the defense of some kid who killed themselves because they didn’t get the right color prius from their parents. 

I also feel a tiny twinge of bitterness, as bad as this sounds, because no one was there like that when I was being bullied.

However, a new story, one of thousands that happen all too often, has come to the public eye. Fifteen year old Amanda Todd killed herself recently because of incessant bullying. Before her death, she posted a video documenting her story, and received mixed reviews. Her bullies kept up their torment, but no one was really able to help her. She killed herself on October 10th. The people who bullied her are still posting pictures of her, and spreading vile messages on her memorial pages.

Older people pretend that young girls can’t do much damage, and that “kids will be kids” in an attempt to either forget their own bullying experiences, or deny that they ever bullied anyone. Truth is, teenage girls are probably the most vicious of our species, second only to mothers whose children are in danger. The social pressure to fit in and be perfect is so high, it can send teenagers into anxious fits, and leave them emotionally scarred. Contrary to popular belief, it IS hard to be a teenager, a lot harder than most people know, and when you’ve got 15 or 16 of your peers kicking you in the ribs, it’s hard to see the possibility for a bright future.

I hate that we live in a world where bullying isn’t taken as seriously as it needs to be. When I was in middle school, I bullied by people I thought were my friends. For anonymity’s sake, I’ll call them K and T.

I made friends with K earlier in the year, since we were both considered outcasts, and friendship is one of the only things that can make those teenage years bearable. T came in not too long after. Well, I let K be “head bitch” and endured her occasional snide comments and subtle abuse for a while, but when I started to grow a backbone and stand up to her, she and her little guard dog T did away with the subtlety. I remember one instance clearly; standing out on the football field during gym class one day, begging them to stop as T continuously swung a studded belt at me, connecting with my legs and lower abdomen more often than not. K just sat and laughed. My other friends told me time and time again that I shouldn’t be friends with K, and I tried, eventually, to end it, but there’s really no cutting ties with someone you have to see every day. K and T’s abuse, coupled with the constant flood of insults from so many of my classmates made the thought of suicide appealing. Luckily for me, I had Ashley, who I consider a sister, and a handful of people from my chorus class. I’m alive now because I had a few friends that were there for me when I needed them. 

Some people don’t even have that, while others endure so much torment that they feel alone, even among friends. No one deserves to be treated like they’re worthless. Everyone’s entitled to not like someone, but taking it this far is dangerous. To those of my friends and acquaintances that are still in school, stand up for yourself and others. Don’t let anyone abuse you or the people you know. Most importantly, don’t become one of those people that thinks it’s okay to mistreat others. You have no idea how much power you can hold over someone else’s life. Don’t abuse that.

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