Bullying. Bullying. Bullying. It’s all over the media lately because of the increased suicide rates.
And it’s something I very familiar with.
I lived with it most of my childhood. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t one of those who ended my life even though I felt a part of me was stolen because of all the years of cruelty i endured. Somehow I managed to deal with it, but it scars you for a long time.
I never had a role model or a mentor. M mother’s advice was to ‘bury it under the carpet’ so to speak and just hope it will go away’.
I was bullied in Junior High and High School. So for about 8 years.
I wasn’t able to comprehend the bullying that I changed high schools 5 times and went to 5 different schools in 5 different areas of the city, thinking new students will mean no more bullying. I was trying to escape from it all but it followed me everywhere I went.
I began to loathe high school because I was tormented every single day. When the teacher left the room for a few minutes my heart would race and I began to shake and became very nervous, because every single time that teacher left the entire class ganged up on me, threw things at me, called me every name in the book and then waited for me outside to beat me up. I couldn’t learn.
I was ashamed. I was scared and I felt like I was nothing.
I just wanted to learn in peace and without fear. I was quiet and to myself and I wasn’t as I am today, outspoken, a bit abrasive and much much stronger, I was totally different back then, other students were so cruel that during breaks I often went to the office just to hang out with the staff and get away from the rest of the students. Most of the time I pretended that I was feeling ill just to go home early or not go at all. Going to school was like going to prison. It was psychological torture. It was hell.
My mother’s advice was only to ignore the nastiness or change schools, my father was rarely around to be that father figure, what every son needs to thrive and grow. While my mother’s advice was good enough for her, it didn’t make the problem go away. When teachers noticed or even care to notice that other students were ganging up on me, rarely did they care, they were only there to teach not parent.
I was a boy who didn’t know how to stand up for himself. And I was always taught by my mother violence isn’t the answer, so I was never a violent person. I never fought back. I wasn’t taught or given the strength me to stand up for myself, I sat there and took the beating that lasted years of emotional/mental abuse. And when I went to school, the days where I wasn’t pretending to be sick, just as I was scared to go to school I was just as scared to leave, I didn’t know who or if other students would be waiting outside to beat me up.
My parents never believed in therapy, if they took me to a therapist my life wouldn’t of got worse.
Perhaps from the years of rejection, throughout childhood and into my 20’s, I had a dream, to be an actor , so even through out all of that torment I managed to push myself to audition in school play and got a small part in a play. I was so excited and thought my dreams came alive. It was short-lived. When it came to performing in front of other students I had zero self-esteem and zero confidence, all of that was taken away from me, stolen, robbed. When it was time to for performing live I became paralyzed. I heard students yell “FAGGOT!”. FAGGOT Get off the stage, faggot!!. I was embarrassed. And for some reason I had a lot of fear and shame.
Instead I was given a ‘walk in’ part. Even though it wasn’t the part I originally got my mother still came to watch. My father was rarely around and I was hurt he couldn’t take the time to see me in something that meant so much to me.
For the longest time I felt rejected, unworthy and broken at such a young age. I wanted to be heard and seen. I felt invisible. So for most of my 20’s I tried to make up for it, I did everything to get attention in attempts to build myself up and feel accepted and to be liked instead of being hated.. I tried to fit in with the wrong crowd and gained bad habits. But all I was doing was self-sabotaging and self-destructive. And I was just hurting myself. The only thing I was used to.
In my 20’s I abused myself. It’s all I was used to. I never felt so empty. Like everything was stripped away from me. Then I let others abuse and use me. I hung out with the wrong crowds and turned to addictions because I felt accepted when these users were hanging out with me. Then I hit rock bottom, you could of got a coffin out to bury me.
A lot of kids can’t cope with being bullied and their only way out is to end their life. They’re not being heard and not receiving support. IGNORING it will not make the problem go away. Parents and school staff to take an active approach to solving the problem, which makes the problem even bigger.
The best thing you can do for yourself is turn the page and put all that misery behind. You can’t carry hate towards another person because the only thing your doing is making your own life miserable. If you let it go and forgive, your’re setting yourself free or else you remain in time.
The more you your fears regulate your life the less quality of life you have. The less you’ll change in a positive way. You’ve got to walk though the life of the shadow. Youths who go through it need to let their parents and school officials know what’s going on and they need to make sure no student goes through bullying. They have to have an active role in this as well.
There are people out there who are crappy. You can fear evil but don’t let it stop you.
Gain strength. Take control of your life.
So when you see and hear stories in the media about a parent going onto the bus and yelling at other kids about them bullying his own child. I wish that were my father doing that when I was a kid. I wish I had the parents that stood up for me, that made me feel safe and supported me. Rather than deal with it and go to my room. I wish all parents would intervene and do that same thing, to stand up for their kids and be that good parent the child deserves.
A candle light vigil was held tonight for the spate of deaths in the young gay and lesbian community.
Vivek Shraya was only 16 years old when he almost committed suicide.
He wrote a goodbye letter, one of many, to his family and walked out of his Edmonton home.
“I need to go to the garage. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to look for and I’ll be there for a while,” he said to his younger brother, who was watching TV.
As a gay teen, he had been the victim of bullying. But he was ready to put an end to it.
Shraya was going to take his life by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide.
One phone call from a friend prevented him from doing so.
Shraya, now 29, is a Toronto artist and writer.
On Wednesday evening, he organized a candlelit vigil at Church and Wellesley Sts. to mourn the recent suicides of gay youth in North America.
Hundreds of people gathered around 8 p.m. as many shared stories and shed tears.
“It’s important to create a space and community to mourn the losses of the stories we don’t usually get to hear [about],” said Shraya.
The vigil was planned with Youth Line – an Ontario support group for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth – after a rash of suicides in the U.S.
Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student jumped off a bridge last September after a video of him having sex with another man was posted online.
The event was planned in hopes of preventing further suicides.
“We’re a population spread over a vast land. We want to make sure that our youth know we are there and that there is support out there for them,” said Brandon Sawh, acting executive director of Youth Line.
Members of the vigil shared anecdotes, read out names of recent victims, and shared a collective moment of silence.
The group marched west on Wellesley St. around 8:45 p.m. towards Queen’s Park while chanting slogans like “End the silence on homophobic violence.”
At Queen’s Park Circle, local activist Anna Willats urged the crowd to write letters to the government in response to Dalton McGuinty’s decision to abandon Ontario’s new sex education curriculum earlier this year.
Under the proposed reform, Grade 3 students would have learned about homosexuality.
Other vigils were held in Kingston and Montreal and another is planned for Ajax.
Shraya’s lifeline came through his friend. He hopes these vigils can be one for others.
“It’s good… to show the youth out there that there is support,” he said. “We are in this together.”