Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rethinking "Belated Thoughts on Wear Purple Day, Suicide, and Bullying"

A while ago, I wrote a post on bullying and suicide because of it. It was a post about how I changed my mind about wearing purple in honour of those who killed themselves because of the bullying they received because of their sexuality (or as I liked to view it, to help those who were struggling with the same issue themselves and are looking for support to not go through with the act). When I posted the piece on Xanga, several people commented that I had critiqued the boys too harshly because of their suicide. I had basically said that if those around them and themselves included had tried harder to notice what was wrong and to reach out and do something about it, the suicides would have not happened. I blamed everyone, not just the parents, the teachers, the bullies, I blamed the children themselves. I do still believe that they ultimately were in control of their own bodies and thoughts, that they didn't have to kill themselves, that they could have seen that the bullying would pass, that they could stand up or reach out or do something, but that they didn't have to kill themselves. Anything about that.

Yet...This is me talking. This is not them. I am seventeen, I'm in high school, I've been through bullying, I can deal with it. I have felt what those thirteen year olds have felt. I am older and wiser. They are not. They're thirteen. They've barely started puberty. They haven't developed yet. They're not strong enough. They're trying to be independent. They don't want to reach out. They want to show everyone that they can stand on their own two feet and survive. That they can do it and get through it all without anyone's help. That's normal. That's most of us. That's me. I refuse people's help all the time. I've refused it when I shouldn't have, when if I had reached out, it would have helped me considerably. People reached out to me, or rather, they tried. I refused them though, because I could do it on my own. I was stubborn. I still am.

But I'm seventeen. I should know better. I should be old and wise. They can't know any better. How can they? Nobody's taught them what to do when someone calls them a faggot. They don't know if their parents are going to be okay with the fact that they are sexually and romantically attracted to other boys, and only other boys. They don't know if their friends will be okay with it. What if they're just like the bullies? The teachers? How can you trust them? They're just teachers.

It's easy to lose hope when you're thirteen. Hell, it's easy to lose hope any time. It's easy to try to get yourself out of a shit hole and not be able to. It's easy to lock yourself up and not let anyone in. You can do it. You'll do it. And you realize you can't. But you can't see the people who are still trying to reach you. Some of them may be gone because they've given up. But it's all about you now. You can't see anything. You can't escape. What can you do? You can die.

I'm still horrified that thirteen year olds can consider death an option. That death isn't something that comes later, when you're seventeen, twenty, thirty, fifty...That it's present when you're still a child. I'm still horrified that these children can't see past one or two years. But how can they? When you're depressed, you can't see past a day. We don't know what really happened to those children. More than just verbal insults could have happened. Either way, whether it was just verbal or physical, it doesn't matter. It was still hurtful. It was still detrimental. It still killed these young boys.

No, suicide is not the answer. It's rarely the answer. I failed to see the boys as boys...I saw them as adults. They should know better, they're thirteen! Until nuirxestel replied to my post, I thought I was right. They should have been smarter and they should have had hope. Easy thing for me to say. I forgot to remember myself when I was thirteen. I wasn't smart. I thought I was, but I wasn't. Did I have hope? Sometimes. That year wasn't the best year of my seventeen years. It was possibly the worst, in fact. I went through something that left me confused, angry, and depressed. I tried to do something. It didn't work and that's why I'm still here. So, no, I should be the one who should know better. I know what they went through and I should know to be more merciful towards them.

Thank you, nuirxestel.

Thank you, FallingSafely.

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