October 7, 2010 by staff
My stepfather always used me as a punching bag, and as I entered puberty, I entered a period of confusion regarding my sexuality. I do not see life not improve, and if that night I decided to stop the mine.
When I woke up the next morning, I had dizziness, lethargy, vomiting – and confused. “Why am I still alive?” I wondered. Maybe I was a loser, that my stepfather had told me many times before, after all, I could not even kill myself right. Of course, I would like to know much later that I had a chance less than 5 percent die from an overdose of aspirin.
And despite everything that happened in my life, and I mean everything, life would improve.
After the death of the student, facing a week in bullying
This does not mean things immediately turned around after that night.
In fact, when my stepfather was told I was too sick to go to school because I swallowed a bottle of pills, he beat me again. And for four more years the beating continued. But eventually I grew stronger and learned to fight – physically, but more importantly, mentally.
The abuse has ceased, and his control over the way I saw myself was gone. I got a scholarship to college, then a full turn of Graduate Studies, and today I am happy partnership and the proud father of a 13-year-old boy who thinks that my sole purpose in life is for him a ride.
So for any young person who is being bullied at school, or as in my case, at home, do not give up. It gets better.
But if I died that night 25 years ago, I would not have been there to know. I would not have been around all the incredible opportunities that I had the pleasure of life, like having beers with my favorite singer, Kenny Chesney, led by a storm with the Jeep up and down, or fall in love. For years I continued to have nightmares of my childhood violent, but they are happening less and less, the pain of my childhood continues to yield to the joys of life. And believe me, there are joys, even if the black cloud of your current situation makes it difficult to see.
Brad Paisley has a song “Letter To Me,” in which he fantasizes about an adult is able to offer words of encouragement teenage self in a letter.
You have so many things to come,
Make new friends.
You should see your kids and wife.
And I would like to end by saying do not be afraid
These are hardly the best years of your life …
The first time I heard the song, I began by recalling the feeling of hopelessness and despair that is used to haunt my life, and then the tears began to flow freely. If I could have written a letter to my 12-year-old son, self, I said, it would pass. If I could have written a letter to Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who jumped from the George Washington Bridge after his college roommate would have posted the embarrassing video of him online, I told him, “I know life is hard in this time, but it’s better. ”
The same thing for 13 years and 18 years Witsel Hope, Jesse Logan, two girls who committed suicide in separate incidents last year after explicit photos of them were released. My heart breaks just to hear stories about someone as young as Carl Walker-Joseph Hoover, who was just 11 when he hanged himself last year because he was bullied school and felt so helpless and alone. That’s why I felt compelled to open about disturbing things that happened early in my life – so very young, evil soul who stumbles across this column would he or she does is not alone.
Syndicated columnist Dan Savage recently launched the “It Gets Better” project on YouTube as a way to rally support for GLBT students are bullied and feel alone. But I would say that the stories are universal and can offer comfort to any student who may be bullied. Remember, pain and isolation are not aware of race, sex, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation.
And fortunately, nor hope, and love.
I was around the age of Walker-Hoover, when, one morning before school, I was struck so hard, the blood from the welts on my arms soaked parts of the sleeves of the shirt I was wearing. The spots have attracted the attention of one of my teachers, Ms. Jackson, who asked what happened. Fighting back tears, I said “nothing.” She asked me if I was sure, and I said yes, afraid of what would happen if I said otherwise.
I do not know how things would have turned out if I had reached for his hand that day. But I do not know how things would have been shot in the hand of death caught me that night 25 years ago.
I ran out of life improves. Good.
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