Very little

Today is one of those days when I don't have much to talk about. I read this morning about the suicide of a boy, about my daughter's age. He killed himself because of bullying. Because he was gay. It took me back to a painful time. A time when I could not see that it was going to get better.

I survived, but Good Lord, how many don't? How many can't handle it. How many see and read what is going on in politics and the news and cannot see a future where they can possibly be happy? I'm nearly 50. At best, my life is half over. And, I have trouble seeing a future where I can be happy in a world that is becoming even more saturated with irrational hate. What must it be like for a teen that is just starting out and doesn't know that happy can exist, even where it's discouraged.

As much as I would like not to be affected by this sad news, I am affected. I think everyone should be.

I almost didn't blog at all today, but what the hell. Why keep these feelings to myself. I am surrounded by understanding people. People who will understand that news like this can make me sad. People who will be sad with me over the loss of a young life. So, I'm sharing with you.

There was a time when I considered taking my own life because I didn't think I could make it as a gay person. I prayed to God that if I was going to be gay, I'd rather be dead.

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

I took the bullying in middle school and in high school. I fought back with my mouth, but was always too afraid to fight back with my fists. What I wouldn't give to go back and kick Mark Mc's ass for yelling "QUEER" at the top of his lungs every time he saw me in my freshman year of high school; in the hall, in the quad, on the practice field, always this shout behind me at an unexpected moment (unexpected because I actively avoided this jerk). What I wouldn't give to go back as an adult and shake him around for yelling at the young teen that was me. And, all because he flirted back with me. Not because I flirted with him, but because he was ashamed that he flirted back.

I've shared what it was like to choose red shoes and I've shared some of what it was like to be told that I was bad and unacceptable and something to be ashamed of.

I'd love to make an "It gets better" video. But, my video would have to say, "Hey, kid. It gets worse. It gets a whole lot worse. But, then it gets beautiful. Just hold on. Be you. Be proud. Survive."

Maybe I will, because I can just imagine what a difference that would have made for me. To have someone tell me truthfully that you can make it through this and when you do, you'll be glad you did.

Maybe you know somebody that needs to have an adult tell them that. It doesn't have to be a gay kid. Any kid that's having an especially hard time of it. Don't be afraid to pull them aside and whisper it in a quiet moment. It is your business. The next generation is all our business. I didn't know that until I was a parent.

There's another message I wish someone had pulled me aside to tell me.



Becky said...

Oh Lane, I saw this on the news last night and it just made my heart hurt. The utter desperation and feeling of hopelessness that poor young man had to be experiencing....it just shouldn't be that way for anyone!

Michelle said...

Thinking of you, and so glad that YOU MADE IT! My heart hurts for your hurt. Keep blogging. You are a bright spot in my day.

Coloradolady said...

Lane, So glad you made it!! How terrible kids treat each other for so many reasons these days. It disgust me the way people are viewed just because they are different.

I have gotten to where I speak up and call someone on it if they are talking in a fashion that is judgmental because I am sick of it....or maybe because you have given me the push to do so. Believe me it has not been a popular thing with many close to me...so be it...I don't care.

I am so sad for that boy and his family. How tragic to be treated so badly that you feel death is the only way out. It is an outrage!

You are such a bright spot in my life...Thank God you stuck it out and are with us today!! Love ya ~ You are mighty special!!

Barb H said...

Thanks for writing today. The things you said in this entry need to be said--over and over again, year after year, child after child. We adults must take responsibility for the treatment our kids get and it starts by speaking up and doing the right thing and protecting them--both the bully and the bullied. So, thank you. My heart breaks for the parents and siblings of this child.