Another sunny day. Another early interview. But it was easier to talk about it this morning for some reason. I think that my brain was able to process the information about the Beyond the Hurt program and also the format of the outlined project as described by the press release yesterday. I am still interested in seeing how the program works. I think that is just the curious teacher. The question always comes back full circle. Is this enough? I think it’s only a piece of the puzzle to help counter the bullying/cyberbullying/mental health that goes on.
Have you ever heard of a poem titled ‘I am just a boy”. It was written by a 14 year old boy who was bullied. “I am just a boy” is an account of his life. His mom has kept her promise to be active on the anti-bullying front and formed the Guelph (Ontario) anti-bullying Coalition. It is posted here on BullyingCanada.ca – http://www.bullyingcanada.ca/content/249251
I am Just a Boy – by M. MacIntyre age 14
I am just a boy who didn’t have any choices about the hell I have endured
I am just a boy who couldn’t wait to go to school and learn and be liked
I am just a boy who wanted to make friends and be part of the team
I am just a boy who didn’t get to realize this dream
I am just a boy who would walk around the playground, alone and sad, as I watched other kids play soccer and wished they would call me over to join in – just once
I am just a boy who never got picked for a team and was always last picked in gym class
I am just a boy who was teased for lacking in athletic ability and mocked for the way I run
I am just a boy who desperately wanted to share my story but had to suffer in silence for fear of more torment
I am just a boy who had to suck it up and pretend I was fine and it didn’t matter
I am just a boy who wanted a friend and a confidant
I am just a boy who wanted to be accepted for my differences but liked more because of them
I am just a boy who looked forward to ending my primary school years better than they started
I am just a boy who wanted to go on the year end trip with my classmates feeling a sense of belonging
I am just a boy who just learned that I am not accepted and I don’t belong
I am just a boy who won’t be victimized anymore and will make choices that will not subject me to the constant messages of you don’t matter or you are a freak
I am just a boy who will leave elementary school the same way I started, wanting a friend, wanting to feel accepted wanting to be “one of the gang”
I am just a boy who had to be brave and pretend that none of this hurt
I am just a boy who is funny and kind and plays by the rules
I am just a boy who doesn’t understand why subtle yet constant badgering isn’t considered bullying – yet it hurts just as much
I am just a boy who is tired of waiting for it to stop, waiting for adults to make kids accountable, waiting for a better tomorrow
I am just a boy who is wishing his childhood away because I hear that adults don’t behave that way
I am just a boy who loves life, and laughter, and all the things that other kids like and for that I am not different
I am just a boy who hopes that one kid understands the impact of being so mean, so unkind
I am just a boy who wonders if they think about the cruel things they say, the cruel things that they do
I am just a boy who wonders if they are being mistreated and that is why they are so careless with their words that cut through my soul
I am just a boy who promises to never ever treat anyone like this
I am just a boy who promises to raise children to be kind and thoughtful and tough enough to stand up to those that don’t
I am – just a boy.
The words are hauntingly so true. I don’t know how kids who treat others like this can live with themselves when they wake up the next morning. Do these children not think or feel? What would there parents think? I was on the Roy Green Show with Mac’s mom on the weekend. And then tonight, we had a phone conversation. It is great to talk to people who understand and have the same passions. Fortunately, Mac is now a strapping tall boy. Probably taller than the kids who once bullied him. His mom and I had a great conversation about the anti-bullying efforts in Ontario. We also talked about her son and how he was bullied at school and now how he is with his PTSD. I am just glad that his story wasn’t as tragic as Amanda’s or Rehtaeh’s or Jamie’s or Jenna (and the list goes on) …. Which brings me back to the real topic at hand? And I get asked this alot… WHAT MAKES A PERSON BEHAVE IN A WAY THAT THREATENS ANOTHER PERSON? WHAT MAKES A BULLY? I have gone to numerous websites and read about bullying and cyberbullying. How to identify it? What to do about it? When I was talking to Lynn tonight, she was telling me about the many groups that have programs and resources to combat the bullying type behaviours. And we asked ourselves, why are there so many. Its it people trying to make a business to endorse their program. Why can’t we (as a nation) find a good fit for all?
As I watched the Shinedown video of their concert where Amanda’s You Tube video is displayed while they sang Bully, it is only the second time where I have gone through all the cards. I have seen them intermittently over the past (almost) 9 months. What struck me tonight were the cards that said ‘I moved to my mom’s and wanted to just forget and move on’ and ‘after 6 months, they still posted pics of her with bleach and wanted her to die’. She let them off. She didn’t press charges. She could have. They are lucky that they didn’t have to be processed in the court system. Those kids haven’t even shown their names or faces to me. Do they feel remorse? I have no idea. Do their parents realize what their kids did and followed up with? I wish I knew the answer. As for the pics that were posted after in August of 2012 from kids saying that Amanda should drink another type of bleach and try again. 6 MONTHS LATER. Amanda had moved away. They didn’t give her peace. Those pics and notes were posted on Facebook. Did it not go through Facebook filter? So many people saw it. It started the snowball effect of harassment again. Amanda was able to show it to her safe adults but she didn’t want us to take her to the police station. Once again she said – she wanted it over. She wanted everyone to forget about it and bringing it up would bring more attention to herself again. If I COULD CURSE OUT LOUD, I WOULD. TO THOSE KIDS WHO WERE SO SPITEFUL!! TO FACEBOOK WHO ALLOWED THOSE CRUEL PICTURES AND WORDS ON THEIR SITE!! AND TO THOSE THAT DIDN’T THINK AMANDA WAS A REAL PERSON AND CONTINUED TO HARASS HER!! Amanda moved away from Maple Ridge to start a new life and no one let her. In the next few days when I am ready, I will post an open letter to those kids who thought it was funny to torment my daughter. I want them to think about their own life, the life of their friends and family and then about how it would feel to have their future children treated that way. And I know that there are already future children present!!
OK… this has done me in as I sit her in tears. It just makes me so mad that I sit here without my daughter and there are people out there who thrive on being AH’s. It seems to be easier to write when I have anger than when I am happy. The summer days are seemingly harder for me right now. I see the sunshine. I see young girls everywhere laughing and having fun in their short shorts and neon tees. That was my daughter. She should be here to enjoy the sun and slurpees. To fight with me about taking the bus or walking or me driving her. She wanted her drivers licence and that’s what we would have have been doing this summer — driving practice.
It’s 5 days until June 10th. My moods are a bit darker even though they may seem brighter with the sunshine and when I am seen on media. In other words, LIFE SUCKS!!! but I still love all the people who surround and support me.
The hoodies and tees are in but there was a glitch ….
Love you all xoxo