Sunday, October 10, 2010

It Gets Better

In response to a recent string of teen suicides as a result of bullying, sex advice columnist Dan Savage started the YouTube channel "It Gets Better." I've been very moved by these videos. I know I've probably had it easy. I'm straight. I'm white. I've never been overweight. But I was a victim of bullying from early elementary until high school. It's still painful for me to go into specifics, but it was very hard for me to go to school. I had to stop going to the restroom during school because there was a group of girls that would wait for me there and give me a hard time. Students would say hateful things to me during class, but if I told a teacher about it, it would just make it worse. There were a few girls who I thought were my friends, but in middle school, for whatever reason, probably because they were middle school girls, they turned on me. I have a very loving family and it is because of them that I was able to get through these years. It wasn't until eighth grade that I was able to make friends I trusted. High school was much easier because it was a large school and I was in honors and AP classes so I never had to see most of the kids who were cruelest to me. In college, I had a fresh start and it just kept getting better from there. Now I'm probably happier and more confident than I've ever been. It really does get better.


Esther said...

It just infuriates me that so many adults let those kids down every step of the way.

I'm so sorry for what you went through but kol hakavod to you for sharing your story. It's so important to keep this issue of bullying in the spotlight and I think every blog post, every video helps. Hopefully the sheer critical mass will ensure that kids who are being bullied will find them and take some comfort.

Linda said...

Thanks, Esther. I don't like to get so personal on the Internet, but I just feel for all the teens who are suffering and I want to help in any way I can.

Gil said...

I went to a special high school program that let me go to a different district's high school, solely so I wouldn't have to go to my own. Even then I didn't really have friends until 16 or so.

Your post made me think about whether it's any easier in the internet age, to at least be able to connect to *somebody*. I spent a lot of middle school on the old Prodigy online service; I wonder if that helped.

Aaron Riccio said...

Yeah, I had a similar childhood, one that made me sort of shut down emotionally for a long time--I resolved to not care about the bullying or my lack of friends, and thankfully was able to meet people in my gigantic high school who were able to get past my shell and help me to open up again.

I'd like to think theater was a big part of that; getting to play Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Sebastian in Twelfth Night certainly helped to loosen me up.