Friday, October 19, 2012

I'll Take Life, Please...

Lane Goodwin

Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species. ---  Andrew Vachss, Terminal

All day I've been frustrated, my internal pressure cooker building up steam by the hour because I felt helpless to let out that anger, could not express my feelings, had no outlet. 

Oddly enough, I read my horoscope just before settling in to write this blog, and it said, You need to defend your beliefs today---maybe quite a few times! It's not that hard, but it can get tiring, so make sure that you have resources you can draw on to recharge your energy.

I believe in signs, so I took that as a sign that I'd find that resource to face my feelings enough to speak of them. And I did.

What I want to talk about is BULLYING.

And today, of all days, as I wrestled with this need to say something about bullying, I came across an article about a thirteen-year old boy, Lane Goodwin, who lost his battle with cancer today. 

His photo ripped my heart. That smile. Who would guess the young fellow battled a vicious battle with a deadly disease? 


All I could think of was that this beautiful child was someone's son. All young lives who are lost are someone's child. God, how that hurts my heart, the losing of a child---from illness, accident or suicide, anything.

What does this have to do with bullying? 

Something so simple and pure and painful. This boy, this lovely young Lane, just wanted to live. He apparently made headlines with his brave battle with this monster called cancer, had over 300,000 Facebook followers, I believe he was known as the Thumbs Up Kid. 

He, like any other kid, just wanted to go to school, go shopping, play video games, hang out with his friends, play with his pet, love his mother and father, have Christmas, ride his bike. He just wanted to live.

Then this desire for life hit me in the gut, thinking about the young people who are bullied, who finally just give up and take their own lives. What the hell could possibly be so unbearable that they would just forfeit that very basic desire...the desire to live? 

These kids who turn in the towel of their lives and end it all aren't---this much I can say, without even having to have known them---exceptions to the rule of wanting to live. They wanted to live. All they wanted was just to BE.

But you know what? Someone out there, somebody or somebodies, didn't care about that and---by tormenting and terrifying relentlessly---the bullies' actions took away even the basic, desperate-for-most-of-us desire to just be in existence. 

That's all kids want to do. Live. Some have bigger dreams than others, some are sporty, some dreamy, some mischevious, some computer geeks, some rockers, some Goth, some like the opposite sex, some like the same sex, some are flirty, some are shy, some are small, some are big, some have jobs, some don't, some like school, some don't, some love homework, some loathe it...and so on and so on. 

Different and individual as the proverbial snowflake. All beautiful. But all alike in one way, one universal way. They just want to live. They just want to be here on this planet, just like the bullies do.

And to YOU, bullies---who gave you the right to decide if another kid could enjoy his/her life or not? Who the hell put you in charge of that? Nobody. What does it matter to you if another young person is fat, has pimples, is slow, is gay, is lesbian, is a different color than you, is a different religion? 

While you torment and humiliate those who are different, if you could only see yourselves. Because you want to know something funny? Hilarious? 

I bet every time you watch A Christmas Story, you laugh your guts out at how ridiculous Scut Farkas is. Well, guess what, you coward. That is YOU. Yes, you are that stupid. You are that disgusting. He's just a comic figure, you are the real sickening thing. And to the world, that is exactly how you look. You are not cool, you are sad and small and----just like pitiful Scut when he got the crap knocked out of him---you are, beneath that tough, cool exterior, a fraidy cat is too chicken to stand on your own two feet and NOT bully someone else. 

Bottom line, though, and back to my original thought. 

I, for one, am building steam in this Irish pressure cooker, getting angrier and angrier at the bullying situation.

The victims of bullying---ALL victims, whatever they're being targeted for---just want to live. That is all they ask. 

Lane Goodwin lost his fight with cancer. 

But this disease called bullying? It's not inoperable. It's in our power to do something about it, and it CAN be won. 

Every kid has the right to I, for one, want to see that isn't taken away from them.






Moria said...

*applauds* Thanks for reminding us to step out there and speak up. If people all do that when they see the bullying, there wouldn't be so much of it.

My son has experienced this lately. He has been going out with a lovely young lady who happens to be a transwoman. At the high school they both attend, several people started to say things and act in a negative way but surprisingly large amount of teens there stepped up and told the bullies to shut up. Some were his friends but a lot of them were simply kids in his classes. I was proud to see that.

Oh it's still not easy for him some days but the amount of people that stood up for his girlfriend and him has been amazing. So just when you think that it can't get better...well, it does. That's what we need to remember.

Connie said...

Well said my friend.

Bullying is a terrible thing and to all those living through it, no matter how bad it feels now, it does get better, it really does.

And to the bullies.....chill out and get some perspective. The world and the people in it don't have to conform to your view of the world, therefore, you don't get to tease and manipulate those who don't fit into your categories.

And to the least some of your kids are being bullied....but someone's kids are also being the bullies. You have to pay attention to both sides, what is your child doing, what messages are you giving attention.

Stand up for yourself, and for other people. You have the right to be you.....and the other person over there....the different one....they have the right to be them.

And blessings to Lane and his family xox

Cheers Connie Wood

Kage Alan said...

One of the most difficult things I ever faced in high school was a bully who hated me for a reason I couldn't figure out. There was no logic behind it. I had no interaction with him, didn't hang out with people he knew... It plagued me for years why he did the things he did.

My husband tried to get me to go to my 20 year reunion when it came up and I refused. It took all of his prodding and then even a little bribery to get me to go to the pre-reunion party, which I did.

Fortunately my former bully wasn't there. BUT, he was on Facebook. I saw he's married with two little children, so I wrote him a long e-mail and asked point blank and politely what it was about he hated so much.

The irony is that he didn't even remember me. He didn't remember his actions and he seemed utterly stunned that he caused somebody to much trouble.

I guess...I guess sometimes an impression isn't always made on the part of the bully. It doesn't register. And that perplexes me.

Dorien/Roger said...

The world would be a much better place were there more people as compassionate and caring as you, Carol.

Nice blog!


Nikolaos said...

Well said.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Kudos for the awesome post. I so agree with you whole heartily. As a child I was bullied, but got through it with the help of an awesome alternative high school far before it's time.
As an adult I have had to deal with an internet adult bully who has harassed me for 10 years. She and her buddy still try to track me online, abut I stopped allowing them to scare me offline. Finding out her true identity hurt her more than it ever could hurt me, so she watches her actions wisely these days.
I've always spoke out against bullying, and it tears me up that parents don't see what their children do to others, and the pain that the victim has to live through.
You all have such wonderful attitudes and strength and thank you for sharing such personal struggles.
You all rock for speaking up..and thank you for sharing!

A reader

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

A young girl committed suicide October 10th here in BC because she couldn't stand the bullying any longer. She made a video that she hoped would help others in her same predicament. The video went viral. I don't imagine she realized the impact her death would have. A beautiful girl full of life, forced to die to help others. Breaks my heart. Her name was Amanda Todd. She was from my hometown.

Thinking of you, Carol, and always so moved by your words.