I was watching a video on Facebook about a fourteen your old girl that was driven to commit suicide after relentless bullying on social media platforms. It has been a long time since I was 14 but I could still relate. Your teenage years are already challenging enough, your body is changing and to some extent I believe you already feel vulnerable. Nearly a decade ago I could relate. I don’t know why but for the entirety of school I was a target. I was an easy target for bullying. Back in those days Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram didn’t exist! My bullying took place over school email and my home phone. The girl who decided to torment me over every little aspect of my life probably wasn’t aware of the damage her words caused. The girl would send photos of morbidly obese women to my school email and would caption the image ‘this will be you soon if you carry on’. The irony was that the girl sending these messages and images was 4x my size, but I couldn’t see it. I remember waking up some mornings absolutely dreading going to school. I despised secondary school with a passion. I was one of the few that were there because they wanted to learn. It appeared that the other 80% were not all that bothered. At times the bullying escalated and the girl would phone up my house number and say cruel things down the phone, she’d tell me that no one liked me and that I was ugly and fat. The phonecalls happened a few times, until my mum overheard and had some stern words with the girl over the telephone. In those dark moments I questioned my self worth, my purpose of being alive and couldn’t see an end to this torment.
The point of this post is bullying can kill. Megan Evans was just fourteen when she took her own life. I most definitely did not escape unscathed from that period of bullying and I spent many many years loathing my body. The girl responsible is probably completely unaware of the damage she caused by her words and actions. A few years ago I received friend requests from the perpetrator. She now wanted to be ‘my friend’. I of course declined the request.
I am now 22, I am well educated, I am loved, I have a wonderful family, a handsome chappy and a bright future ahead of me. I did not let that girl ruin my dreams. Perhaps I was one of the lucky ones, I had enough resilience to get through school (in just about one piece).
The moral of the story is that once words are out they cannot be taken back, you might not actively think about the consequences of those words. You might find it ‘funny’ to target vulnerable people. Please be aware that sometimes those words can have deadly consequences. Sometimes those words are what tip already vulnerable people over the edge.
P.S. always remember…