When I was 4, my father was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, and the facts behind it were kept from me until I was old enough to do the research myself at 13 while I was in high school. All the adults of the surrounding areas were aware, and when I was brought up via their children more often than not they were discouraged from associating with me because of it. In high school I was psychologically bullied, because I was known for being very physically tough, but also known for being very much alone. I had few friends, and none who would support me or come to my defense. I began cutting, abusing pain medication, and it culminated in 12 failed suicide attempts. Whenever I brought up my issues with bullying to the school authorities they assured me they would handle the issue, which of course they never did. When it happened in front of teachers while in detention, they told me there was nothing they could do. Once, in detention, a guy on the wrestling team kept throwing things at the back of my head while I was reading a book. I brought it up to the teachers watching over the room, and they refused to do anything. So during the break, I went into his backpack, took the battery out of his phone, crushed it and threw it away, all before he came back. When I was confronted about it by the assistant principal, I hid the evidence of my involvement perfectly but they took the side of the bully, refusing to acknowledge that I had spoken with the teachers asking them to intervene on my behalf. Because I covered my trail well, they could not punish me. Even after I presented them evidence of my bully posting about doing physical harm to me when he got the chance. They refused to accept it as a threat to my person, even as they read it off my phone, where I kept the screen shots. He never laid a hand on me, because my reputation was one where I did not engage in fights often, but I had never lost. He was recognized by the state as one of the best wrestlers in the state, and he was afraid to physically attack me. My self control was such that that was the only time I decided to get back at a bully that I can remember, but my memory is clouded because I was so enraged and hurt most of the time that my brain was not able to accurately remember the traumatic events I experienced at and around school. Now I'm 20 years old, and from restraining myself I have scars that cover most of my body. Because I know that if I ever physically fight back, I will be charged and thrown in prison while my aggressors will be free to do as they please and torment others. I am left a vessel overflowing with hate for those who tormented me, and the only way I can release it without losing all control is to tear my own flesh off piece by piece. It has left me looking rather grotesque, and no one is afraid to mention so. I have become scarred, ugly, hateful, and alone. Because no one was willing to punish the people responsible, because they were more involved in school extracurriculars than I was. Because their parents were able to donate money to the school, and they were alumni. Because the system in place protects bullies, and punishes their victims. I do not want to live in a world where this is the reality kids have to go through. I want to hold these bullies accountable, and I want to see them punished as they deserve, not given one of infinite warnings or slaps-on-the-wrist and told to not do it again. It does not work. It has never worked. It never will work. I want change, and I want it now.
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