When I was in middle school I was teased for being fat. I became anorexic.
When I was in high school I was teased for having blue hair and strange clothes. I cut myself up.
When I was in college I had boyfriends who liked to beat me up and degrade me. I let them in hopes it would kill me.
When I was out of college I'd get rude comments from strangers on the street or on the internet for having tattoos and piercings. I started blowing up and saying just as nasty things in return, which surprisingly didn't help (yes you smell some sarcasm there).
...I kept thinking when I graduated from a school I'd be done with all of the teasing and bullying and I wouldn't want to harm myself anymore. That wasn't true.
I am 25 years old, covered in tattoos, I have three degrees, I've worked a lot of cool jobs and made a lot of amazing friends. Yet, I am still overwhelmingly bothered by bullying on so many levels. My best friend committed suicide after an extremely cruel prank made by his ex girlfriend. I see fellow musicians getting ripped to shreds on YouTube because they were brave enough to share their musical talent, yet strangers have to find a way to be disgustingly cruel about the smallest things. Every time I post music on YouTube- I am afraid.
My idea, and my goal, is to arrange interviews with other people in their 20's and their families who have dealt with bullying, abuse, rape, suicide, etc. To raise awareness that it doesn't just stop and go away at a magical age. To show that yeah, even though some of us are tattooed and smart and real darn cool- every time you say "you obviously have daddy issues" and snicker... It hurts. Not everyone is tough as nails no matter how hard we try to be. A big part of this is showing kids that their "pointless" or "joking" bullying has the ability to stay with someone for many many years. I have a few friends willing to help me with this... But I would be beyond excited if I could set up some interviews with others who have experienced the nastiness of bullying beyond the teen years- did it stop? Did it continue? Did it leave a lasting impression? What is life like because of it? Have you lost a loved one because they couldn't take one more stupid "joke" or comment? Written interviews through email or here or Facebook or whatever totally work, anonymity is okay, if you are in the Seattle or surrounding area (I frequent Portland and sometimes California as well) and want to do a video interview, then that's great too! The goal is not to make people do anything that makes them uncomfortable, rather just spread the message of how bullying isn't something that just goes away.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.