Saturday, April 6, 2013

13-Year-Old Boy in Georgia Commits Suicide After Being Bullied

I stayed up late in order to work on a job-related issue that has been a PITA for me lately.  Tired, I was just about ready to go to bed, but I came across the title of this article:

I had to read it, so I did.  It moved me.  After I finished reading it, I thought that maybe I should be crying.  I did feel a little heat in my eyes, but no tears came out.  Then I realized I was too angry to cry.  I don't know the boy, but I picture him as a kid with a pure heart.  One sentence in this article stands out to me, a statement made by his father: "'He came home one time and had some peanut butter pies he had made for school. When he walked through the door he had some pie left, and he had it all over him. Someone had jumped on him and smeared it all over him.'" 

Why did it stand out to me?  Because I was this kid.  It's painful to admit this, but I was bullied in grade school and high school.  I was smaller and quieter than the other kids.  I was called names; spit balls landed on my desk; I ran as fast as I could to reserve the shady table at lunch (this was LA in the spring) for me and my friends (we were all labeled as "nerds", but we didn't care), but it wouldn't matter cuz the "jocks" would follow and edge us out, forcing us to again eat at a table under the sun.  And yet, I would bring candy or buy the most highly-coveted item on my high school cafeteria's menu, chili cheese fries, hoping that the other, more popular kids would be drawn to me and like me.  But it lasted only a moment.  They would get what they wanted and flit back to their groups.  Devin, I'll bet that's the reason you brought the peanut butter pies to school. You wanted to go to culinary school, and you wanted to be liked. So you baked the pies in hopes that the other kids would recognize your talent AND pay attention to you. Instead, they smeared your hard work all over you because YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. A teacher is alive today cuz of you, but you're not alive, and it's so unfair. 

I was happy to leave high school.  I have my days, and I hate to sound cliche-ish, but IT GOT BETTER.  I'm 34 years old, and I believe it'll get even better.  I have exciting things in the works for me.  I can feel it!  God help those who felt it all go downhill at 30!  Life didn't end in high school or even in college or even in graduate school.  Not for me.  Every birthday is a reason to celebrate, even if it's with just a movie at home, even if it's alone.  BTW, Happy Birthday, Dad!  April 5 was Dad's 74th birthday, the 3rd birthday he's had since his stroke.  Every birthday is a blessing cuz we could've lost you 3 birthdays ago, but God decided you needed more time with us.  I promise to try to not forget this.

Please, God, have mercy on Devin.  Please take him straight to Heaven to be with the angels.  Please let his suicide be a lesson to kids everywhere (and grown kids like me) to never underestimate your self-worth.  The problem is your bullies, NOT YOU.  One day, you'll look back on your bullied days and will smile at how far you've come.  Someday, you'll see your bullies get smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror.  Then they'll disappear, and you'll be driving on your road to success.  It gets better.

OK, now I'm getting more tears into my eyes.  I'll say a prayer for Devin when I lie down in a few minutes.  It won't be the last time.