With all of the heartbreaking news of teens around this country killing themselves because they are struggling with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender queer, or just plain different, I cannot stay quite any longer. I keep reading stories from others, watching youtube videos, and talking to friends who have gone through similar struggles. I want to add my voice to the chorus that is ringing out: It gets better.
I hated high school, and high school hated me. I was always confused. On top of being upset about crap life at home, I had to deal with being the fat kid at school too. Bullies who torment GLBT kids torment fatties too. Just a fact of life. Luckily, being a fat kid means you can get shoved inside of lockers. You don't get as much physical abuse because you're so damn big, but the abuse still comes. Teenagers are the meanest form of human you can find. They are freaked out because their bodies are changing, their lives are changing, and they are becoming something new. So to protect themselves from the scarrrry changes, they lash out. People who are different catch that nutjob wrath.
But it gets better. It gets SO much better.
I lived through high school and college. I thought very strongly about not living at all during those years. I wanted to die and thought about how to die again and again. I was just so unhappy, and I couldn't see the end of the pain. I was too chicken to ever actually go through with any of the elaborate plans I made walking down the hallways- If I take X amount of Y, what would happen? I lived through it. I was miserable. I thought death would be better than the hell of being a fat, confused teenager.
But it wasn't. If you die in high school, you never really live real life. High school is a terrible social experiment gone wrong. It's not real life. Those assholes who make fun of you today will be the same assholes stuck in your home town after you've graduated and gotten a real life.
Bullies will always remember high school as the best days of their lives. You won't. You'll go to college (do go- you'll never be the same after it), get a degree or two, and get a real life with real friends. That's when it gets better. As soon as I was out of my high school, I felt free. Those idiots who made fun of me, excluded me from their parties, and made me feel less than human are all trapped in their own lives. None of them are as happy as I am. None of them have made it more than 30 miles outside of our hometown since they've graduated.
I've been to a foreign country to help build houses, I've travelled around this country with the National Writing Project, I've become what I always said I would. They have not. Those bullies will always wish they had what you'll grow up to have if you can just live through high school and college. It sounds like a Hallmark card, but it is so very true.
I don't know if this will reach the eyes of anyone who needs this message, but I want to put it out there- just in case. It gets better. These are some of the darkest days you'll have to live through. The best revenge on those idiots who tell you that your life isn't worth living is to live the hell out of your life- no matter how messed up you feel now. You take that life you have, and you use it as a weapon against ignorance.
Wake up every day ready to fight those jocks who slam into you in the hallway by getting a full ride at a great school based on your grades alone. When they blow their knees, and they will, you will still have your scholarship. Live the hell out of your life. Giving in to that noise and bullshit gives them power. Live your life like a punch in the face. Slap them with every breath you take.
It gets better, but you have to stick around to see it. I promise it will be worth it, just wait for it.
***PS- I haven't forgotten the giveaway winners, but I'm broke as a joke right now and have been since half of my job was eliminated. Once I have the funds to ship, I'll get the stuff out to you. :D