I want to do a quick follow-up to a post I wrote a month ago in which I talked about a dark time in my life — my junior year in high school, in fact, in which things got so difficult for me (and I internalized it all) that my parents called on a counselor to help me talk things out:
Yesterday, I was helping my mother move into a new residence, a separate topic I will expound on in a separate post this coming week. When we were at her apartment and she had a quick moment, she let me know about something in a “Oh, yeah, by the way” manner…
Now I should tell you that my mom’s extended family is very extended: 15 siblings who parented several children who brought forth several children of their own. Needless to say, we need a family tree to keep track of who’s who.
This post, unfortunately, is about one of those grandchildren. Mom told me about one of her oldest sister’s middle daughter’s children (I think). He was 17 years old. He was really troubled. He got teased at school “ever since day 1,” according to Mom. And he was being bullied. And he became really depressed. And he… well, I hate to say this, but he took his own life earlier this month.
My mom did not elaborate further as to what specific thing prompted him to, sadly, end it all. However, she did mention there was a specific kid who was bullying him, leading me to presume that their school has a very, very strict policy when it comes to one student bullying another. Mom indicated that school administrators brought up the bullying situation with local authorities. And the local authorities are involved and talking to the bully.
The news she gave to me at that moment was a stunner for certain. While it’s good that the local authorities are talking to the bully (and I told mom as such), it’s certainly sad that it occurs after the person being bullied decided to leave this world. And since I wasn’t privy to all that was going on in the situation, I do not know how much counseling he was receiving beforehand. It makes me think, however, that he might have been afraid to speak up… and that his parents and others who cared for him couldn’t react until it was too late.
In my opinion, a tragic situation such as this makes what I was getting at in my earlier post all the more important: Whatever emotional difficulty you may be feeling, it doesn’t hurt to just talk to someone about it. Even that little step can make a world of difference.