To This DayMature

Shane Koyczan, a Canadian poet, created a beautiful spoken word poem and posted it on YouTube on February 19th, 2013 as an animated video.
I decided I wanted to just write a little something when I was sick at home one day. It helped to write out everything.
If you want to watch the video, or learn more about Shane Koyczan, the video link is on my profile, as well as other information.

Shane Koyczan, a Canadian poet, created a beautiful spoken word poem and posted it on YouTube on February 19th, 2013 as an animated video.

I can't recall playing something over and over and over again. So many times that I've memorized the entire poem without having looked at the actual poem itself until just today. The words hit me with each play. I hear it differently every single time. I am listening to it on replay right now as I write this. It's been like this since it came out. I can connect to this so well, and I can't believe how beautiful he made this horrible situation.

Bullying is something that affects us all, even if one was never bullied, or bullied someone themselves. I'm sure most people have seen it, bullying. Heard about it. Seen the effects of it. The loss of lives due to it. The loss of innocence and happiness. The loss of everything one ever believed in.

Bullying is something I went through for years. I played with the boys at recess from grade three through grade five. I pushed them around more than anything - they'd gladly push back. All of the girls sneered at me and I ignored it for a while until the whispers started up. My hair was too poofy, my face too weird, my height too short. I was a boy. Not a tomboy, no, not anymore. I was called an actual boy. To the point where the guys I didn't play with would actually push me around, without that playful air my guy friends had. The one girl friend I had moved away and we never spoke again. When it was just me and this guy who was always picked on as well, I stuck to him like glue because his kindness helped more than anything. 

Then sixth grade came. 

I was back to being alone in a secondary school that seemed to be one hundred times bigger than elementary. The only friends I had were the weirdos, or the people who thought they could take advantage of me and abandon me in the next moment. I had three friends I knew I could always count on.

I was in dance class, a class I never signed up for because I knew I couldn't dance. They put me there. I was too short, I wasn't flexible enough, I was ugly, my hair was a mess, my legs weren't shaved, my pants were hand-me-downs, I had acne on my face - to them, everything was wrong with me. To them, I didn't belong. I felt so inferior to them, that litle group of girls who looked down on me and snickered, as if my face was a joke in itself. I couldn't get dressed in the dressing room because they would laugh. My stuff was stolen so many times and they'd break my things. 

The only kindness I could ever hope for was from this really nice girl who tried her best to make me feel better about myself. 

It never worked. 

Grade seven I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I still had my other friends, they still loved me as I was, and I will forever love them for that. 

But a guy entered my life and gave me a simple smile. A smile that contained all the promises of the world. A smile that manipulated me into wanting me to become better. Better, like him. I wanted him to like me more than his girlfriend who he said he didn't really care about. Instead of that going off as a warning in my head, I took that as an opprtunity. 

An opportunity to finally have someone who cared about me, a boy who actually liked me. 

Darkness overcame me and I lost people. I also gained people - the wrong people.

My personality darkened, eyeliner surrounded my eyes, black shirts and black pants and black studded bracelets on my wrists. I wanted to be loved, no matter what it took. I convinced myself this was the right thing to do. I convinced myself he was worth it. He'd told me he cared. He'd told me he liked me. We hung out all the time, when we could. We talked for hours on end.

One night, that all changed.

He messaged me, saying how stupid I'd been.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but he went on to say that he never cared. He never liked me. He was only bored. He had nothing better to do than fuck with my life. With my feelings. 

It was the first night that I ever cut, the first night that I actually hated myself so much, and what I'd become. I didn't want to to get caught - making me feel even worse, as a coward - so I didn't do it again. 

The next day was hell.

In class, he picked at me, acting as if the previous night hadn't happened. Those smiles, though, those knowing smiles that sicken me to this day. He just knew he hurt me deep. 

The abuse continued. 

I became so depressed, I almost started cutting again. Almost. But I'd written a poem a little after our "friendship" ended:

Remember the day you broke my heart?

The day I drowned and you tore me 'part?

The day I felt liek no one cared;

The day I lied about how I fared.

Remember the time you cut me deep?

The time I bled and you let it seep?

The time I tried to end this life . . .

The time that I first used that knife.

Now remember today is the day I say,

"You'll never again make me feel that way."

 

After reading that, I realized that's exactly what he wanted. He wanted to hurt me. He wanted to see those scars on my arms and laugh in my face.

The friends that were his, I pulled away from, even if I still wanted to be friends with them. But I couldn't be friends with someone who knew what he did . . . and continued to stay in contact. 

I still haven't healed. Knowing that someone so . . . horrible did that to me. Someone who reveled in my pain. 

Although I haven't healed, I've forgiven him. Never will I forget that and never will I be wary of him and never will I stop looking after the friends I know who hang around him . . . but I have forgiven him. I will never give him another chance - not that he'd want one from me - but I forgive him.

The bullying didn't stop there, though. 

"Emo", "cutter", "stupid", "ugly", "overdramatic". Those were a few. I heard a lot of, "Get over it."

I wanted to stab them in the goddamn heart and ask them how it feels. Tell them to, "GET OVER IT." 

Can you get over a broken heart? Can you get over something as horrid as being stabbed in just the right location in the back where it gets your heart as well? Can you get over that? 

In Shane's poem, he mentions how a guy who was adopted had to take anti-depression pills and who "tried to kill himself in grade ten when when a kid who could still go home to mom and dad had the audacity to tell him "get over it" as if depression is something that can be remedied with the contents found in a first aid kit."

That's exactly how I felt. 

People hated me for the pure reason that the guy who I changed for "disowned" me, as some actually said before.

At the end of grade seven, I met a guy who made me feel wonderful about myself. It was a relationship that lasted four months. Although it was short, it was over a summer. We didn't even kiss. But he made me feel special. He healed me when no one else could. I think, without him having been there, I would have totally lost it. That school year might have been my absolute last.

Although my heart had stitches sewn into it after him, the gauze was missing. The stitches allowed blood to seep through still. 

Grade eight, I was called emo, still, even after ridding myself of the makeup, the dark clothes - mostly, anyway. 

Maybe it wasn't my best year, that year. Maybe I got into some pretty sketchy things, but I drove through it, I left it behind. My best friend and I split up because of a question she asked me that was fucking ridiculous. A question of my being a sex tape for her boyfriend. When I said no, she and I were done. 

I have the knack of choosing the wrong friends.

Especially since one of my best friends died of cancer that year too. 

I'm not sure what I did to deserve consecutive years that just really sucked. But shit happens. And, apparently, a lot of it. 

Year nine. High school. It was awkward, but better. I wasn't bulled as much and my group of friends was amazing. They're still my friends today. The bullying stopped there. I became more confident, I was able to look in the mirror and tell myself, "You're okay." I still saw an ugly creature, but I ignored it because it didn't matter. 

I met a pretty amazing person too. It was online and, although we didn't automatically connect, she was, and is, my best friend, ever. I think she was the one that really pulled me through it. Depression all but disappeared entirely. I felt happy. At peace, for once in years. 

Now? I still believe she's the best thing that's ever happened to me. She's the only person I can go to and talk to about everything. I can count on her for nearly everything. She's ma meillure amie. My best friend. 

 Bullying is tough to go through. It's horrible.

But you can pull through it.

You can make something beautiful out of it like Shane did. You can learn from it and you can build on it. Become a better person. 

I believe I am a better person. 

I survived and, although I get those bouts of depression every now and then, I am honestly happy. 

If you ever get bullied, don't hide it. Get help. Get help so you can be happy too. 

Although I'm not one to like people all that much, I would never wish anyone to get bullied because I know how it feels - it took me years to get over what happened to me. Again. I still haven't quite gotten over it. But have faith in yourself and you can do it. I believe in you. 

In the words of Shane Koyczan, "You have to believe that they were wrong."

I do.

 

The End

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