My friends (Kismet & Kindred) over at Sparring Stepsisters recently started an anti-bullying campaign to let everyone know that they too are against bullying in any way, shape, or form. Kismet asked me if I would like to be a part of this campaign and of course, I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn't be any more against bullying if I tried. It's disgusting and ignorant and cruel. No one is perfect, and I'm of the firm belief that those who bully others are cowards or are trying to compensate for the lack of something be it love, understanding, guidance, what have you.
That being said, please allow me to share with you a story. One that will probably have a profound effect on you, but every single word of it is absolute truth.
I myself was never subjected to bullying. People pretty much knew to leave me alone and stay out of my way. It didn't stop people from trying, but I'm not one to be easily intimidated, and I will fight back when push comes to shove. However, I knew several people who were subjected to bullying, whether at the hands of their peers or even their own parents. My best friend Danny was one of those people.
Danny was a shining star, and he always will be. To me at least. When Danny and I met, it was pretty much cosmic. There was an instant bond between us that even to this day I could never be able to explain in detail. It was just there. He had the world at his feet. He could have been anyone, gone anywhere, done anything. He was in a band, he had stellar grades, he was going places. He knew it, I knew it, his band mates and all of our other friends knew it, but... Danny never got the chance.
You see, Danny's father was a drunk and a bastard and a BULLY! No matter how well Danny did, his father always found a way to bring him down. It didn't matter. In his eyes, Danny was worthless and would never amount to anything. His father didn't know the Danny I knew, and I was ALWAYS there to pick Danny up after his father knocked him down. ALWAYS. It didn't matter what I was doing, who I was with, or even where I was. If Danny called, I ran and I ran fast. I watched him battle through depression and illness and cutting and suicide attempts. You name it, I got him through it, or at the very least I tried to. We'd talk it out or I'd take him to a therapist or he'd play while I sang. Music was his outlet, and on more than a few occasions, Danny would tell me that I was his life. "Love eternal," he would say. You know how some people say Cake or Pie to one another? I would say blue butterflies, and Danny would say love eternal. It was our thing.
Now, you may be wondering why I continuously refer to Danny in the past tense, or maybe some of you have already figured it out, but I'm going to tell you anyway.
Danny committed suicide. His father came home drunk and called him names and punched him repeatedly. Danny couldn't take it anymore so he found his way out, and I will forever be haunted by the guilt I feel over his death even though I know it wasn't my fault. Even though I know that even if I had just sat outside with him for 10-15 minutes and done what I could to talk him down, he still may have done it. If not that night, then another. Even though I know the real reasons behind his doing it, I will forever feel guilty for turning my back on him all because I wanted to spend time with the guy I had been seeing. I was selfish, but so was Danny.
The pain is always there. Sometimes I wonder where Danny would be today had I just sat out there with him and listened like he'd asked me to. I wonder if he'd be recording music for some big label and touring the world sharing his gift and his genius with all the people in it, but I know it will never happen. The world lost a diamond, and I lost my star.
So this post is for Danny and for all of the others out there who have been or are being bullied. THIS ISN'T ALL THERE IS! THIS IS NOT THE END! Please, please, I am begging you... GET HELP! Find a therapist, take a self defense class, talk to a teacher or an adult period. STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK!!! There are people out there who can and WILL help you! There are people out there who will love you no matter what. THIS IS NOT THE END!!!
In the words of my everlasting star...
Blue butterflies and love eternal!