“Should I live or die?” A twelve year old girl sits alone in her room, deciding her own fate. Her hand grasps tightly onto a belt, while her gaze is set on the clothes rod above. “I could hang myself and everything would be better,” she thinks to herself.
People are baffled by the idea of such a young person wanting to end their life. What could they possibly be going through, that would cause them to seek out such an irreversible escape? There is one girl who knows, and sadly she is not the only one.
“This year will be different. It’ll be good,” the young girl thought.
She started off her new school year with high hopes, only to have them dashed on her first day. Walking into the classroom, she made her way to her chair. The other kids turned and smirked at her as she took her seat. She began to feel her insecurities rise once again, but tried to push them away.
A long day of classes were met with silent ridiculing from her peers. The final bell sounded and with relief she headed toward the school exit. As she rounded the corner, she was stopped in the hallway by a couple of her classmates. With pride they chanted, “You’re so stupid, and ugly! You’ll never be good at anything!” As she pushed through them, their laughter followed her as it echoed through the corridor.
Defeated and with tears in her eyes, she headed home. Quietly she went into her bedroom, closed the door and sat on her bed. The words of those who had taunted her, consumed her mind. She couldn’t stop their voices. “They’re right,” she thought. “I am stupid. I am ugly. What’s the point of living? The world would be better off without me.” With that, she glanced up at her closet and saw a belt dangling from the hanger above.
With shaky hands, she took hold of the belt and sat down with it on the floor. With a deep breath, she connected the ends of the belt and saw an empty space in the closet where her body would fit. Wiping her tears away, she planted her feet on the floor to stand.
Then, something stopped her. What it was she didn’t know, but it was as if something was physically holding her back, and with it was a voice telling her, “Don’t do it.”
She dropped the belt to the floor and began to weep. She would live another day.
As this sweet twelve year old girl shared her story with me, I could sense her renewed confidence. No longer did she want to die. Instead, she wanted to live and to share her story.
Bullying had almost cost her her life. She knows the consequences of words. She knows the pain and the hurt that they can cause. She knows and understands what the final outcome may be. She wants an end to bullying. Ultimately just as she did, she wants others to choose life over death.
She’s decided that even through the hard times, life is worth living. That there is always a brighter day to come and that, just like everyone else, her life has a purpose.
Words, even when they are said jokingly, have meaning and are taken to heart. Our words can literally mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, we should always choose them carefully.
Death is never the answer. Life is worth living. There will be a brighter day ahead. And no matter what you may believe, the world would not be a better place without you. You are needed. You are loved.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are there to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your life is worth the phone call.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Oh. That is just so terribly, terribly sad.
It is. It broke my heart to hear her speak of what she almost did, and why.
I hesitated to even share this, because many people don’t like to accept that these things actually happen. But they do…every day. And they need to know that, because that is the only way that these people can get the help that they need. A blind eye is nice, but it doesn’t solve anything.
I spoke with a tearful woman earlier in the year whose son attempted to end his life last year due to bullying. She had to pull him out of school and home school him.
My grand daughter is being bullied by a young boy at school but the school has passed it off as just ‘rough housing amongst young children’. They obviously aren’t the ones having to almost drag her to school each day. She has one more week to go and then she has school holidays before going to a new school though so this may change for her. Thank goodness.
But a child shouldn’t have to change schools. They should be entitled to the same rights as everyone else.
That’s the problem. So many people pass it off as nothing more than childish picking, but not all kids can just brush it off as nothing. For some, it makes a significant impact on their self esteem, self worth. I’m so glad to hear that your granddaughter is going to be moving schools. I really hope that the change works for her and that she is able to move on from her past.
It’s so unfair that children have to be subjected to these things. The deserve to have rights and they deserve to be children.
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Where are the parents? Are they boosting her confidence at all? Or do they even know how their little girl is feeling? Are they paying any attention to the obvious signs? Or are they too caught up in they own little worlds to care?
I went by her home today to see how she’s doing and to meet her guardian, but sadly no one was home. Unfortunately, many of the kids I work with/meet don’t have parents who are actively participating in their lives. Kids these days are growing up in situations that kids should never have to. It’s terrible.
These stories break my heart. I wish the teachers, parents and the bullies would wake up and realize the pain these children are enduring.
I agree. It seems that many people, including those in authority, rather sweep these things under the rug, hoping that the problems will resolve themselves. Sadly, they don’t resolve on their own. These kids need us (everyone) to open our eyes, to see their pain, and to help them.
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That is so powerful. I’m kind of lost for the right words. It’s so unfair that someone so young should know so much pain – not that it’s right for anyone of course.
I agree. It is very unfair.
Here’s my cheap 2 cents. A young person can suffer from crippling depression, but they also have another ‘problem’ to overcome. The human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. The last part of the brain to develop is that which contains our impulse control. I don’t know the suicide statistics between adults and younger people, but I can see where bullying can blur some things. However, if bullying drives them to clinical depression, the only thing I can say is that depression is torment, despair, hopeless, worthlessness….each and every second, of each and every day, of each and every month, of each and every year. No vacations, no breaks—just constant whittling away at self worth and confidence. It doesn’t get better by removing them from the bullies, because that isn’t the whole issue. Without professional help, along with the love and guidance of their parents, the person will grow to finally believe that they are a burden, life is too painful to live, and they can no longer see any other way out—because their thoughts aren’t like the thoughts of a ‘normal’ person.
You’re right. Bullying is most likely the tipping point, but I’m sure there is an underlying cause. I saw this girl’s home and am sure that there is much more to her story than bullying. She needs help beyond what goes on in school. I’m hoping to see her more often. Maybe I can’t help the situation, but I doubt that I would make it worse. It’s always good to have someone who cares around you.
My issues with depression started with bullying – I still don’t take any sort of negative criticism well. I hope she makes it.
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