Megan, a 13-year-old girl, committed suicide after the mother of a girl she'd had a falling out with made a fake myspace to make her believe that a boy liked her. Megan had been depressed for awhile and was going to therapy and on on medication, and had been harassed for awhile because of her weight. After she was sent a myspace message where she was told that everyone would be better off if she'd died, she hanged herself in her closet. The story is much worse than that, but you'll have to click the link to read about it.
I am so infuriated. and not even necessarily by the situation -- although that itself saddens me so deeply i don't want to breathe anymore -- but by the comments from people on the article.
" Kids should be outside playing sports or something more creative and worthwhile than sitting behind a computer screen living in an imaginary, phony world. Sign out people! It's evil. "
There were many of these sorts of comments. But it isn't because of myspace that shit like this happens. I could tell you at least personally because ever since SECOND GRADE i had people harassing me just as badly. And it happened at every school i went to until I left high school. Was it me or are we raising a generation of socialized borderline-sociopaths? Who knows. I was always pretty weird. But you'd think I was the boil on the ass of humanity by the way these kids treated me. But the point is that blaming this on myspace is just, very plainly, either a lack of insight or an unwillingness to acknowledge the big and real problem -- that from childhood, people are ABUSING others and are either never reprimanded, or actually told that it's OK or justifiable, and that is fucked up.
" As horrible as this is, you can't really blame those who harassed Megan. The real world is full of people like that. Had Megan continued on with her life she would have discovered it at a later age. When you join the workforce you will find people who are just as abusive to your face and there's really nothing you can do about them if their boss won't fire them. Sad, but it is a sad world we live in. "
OF COURSE THERE WILL BE. And MOST PEOPLE go through life NEVER. EVER. going through severe bullying in their childhood and they make it through those adult situations of harassment JUST FINE. This mentality infuriates me the most. clearly, the person who wrote that comment never went through anything like that. And when you are a child, measures should be taken to shelter you from something like that. And if we actually did something about bullying kids when they were kids, we'd probably have LESS ASSHOLES in the world.
Not only that, but being abused that way in childhood actually makes you LESS ADAPTIVE to similar situations in your adulthood.
" I don't believe that an otherwise happy thirteen-year-old would commit suicide out of the blue because someone said bad things about them. There is clearly MUCH more to this story and it isn't being told. "
Megan didn't just up and kill herself out of the blue because of this. These kids have been doing this to her for awhile. So forget about prosecuting the mother for a moment -- how about the administration of the school FINALLY do something about the demon hellion children who harassed her until she died?
School bullying and abuse doesn't 'happen to everyone,' and it is not a 'normal' part of growing up. When a child is thinking about or trying to kill herself at ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen years old, it isn't because she is weak. It's because she sees she is being treated so poorly, and it never gets better, and worse yet, people either don't take you seriously about what's happening or just don't care enough to do anything about it.
I was so hated in every school I went to, even the 'loser' kids had licence to make fun of me. I asked someone when I was 10 years old what the easiest way to kill myself was. I remember thinking about something I'd seen in a book or magazine that if someone says they want to hurt themselves, you should tell an adult, and I thought about how no-one was going to tell on me because I didn't really matter. I was called names, shunned, laughed at viciously, had my things stolen, told exactly how unlikeable I was, and when I was older I too had the fake screenname drama, people pretending to like me so they could make fun of me later for believing them, prank calls, etc etc. And it went on ever since I was about seven years old. I never saw this happen to any of my other classmates, so I have concluded that that isn't 'normal.'
I'm glad I'm alive now. My life isn't great but I at least got to let my personality truly develop after high school and I have made some of the best, truest friends a person could ever have. But I know exactly what this shit is like, and I am so tired of the denial that goes on amongst adults about this problem, because adults want so desperately to identify with the 'normal' kids. It is so sick.
Why would it be so hard for parents to ass themselves to tell their kids to be nice to people and try to stand up for kids who are not being treated well? Or to talk to their kids when they physically witness their child harassing someone? Why would it be so hard to punish kids appropriately when they are doing something like this? I spoke to a man who taught 4th grade who was made fun of severely as a child, and his solution was that he told his class every beginning of the year that if he heard that they were making fun of someone, they had to sing a ridiculous 'I'm sorry' song to the 8th graders... and he never had a bullying problem in his classroom. It's even simple shit like that! But no -- we have to hold on to the ideal of survival of the fittest, we have to comfort ourselves in identifying with the persecutors instead of the victim, we have to tell these victims that THEY are the ones who did something wrong, or to 'just ignore it' like it's possible, or we have to punish them.
Now I'm a whole big blubbering crying mess and this is so ridiculous but I feel very strongly on this issue. I don't know.