I see you, taunted and laughed off.
I see you, ignored and cast off.
I see you, lingering in the shadows behind the basketball hoops just watching, watching.
I see you, always hurrying to places that you don’t need to be so you can pretend to do.
I see you, with your long sleeves and the razor blades in your locker.
I see you, with your timid smile always hoping someone will notice.
I see you.
I see you, but it takes a while for me to see again once I see you really smile,
I see you, always following the rules and never hurting anyone else,
I see you, listening to lectures and talks with an unmatched desire to learn,
I see you, practicing shot after shot every day,
I see you.
I wish you did too.
I do, I really do. I hope that all those who feel mistreated and unwanted find strength in their experiences and realize their graces. I hope they all never stop trying to improve their lives and they get past the turbulent years of neglect from the world. But I also hope that people never resort to self-harm, suicide, school shooting to make themselves feel better.
Self-harm often involves the usage of a sharp object to cut open a blood vessel. People who feel like they have done something wrong, who want to escape their dark reality, or those preparing for death often self-harm. They want the momentary pain, the high as adrenaline fills the body, the light-headedness as major blood loss occurs, the pool of scarlet that they have made with their own hands. Self-harm is a terrible form of escapism. Nothing changes through self-harm except the potential of awakening some special interests. Maybe it could spark the interest of a teacher, a counselor, a parent, but the bullying is not made any more real by a physical manifestation. Talking would more than suffice for change to occur and this communication could even be anonymous through emailing the school or calling the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255.
Suicide is never the change to want, of course, and I hope people realize this. Perhaps it would have been better never to exist, or to exist as something else or someone else. Perhaps it would have been better to have been the popular kid everyone likes, an eagle soaring free, a cat with human servants and a worry-free life. Perhaps. But it certainly is not better to stop existing. Life is attachment, and there are things that even the most downtrodden look forward towards. Death is nothing, or perhaps if you have faith it is everything, but either way, it is wrong to die. There are ways to die meaningfully, but not through suicide. Suicide is either an attempt to escape the angst of life or an attempt to force change upon the school or the bullies or society. But where does one escape to in death and what change will one death make? Far better to stay in the known world and make a positive change with one’s one life.
Shooting down the entire school does not count as a positive change. Bullies often hold some sort of power over their victims, this could be socially or physically or in held material. Victims often seek to right this power imbalance by making this power difference irrelevant or reducing the power difference. School shooters are often victims of bullying who turn to guns to right the power imbalance or to get back at their bullies. I often wonder how much school shooters contemplate their actions. No matter how much pain they have caused someone, do these bullies, who are siblings and friends and children, really deserve death? Are their actions worthy of them to stop existing? Is there any way to prevent the bullying or right the power difference without using a gun? Calling authority figures, changing schools, getting really good at kung fu. What does one plan to do after the shooting? Does one kill themselves, or turn themselves into prison, or let themselves be shot? What about one’s parents, siblings, friends? How will they feel? Where will one’s future self go, the soldier or teacher or businessman or actor or musician? Does one really want to spend one’s life ending the lives of others? I don’t know the answer to these questions, never even had to face them. I hope others will never have to face these questions either, but that they will think about them if they must.
This has been written for others, unlike most of my writing which is for myself.
I hope this makes a difference. I hope people remember that I see you, and so do others.