02/22/2022 Dedicated To Drayke Hardman

This post is dedicate to Drayke Hardman, the 12yr old boy from Utah tragically lost to suicide. 

The pic on the next slide ➡️, is but one of the many that were shared, that show the heartbreak that this fam has had to endure. 

I’ve read a number of articles/watched a number of news stories on this case, before choosing to write abt it.  In many/most of the written pieces, I’ve seen disclaimers: “It’s dangerous to attribute suicide to bullying as a direct cause.”

Listen, I get it. 1:1 cause & effect is almost never the case (to our knowledge). But the above language discounts the connection that CAN exist.  Bullying causes stress…bullying can be traumatic…& in potentially being both, bullying can be a big contributing factor in the accumulation of one’s overall stress/trauma load, that can lead to suicide.

To insinuate otherwise…to disconnect them almost completely like the disclaimers above do, is irresponsible.

I remember being a little kid, & staring as another child rolled by in a wheelchair. Staring when I passed by a child w Down syndrome. I remember feeling weird abt it at the time: my eyes were glued to the “differences”…but I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. For survival, we’re wired to notice differences.

As an adult, & going thru the 2.5 yrs of hell I did, my perspective changed. I realized that I had a “difference” in how childhood trauma affected me. And tho others may not be able to SEE my difference in terms of the severe impact on my brain/body connection, I was in fact different. 

This made me so appreciate those whose difference you can see. Those in the wheelchair, those w Down syndrome. It made me look at them as HUMAN, just like me. Just like everyone else. Now, I no longer stare – not bc I can’t “see” a difference, but bc it barely registers. We all have our own uniquenesses & that’s actually what makes us the SAME. Ppl to be valued.

If we realize this as adults as we face our own challenges that make us different, can’t we teach this to our kids? Can’t we teach that we ALL have differences & they make us beautiful. Those aren’t things to stare at or bully…they are things to appreciate!

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