My friend sent me this story yesterday & after reading the headline, I wasn’t sure if I had the bandwidth to dive in. I did it anyway…& reading thru it absolutely gutted me. Shared the article link in Stories & from the DMs received, it seems to have gutted many of you too.
Why do these stories crush us…& then why read & share them when they’re so crushing. I’ll attempt to answer both:
You look at this child, Terry’s pics, & there’s just a relatability. He’s got a glow…the awkward growth spurt thing most teens go thru…clothes don’t fit perfectly. He’s like ANY of us. I look at his pics & I see not only myself at 13, but so many of my friends’ kids at 13…how they look now.
There were kids at Terry’s school, the fam alleges, who bullied him every day, asking if he shopped at Goodwill, calling him a “fatass,” making fun of his shoes, laughing at his haircut, telling him he was worthless. In a video he made before the suicide, he explained: “I get picked on every day & I hate my life. You can thank (he listed his bullies’ names) for this.”
He was a star athlete: HR hitter, pitcher, bigger than most of the kids. I heard this story & it brought back a lot of memories. Being an athlete – bigger than the other kids, thin as a rail, then having a growth spurt as a young teen, putting the “awkward” weight on. Side comments abt how big I was & whether my clothes fit. It’s amazing what the brain holds subconsciously. Amazing what hearing the experience of another child sparks up in our own memories. Deep pain buried. Can anyone not relate to being picked on for their size (big or small, or what they wore)?
As hard as these are to read, we have to share. These aren’t one-offs. This is a thread. An epldemlc.
We had that mtg w the parents of children lost to suicide the other nt & they were telling EACH OTHER’s story. Telling Terry’s story: Bright, life of the party, kind heart, talented, bullied & took on too much & the dam broke. We owe it to these kids to keep telling their stories, & to kids down the road we can save. Just like on the last post we said to HEAL LOUDLY…WE collectively need to raise the volume on these losses.