Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WWD: It Gets Better

When I read on My Super Sweet Fashion Diary that today was Take A Stand Against Bullying Day, I decided to switch up my ensemble game-plan and wear purple in support. Check it here for more info, as well as her involvement with The Trevor Project. I have been saddened and sickened by the string of teen suicides that have taken place as a result of bullying because of their sexual orientation. I don't understand what makes people torment someone because of their differences, but I am very much aware of feeling like you are alone, of hopelessness, of feeling like your options are running out.


When I was in middle school, and even a freshman in high school, I was unhappy with myself. In fact, I felt like I hated myself. I was sensitive, awkward, the ugly duckling, and for a time, had constant thoughts of suicide. Looking back now, I can't imagine what my parents went through, my mom especially. Every day I came home from school and went downstairs to my room, where I cried for hours. I didn't want to do anything, I didn't want to go anywhere, I didn't want to see anyone. I just wanted to be alone in my misery. I remember my mom coming into my room to try to talk to me, and all I could do was cry. At 13, 14, 15, I didn't know how to express what I was feeling, and I thought I would feel like that forever.



During my freshman year, a friend of mine, our neighbor across the street, hung himself. He was a year younger than me. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say it hits one in the gut, especially when it is someone that young. Especially when one is that young themself. I distinctly remember his funeral, with kids lined up outside the funeral home for the visitation. I distinctly remember his open casket, his Journey tee-shirt, the Polaroids and notes that people left in the casket with him as they went through the line. Their one last conversation with Jamie as they said goodbye. Looking back now, it brings tears to my eyes thinking of him, his family, and the young people in the past few weeks who felt that same way - like there was just no way out.


About midway through my freshman year things started to change a little. It helped A LOT when I got rid of my Tootsie glasses and got contacts. I realized it was okay to be different, in fact, I reveled in it (much to my mother's chagrin). I looked a little less awkward, a little less dorky, but never felt pretty. To this day I always feel like the plain girl when I'm with a group of women. I guess it's something I'll always deal with, but I have realized that everything I've gone through in my life, from those feelings of hopelessness, to dealing with an abusive relationship, to being in the hospital on bedrest for two and a half months when pregnant with The Trips, all of those things have shaped me. They've made me who I am today, and today? I like who I am. Hell, I even love who I am.




I'm saying all of this to say that if by some slim chance someone out there reads this who is feeling hopeless, that it WILL change. It gets better.

For more information on The Trevor project, visit their website here.

Merci,
Shannan

7 comments:

406 Olivia said...

I love who you am, too. Awesome post.

xoxo,
~Olivia

P.S. You? Plain? Hardly...

corksandcaftans said...

thanks for sharing this... salty tears with my morning coffee? why not!

Tyler (the Rutgers suicide) was a patient of Rob's dad, and to hear about how painfully shy he was, all clammed up in his shell, and then thinking about what he went through just kills me.

When I was in those ages you described, I used self-deprecating humor to get through everything. I'm still working to get people to take me seriously and not make me the butt of jokes; it's funny. I feel like kids have access to a lot of confidence-boosting things and ways to be individuals, but conversely, are exposed to way more s**t I'm glad I didn't have to deal with.

anyhoo... got my purps on. and you look beauteous! smashing. plain doesn't even come to mind.

C

Natasha said...

I love who you are! Always have. In fact I was kinda surprised you and Ames (two foxy, fabulous ladies) befriended ME. 5 years later and you two mean THE WORLD to me. Your strength is an inspiration and your clean house is a freak of nature. Serisouly??? how do you keep it clean with triplets?

Dobbygirl said...

Great post! It does get better, but those ages you described are tough for anyone. xoxo

Courtnee said...

I cried when I read this! Thinking about how hurt and alone kids are feeling breaks my heart.

I had little or no self esteem for a long long time!I hated myself and what I looked like. It took my a long time to be ok with me and get comfortable in my skin(it's still a work in progress).

You, my dear, are fabulous!

Nicole Q said...

Thank you for writing this post. It made me think back to my own very awkward teenage years and how much I hated myself at the time. You're so right - It does get better. These jerks that bully are not worth making yourself feel so bad about yourself. I have never met you or Amy but I absolutely love your blog and send good wishes to both of you. Thank you both for your honesty and addressing this important issue.

MerciBlahBlah said...

Wow - thank you so much to all of you. It still amazes me how I feel like I have met so many kindred spirits through something as trivial as our silly blog. I know most of the time I prefer to see the humor (or at least express myself easiest that way) but it really does mean so much when I write something more serious or sappy to know that others relate. Guess that's what the human condition is all about,eh?

I really, truly, sincerely appreciate every one of you.

Hugs,
Shan