It Gets Better

I have a confession to make: When I was seventeen, I was in the midst of formulating a plan to end my life. Somebody told somebody else, and that tragedy was averted. I thought that there would be no end to the pain I was suffering, being different, being strange…I had to wait until my 30s, but life finally got better for me. I must admit, when my former tormenters began asking for my friendship on Facebook, I was quite wary. I should not have been so suspicious of people wanting to be my friend on Facebook. Turns out, they were genuine friend requests. My own experience and bitter memories had clouded my judgment. It turns out, I forgot it had gotten better for me.

I was mainstreamed through my school years. I graduated from Tustin High, in Tustin, California, in 1996. And I suffered through merciless bullying and being made fun of throughout my years. Then, I experienced abuse at the hands of my sisters, who took all my money and made me pay dearly for every single breath of air I breathed. I had to wait until my 30s, but it got better. Really. Life got so much better after school. If you’re planning on ending it all, remember this: IT. GETS. BETTER.

You want to know why it gets better? Here’s one reason: Right now, you might be dealing with kids. Teenagers are generally just large children, with very little thinking in the proper parts of the brain, because the brain is shut down for remodeling. The general consensus right now is that the brain shuts down for remodeling to think like an adult in your teens, and generally finishes about age 25, more or less. So, if you and the majority of people you run around with are not thinking properly, why not just wait until you are to see if you want to end your life?

Another reason is, you have more power over your settings. As you age, you realize that you can cut this person out of your life, or that person out of your life. You can also let this person or that person in to your life. It depends. My sisters have cut my mother and me out of their lives, and they’re happy and at peace with that. I cut out people of my life, too. I’m also happy with that. Once you get out of high school, it’s possible you will never see the people who tormented you unless they request your friendship on Facebook. And you can simply “Ignore” them.

“But I’m too weird,” you say. That’s it. In the rarefied air of high school, everybody wants to be like everybody else. Different is a strange taboo which is exploited, as stated above. Even the theater kids I tried to hang with could not handle my level of weird. When I got out of high school and my abusive situation, something strange happened: people started praising weird and different. Weird and different was okay. But by that time, I discovered something awful: I had lost my edge. My weirdness was my edge. I learned that I was not that weird at all. My crush on the Chase Hampton of the Mickey Mouse Club, or members of New Kids on the Block, or even the Green Ranger were perfectly normal. Even my current Cumberobsession is quite normal, if you ask the internet. Ever since Graham Moore stated “Stay Weird, Stay Different,” I have been fighting to get my weird back. I have discovered that my weirdness was my contribution to society. I currently have nude nail polish with golden ombre glitter on them. I guess that could be dull, but it could also be weird. Sometimes I wonder if my edge can be gotten back…so, I’m begging you: Stay weird. Stay different.

Finally, if that doesn’t work, you can get the f&%#!!! out of that place. Say you live in Orange County, California, where I lived. You can choose Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London-there are places you can live that suit every taste and culture. I mean, go live in Tokyo, if that’s your thing. I currently live in Kentucky. Quite a different place from Orange County, yet it has its own beauty. There is beauty in every season, no matter where I look. I did not originally go live in Kentucky, but I have had some of my best moments here. Somehow, though, California keeps calling me back.

So, if you are formulating a plan to take your life and end it all, please, I’m begging you, from the other side of it, don’t. Tell somebody your pain. Someone will listen, someone will care. If I ended my life, my mother would have surely ended hers. My family would have never recovered. Finally, coming from the other side of the pain, in the light at the end of the tunnel, please listen to me: It truly and really does get better.

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