Hurt people hurt people. As we know, bullies bully because either they’re having emotional pain themselves, or they’re arrogant and truly believe they are superior. Nevertheless, bullies do struggle with mental illness, and yes, many succumb to suicide, which is beyond sad. Neither mental illness nor suicide discriminate.
The bullies who are hurting are more likely to commit suicide than their arrogant counterparts. However, many arrogant bullies also commit suicide when they take a huge downfall and cannot cope.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that many bullies do end up taking their own lives. Some of my former classmates did and I feel terrible for them. Regardless of how horribly they may have treated me, I would never wish that kind of ending on my worst enemies.
Again, we should never take pleasure when we hear of anyone dying by their own hand, it doesn’t matter how evil and disgusting the person may have been while they were living.
It’s a horrible thing to befall a human being! And, the most heartbreaking thing is that these classmates never lived long enough to see their lives get better. I have no doubt that, had they found the will to go on living, things certainly would’ve improved for them.
Hurt People Hurt People
Christy was one of those bullies. She died by suicide in 2004 at the age of thirty-two. She was one of those mean girls in middle school who seemed to enjoy inflicting pain. However, she dropped out in the ninth grade and her life slowly took a nosedive over several years. Unbeknownst to me and many others, Christy struggled with mental illness. She battled so many demons that few of us know anything about.
After we were out of school, I ran into Christy a few times after my kids were born and she still attempted to bully me. She would yell curses in the store parking lot as I loaded my groceries in my car and my babies in their safety seats. Therefore, I would only roll my eyes and scoff at her, then go about my business. However, had I known she’d recently gone through a divorce and lost her children, I might have reached out to her.
I wasn’t made aware of the details until after she was already gone. Someone, who had been close to Christy, filled me in that she was severely co-dependent. Since her divorce, she’d gone through a rash of failed relationships. The men she’d dated had only used her for what they could get from her, then dumped her. And, when the last man tossed her away, Christy broke.
Moreover, it didn’t help that she was already suffering from bipolar disorder. Consequently, she took a shotgun, went outside in the back yard, put it under her chin, and pulled the trigger. And the saddest of all is that she left behind two children.
A Downward Spiral
When I was informed of this, I was both shocked and horrified. Also, at the time, I felt disappointed in her. I wondered why she would allow some guy who, obviously, wasn’t worth her time, to drive her to such extremes. I also wondered if she’d thought of her children and who would raise them.
Back then, I was learning but still didn’t know near as much about suicide and mental illness as I do now. Therefore, I might have been a little judgmental of her without meaning to. Although I, myself, had survived a suicide attempt as a teenager, I still didn’t empathize with her like I should’ve. Nevertheless, my heart broke not only for her, but more so, those babies, who were now without a mother.
Though I don’t condone the things Christy did nor how she acted when she was alive, I do understand why. She was hurting badly and needed to make someone else hurt so that she can feel better. Hence the reason I don’t hate bullies, I pity them instead.
In 2016, another school bully, Lori, also committed suicide, only under different circumstances. She’d gone from a popular cheerleader and choir girl who looked down on those who weren’t as socially fortunate, to being a teacher who was bullied and mobbed at the school in which she taught.
She was a wife and mother of a teenage daughter and small toddler. However, because she was despised at work, she was fired from the career she loved. Sadly, Lori also suffered from bipolar disorder.
Suicide is Felt Most by Loved Ones Left Behind
Therefore, she went home, took an overdose of pills, and never woke up. Even sadder was that her daughter was the person who found her later that day. However, how much would her circumstances have improved had she chosen to power through and keep going?
As I write this, I also look back to 1987, when one of my school bullies lost his older brother, Chris, to suicide. I don’t know if the older brother was a bully. For all I know, he may have been a target. However, I do know that he struggled with mental illness. Although I don’t know much about what drove him to take his life, I do remember what a few reliable sources told me. They told me that he’d jumped off a bridge over a set of railroad tracks.
Moreover, I can venture a good guess why Chris’ younger brother bullied me and a few others at school. And why he would go as far as to slam his books down on my head on many occasions. Could it be that his bullying me was the only way he could cope with the loss of his brother? Is it possible that he himself was struggling with mental illness, being as mental illnesses tend to run in families?
What heights could Chris have accomplished had he mustered the will to live? What joys in life could he have basked in later?
If You Are a Target, Here are questions you should ponder when it comes to your bullies:
1. When a bully bullies, what is it that they are trying to hide?
2. What is it about themselves that he’s trying to distract others from by bullying you?
3. Is the bully projecting onto you what she perceives to be a flaw in herself?
4. And what possible mental illnesses does the bully have that they’re so desperately trying to cover up?
5. Is the bully using you as a distraction from some shortcoming they themselves have?
Where Would They Be Today?
It’s sad that many of my bullies from school are now deceased, and not only from suicide, but auto accidents, a plane crash, and a few ATV accidents.
Rebecca Kee, Robin Tatum, Heath Bennett, Billy Goodman, Kevin Hearnsberger, Aaron Schuh, Janessa Holt, and many other classmates never got to live full lives and that’s tragic. Some of them never knew the joy of having their first child. Others will never see the birth of their first grandchildren, nor will they see retirement.
The icy-cold hands of death snatch away so many would-bes! So many goals, dreams, joys, and togetherness are dashed! And that’s the worst part.
That’s why I urge you to give yourself a chance if you’re enduring what seems to be impossible situations. Know that it never rains a full three hundred and sixty-five days. That in itself is proof that things will always improve if you don’t give up. You are worth fighting for and you’re worth living for! Always remember that!
With knowledge comes empowerment!