Tuesday, May 25, 2021

He Said He Did Not Expect To Live Long, He Was Twelve

Such an awful and shameful story to read about Riley Hadley, a twelve-year-old boy, killing himself over bullying. He suspected he may be gay, told his mother, was bullied by his classmates and then was home schooled for a time. His doctor recommended he attend classes in person again and the boy went home and hung himself at age twelve.

He must have felt immense pressure, vulnerability and fear about returning to where his tormentors would have easy access to him. Someone should have listened to this boy and looked out for him. Not all difficulties in life can be prevented, but this boy's death seems like it could have been based on what I have read.

From another article:

Police reportedly interviewed dozens of fellow students who shared similar stories of bullying over Hadley’s sexuality, as well as his tendency to self-harm. He reportedly told a friend of a previous attempt at death by suicide years earlier, and another friend said Hadley did not expect to live long. Bullies reportedly encouraged Hadley to harm himself and take his own life, with one student reportedly telling the young boy to “do us all a favor and slit your wrists.”

Yet the doctor said he should return to school? I ask how much of these details was the doctor made aware? How widespread was this information known to people that could have helped him?

I was that boy too growing up and I hate that stories like this still happen. I learned to fight when I had to defend myself, lived in secret when I could and thought for years of doing what that young boy did. I should not had to have lived that way, but those were my options other than suicide. He should not had to have lived that way either, especially after telling people what went on.

When people I knew as a child say to me as an adult that they wish they could be kids again and how easy we had it, I disagree. They do not understand or they say something like 'we all have problems' - I had someone say that to me earlier this month as if it was some sort of competition. That attitude is nothing more than a perfunctory waving of the hand at the situation and saying too bad. I think to myself that no, the problems they had as children were not anything remotely close. What helped me through childhood was the ability to see and understand that some other kids did have it worse. We do all have problems, but not all problems are equal, carry the same burdens and consequences and the weight of those problems are heavier for others than they may be for you.

My patience amounts to a thimble for the 'we all have problems' crowd.

If you or someone in your life needs assistance, please do not hesitate to seek it. There is no shame in seeking help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline