It gets better

Any time we're faced with adversity, it's a universal reminder just how fragile we really are. We can only take so much, until weighty challenges suffocate our spirit, and suddenly, we're gasping for air. Happiness seems like a dream. Maybe even impossible, for children who are bullied.

The up-side, as I mentioned in a recent post, is that with every storm, the sunshine does break through. Eventually. But how do you even begin to see the light, when so much of your life is dim? Where does that type of blind faith come from? Knowing your'e not alone, is a start.

Believing you'll get through the hard times in life, is so dependant on hearing stories of others; knowing the history of people who not only walked in your shoes, but can share stories of how they drugged knee deep in the mud.

Thanks to orginizations like The Born This Way Foundation and the It Gets Better Project, countless people are feeling less alone.

As an adult who spent her childhood being [verbally] abused at home and in school, I know all too well, that
feeling of wanting to end it all; ending the pain of simply existing, and fear of never knowing a world where you'd feel normal. It doesn't matter if you're gay, straight, obese, tall, short, or in my case, have a skin disease on your face - if you're different, it's all consuming.

But the darnkess passed.

I'm here now to share my story about how I wethered the storm, found my self-worth, and learned the real meaning of Beauty. Today's radio interview was another step in the right direction in my self-evolving journey, and I knew I'd have a blast catching up with Sophie.

What I didn't know was that she'd receive an email from my childhood friend who knew me when:
I met Christine when we were in 5th grade. I was in a new school, a new neighborhood and she was my first new friend. She was nice, and just like any other girl our age in the late 1970's.
We started high school in 1982. Christine was still just like any of us except that she had acne, really bad! People stared to call her all kinds of names, and I'm not talking behind her back! (although there were all kinds of rumors about her going around) Guys would yell from the 2nd floor over the railing"HEY PIZZA FACE! "or moon face, crater face, etc. They would yell things like this and much worse, as loud as they could at her...then people would start laughing. Or if they would be walking behind her or passing by her, people would make a comment about her or just say something mean. At first I didn't really think about it but after awhile noticed this would happen pretty much all day, everyday! Her sister didn't seem to care about what some of her friends were doing to her little sister. Kinda looked to me like she was really mean to Christine too.
In the beginning I would see her just trying to get through the day and go to class, but after awhile I didn't see her much and figured it all got to her so she started cutting school.
It wasn't until Facebook and re-connecting w/ my childhood friend, that I heard what had become of her after high school. I would have never imagined that would become a drug user and definatley not a stripper (of all things). Continuing to have hard times of a different degree in her 20's.
Now when I see or hear the name Christine MacDonald I see STRENGTH and in my mind I kinda feel like a kid in school saying..."nah, nah, nah, nah! you guys didn't beat her or keep her down! "
You must be so full of pride! ur doing what thousands only dream of, turning all the shit from the past into a possitive 'here & now & into the future! WAY TO GO!! the 'buzz' about Christine dosen't have anything to do w/ rumors or drugs anymore but the strength and talent of a beautiful lady!! ♥ it!
I couldn't stop reading it.

She was there, she noticed, it was real.

As I fought back tears of gratitude, I took a moment to celebrate how far I've come - and immediately knew I'd share this story.

This post is a love letter to my childhood friend, and to anyone struggling, suffering, or gasping for air.

Please know it gets better. We've got your back, and can't wait for you to share your story for the next generation who needs you.