I watched it at work, and cried. Later that night, I watched it again, alone, and had the worst sobbing panic attack of my life. All the pain of the complete ostracism, the total isolation, the sense of worthlessness — it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Feelings that I have not thought about for decades dragged me right back to that time of pain, with a clarity that time was supposed to heal.
And tonight, listening to that video again, I realized that on the day that Cy and I celebrated 25 years together, with the most wonderful 8-year-old I can imagine, one of those boys was on life support. Two days later he died. I remember being 8 when the taunting started.
I have had some deeper understanding of myself within the past weeks, and will have a rant about that soon enough (mormons beware!) Those of you who knew me both before and after G came along might understand better what I mean about strength.
But in the meantime, there are many, many young children and teenagers who are in trouble and need help. The easiest way I can think of for all of us to help them is for them to have a signal — hidden or not — that there are many folks that appreciate their pain, and want to tell them that it does, indeed, get better.
The signal is for people to wear purple. I don’t care if it is a shirt, socks, a hat (but preferably not underwear, I don’t like that “sagging” look) or an armband. These kids need to know that there is a world out there that does not condemn them. Technically, it is the least we can do.
I cannot change what I went through, but I can hopefully alleviate the sense of isolation that other kids might be feeling.
So can you.