It is hard to write an opening to this personal story sent to me by a parent in obvious pain after the recent death of their son. For me, it was both hard to read and think that this parent must have these memories of their son’s life. Sometimes I think all we can do is be a support element for someone in their time of need and be a witness as well for a life lost. In reading it here again, I’m not sure I should say anymore than just share this parent’s wish to publish their story. ~Alan Eisenberg
A PARENTS PAIN
Our son died a few weeks ago. He had been gang raped and bullied many years ago in Junior High School but he did not tell us. He was extremely bright and had a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering. However, despite his success in the business world, he had very low self esteem and got involved with people who were of poor character, particularly women who were drug addicts and alcoholics.
He became very depressed and reclusive in recent years and turned to drugs. He was under the care of a psychiatrist for many years and these horror stories finally came to the surface. He even went to the trouble, fairly recently, of tracking down two of the people who raped him. The school was badly run and was closed several years ago.
They had a group called the Go Club. They were violent and practically ran the school. Several of them are still in prison for drowning homosexuals. The principal was a heavy drinker and paid no attention to what was going on. She was subsequently removed and given a no work job where they place people they cannot fire.
Our son had great potential but his life was wasted and I feel it was a direct result of the horrible experiences he had. He really did not care whether he lived or died. He had a bad case of asthma but refused to go for treatment. When we did not hear from him for several days, my husband and younger son entered his apartment and found him lying on the couch, dead. The medical examiner felt he had died of an asthmatic attack or possibly a heart attack brought on by a lack of oxygen.
The terrible effects of bullying do not go away even after many years and I am tormented by the fact that I did not pay more attention to some of the evidence of his fear of going to school and pretending to be sick or by the calibre of his friends or lack of social skills.
I now have metastatic cancer and have no desire to live after this catastrophe. I am very pleased that, finally, there is an emphasis on the terrible effects of bullying and its consequences.
~Name withheld by request