Category Archives: The Trevor Project

Focus 52: "Play"

Playgrounds.

The birth of innocence starts here.  The death of innocence generally starts here too.  Standing outside the chain link fence of a nearby school, I am transported back to the days that I spent in my own schoolyard.

“Fat girl, fat girl,” they used to chant at me.

I would slide underneath a sliding pond, looking for solace, hoping to become invisible.

“Brace face, brace face,” they would scream at me.

I would try to touch the sky in a swing.  Maybe if I could get just high enough, I could fly away.  Maybe if it would lift me high enough, I could learn to rise above this…but their hate spew would still fill my ears and simultaneously, empty my heart. 

“If you would just get to know me,” my heart would cry out to my head.  “If you only knew how funny I am.  How silly I am.  I have the best jokes.  I really could make you laugh…if you would only let me.”  I make my little brother laugh, I would think to myself.  I do a really cool impression of Donny and Marie singing,
“I’m a Little Bit Country/I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll”.  If you would let me show it to you…you’d forget how fat I am.  You wouldn’t care about my braces.

You might even like me…just a little.  And we could be friends…in secret.  No one would have to know.

I can keep a secret.  I’d make a good friend.  I promise.

There is nothing lonelier than the sight of a little girl alone on a see saw in the downward position, the other end high up in the air.  “The whole class would have to get on the other side to lift you up,” one especially mean-spirited girl would spit at me, venom in her voice and malice in her eyes.

I would close my eyes.  Squeeze them shut tight.  So tight, I would see colors.  I would make up rhymes in my head, jotting them down in my notebook.  Later on, when I get home, I can write a song.  I can write a poem.  I could write a book, someday.  My teachers always said “what a good writer you are”.  And I was.  Alone…in my little world, I could write the words that could bring grown men to tears and cause the coldest heart to defrost.  I had talent.  I had a gift.

But they don’t know that about me.  They can’t see past a fat girl with braces. 

So, I would get up from the see saw.  Walk over to the bench and sit down, eating my lunch quietly alone. I had my notebook.  I had my new pencils.  I had a shiny, brand new Charlie’s Angels lunchbox.  I would happily give you half my sandwich.  Or, you can have both of my snacks.  I would give you the world if only you would be my friend.

“What are you writing,” the teacher would ask.

“Just a poem,” I would mumble.

“You are such a good writer,” she would say with kind eyes that easily translated to “I feel so bad for you”.

“Thanks,” I would reply with a shrug of my shoulders. 

And I would continue to sit on the bench, scribbling notes and words that scarcely make any sense.  I would show them all someday, when I am a famous writer.  I have no time for their silliness.  I am a smart girl.  I am a good person.  I have more important things to do than play hide and seek or freeze tag.  I have plans.  I have hopes.  I have dreams.  I have secrets. 

But, if you knew me at all, if you ever took the time to…you’d know the truth.

All I ever really wanted to do…was play.

Day 6 – Something You Hope You Never Have to Do


(This post brought to you by the word “Middy”, who publicly outed me on Facebook for not finishing up the 30 Days of Truth. Where does it say it has to be 30 CONSECUTIVE days, bitch? LMAO)

There’s a lot of things in my life that I hope I never have to do. Some of them are things I hope to never have to do…AGAIN. Bury a child. Return to drug rehab. Go back to nursing. Re-marry. Those are the things that come to mind immediately.

However, something I really hope I never have to do again is deal with my son being bullied in school. This blog post dropped off a couple of weeks ago after an incident at my sons school brought my flow as a writer to a crashing halt. In light of all the anti-bullying campaigns going on, I found myself smack in the middle of the controversy.

Apparently, my son was approached by a young lady in his school about smoking pot with her. He told her that he didn’t do that, told her that he thinks people who do are losers and left it at that. Should he have said that? Maybe not. No sense in making people feel bad about their personal decisions, but I was nevertheless proud to know that is his take on drug users. This in turn incensed the young lady.

Sometime around noon, she tapped my son on the shoulder. He had his back to her and when he turned to see who was tapping him, she proceeded to strike him, close fisted, right across his face. She left large, red welts across his cheek. As he was always taught, he did not retaliate with violence, but rather with a “What the Fuck, Lindsay?” She stormed off. He was sent to the clinic for some Tylenol and an ice pack for his face. At approximately 4pm, I received a call from the school telling me what happened. All the administrator said was that my son was involved in an altercation. She was not forthright with the details immediately, so I was incensed. The details were not coming out as fast and furiously as I wanted them to. Is he okay? Is he hurt? Is he safe? Where is he now? And…the all important, if this happened at lunch, WHY THE FUCK AM I FIRST HEARING ABOUT IT NOW??? To say I was livid is putting it in graciously mild terms.

The admin told me that the girl will be suspended, however, my sons “involvement” in the incident was going to be investigated. My sons involvement? He never touched her. Never laid a finger on her. What the HELL are you investigating my son for?? This girl is obviously a bully. According to my son, this isn’t the first time she has hit a boy in school, simply because “she can”. She knows they won’t retaliate.

Her reply to me was “We don’t understand how we can qualify this young lady who assaulted Nick as a bully. She’s in all honors classes!” *ROFL* Really? Because if you are a piece of shit who assaults other people, you can’t possibly be smart too? Well, hell…there goes my entire High School career! LOL

The first night it happened, I was enraged. I was literally pacing the floors wondering how I can get this girls address so I can beat her father to a pulp and claim “Well, I’m a girl. I can do what I want and get away with it.” I was so angry. Someone struck MY baby. My little boy. The child who I nursed back to health after open heart surgery and a time there that we weren’t sure he was going to make it back into the safety of my arms. MY baby. Who the FUCK are you to touch MY child? To make him feel unsafe? To harm him in any way whatsoever, simply because he opted not to conform to your drug use? Seething. I was literally seething. And what would be the aftermath? I told the administration that I intended to press charges of assault against the girl. When I told my son of my intentions, he begged me not to.

“It would ruin me in school, Mom,” he said. “Please don’t do it. It will ruin me.”

So here I am, caught between needing to do what is right to protect my son and my sons comfort and safety in the days that would follow thereafter. It was a confusing time for me, especially as I watched his facebook page, posting video after video of angry songs about kids being bullied. This obviously was affecting him deeper than he was letting on. And all I can think of was how angry I was. I am so angry. And Alone. And I want to hit something. I want to hit it so damn hard over and over again until it hurts as much as I do.

What to do next? What do you do?

I go to the girls facebook page and find that she has written in her “info” that she has bipolar disorder and anger management issues and that if you “fuck with her” expect to get “fucked with right back”. But, my son never did anything to her. He was a victim of abuse. For any of you who have read my blog for any length of time, you know I was the victim of abuse at the hands of a man who beat me relentlessly for years before I finally got away. I don’t tolerate it in my life any longer and I sure as fuck will not be standing for it in my childs life. Further, since when is bipolar disorder an acceptable excuse for bad behavior? Obviously this child does not have her parents involved in her life or they would see her facebook page, as I did, and be appalled by most of what was written there. I did print out a copy of her page and send it up to the school to show them what their precious “honor student” was capable of when left to her own devices.

Eventually, Nick was completely exonerated of any wrong doing at all. Opted not to press charges against this little piece of shit, but did let her parents know that I have six months in which to change my mind about that and a police report in my pocket. So, hopefully, they will keep their little mongrel on a leash from now on.

I hope, in the rest of my lifetime, I don’t have to do this again with my son. I hope that the rest of his school career is safe and nurturing. I never want to see that look of pain in his eyes ever again, nor do I ever want my level of anger to rise so high that I do something stupid in retaliation for a wrongdoing directed at any of my children or grandchildren.

If nothing else, it has only gotten me more involved in The Trevor Project, an organization that is seeking to stop bullying. Their agenda incorporates the bullying of gay teenagers to the point of suicide, but really, any child who is being bullied and threatened in school is encouraged to seek help before opting for the final act of suicide, simply because they just can no longer take the ridicule. Being different, whether it is because you are gay, you are fat, you are tall or you refuse to do drugs with your peers should not make you a pariah. People need to learn to respect that we are all different. We are all unique and everyone has a place in this world.

Bullies are small minded cowards with big mouths. Nothing more.

If you are being bullied in school or are the parent of a child who is being bullied, I encourage you to join in me in my endeavor to get out the word about The Trevor Project so that no more teenagers succumb to suicide due to being bullied in school. If you have an urgent emergency and need help, call The Trevor Project. That number is The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).

In the interim, I must encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your life and watch the short film “Trevor”, the movie that inspired The Trevor Project. It is 15 minutes that will change your life and make you realize that yes, it DOES get better.

You may watch the movie in full HERE Please encourage your children to watch it as well.

Nine children in the past 6 weeks have killed themselves due to bullying. Those are nine beautiful lives that were full of potential and promise being snuffed out in the springtime of their lives. So much in store for them, so much lying ahead for them and now, they will never know.

We have to do better. We have to.

Day 5: Something You Hope to do With Your Life

This is going to sound so trivial. The answer came as quickly to me as the question did. What I hope to do with my life, I am already doing. In a lifetime, 44 years worth of drama, heartache, pain, suffering, highs and lows, etc., the only thing that I wished to be doing with my life right now is celebrating it.

That is precisely what I am doing.

For the first time in my life, I can look in a mirror and say “I’m happy”. Not just a little happy or happy with certain aspects of my life. No. Truly and legitimately happy with every single portion of my life right now.

Truth be known, I am one lucky bitch. I have a husband who absolutely adores me and lets me know this consistently through not only his words, but his actions as well. He is loyal, a hard worker, dedicated to his wife and kids, generous and above all, he is kind. Kind almost to a fault. He is the kind of man who buys a homeless person a sandwich on the street. He pulls over to give stranded motorists a boost even if he is running late for something. He calls 911 when he sees a car swerving all over the road and follows that car to make sure that no one is harmed until the police arrive and take over. He is a good soul. He makes an effort every single day to do something in the name of God and his family. He is truly a selfless human being and I am utterly honored and blessed to have him as a partner in life. My best friend in every single sense of the word.

My children. They are growing, thriving and are two of the most amazing young adults I have ever seen. My daughter is a fantastic mother, raising her two children under the age of two so adeptly and with such ease and grace. She makes it all look so easy, balancing her children with her responsibilities as a wife and a full time employee. Her husband has proven himself to be a good person and a very doting father. They just celebrated four years of marriage and seem to be happier now than ever before. My son. My son…my little musical prodigy, just began his first year of high school, leaving behind a football for his Les Paul. He is an individual through and through. He doesn’t take shit (like his mama) and he is thriving in school. He is polite, yet sarcastic. He is funny and articulate. And while he tries to act like he gives a shit about nothing (typical teenage boy AND he gets that from his mother as well), he is a caring, noble and honest person.

My grandchildren. Oy, the lights of my life. Sadie will be two years old soon. She drives everyone nuts with her independent attitude and her impatience. She is a diva in the making. Loves to climb, run, jump and do everything all the boys do. She is an absolute angel. Liam, my little chubster. The little man. Bubba Schwaz as we call him, much to my daughters chagrin. The most docile baby you will ever meet. Always happy. Just wants to be held all the time and loves to snuggle. The two of them are absolute blessings in my husband and my life.

My parents. God love ’em both. Esther and Harold. Both alive and kicking, driving each other crazy. They are insane, loud, boisterous, annoying…and I wouldn’t have them any other way. Dad turns 70 years old this year, a huge milestone for someone who was very ill once upon a time. I am grateful to have them in my life and to have them be as supportive as they are. I also am grateful to have Esther 1200 miles away. 😉

My home is large and inviting. My cars run. We have a savings that allows us to vacation once or twice a year. My husband makes a good enough living that it has allowed me to go back to school and work towards my Masters degree in Social Work. I want to work with addicts and also with GLBT and Questioning Youths. I am doing a lot of volunteer work with The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), an organization that is working with gay and lesbian children and teens in the hopes of protecting them against bullying and taunting. With the recent rash of suicides that have taken place among this particular demographic, it is more important than ever to me to dive into my volunteering head first and make my education really count for something.

My dogs are fine and shit in my kitchen on a daily basis. My cats are wonderful.

Lastly, my friends. I have spent the past year weeding out the poison, carefully cultivating the garden so that only the most voluminous flowers will bloom there. Sure, there were some tricky spots along the way. I pulled a few weeds that were really flowers in disguise. I planted some gorgeous flowers that turned out to be venus fly traps. But now…now I think I’ve got it to where I need it. To where I want it. To where I can be the great big oak tree and be surrounded by the beautiful landscape of my carefully formed and nurtured friendships. This has been a year of surprises for sure. Those I would have never thought I could have trusted in a million years turned out to be ferociously loyal friends. Then, there were the friends that I thought I knew oh so well, who turned out to be nothing more than the fertilizer…the absolute SHIT in my field of beauty.

Regrets along the way for some missteps with a few of them? Certainly. But none so compelling that I feel the need to make further amends than I already did. One managed to surprise me…but what surprised me more was how little I ended up caring in the long run. As long as I have those who know me and love me, flaws and all, I am a-okay in my little world.

So, something I hope to do with my life? I’m doing it. I’m living it. I’m living it happily and I am living it well.

It was a long time coming.