Online onslaught sparks anti-bullying crusade
Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:50PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:30PM MST
An Airdrie girl is sharing her experience with cyber bullying in an effort to put a stop to the electronic insults.
MacKenzie Murphy, 13, was tormented at school and on the internet.
The abuse got so bad that she tried to kill herself this past December.
MacKenzie still has suicidal thoughts and her mom keeps a close eye on her.
In spite of her experiences, she is still trying to make a difference for other youth in the same circumstances.
“I was thinking about, what's going to happen after this? Is there going to be rumors started about me? At that point it was just so much going through my head that I just wanted it all to end. I just wanted to die because there was so many thoughts and I just wanted it to stop,” said MacKenzie.
MacKenzie has the support of her community.
“Airdrie, we are a very young community. We had a lot of babies born here this last number of years and continue to have more and more young families move here and I think,in conjunction with, there’s a lot of great programs going on, the Boys and Girls Club, Community Links, Rocky View School Division, there’s a lot of different initiatives that are happening right now within the community that are supporting anti-bullying initiatives but I think this is a step for the city to say, Yes, we don't support bullying of any kind in out community and these are the reasons why,” said Airdrie mayor, Peter Brown.
It is Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday and MacKenzie is giving a speech about her experience.
Mackenzie Murphy’s speech on bullying:
On Dec. 3, 2012, I tried to take my life.
It started out like any other day — I got up, got dressed, went to school and came home.
Except, this day was different. When I came home, I started picking a fight with my mom. I was so overwhelmed with everything — the bullies, school, being social. It’s like I gave up on everything.
I stopped singing, I became anti-social, I was rude, and I couldn’t trust anyone.
My downfall started in April, but my mom only started noticing it in August or September. I started pushing everyone away. I didn’t want to be close to anyone, I was afraid of getting hurt.
Every day when I came home from school, I would go straight onto the computer. I wouldn’t talk to my mom or anyone.
That’s when the anonymous hate mail started. I was told I was worthless, that I should go kill myself.
“Fat. Ugly.” I received these on a daily basis. After a while, when anonymous and even your so-called friends are calling you these things, it starts to break you and you start to believe it yourself.
I felt worthless, hopeless, like the whole world was against me. On this one night, I couldn’t take it any longer. I had just gotten into a fight with my mom, my social networking sites were bombarded with insults, I felt depressed, my self-esteem was gone. I had bullying going on at school, people talking behind my back.
I gave up. I just gave up on everything. I was taken to the Children’s Hospital that night and admitted only after nine hours in the emergency room. Those whole nine hours, I was just thinking to myself about how much I wanted to die, how I knew the rumours would start about me, how so many rude things would be said about me. I just wanted it all to end. It’s actually quite sad, when your life is flashing before your eyes, and all you can think about is the rumours, the bullies.
Just over two months later, I’m still sad, I’m still relapsing and I’m still having suicidal thoughts, but I know it’s going to be a long, long way to happiness and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Until I do, I’m doing what I’m passionate about, making people happy, helping teens and kids find a purpose in life.
I’m hoping to share my experience with people to prove that you can overcome whatever it is that has been thrown at you.
I’m also hoping to make teens realize that this part in your life, whether that be high school or middle school, it really is such a small portion in your life. You’re not going to be remembered in five or 10 years for the type of brand names you wore or how you styled your hair, you’ll be remembered for the way you treated people.
So, don’t be afraid to stand up. If you’re being bullied, you don’t have to take it.
The community offers so many resources to help you. It will never matter what you’ve said or done, what type of race you are, who you love or what you look like, you do not ever deserve to have someone tear you down.
You do not deserve to have someone bully you. Ever.
You are worth so much in this world. You deserve to have every ounce of respect someone has to offer you and don’t ever settle for less than that.
Bullying can’t be stopped entirely, but we can help not only the victims of bullying but the bullies themselves, because they are human, too. They have feelings and have the right to get help.