This is a weird post for my personal blog, yet it’s one that has been building in my heart for weeks.

I woke this morning to the sound of pouring rain. Since my daily walk was delayed I reached for my Blackberry, intending to play BrickBreaker, and find myself in Facebook.

There I see a link by my friend Prince. Another gay teenager dead this time from a town hall meeting.  One of the ladies in that meeting announces she is biracial, and was born that way then argues gays are recruited into the lifestyle.

In first grade is when I met Prince. But that very first memory of Prince is… he has a cool pinky. We compared hands.  We sat in music class and sang ♪♫ Froggy went a Courtin’ and he did ride,♫ uh huh…♪ Froggy went a courtin’ and he did ride ♪♫. I think the world of Prince and would do anything for him.

The recent news is so heartbreaking to me.  Because I worry about Prince, I worry about other friends as well.  Of course I have also been going through quite a bit emotionally. Trying to accept who I am in a world that does not like people who don’t fit the mold (thus the recent suicides.  I have worked so hard to fit the mold that I lost myself.  Right now I am finding more and more people who never could quite fit that mold.

I was bullied. I didn’t tell my parents. I learned to hide behind books. I learned to concentrate on books to turn off the outside world.

My first memory of being bullied was that sometimes PE would get overwhelming. Kids played hard with me, on the border of fighting, they tore my clothes more than once. While I learned to play rough, that was not always what I wanted. Hiding one day, I heard a girl run up to the PE teacher, “they’re picking on me.” For a brief moment, I wasn’t alone. Then Ms Jeter said “tell them to pick on MJ.” More classes followed and a long bus ride gave me time to read enough to forget.  Yet, I came to hate PE. In later years this was the class that had kids try to hit me with balls and the teachers tell me it was an accident, even as the girls laughed and pointed.

As a smart but social awkward child, kids would be friends to get notes or help with tests then make fun of me. There were times girls would tell me this popular boy or that one liked me then as I tried to talk to said boy, the girls would start laughing. I went on one date in school. Then married the first guy who paid me any attention.

But there’s an advantage to hiding in the pages of books, I forgot about things, on a outer level.  To the point I was shocked years later. In looking for a major I tried a semester of elementary ed, and was assigned a teacher at my old elementary. Walking back to my class after dropping the kids off for lunch, I overheard the PE teacher telling my teacher, “She’s always been a weird quiet child, she’ll never make a good teacher.”

Here’s the deal. I am dyslexic. My brain does not understand right from left all the time. It means sports are hard for me. This is the way I was born. My parents worked with me early, so it only showed for a few years, then I read so much it covered. My parents are both dyslexic, as is my brother.  Last week I realized I have ADHD as an introvert, it shows more as being socially awkward.  Plus side it means I forgot about things as a kid, negative side, it builds up as emotional baggage.

This is the way I was born. Blue eyes, very 🙁 white, dyslexic, introvert. I have friends who were born, black, brown and white.  My friends were born extroverted and introverted. My friends were born straight and gay. This is who they are.  These are things from birth, these are not choices.

We can choose our careers, we can choose our religions, we can choose our friends. But who we are is who we are.  Our souls and bodies were born a certain way. Gay, straight, dark, light, introvert, extrovert.  But we all have hearts and these can be extremely tough when they need to be, but life is hard enough without abuse.

We need to learn to love each other and accept differences make us who we are. Abuse is not just physical, it’s mental and emotional. Stop abuse.  Stop bullying.  Teach your children to report it, whether they are bullied or see someone bullied. Adults; BE THE ADULT,  step in and stop it.

To those who think “if you are bullied, do x, y, or zBULL SH*T. No, be an adult and STEP IN. A child who “uses their words” will only get bullied more. A child who “loves the bully” will likely find more bullies “to love.”  A child who “turns the other cheek” finds years later all that burying comes up in dramatic and sometimes scary ways.

This cycle of bullying is continued with adults. Why am I done with jobs? Because of bullies. To look out my living room window and see my boss drive by. To hear them say “your dog is home alone when you’re here.”  To have them SCREAM at me on the main floor. To have bosses lecture me about being stupid, and being set up to fail, that is bullying.

Here’s the bottom line. Stop hating. Start loving.

Again start loving.

For the religious. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you hate you, you can’t love your neighbor. If you love you and hate your neighbor, you hate yourself. LOVE

Let me repeat the most important part.



MJ Schrader