I finished reading A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold. Every parent should read this book. Hell, everyone should read this book (but especially parents). There’s so much information on how to spot a depressed or suicidal kid.
I could relate to a lot of it. I grew up depressed. Despite suffering through years of bullying, I didn’t want to kill myself until my early twenties, but I did often wish I was never born during the bullying years. (Is that a big difference?) I would write about that a lot in my personal and online journal.
I have so many quotes from the book I want to share, but I can’t.
Bullying, however severe, is not an excuse for physical retaliation or violence, much less mass murder. But I do believe Dylan was bullied, and that along with many other factors, and perhaps in combination with them, bullying probably did play some role in what he did. Given Dylan’s temperament and core personality traits, it’s easy to understand why being bullied would have been especially hurtful to him…He was extremely self-conscious and critical of himself. (Relentless self-criticism is, incidentally, another sign of depression)…This sense of himself would have been badly eroded with each (bullying) incident.
I don’t know how schools are dealing with bullying these days. I don’t have kids. I don’t know anything about what goes on in schools. When I was in school, the teachers knew I was being severely bullied. Looking back, it would have been impossible for the school to just make it ALL stop. I hope things are much better for kids today. And I hope they aren’t getting told the BS about all kids being bullied.
Radical opinion alert: (avert your eyes) – I do believe that physical retaliation or violence is a natural want when being bullied. Emotional pain hurts. WTF are you supposed to do? I took it for over a decade, with NO RETALIATION and look at me now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to the book: The mother of Dylan Keblod doesn’t dwell on bullying, but it did affect her son’s depression so she does mention it.
I’m in awe of Sue Klebold. I think she’s an awesome person and shame on anyone for blaming her for what her son did. Those people also need to read this book.
A tremendous amount of research has been done on the effects of peer harassment, and there is unquestionably a correlation between bullying and brain health disorders that stretches all the way into adulthood*. A Duke University study found that, compared with kids who weren’t bullied, those who were had FOUR times the prevelence of agoraphobia, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder as adults.
There is also a strong association between bullying and depression and suicide. Both being a victim and bullying others is related to high risks of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Researchers at Yale found that victims of bullying were two to nine times more likely to report suicidal thoughts than other children.
I’ll stop quoting now. I cannot recommend this book enough. I cried so much while reading it. I don’t know how she managed to get through it all. Well, she did have social support. That helps A LOT. I admire her strength. Bless Sue Klebold and her family.