One who is a victim and silenced by a bully and/or one that hides behind a front so they are not teased.Or one whose true colors never get to be shown.
I am Bryan Kearns. I come from a big family and lived in California for most of my life. I moved to Utah half way through my senior year. I wasn’t always accepted for who I was or how I was raised. I was forced to grow up and mature quicker than I was ready to. I had no friends and often ate lunch by myself. It was a drastic change; in the month before I moved I was nominated for homecoming king at my prior high school. I became an outcast, not by choice.
How many other kids are out casts, not accepted, or bullied because of who they are? They don’t choose to be picked on or to be lonely. Is it their life at home? Church? Neighbors? School? Are they wanting to end their life because they feel like nobody wants them here? Do they think the world is a better place without them? Do they feel like there's any reason to live at all? Has anyone even asked them if they're okay? What makes them smile? What gives them a reason to stay here on earth? Who really cares and listens to them?
We need to ask those kids these questions. We need to make a difference in their lives, so they can have a reason to live. Lets lift them up and allow their shadows to be shown. Lets give them a voice so they can be heard.
Suicide happens too often. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school-shooting incidents.
Lets change the statistics, lets show the victims that people do care. That we are here to help them and to listen.
To create a documentary on the facts. To travel to as many states possible and interview as many victims and bullies as we can.
With that documentary we can share it through the media and schools. We can also start Undiscovered Shadows Group in K-12 schools where bullied kids can go and not be alone. They can create solutions and work together. Or where bullies can go and work on how to become better and not enjoy hurting others. The high school kids then can travel to their local elementary, junior high and middle schools and share the documentary and be a positive example.
Why We Need The Money
We need the money so we can create a documentary on the facts, causes, and preventions. I want to travel across the United States and speak with different kids K-12 about bullying. Most of the money will go towards traveling expenses, memory cards and proper gear for recording. The more money, the more schools and statistics we will gather, which will help more kids.
Lets show the bullied kids that they are not alone and we are fighting for them.
Lets help those who cant help themselves.
“I can’t do this anymore. Nobody likes me and I’m alone. I should tell someone but I can’t. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.” At age fourteen I hopelessly scribbled these words into my journal. I, among many others, have seen the effects and have personally been affected by bullying. For eight years I have carried this story with me, afraid of what others may think; afraid to admit weakness. It took me those 8 long years to realize that silence is not the answer. Whether the problem is large or small, bullying is hurtful and affects the victim more than the bully realizes.
I remember one of the major things I was bullied for was the way I ate food. I was raised to be very polite and discrete when I ate and that’s not something you typically see in a junior high so I was made fun of for it every day. It got so bad that I was no longer able to eat in front of anyone because I was afraid of being ridiculed. Which I think escalated the problem because at that point my “friends” started calling me Anorexic and thought it was funny to call me fat. I remember the thoughts that initially went through my mind the first time the words “fat” and “ugly” were directed towards me. I instantly started to doubt myself and question the way I looked.
Things only got worse from there; In addition to not eating in front of anyone, I became bulimic at age 15 and kept track of my weight in a notebook that I hid under my mattress. Being at such an impressionable age, I believed every name they called me and carried that skewed self image with me throughout high school. I started keeping to myself and trying not to make many friends because I didn’t feel good enough. Through it all, I was still teased and threatened by teens who didn’t fully understand the impact they had on my already shattered self confidence and I felt helpless.
Without a way to express my anger, I began cutting and before I knew it my thighs and stomach became home to many crimson red lines and ugly scars. I also made the decision to skip the classes that were breeding grounds for snide remarks and hurtful actions. In result, among other reasons, I ended up dropping out of high school because I fell so behind and couldn’t deal with it anymore. I found it very hard to forget those hurtful words and they still haunt me to this day, affecting most everything I do. Although I’m very sensitive to comments made about my appearance, (and with help from my friends and family) I have slowly gained back my self confidence.
I strongly believe that if someone had shed light on the situation and made it known that there was a problem, it wouldn’t have continued. Maybe if someone understood how I felt, I wouldnt have had to hide behind an act. If someone just told me that they liked me for who I was, I could have smiled and enjoyed a childhood.
-Krysti M. McCumber (18 years old, Saratoga Springs, Utah)
My name is Kayla and I’d like to share the experience I had with suicidal thoughts that haunted me throughout High School and my first couple years of college. I grew up in a middle-class home, heavily involved in sports, Student Government and Leadership, 4-H and many more extracurricular activities. Many would look at me and think I had it all together, because I was accomplished, motivated, friendly, involved, energetic and fun. I had everything going for me; I had decent grades, a basketball scholarship in the works and experience that would guide me through life.
Although I seemed to lead a promising life, I had demons in me that I could not shake. It began with thoughts that would flood my brain and overwhelm my mind right before I would rest my head for the night. The pressures of my daily life accompanied by the social expectations and ridicule that High School brings brought me to my knees. By my senior year in High School, I was crying myself to sleep almost every night, overwhelmed by the judgment I would face daily. I would often wonder how I would kill myself, and how much easier it would be if I had just quit life. After four years and an intensive first love relationship, I found myself weaker than ever. I decided to finally reach out to my closest friends and send them an email explaining what I was dealing with, what I had failed to share with them, and my plea for help. Somehow my email got intercepted by my mom, and my parents were soon aware of my problem. To sum things up, my parents got me the medical attention I needed. I was soon on anti-depressants, prescribed panic attack medicine and was ordered to attend counseling. My senior year held much sorrow, however much excitement because I knew that when I went to college, I had an opportunity to start over.
In my first year of college I not only found it harder to cope with my negative thoughts, but I was pushed to fulfill my first attempt to take my life. My spirit was nonexistent, and my want for life had dwindled to nothing. I was drinking a bit, and made a decision that my miserable life would be better if it was over. I took three heavy painkillers and began to write a suicide note on my desk. My roommate came home early, saw my state of mind and quickly took action to help me out. Long story short, I was at my lowest point and decided to seek help again. The only true reason I never followed through with killing myself was because I could not bear to imagine how much it would affect my friends and family. My doctor put me on a heavier dosage of anti-depressants, and I took counseling more seriously. Now, I am a graduating senior form Holy Names University and have not experienced those negative thoughts in almost two years. It is important to me that I share my story because for many this topic is very sensitive and highly debated. I have made it a life mission to create awareness about bullying and youth suicide. I want to provide support and guidance to youth experiencing these harmful thoughts and create a safe haven for youth to indulge in.
-Kayla M. Baker (21 years old Woodland, California)
I'm a 43 year old who was harassed so badly in high school I can still remember the way it made me feel. Instead of high school being made of wonderful memories I hold a lot of hurt and regrets. If only I'd told my family or a close friend at the time what was going on. Instead I was embarrassed,hurt,depressed and humiliated. I kept everything to myself which didn't end well. I couldn't take it anymore,I did the only thing I could to take away all the pain. I overdosed. I came close to succeeding. If it hadn't been for my parents getting home early,I wouldn't be here. I was bullied by many. It started with an ex-boyfriend. He decided it would be fun to spread nasty rumors about me. It caused boys to sexually harass me. I'd have dirty notes passed to me in class,guys said dirty things to me, fellow employees would trap me and do dirty gestures or grab me in places they shouldnt,girls were so mean and cruel.
Once a group of boys called my name to then take a picture of me and laugh. I hated school. I hated work. i hated church.I cried every morning,every night and even in class. I just wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I quit hanging out with friends,family and going to church. I wasn't worthy of anyone's love. My sister even hated me because of what others were saying. I was ruining her time in high school. When I tried talking to a school counselor I was blown off. I just couldn't do it anymore. I definitely couldn't tell my mom and disappoint her. How would she handle having a daughter like me? How would she handle such a loser? After my unsuccessful attempt at suicide I finally told my mom some of what was going on. I couldnt tell her everything,it was to humiliating. I was transferred to a new high school and had the opportunity to start over. It was wonderful. If I knew then what I know now things would've been differently but as a teenager I only knew what was going on at the time. I didn't see the big picture. I know if there would've been a place to go or been made aware of bullying I would've reacted differently I would've known none of it was me or my fault,it was the people doing the bullying. Having an anti-bullying program would be a great way to educate people,bullies and kids being bullied. As an adult im so thankful I survived one of the worst times in my life.I have been blessed to become a wife and a mother.
Others aren't so lucky,we really need to put a stop to bullying.
- Asked to Remain Anonymous (43 years old, Sacramento, California)
Why We Are Different...
We are different than other Anti-Bullying Documentaries because we are getting the stories directly from the victims and from the bullies. We are going deeper than what is just happening at school. We will be talking to entire schools, churchs, works and organizations. We will be getting all ages and all types of bullying.
We will also be leaving a footprint wherever we go. Most groups and speakers just talk and then move on and kids end up forgetting about it later on. We will be starting Groups at the High Schools we talk at. The kids who participate in the group will then travel to elementary schools and middle schools/ junior highs and continue to raise the awareness and be a friend for the victims.
We will also be able to talk with any victims on any of our pages and offer advice and help. We will also be offering our documentary free to all schools interested and/or organizations.
All of the estimated delivery time is based on the physical item. The downloadable film will come around Dec 2014 or sooner. We will keep everyone updated.