Going to my high school reunion in a week’s time and pretending that I was never almost bullied to my early grave is not where I exist today – it doesn’t fit with the recovered me.
It doesn’t fit with all the nights between 7th grade to 11th grade where I cried myself to sleep after being tormented, alienated and excluded.
It doesn’t fit with the 5-year litigation I endured with the school and it's failure to intervene once I came of age and knew better.
Too many times people say: "It was school, kids are kids."
But bullying is serious and it can have a devastating impact.
I cannot escape the reality of what happened to me, but the blessing of being an adult is that this time around I now have the choice of not putting myself in the same place as the people who made me feel bad about myself every single day as a teenager.
It saddens me that I feel so conflicted about my own high school reunion but not as much as it upsets me to fully comprehend the amount of young people who are no longer here to have the same choice I do now of skipping a reunion because they felt they had no other way out of bullying but to take their own lives.
I feel I owe these people who no longer have a voice to say: