I am just a boy who didn’t have any choices about the hell I have endured

I am just a boy who couldn’t wait to go to school and learn and be liked

I am just a boy who wanted to make friends and be part of the team

I am just a boy who didn’t get to realize this dream

I am just a boy who would walk around the playground, alone and sad, as I watched other kids play soccer and wished they would call me over to join in – just once

I am just a boy who never got picked for a team and was always last picked in gym class

I am just a boy who was teased for lacking in athletic ability and mocked for the way I run

I am just a boy who desperately wanted to share my story but had to suffer in silence for fear of more torment

I am just a boy who had to suck it up and pretend I was fine and it didn’t matter

I am just a boy who wanted a friend and a confidant

I am just a boy who wanted to be accepted for my differences but liked more because of them

I am just a boy who looked forward to ending my primary school years better than they started

I am just a boy who wanted to go on the year end trip with my classmates feeling a sense of belonging

I am just a boy who just learned that I am not accepted and I don’t belong

I am just a boy who won’t be victimized anymore and will make choices that will not subject me to the constant messages of you don’t matter or you are a freak

I am just a boy who will leave elementary school the same way I started, wanting a friend, wanting to feel accepted wanting to be “one of the gang”

I am just a boy who had to be brave and pretend that none of this hurt

I am just a boy who is funny and kind and plays by the rules

I am just a boy who doesn’t understand why subtle yet constant badgering isn’t considered bullying – yet it hurts just as much

I am just a boy who is tired of waiting for it to stop, waiting for adults to make kids accountable, waiting for a better tomorrow

I am just a boy who is wishing his childhood away because I hear that adults don’t behave that way

I am just a boy who loves life, and laughter, and all the things that other kids like and for that I am not different

I am just a boy who hopes that one kid understands the impact of being so mean, so unkind

I am just a boy who wonders if they think about the cruel things they say, the cruel things that they do

I am just a boy who wonders if they are being mistreated and that is why they are so careless with their words that cut through my soul

I am just a boy who promises to never ever treat anyone like this

I am just a boy who promises to raise children to be kind and thoughtful and tough enough to stand up to those that don’t

I am – just a boy.

by M. MacIntyre, at age 14

2019-01-01T11:55:56+00:00