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You Are The Reason

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By James Conlon

I have spent the last 16 years of my life absolutely hating who i am. I’d never been able to truly accept who I was. 

At the age of 12 like many young children I started secondary school, I had no idea what it was going to be like. 

Nothing could have prepared me for what lay ahead. 

Every single day, I was taunted relentlessly. I was told I was gay because I had friends that were girls or that I walked differently or that I didn’t get involved in sports. It was literally non stop. If it wasn’t to my face it was online. MSN, My space you name it.

I spent 5 years of my school life absolutely hating everyday, I’d come home and lock myself in my room. 

I’d cry, I’d get angry, I would lose my temper. 

I hated who I was, I hated everything about my life, I didn’t want to be alive anymore.

I’d became a different person, I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to speak to anyone. 

I used to think why me? Why are they saying this? If they’re saying it, it must be true?

I would wake up every morning not wanting to be alive anymore. 

It just kept getting worse, constant name calling, sitting next to me on the school bus whilst others would say stuff too them about me. 

On one occasion a peer flashed his genitals at me and asked “ do you like this?” In front of a class of people. 

More recently on social media I had strangers talking about me and my sexuality, I had never met these people, we’d never spoken, they just didn’t like me. 

If you want the truth I’ve never really been able to accept who I am, my sexuality, my image, my personality – I’ve always struggled. 

I’ve struggled to make friends, keep friends, be a friend, I’ve never really known who I am. 

Those words and those experiences will stay with me forever. It doesn’t matter how much you try to ignore it, it stuck – it really fucking stuck. 

I used to wish that I could go back to being that smiley little toddler on the left, because life was easier back then. 

Those hurtful words people called me will always stick with me. The damage is done. 

Only now at the age of 28 I am able to say I’m starting to accept who I am. I’ve spent 12 years hating myself, hating who I am. 

I’m still learning who I am, I’m learning to love me and be kind to myself. 

It doesn’t matter who you love, who you are or what your sexuality is:

YOU MATTER. 

I want you to know that if you’re going through something right now, wondering what your purpose is, who you are and why you should stay alive: 

YOU ARE THE REASON. 

I wish someone could have told me 12 years ago that things would get better, that those people’s opinions didn’t matter. I wish someone could have told me that it would get better.

Please think before you say something to or about someone. 

Your words can and will cause permanent damage. 

It is NEVER okay to make someone feel like their life isn’t worth living. 

Stay strong.

It’s Okay To Vent.


Read more articles like this in our Experiences section here.

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