Being bullied is an absolutely horrible thing for anyone to go through. It’s humiliating, and it’s dangerous. In fact, it almost killed a young boy named Liam when he was in the 7th grade two years ago.
Because of that bullying, Liam started showing stark signs of behavioral changes. And his mom, Dierdre, noticed. One day, Liam told him mom that he no longer wanted his cell phone, and he gave it to her. That, to her, was a sure signal that something was really, really wrong. No young person freely gives up their cell phone. So Dierdre started keeping a much closer eye on Liam.
He then started losing interest in other things, and he stopped hanging around with his friends. He had no more interest in riding his bike or playing soccer. He became a completely different young man, with no interest in anything. And he even stopped eating like he used to. He didn’t want to talk to his mom about it, but she had other ideas.
Says Dierdre: “I was determined to get to the bottom of my son’s sudden and severe dismissal of his former passions, but he was so secretive and closed off.”
One day when Liam refused to go to school, his mom sat him down and demanded he come “out with it.” So the young man started crying, and told her about being bullied by some other boys at school. The boys made fun of him, called him names, physically abused him and even told him that he should kill himself.
It was a tremendously sad revelation. Liam was agonizingly depressed. Because of that depression and not eating right, Liam had to be taken to the hospital and put on a feeding tube and a heart monitor. Liam’s parents were extremely upset.
The bullies’ parents refused to take responsibility for the actions of their children, and the school chose to do nothing about it. Seems this is all too often the outcome of such a horrible thing… nobody does anything about it. So Dierdre took to social media and let the world know about it.
Says the angry mom: “I felt like I needed to shout Liam’s story from the rooftops. The words just fell out of me. It was cathartic. I read it over and over to myself and hit send.”
There has been a lot of talk about bullying lately. I would like to share my family’s experience with bullying. My…Posted by Deirdre Fell- O’brien on Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Her post went viral in no time, and so many offered encouragement and support for young Liam. That came from people all around the world. Some of them created the hashtag: We Stand With Liam. There were even shirts and bumpers stickers made with that hashtag.
While all this was going on, Liam was being treated in the hospital for his serious condition. He was in the intensive care unit for 10 weeks. When he finally went home, he was much better, and surprised his parents by wanting to finish out the soccer season. He was recovering, and appreciating all the support he was receiving. But it should have never come to that.
If you’re being bullied, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell someone, like your parents. If the bullies’ parents won’t do anything about it and your school won’t do anything about it, there’s a good chance your parents won’t have any problem shouting about it from the rooftops. And good for them.