June 7, 2007

JOANNA'S SIDE OF THE STORY

I am not emo. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't cause physical harm to myself or anyone else for that matter. I am seventeen years old in grade 12 and I have a 81% average and I... listen to my chemical romance. When I was 6 my parents got divorced. When I was 10 my mother was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors didn't think she would live through the operation. When I was 13 I was bullied so badly at school and over the internet and I was majorly depressed and I gained about 60 pounds because for an entire year all I would do was come home cry and eat. My dad would take me to his place over the weekends and I'd sit there alone because he was never home. In grades 9 through 11 I had a 59% average and last year was my breaking point.

For the last three years I've been bullied every day for the bands I like "They Suck, They Suck!" I was never happy with myself, I just got through with shit and I didn't do as well as I could have. I wasn't me, I wasn't the kid I wanted to be. I was really into My Chemical Romance and Good Charlotte and say whatever you want cause I don't really care, it got me through the hardest shit ever.

Last february we had an assembly at my school and they were talking about bullying and the lady said "does anyone want to come up and share their story..." I have always been outgoing so I put up my hand. I walked slowly down aisle and grabbed the microphone. and I started to tell my story... I told them how kids would pretend a soccer ball was my head and kick it against the wall. I told them how I felt so lost and I was just so sick and tired of everything everyone had ever done to me and most of them were sitting right there in that room and they knew who i was talking about... but I didn't care because they can say whatever the hell they want, but I have my friends and my music and thats all I need and that makes me a thousand times better than they ever will be and I cried in front of half my school population and the only thing I did after wards when people were trying to come up to me and say things was turn on my ipod and listen to MCR. I wasn't going to take that shit. My Chemical Romance taught me never to take shit from nobody and I don't.

I had a mental breakdown around that same time because I felt like I was so useless and I had so much pressure from everything and I couldn't take it and I snapped and do you know who was there? My Chem. Its hard to call your friend at one o'clock in the morning but having a band that makes you wanna jump and scream to the world that you're not o-f**k-kay... and that's okay... is the best feeling in the world. My Chem taught me its ok to be screwed up cause there are at least 5 other guys who are just as screwed up as I am. I was really into my chem after my break down and since then I've performed at my school leadership retreat, I've been awarded student of the month for november of 2006, I've performed in front of my entire school for our rememberance day assembly and I faced my fear of heights. This band has given me my life back, I don't think I would have grown this much if it wasn't for them. Their songs aren't about suicide, they're about holding on, trying to find a deeper meaning "oh they encourage suicide" No they fucking don't.... they encourage you to be your fucking self, to not take no ones shit, to hold on to the one thing that keeps you tickin, no matter what it is. This band keeps me tickin.

It's been 7 years and my mother no longer has cancer, I am perfectly happy and perfectly healthy. I write my own songs and am soon planning to go into the studio to record them so I can hopefully give a kid something to tick for. Just because we're different, doesn't mean we're bad. My Chemical Romance helped me through the roughest times in my life and if the media and parents want to believe they're the spawn of satan. I think we need to point them in direction of some scary band.

- Joanna, 17, Ontario Canada