I'm Meghan Lane and bullying is personal to me
I'm Meghan Lane and bullying is personal to me.
He became an award-winning journalist. He got good grades and played high school football. From the outside looking in, you wouldn't know the outside of his house was destroyed by bullies in middle school.
You wouldn't know a bully came to his house threatening to kill him.
"I remember getting picked on by kids I didn't like and it never really ended," Tyler Poslosky said. "It never stopped. It always just kept going and going."
No one would guess how much he hurt; how much his family hurt.
"I was in a dark place," he said "I hated going to school. I hated every bit of it."
Tyler Poslosky wasn't just some kid I read about.
"It was like going through hell," he said. "You don't look forward to it at all, you wake up miserable, you come home miserable."
Tyler is my brother.
"It started in the second grade," mine and Tyler's mother, Vickie McCollough, said. "The second grade. That's really young. A little kid that maybe didn't look the way they thought he should look. He tended to be a bigger boy, taller, stockier, huskier, thicker type child and a little group, same group of kids that followed him all through middle school decided he wasn't part of their group."
Something as good-natured as sending a flower to a friend ended up turning Tyler into the punchline of a joke in middle school.
"You could buy carnations for the person that you liked or whatever and they would be delivered in the last period," Tyler said. "I got this one it looked to be a girl that had given it to me. I noticed it wasn't and I noticed people laughing. I guess I was the last one to get the joke. I sat there crying."
But it didn't end with his peers. Adults got in on it, too.
"I remember this one time I was home and I was in middle school, 7th or 8th grade," Tyler said. "We get a phone call and it's my football coach and he's asking me if my dad's around. I said 'no.' He said 'I just want to let you know how uncoachable you are. I'm what, 13-14 years old and this is a grown man telling me that."
"It just got to the point where Tyler didn't want to go to school," my mom said. "I was worried about what he might do. I mean children take their own lives and I couldn't live with that, I mean who could?"
Bullying hurt Tyler, it hurt mom, it hurt all of us.
"It was so painful, for the child and for the parent," my mom said. "You're doing everything. I can't tell you how many times we were in the principal's office in the middle school. I trusted the administration and I shouldn't have."
My mom still has regrets.
"I should have just stood up more and not waited for them to say 'we're going to take care of it, we're going to talk to the other parents, we're going to get together and we're going to change this'" she said. "No, you didn't. you didn't and you affected my child's life."
Tyler switched schools.
A move he said made all the difference.
"It was just 6-8 miles down the road," Tyler said. "I went there, I saw it, checked it out and I fell I love with it. And I really feel like that changed my life."
For the first time, Tyler felt like he belonged.
"I fit right in," he said. "I remember going into the football locker room the first day. 'hi, my name is Luke Thuston, Hi, my name is Jimmy Kirkwood, you don't even ask. You don't have to introduce yourself, they're reaching out to you. I never had that before.They just take you in, you're accepted. You don't have to feel like you have to dress a certain way, wear a certain pair of shoes, drive a certain car to fit in."
"I as a parent, feel horrible I didn't do it sooner," my mom said.
Now, he's prospering and has advice for other kids who are victims.
"I would tell them to stay strong because it gets better," he said. "You have to make decisions that are the best for you. No matter how low you feel, I've been there. It doesn't feel good. You feel like you're helpless like you can't do anything about it but you always can talk to somebody. Don't ever give up."