Learning from experience and taking a stand for those who cannot

The recent and tragic suicide by Canadian teen Amanda Todd has brought bullying back into the media and political realm of attention.
The same questions are being asked after her death, and those questions have now gone unanswered, or worse, simply forgotten. Just like the countless stories told about others who have committed suicide because of bullying.
I ask these questions too because I was bullied. It’s something I try not to remember since I push the memory away like everyone else. What happened to me was very sudden, and my experience was not elongated by weeks of continued bullying.
I remember that I was sitting in my sixth or seventh grade class, doing some sort of work. I don’t remember what possessed me to get up because I did not see what was coming next. Another boy, much bigger and stronger than me, thought it would be cool to pick on me. I was used to the short jabs or stinging smirks of people I knew. In a small hometown like mine, you know everyone. Or at least you think you do.
I wanted to stand up for myself, but before I could say something, he puts his hands around my neck and put me on the ground. There wasn’t any force behind him putting me on the ground; he just laid me flat on my back. The moment was so surreal. I couldn’t believe what had happened. As I lay there, I could see the smile on his face as he stood over me. The quiet laughter around me, all I remember is that short moment.
I think I simply got up and walked back to my desk. I remember feeling alone and humiliated. I was ashamed of myself for letting that happen. But I should not have been.
I then proceeded to do what others fear of doing – I told my parents. The school that I went to was understanding and helped with the situation, something you do not hear of enough today. That was my experience.
I wanted to share this for those who have or are experiencing bullying to let them know that they are not alone. They should not feel ashamed. They should not fear those who demean and viciously attack others.
The teens, such as Todd, that are bullied should not have to feel that the only answer to their suffering is by ending their life. They cannot control you. Do not let them. Be your own person because you are perfect the way you are.
As for the ones who can stop this, do not stop. It is our duty to take a stand and continue that stand for however long it is needed. I implore the media, politicians and everyone to take a stand for those who cannot.