"It Gets Better"

“It gets better”

A phrase i heard a lot

From people who didn’t know what else to say

Or who haven’t the experience for advice.

A phrase that felt like an excuse

A filler for uncomfortable empty space

An insult to my present experience- my torture, my current pain.


How do you write a poem on bullying?

How can you possibly put the deepest kind of loneliness

and never ending grief into beautifully strung together sentences

Like sparkling christmas lights on an abandoned, decaying house?


You can’t decorate the outside of the house,

No you have to start from the inside out.

You rebuild the crumbling walls

You replace the old furniture

You plant a garden

And you find people you love to help you repaint the house all of your favorite colors.

It isn't easy.

No, rebuilding a house

Rebuilding yourself

Is hard.


I ended up in the school counselor’s office in my eighth grade year.

More angry than anything else.

Why do I need help? Shouldn’t my bullies get therapy, not me?

It seemed like a punishment at the time.

But I needed it more than I knew,

And i didnt know it at the time but

It would change my life.


My school counselor was one of the people who helped me rebuild and repaint

The inner walls of my house.

She offered me kindness and the most pure and genuine empathy

A refreshing combination.

Her office became a sweet safe haven and her words felt like warm hugs of encouragement

To keep going.

To keep rebuilding and painting and decorating and planting my garden.

She still doesn’t know it

But she saved my life.


Together she helped me pick out new furniture

New concepts, techniques to cope, ways to heal.

We rearranged the furniture in the living room

And rearranged how i felt about life.

My living room felt like there was life actually living in it,

The walls were painted a bright orange

And decorated with art.

The plants on the mantle were growing and

there was a fire in the fireplace

And sun finally shone in.  


Since then many more people have helped me build, paint, and decorate my home.

Each room individually unique and filled with love,

And now my house is



It will always be a work in progress.

I will always be adding more paint and plants and art.

But through my reconstruction of myself

I discovered that I want to be a builder and a painter and a planter

for others as well.

I want others to see the beauty and the potential that each home holds,

And sometimes all you need to recognize the value in your home,

In yourself

Is a little kindness

And time

And a friend to help you start your renovations.

I want to help make houses into homes.


It does get better.  



This poem is about: 
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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