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 Maturing with Columbine

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shwnmnstr



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PostSubject: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:27 am

I would like to express and discuss my thoughts and feelings pertaining to Columbine. It has almost been twenty years and I have never written or spoken much in regards to this topic, so with that said, I really have no idea where I might go with this. I feel like I should introduce myself and give a back story to my personal experience of maturing with Columbine. My name is Shawn, I am 33, I work as a welder and I am a freelance audio producer. I got tiger blood, I love coffee and cats, and the interwebs oh and also, I guess as I have just recently discovered the term, I am a " Columbine'r "


I was 13 years old on April 20th, 1999. I was a few months into my first year of high school and it sucked. I lived and grew up on the Pacific Northwest of Canada; very, very far away from Denver, Colorado. I was what you could call a troubled kid by this point in my life and, for a variety of behavioral and situational reasons, I got bounced back and forth between my separated parents. They lived on opposing sides of the province (state)

So. Yeah. When Columbine happened , where my head was, is I was trying to fit into a very cliquey new school where I didn't know anybody, I was already being told from a few angles that I was a bad kid. Holy crap the kids at my new school were cruel as hell. I was really into typically nerdy things, dungeons and dragons anybody? and I am shy, naturally, painfully shy. Oh. and I was having trouble at home. Insert puberty and a desire to join the military as that tradition ran strong in my family. Gun culture and soldier stuff was ingrained into me already. I signed up for boxing and got beaten up to impress my dad with how tough I could be. It just pissed me off more. My family got a computer when I was ten years old. It came with Doom II on it and I played the crap out of that game whenever nobody was looking. It terrified my step mother. They put a password lock on the application but I somehow guessed it and would play the game for hours when they were gone.

I remember the moment I instantly "latched" onto Columbine. They flashed Eric Harris' journals on the TV screen, he was talking about Doom II? What? You have my attention now. I can't fully recall how the rest of that day went to be honest, I just remember the depictions of his journals, how angry he was and the pictures of Doom II like scenes in his high school. I can imagine I was staring at that TV not blinking. Man, that media sure knew how to get spin a story.

So maybe this is going to be a confession because I must say it was a very morbid and personally shocking fascination that I fostered within. Imagining myself as the killers. Trying to wrap my mind around what they were thinking and feeling. Also being utterly skull fucked at how quickly perhaps easily I could understand what, and relate to the way they were in fact thinking and feeling(Eric and Dylan).

Imagining myself as a victim also because maybe having a fascination with my own death in general and empathy for victims in such a bizarre and ( for the time at least,99 ) out of place act of savagery.

The act of such a violent murder suicide done mutually between two boys had such a powerfully dark draw to it for me. My step brother is 1 year younger then I. His first name is Dylan. My middle name is Eric. Until just a few days ago, with information gained reading these forums, I had believed E and D committed suicide with the 1, 2 , 3 countdown. Anyways...

I identified with the anger towards school. I understood it as being a negative place where you went to feel bad feelings. With not fitting in and feeling an outcast. Not to mention I had no interest in the actual curriculum being offered. So, again with insight gained mostly in retrospect, I let being an angry and dark person become my identity for a very long time, beginning at this time. When I was thirteen years old and first began to truly develop my identity is when Columbine happened and it helped me forge darkness within my identity in ways that I always kept as a dark secret. Maybe until now...

I feel suddenly like this might be becoming part testimony and or confession of someone who could have been or yet, almost became a school shooter. I am not sure if that's what this is, but if that is what this is becoming maybe I should not post this here and yet add this to the thousands and thousands of notepad documents I have filled with my words nobody will ever read. Like echoes or reflections of my thoughts in an empty chamber. Or maybe , is this where I might find someone else who understands this part of me? Is this another experience of me maturing as a person? Like one of the 12 steps out of hell.
I will stop now to say that I lead a very mindful life today but I will tell you that my life has been a struggle mostly first and yet it has had its triumphs,
I have laid to rest my best friend who killed himself from depression and I have lost the love of my life and wife who I married at 21. In my 33 years I have recovered from drug addiction and homelessness to pursue technical universities and build my own recording studios to throw it all away again for drugs and darkness and mental disease to again find a way to find it all back again. To experience life in an array of almost maddening degree's of extreme that sometimes I can only sit in a dark room for days on end trying to piece together sense of it all. Replaying the years of my twenties I spent travelling back and forth across the country out of my mind on drugs doing my best impression of a Jack Kerouach character.

Anyways.... It (my secret obsession with Columbine) made me loathe myself in a way no teenager should understand. It did this because it was disgusting for me to be able to identify with so much anger and rage. It did this because I was conditioned to be ashamed of myself for things that did not make sense. It did this because I was unable to communicate the problems I had with how I felt inside to anyone that I could trust.
How could I relate to an anger and a rage so disgustingly potent that all sanity is discarded and killing people for no reason suddenly makes its own logic? What the fuck was wrong with me? Why couldn't I stop reading about it ? Why did I have to understand every single aspect? Why did I want to stand at the top of those fucking stairs with them? Why? Obviously I was not the only person to go through this experience and unfortunately some of those that have gone down that dark path did not find their way out before they made terrible, horrible, irreversible mistakes. I think my obsession with Columbine was my first real full on struggle with mental illness and it came masked in a comfort. Even now, as a matured adult who believes in having compassion for all things, as a person who strives to live honestly and with empathy, I feel ashamed to admit my fascination was so morbid and sick in those years. I am sorry to the people that were there that day and the families of all those students.


Thankfully, I got kicked out of high school in grade ten, two years after Columbine, 2001, because the teachers were afraid of me essentially. Although they would cite attendance issues as the reason yet they barred me from the premises on " suspicion of selling marijuana" I got a full time job and I got my own apartment and moved out of the toxic and abusive environment of my parents. At sixteen years old. I was basically thrust into being an adult early and a lot of it was because of my darkness, which was a manifestation of my secret obsession with Columbine. Because there weren't any other gothic kids at my school at the time. In 1999, I was actually " gothic " before Columbine happened, and afterwards, believe it or not, the teachers of my school prohibited me for being " gothic " I had to wear blue jeans. I was singled out as the crazy kid and I actually thrived on that. Yet once I unplugged from that school, from my parents. Once I began working full time, paying my own bills, having my own freedom, dating beautiful girls who saw positive qualities in me, that told me how nice I could be, once I started to breathe.... my darkness faded. It never left, to this day, but My obsession changed. It began to mature. I no longer related to the killers, but more to the parents of the victims, I would lay awake and night and weep imagining the horrors that they must have experienced. I felt utterly ashamed of myself for ever even entertaining such a dark morbid relationship with the killers, in my mind albeit. I make a point of always telling any young people I know that it is okay to have terrible thoughts but do not feel ashamed, reach out and tell somebody what you are thinking or feeling, no matter how ashamed you might feel of it , or how afraid of yourself you are. Think of how many of these tragedies could have been prevented if someone had just told these kids that at these crucial junctions of their lives.

I found my way out of that dark path on my own but it almost killed me along the way and I am terrified to admit that other people could have been harmed had I not. I actually have had entire years pass now where I won't think about Columbine very much. I will hear about a new shooting on the TV and it will kind of spark this strange feeling inside of me, but I have matured within it and feel true empathy for the victims and a desire to have helped the lost souls who cause such harm. I recently found this forum and through it I learned new things about Columbine which actually surprised me because I was have read the entire 10K report or at least I thought so. At the end of all this I just want to say that if anyone is reading this and you relate to the killers or feel like you want to lash out in absolute and blind rage, please hold on, talk to someone, life gets better. I promise.

/ rant over
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:31 am

Just got done reading this. And there is alot here!

First off welcome to the forum! Hope you can learn more about it, I definitely have in the last few months.

I did relate to you in some ways, Columbine happened when I was young, too young to really care or affect me in any way. At that time I was still in grade school where usually everyone got along with everyone and there was less clicks and whatnot.

When I started high school thats when the shit hit the fan, friends I had in grade school turned their backs on me just to fit in with certain clicks or to try to be popular, I'm still trying to figure it out but I believe something in my childhood really fucked me up, maybe I just had a lot of bad experiences with people that really formed my way of thinking. They say your first 7 years of life and what happens in that time really programs your brain for the rest of your life and I believe it.

I was bullied alot and was never part of any groups, I maybe had a handful of friends in school but when high school came I became a ghost and nobody really knew who I was, I had one friend that I met that became just as hostel and angry as me, possibly depressed as well. I seen that relationship as a Eric & Dylan replica. We loved guns, video games, rarely had remorse for anything, laughed at peoples deaths, even a few at our school. And I can't confirm this but I feel like kids thought we both were going to shoot up the school since we disrespected so much staff and kept to ourselves and were ruthless when people would mess with us.

I can't say we ever planned on doing anything like that but we would joke about it. I had no intentions of really going through with it, I think I was more focused on suicide at that point as how dark and depressed I was.

I think you probably had a worse home life and adventure than I have but I do share that darkness feeling. I have been so angry and resentful for over the last decade that I used to cherish serial killers and would study them, hearing interviews about them killing people made me connect with them as I was so hateful.

I knew about Columbine for a long time but never really looked into it, I never really studied it or anything, just knew that it happened.

Not sure what spawned it but late last year I dived into it, maybe because I was in a depressive state and just wanted to kill time or was curious. After diving into it I can say that it has really helped me out of that depressive state and im not sure why. Maybe because there is so much to take in and think about that it keeps me busy. I do relate to Eric & Dylan in many ways, I guess people would call me a "columbiner" but I don't care what people think.

I am still very hateful and resentful at people and probably will always be, but I don't see myself acting out my rage and hurting people. I do relate to eric & dylan and can connect with them because I was that outcast that couldn't fit in with anyone, was picked on, couldn't get girlfriends, etc. I don't condone with what they did but I just find the whole story very intriguing. I've always liked studying morbid things and trying to make sense of it all and I think I am still doing that now.

At the end of the day everyone killed that day, including eric & dylan were victims and I do have some kind of empathy for them all.
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:18 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] thank you for your honesty and kind words.

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shwnmnstr



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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:03 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] that sounds like my step brother and I's relationship. We actually watched the new coverage of the shooting that day together and almost instantly latched onto it. The fact we had abusive parents didn't help. It is actually surreal how much in common we had with Eric and Dylan. Us having the same names aside, my brother was mostly depressed and just wanted to kill himself, and our parents, where is I was more full of rage and wanted to " kick start " something. Thankfully we both grew out of it , eventually. He still lives in our hometown and has a family now, where is I kind of wandered off....

I hear you on the hate and resentment, it is a daily effort for me to not resort back into that mindset, because it can be very comforting to just say, " alright fuck the world, fuck all these people "

kind of like the comfort you get from finally deciding to commit suicide. You don't need to worry about the future anymore, or make real plans, or try to fix anything. But yeah thanks for the response man it feels good to finally get this out there and to see I am not alone. I spent many years keeping these things a secret and it must have seemed so strange to the people close to me that I was able to be so callous.

Yeah my life sucked as a kid, majorly, about every bad thing you can imagine happened to me, and then as a teenager I became obsessed with Columbine and just killing everyone so I never actually dealt with any of my issues until I was about 20, which is a recipe for some hard times. Got into drugs, which honestly, was better than most other things I would have got into at the time, eventually it led me to a form of enlightenment and a very deep understanding of how good people can do bad things.

I didn't mean to write so much! It turns out this is a topic I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on. Glad to have found this forum as I feel it will help me to further work on these issues I had growing up and still struggle with today. Thanks.



[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Thank you also!!
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:28 pm

Sounds like a very troubled time forced you to grow up fast. I am glad you are with us today. Definitely sounds like an obsession which is a scary one to have. Thank you for sharing all that with us.

Admittedly, I sometimes wish I had a difficult childhood/ bad bullying as an explanation as to why I have turned out the way that I am, but I don't seem to have one. Genes I guess
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I was 17 when Columbine and I think I shared my own story already. I was pretty badly bullied, angry and just messed up and when it happened I remember sitting in front of the TV watching the coverage. Then of course me being 17 when they put up eric and dylans pictures my first thought was "damn eric harris is hot...." then "why did cute boys shoot their school up?" then I started researching for real. I was 17, give me a break Smile

my mother was convinced there were various cells of the TCM around the country awaiting word to attack various schools... sighs...

I was part of the very first communities talking about the case, very different than the TCC now. We did fundraising and some of our jokes got blown out of context.... BUT we had a good group with few troublemakers, except you know Brenda.... i found my

I found myself getting too into it and stepped away for nearly 15 + years, I only revisited because a year after AMR came out I said "fine, I am sure there is nothing new about the case anyway.." oh I was so wrong.

Now that I am older I can look at a lot of things more constructively, I not only get sad when I see Bre's first interview with the news, I get angry because as an adult I think "how dare you interview her! she needs her family, she needs help.."


It is always interesting to hear about people who are interested in the case who were really young or not even born when it happened or people who were in their 30's then.. just simply not in our generation so to speak.

Columbine really had a ripple effect on so many people.


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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:28 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Eric was kinda hawt, wasn't he? haha

Thank you! damn I wish I had come online and found ye all back when I was a teenager. I felt pretty much alone aside from my brother but him and I wanted to kill everyone together and he had basically no interest in Columbine at all just in suicide mostly so it wasn't easy for me to talk about it at great length to anyone. returning to it recently and learning new things about what happened that day and leading up to it has been great tbh. I can get a tad dramatic when I write and I don't get to vent about my shitty childhood often so I may have gone over board a touch but it's nice to feel accepted!

The ripple effect was damn strong. I lived on the other side of North America and it resulted in " goth " being outlawed at our high school which is almost humorous to think about in this day and age.
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:40 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] never to down-play anyone's experiences of life, having a super shitty childhood and abusive parents can almost make dealing with some types of issues easier, oddly enough. Like a hyper accelerated learning curve on how shitty life can be. Sometimes I would guess, it would be harder to learn these things later on in life, or to get blind sided by it never expecting life to bite like a snake. I think even if I had a picturesque home life as a kid I was still going to be drawn towards dark violent themes. I had wanted to join the army from a super early age and was playing Doom II non stop at like , 10 years old, which was unusual for the era. Genes actually do play a huge role in it too. I can't even imagine having these types of tendencies and not having something to firmly point the finger at for causing it. I mean after all E and D themselves came from fairly stable and caring homes themselves. I haven't slept in like 48 hours and probably shouldn't be trying to formulate coherent thoughts so I'mma just end with "good wombs have born bad sons"
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PostSubject: Re: Maturing with Columbine   Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:35 pm

Another reason I like this forum is that I feel like I belong and that there are many people on here just as interested and friendly (even if arguments arise). Something I have never had in my life. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] you seem like a great addition to this "family" (thats how I see it haha)
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