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Joseph (Joe) Kemper

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2014, 03:35 PM
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Default Joseph (Joe) Kemper


Warning: Some language and violence

Then:
My name is Joe. My best friend hung himself from an Oak tree in front of our high school. We grew up together in a small Florida town called Leeton. He was all I had. My father hates me and my mother, well, she's a good woman, but she can't really help me. Her solution to all my problems is to pray. I don't believe God even exists. If he did, he would have saved Jeff. Or maybe he just hated him as much as all the kids that bullied him just because he was gay. But who cares if he was gay? He was a good person and the only one I could ever connect with.

Well, there's this girl now. We're pretty good friends. I think I may want to be though.

But I can't really think too much about her right now. I can't seem to get myself to think about anything else but the assholes who killed Jeff. He may have hung himself, but they drove him to it. They killed my best friend and they don't even care. They think his death is a big joke. They laugh about it. They have to pay. I'll make them pay. They won't be laughing then.

Now:
I realize now that I needed to let go of my anger. The girl I love was caught in the line of fire and now she's gone too. It made me realize how out of control I was. I should have talked to someone. Instead, I shut everyone out and seethed in my rage. I wish I could take it all back. I wish hadn't taken that gun to school. If only I'd realized it then.

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:40 PM
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Joe:
Now why does your father hate you? Is it something about him? Did you do anything? Why can't your mother help you? Why do you choose not to believe in a God when your mother is very religious, did that aspect not affect you growing up?
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:16 PM
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I wish I knew why my father hates me so much. No matter what I do, I never seem to be good enough for him. My grades aren't high enough. My room is too messy. He hates me clothes. He wants me to be preppy and perfect. I think he expected I'd be one of those kids that dresses like he's in a school uniform all the time- you know khaki slacks and a button down- even when he's just at home, and plays the piano, and uses perfect manners, and smiles all the time. It's just not me. I wear jeans and a black t-shirt most of the time. I listen to rock. And I just don't feel like smiling. I think he wants me to help him project the image of some perfect family, but that's just not us and I won't lie to make it look that way.

I think he hates me because I stand up to him too. My mom is very quite and I'd even go as far as to say weak. He likes that. He doesn't like anyone to challenge his authority, but it's not in me to just say yes all the time and let him push me around.

My mom can't help because she doesn't understand me. We have nothing in common. She's very, uh, Martha Stewart. I'm more Kurt Cobain- but without the drugs. A little drinking here and there, but nothing too bad.

Why would I believe in God? He's done nothing to show me that he exists. I spent most of my childhood praying to him that he'd make my father love me, make the kids at school stop picking on me all the time, or just show me he cares. I never got an answer. Even if he does exist, I think he's just like my dad- power hungry and jumping at the first chance he gets to strike down anyone who dares to stand up to him. Refusing to help anyone who doesn't fall in line. Just look Jeff. God never helped him with his depression or the bullying. And why? Because he thinks guys are attractive? So what? Why does God have to hate him so much just because he's a little different?
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:38 PM
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Alright Joe, now how are the people around you? Besides what you've stated, what are your mother and father like? How do they look?
And Jeff, what was he like?
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Thewritingkid View Post
Alright Joe, now how are the people around you? Besides what you've stated, what are your mother and father like? How do they look?
And Jeff, what was he like?
The people around me being those at school? Well there a lot of bullies at my school. I hate that word though I wish they'd come up with something that doesn't sound so cute. It's a serious issue and no one will take it seriously with a name like that. The teachers for one. The school officials don't really do anything about it. They don't seem to notice. They're all too worried about budget cuts I guess. And the kids who talk to the teachers about it just get bullied worse for it.

The rest of the kids are alright, but they don't really talk to me.

My mother is very sweet. Too sweet sometimes. She's one of those "look on the bright side" people. Or at least that's what she lets people see. I don't think she's as happy as she pretends to be. That may be why she's so quiet most of the time. She very pretty. She has short brown hair and hazel eyes. Her hair is very soft. She says when I was a baby and she'd hold me, I always reached up to her hair and played with it. She said it was similar to how other babies are with a blanket. The softness was soothing.

My dad, he acts tough and looks tough. He works hard and his job as a general contractor leaves its mark on him. His hands are rough and calloused. He often has cuts and bruises from missing the nail with the hammer or pulling out thorny bushes, things like that. He comes home dirty and reeking of sweat. I wish he'd shower before he sits down at the dinner table. My mom hates it too, but she doesn't say anything. He and I have been in some quarrels over me telling him he smells and it's bothering me when I'm trying to enjoy my food.

He hates his job too. He takes that out on my I think. The pay can be good when he's got the right job, but many of his jobs are petty have a low pay for such hard work. Sometimes he goes months without a job. He's self employed, so there's no guarantee of regular work. It makes things stressful at home sometimes because we don't always have enough money for all the bills. Sometimes the refrigerator is empty. I used to go to Jeff's house for dinner during those times.

I think he'd have been better as a prison warden. That's how he acts at home, like I'm just some criminal that he has to watch and I have to do everything he says with no question. That's the job he really wanted, but he's been turned down every time he applies because he has no experience. He grew up doing contractor work with his dad. His father made him work to help pay the bills. He had to drop out of high school to do it, but he did get his GED later. Even though it's the equivalent of a high school degree, no one wants to hire someone with a GED.

Now to Jeff. He was a great friend. He was always there for me when I needed him. I used to go hang out at his house when my dad and I fought. We did our homework together. He was dyslexic, so I'd help him with figuring out whether he was looking at a 6 or a 9, and he'd help me with my science homework. He was so smart.

He was also sad a lot. He seemed to be obsessed with everything dark. He read books about serial killers. He knew more than most people do about torture and execution methods. He talked all the time about death- wondering if it would hurt to die. I was worried about him. Maybe I should have done more to help him. But he was seeing a psychiatrist already. Damn doctor kept putting him on one medication, then another and not a single damn one of them did anything to help. And each time he had to change, he'd go through withdrawls, or he'd start another one and have some bad reaction. Eventually he gave up on finding a cure for his depression. It was shortly after when he killed himself.

After he died, his mother said I could go through his things and take something I wanted to keep. We'd grown up together, so she saw me as family to him- a brother. So did I. Going through his things, I found his father's gun and a journal Jeff had kept. He had thought about taking the gun to school to teach those bastards a lesson. He thought about killing them, but killed himself instead. I think he chose the wrong one to kill.

I took the gun and the journal so his mom wouldn't find it. It would upset her more. I hope I can be a friend to her, help her through this. Her and I have something in common- Jeff was the only friend we had.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:40 PM
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Jeff, what's life like for you now, after what you've done?
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:54 PM
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Well now I'm in prison. I thought my dad was strict! Prison life is hard. There's bullying here too. I've realized now that I should have gotten help. I was afraid I'd end up with Jeff, not getting anywhere and being sick from the meds. I wish I'd never shot those kids. I really, really do. I think that's why it's important for people to know my story. I want others to know that revenge and violence are not the answer.

I also want people to realize that bullying is a serious issue. They want to talk about gun control so kids won't shoot up their school. That's fine, but what about getting to the source? These kids don't feel like they have any other option. They feel alone. They feel like no one cares to help them or the few options out there don't really work. I hope that people will learn from this story that mental health is an extremely important issue that needs to be addressed.

I hear that Ashly, one of the teens who survived, has also learned a lesson. She's learned that bullying is far more serious than she ever realized. Although she had started to see this after Jeff's death. I shouldn't have held on to all my anger at her. She had already learned her lesson, but I hadn't learned mine. I heard however, that in an interview, she took some personal ownership for the shooting. I hope people will listen to what she has to say as well and realize that school shootings are complicated issue and that guns are at the heart of it all- people are. Pain is. Help people to deal with their pain, and there will be no need for gun control.

Sadly, there is little help for people like me. If you tell a therapist that you're so angry you feel like you could kill someone, they don't talk you through it, they lock you up. People like me who know they have a problem and want help are afraid to ask for it. I hope that laws will change so that people can have better access to mental health. Maybe my story will help people to realize that.

Until then, I have the rest of my life to sit in this cell and think about what I did, to try to work through my anger, instead of letting it boil up into rage again. I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm only 18 and I'll never see life outside of these bars again.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:46 AM
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Icon11 Joe Kemper

I intend to respect your religious sentiment about God Joe. Well, mainly because I have my own. I think a lot of things happen because people don't understand what it is to not be Christian. I AM definitely NOT.

Sad thing about the friend and the girlfriend, maybe you met her just to meet someone you like more in the future. It's all about situation. You can't be where you are in twenty years you have to be where you are now.

Parents are made to be forgotten. Remember that Joe. Get the hell out.
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