I know this photo isn't exactly "quality" but it means something right now. This is my youngest one, she's in Karate class to learn self defense.
Life can get really really tough. Life can sometimes feel absolutely hopeless. It can feel gloomy and the future might be as bright as the underworld. Ever dread just waking up in them morning? I mean waking up and thinking... "Again? So soon? *Sighhh* Ok...."
I reflected on my past. I asked myself, "Would I have gone through some of the depressing periods in my life if I didn't have the outside influence?" Thinking back to the time before troubles hit, I was quite a happy go lucky kid. I was innocent, and clean. I thought going to class and dealing with homework was a huge issue. It was a stress point for sure... Then I thought back a few more years to the point of bullying in my 9th grade year. I was about 14, I'm 41 and I still remember the bullying. I was bullied to the point of having to transfer schools and was assigned a mentor. The school thought that I might have been suicidal. I cried daily coming home from school and had high anxiety going to school before transferring. This girl told my friends lies, and spreaded a lot of rumors that caused me to lose a lot of friends. I was lonely at school. I was sad at school. I had no one to talk to at school. I sat in the counselor's office a lot.
It was tough.
Having been through that and come out on the other side. School bullying seems to be unavoidable. It's in every school, and has a full spectrum of antics and influences. One thing that hinders my heart is when I see a school claim that they don't have bullies, or state that bullying isn't tolerated because from what I have experienced personally and with my own kids being in public, both claims are false. One simple fact is, in any public setting with hundreds or thousands of people, it is nearly impossible for authority, security, staff, or any watcher to see all that is going on. Bullying comes in all forms of communication, silent treatment, ignoring, exclusion, intrusion, body language, public humiliation, rumors, online threats, hurtful words and/or physical altercations etc... Bullying can happen to kids, parents, siblings, friends, spouses, strangers, exes, and so on. The matters of the heart are the trigger points in bullying. People bully for many reasons, some are hurting, have been offended, some are evil because they want to to be on top and so on. So what do we do when the school yard bully comes for us?
Don't stay silent. That's easier said than done, but when you realize these people thrive and depend on your silence, pulling the wool blanket off of the wolf to expose their true hearts might be frightening, but it's freeing. Keep yourself out of harm's way because they may retaliated but speak up again and again. Take some self defense classes and keep speaking up until they stop. They will stop. If you think or know retaliation will involve physical abuse remove yourself from their presence before speaking up immediately. No one is worth your safety or God forbid, life! Understand that in school, bullying is temporary. It will subside, and the sooner you speak up the sooner it may stop. Don't suffer in silence. Report it. Keep record and if it is online you can anonymously report it. For me my bullying ended with a transfer to a different school. Students you have options! Tell your parents, tell your school officials, superintendent, police, report it online! Don't stay silent report it to authority.
My story actually didn't stop when I transferred. You see, since the girl who bullied me and made me lose a lot of friends by false rumors ended up in my 10th grade P.E. class. Oddly enough, she didn't bother with me... Speak up.
Stay safe friends. The world can be an ugly place, it's even uglier suffering in silence.