Some time ago I posted a blog about one of my sons and the bullying he received. This is the first blog / post I have ever removed and I removed it because I was misunderstood. I hate being misunderstood. As I’ve thought about this, it made me think about the tower of Babel and how many religions / churches exist today because mankind can’t agree on the word of God...the Bible God’s own word to us....people misunderstanding people - this has been going on for a eons. That said, I stand behind what I said in that post. Fact: my son was bullied by teammates during the football season. (Quote: You are a disgrace to this team.) Fact: my children have in turn bullied others. Ouch.
As a child that was bullied when growing up and having one of those bullies call me after 20 years while in a 12 step program to apologize for the way he treated me gives me experience and perspective that are apart of who I am now. So...if you don’t like what I’m saying – warning, leave now, this is the good ol’ U S of A and I have the right to free speech!
I live in a small town. When we first moved here, everyone was SOO friendly. Some people still are. Classic small towns like this one are a true slice of America and the life lessons from the politics of this town are reminiscent of the problems that exist in our larger world. People with money have power, some people throw their weight around, others are posturing in the cliques they belong to or want to belong to....like I said, classic America . I’ve known people who have moved away from this town or others they grew up in, having experiences that chill my spine that shouldn’t have happened, stories of their pain filled journey through the school system and social life of small town USA . That being said, know that there are MANY good people in this town and others too, standing the test of time...lest this gets “misunderstood.” And I truly appreciate those “good people!” **wink and you know who you are. I’ll have to do a POSITIVE post about the blessings of small town USA – because there are many as well.
Ok, back to bullies. (sorry, known to get off in tangents and different thought lines:-) All my children have experienced bullying. From name calling, exclusion because they aren’t like everyone else, the list is long, etc etc. Courtney hadn’t been with us but a few months when a girl at told her she wouldn’t sign her T-shirt because her Mom didn’t like Courtney’s Mom (me!). OK....you bet I had to share a few things with Courtney...leave that girl alone, run and hide, there are other “friends” in the sea. She’s had a girl tell her that if anyone else wears the same clothes she has she won’t talk to them for a day....pure snobbery. She has a set of girls that “giggle” whenever Courtney walks past them, making her paranoid...finally one of Courtney’s friends just giggles back as it happens....I hate hearing about the girl drama, but want to know and don’t want to ignore it as I know it will go on for a long time. Last week I was saddened to learn she and her friend bullied another younger child.
The boys too have endured their share of guy bullying....and have dished it back in return. From the beginning of getting kicked on purpose in the back and trying to be a friend back to that person, from a girl beating up my son for something she thought he did at a church event, humiliating him....the list is soo long as are the lessons of life. We all have stories I'm sure.
The cycle rotates and repeats itself. "Treat others as you want to be treated" - we tell them over and over. They come from a system where they’ve seen and experienced BAD stuff....so they know how to give it back. I hate that. But it is the truth....you push them into the corner, they’ll come out swinging. That is what they’ve learned. But one of my kids though rolls over, gets beat and runs when he can get up. That saddens me too. His stress shows up in other ways as he releases it through destruction and nervous habits. No excuses, but reality.
It is SOOO hard to teach turn the other cheek and not do the “an eye for an eye” thing. You hear stories of kids that stand up to bullies, then their bullying ends. We’ve read special educational information at home about how to respond to bullies, the schools are full of awareness and zero tolerance. BUT...it still happens. A cancer with no cure, but the fight is getting stronger, yet the bullies are getting more sly. A great resource shared to me by another grown up who endured bullying is: http://www.bullies2buddies.com
We had this written on our drive way recently: Nice huh?
Kindness...we need to work harder to spread it so the ugliness doesn’t invade us and stay. It all starts with us, one action and word at a time. So if my kids, husband or I have hurt you – sorry. We are fish in the sea, swimming in the fast current trying our best like everyone else...but in the end, we are all human needing God’s grace and forgiveness.
Yesterday that "bully" girl was kind to Courtney and asked her to sit by her....that meant a lot to Courtney and we talked about maybe she'll even become your good friend yet! Hope for a changing world...one bully moment by one bully moment moving forward.