I am the proud proud parent of a beautiful 10 year old girl. She is bright, beautiful, giving and has more compassion in her pinky finger than some adults I know have in their entire body. We moved to Phoenix at the beginning of her first grade year, being the new kid is hard but she embraced the opportunity to make new friends and I was excited for her to make them as well.
That ended quickly when shortly after she began she came home crying because a boy in her class told her to "go home" because she was "different". I am still not sure what he meant by it, the school she went to had a majority hispanic population but she looked no different than them. Dark hair, Olive skin and Dark eyes... it really made no sense to me. The boy quickly progressed when he realized his words had an effect on her. He TORMENTED her for the entire year, even though we had numerous meetings with her teacher nothing ever changed. She began having night terrors, had to have sleeping pills... this is no way for a 6 year old should live.
It came to a head when the boy who was also 6 at the time, threatened to shoot my fiance. I reported it to the principal and yet again nothing was done. I had to take my plea to the superintendent of schools for anything to be resolved. The boy was suspended and was not allowed back without a psych evaluation. The administration and teacher were written up and I believe the teacher was inevitably let go from her job. I removed her from that school and found an amazing charter that has a 0 tolerance policy for bullying. She is an honor roll student and is doing much much better.
I used to think situations like this were just for children. That as adults we get our feelings hurt but not to this effect. I belong to a online community called Second Life and in my 5 years participating I have met some really nasty individuals.... a whole new breed of bully called the Cyberbully.
They hide behind their monitors and seek out people and slowly wittle away at their self worth and happiness. I had such a horrible experience with these people at one time I really thought I would be better off not here. I never thought, a woman in her mid-thirties would be broken to such a low point by a person on a computer. It seems so unreal I cant believe it still to this day. But there I was, with a bottle of pain killers really thinking hard about it.
It took the love of my daughter and some wise words from a friend to pull me back from that dark dark place. My friend told me THE WAY OTHERS TREAT YOU IS A STATEMENT ABOUT WHO THEY ARE AS A HUMAN BEING. IT IS NOT A STATEMENT ABOUT YOU. It really is true. And if anything it has brought my daughter and closer together because I really do understand how it feels to have people break you down so low you can not see the stars.
So remember, it gets better. And for those who see someone else being bullied, stand up and be a strong friend. You may not think your voice will make a difference, but I promise it will. It will help heal the heart of those hurt and will bring those back down who are so miserable they need to break those around down to their level.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.