Something has really been weighing on my heart lately, bullying.
More and more often I have been hearing and seeing mothers complaining that there is nothing that they can do for their children when it comes to bullies. I have seen this first hand it is brutal. A parent knows something is happening but has no idea how to handle it. The school system has made it just as bad to be the bullied as it is to be the bully. A student defends themselves (which we all know is what should happen, that is how bullies are stopped, they are stood up to and it stops) and suddenly they are made out to be just as bad as the bully. So you tell your children to not defend themselves (That wont be happening in this household) and to go to a teacher or someone in authority. They do nothing, and the bullying continues. Or the opposite happens, you tell your child to stand up for themselves, to fight back. And suddenly your kid is labeled as “fighter”, a “bully” and the school turns on them. Your child is now the one being suspended and the bullies continue to do what they do best, at school, bully. Why are there bullies at schools? Because the schools make the kids scared to defend themselves and in do that protect the bullies.
There is something seriously wrong with that and it needs to change.
Or (this one is really close to my heart since it happened to me) a kid is made an outcast because of something they did. That is just as bad as being bullied.
For me it was breaking up with my current boyfriend. All my “friends” decided my reasons for dumping him were not legit enough for their taste, so they tore me down, isolated me, and just made me feel like I was the scum of the earth. In a span of 24 hours I lost all the friends I had. Suddenly I was walking to classes alone, I had no one to talk to, I walked by my “friends” in the hallways and they were talking to my ex boyfriend. I felt like I had no one. Then to make matters worse my family (not knowing what happened, or the pain I was feeling) started to joke that I was a “heart breaker”. It was all in fun, but for me as the person it was directed at, it felt like they were attacking me.
It became so bad that I would hide in the nursery with my mother and not go into the church services because “he” was out there with my friends.
The thing is no one every asked me why I dumped him. No one thought that maybe what they were doing was wrong. When I would say how I didn’t like that he was coming to church (he was atheist and was only coming because he knew it would torment me) my “friends” attacked me. Told me I was being a horrible Christan by not wanting him to be going to church.
Well, I’m no longer a scared, isolated 15-16 year old and I will say it now. He was a jerk. That is why I dumped him. He loved to tear me down emotionally, and verbally. He loved to manipulate situations to his favor (which is how he turned all my friends on me, and I couldn’t do anything about it) and then turn them on me. He got his kicks out of getting into a fight with me and then making it out to be all my fault. I know now, looking back, that if I had stayed with him, it probably would have escalated and he probably would have physically abused me. Know why I know this? Because he was slowly trying to wear me down mentally and was slowly trying to isolate me from my “friends”. If I hadn’t been raised to be strong, I don’t think I would have seen it. But I did and I ran for the hills.
The saving grace for my high school self? A group of girls that were in my swim team lane. The same group of girls who then became my best friends. And also, ironically, my husband. (at that point, only a friend whom I loved and wanted it to be more than just friendship)
These group of girls saw right through my ex’s stories and manipulative musings and supported me. They were there to let me cry on their shoulders, loop their arms through mine when I walked by him and my old friends. Told me how stupid they were for how they treated me. They were a Godsend. I know that God knew exactly what I needed and sent me Paige, Gigi, and Nicole. We became joined at the hip, and we didn’t leave each others sides till College. I am still best friends with Gigi, she is Elenore’s Godmother. I will always look back at that time of darkness and see them, my beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel.
What did Matthew do? He was there when the worst and the darkest moment happened. We had been talking, more and more the last few months, and he knew what was going on. When that fateful Sunday arrived and my ex walked through the church doors like he owned the place, I walked up to my “friends” and told them I didn’t want him here, and a “friend” informed me how unchristian I was being, I ran from the church in tears. It was the finally straw. I knew that I had lost all of my “friends” and I was alone. After telling my mom what had happened, and then starting to leave, I past Matthew in the hallway. My mom informed him to follow me, and he ran after me. I don’t remember what he said to me, or really what I even said to him, it is all a blur of tears and agony, but he was there. Through it all, he sat with me. He got me to calm down enough to not kill myself when I drove home. Then when I did leave to go home, I didn’t feel like the world was all out to get me. I know had another reason to keep going, Matthew.
From that moment on, the Quad (my new group of friends) and Matt were the only reason I made it through. I’m fully aware of the fact that the people who used to be my friends, still believe they are my friends. They had no idea what torture they put me through. I have never told them how much they hurt me, and probably will never tell them. But it still feels good to say it on here. I was hurt in High school, and I wouldn’t have made it without my friends and my husband.
What makes me even madder is that this kind of thing is happening all the time in school and nothing is being done. What would have happened if I didn’t find a group of friends, or if Matthew hadn’t run after me? Would I be the same person today? Or just a shadow of who I am today? God only knows. But I can see why someone would think there is no way out and commits suicide. Or turns to crime to get attention.
This sort of thing even happened to my brother. He is such a strong kid, but the school and his peers did their best to try and break him. I am proud to say that he came out the other side stronger. But this kind of stuff should NOT be happening. Parents, teachers and the administrators need to be watching out for the isolated students, they should be defending the victims of bullying, not attacking them and punishing them. A student should feel comfortable enough to be able to defend themselves and not be scared that they themselves will be suspended. The security officers shouldn’t have vendettas against students and make them out to be criminals just because they “think” the kid did something. Or the kid defended themselves way to many times and now they have decided that the student is “trouble”
This is really messed up. I’m just glad I had such a good support system and that we (my brother and I) had my parents. Without them, I have no idea what would have happened.