I wished someone would have told me I should have worn waterproof mascara before I read the article discussing the letter that 8 year old Ryan Suffern wrote to Santa about what he wanted for Christmas. People are gawking at me as they walk pass my office. Someone has even come in with tissue to ask me was everything ok. All I could do was nod my head as the tears just kept flowing. Although everything is ok, my soul is still reminded of what it felt like not to be ok.
I can't personally relate to the story of Amber Suffern, Ryan's twin sister whose being bullied because of her weight, I must certainly can relate to the issue of bullying. I myself was also bullied, but I never told any of my family members or friends about what I endured. I was that kid that kept a smile on my face. I was the captain of the cheerleading squad, a straight 'A' student, and I was very popular. How could I possibly be bullied? I just didn't fit the image of what people thought of when they thought of a kid that is susceptible to bullying.
I was the girl, who while in high school, slept with a guy that I thought really cared about me only to find out later that it was just a bet that he had with his friends. No sooner had we slept together, he went to school and told everyone that would listen to him about us sleeping together. The final two years of my high school life became a living hell.
I would listen to people that I thought were my friends talk about me like a dog. I couldn't walk down the halls without hearing someone whisper that I was a 'hoe' or a 'slut'. It was 'slut shaming' in full effect before the concept had ever been invented.
Bullying comes in many forms and we can only deal with it the best we can. The problem with children being bullied is the fact that they don't have enough life experience to truly understand that this too shall pass.
When I look back over my bullying experience, I honestly can't tell you how I made it out without doing something to myself. I don't want to get too preachy, but I can honestly say there was some Grace and Mercy involved with my still being here.
Trust me, there were times that I was so down that I'm surprised that the thought of suicide never entered my head. I guess I can just consider myself to be one of the lucky ones.
I don't see the concept of bullying ever ending. As long as we have insecure people we'll always have bullying. The only thing I feel we can do is share our stories and reinforce in our children how much we love them and how special they are.
Were you ever bullied? If so, please share your story.