This subject is very near and dear to my heart. Bullying is something that I’ve had a passion to fight against since I was 10 years old. When I was in the 5th & 6th grade I was a victim to a group of bullies. Girls. Mean girls who had nothing better to do than make my life miserable. I hated school, I hated people, and I felt alone. The worst part was that it got so bad that I didn’t want to live anymore. I wanted to take my own life away to stop from suffering. How devastating is that? A child, wanting to take their own life because someone else made them feel so small, like they already didn’t exist? Sadly, this is something that happens on a daily basis. Children being teased about their appearance, their particular behaviors, their sexual orientation, the list goes on. It’s something that NEEDS to stop!
What I didn’t understand as a child was that getting help was OKAY. I’d come home crying to my mother telling her how these girls would make me feel and she told me she’d go and speak to the school. My response was no. I’d get called a baby or a loser for having my mommy come and rescue me. I’d look even more helpless than I already felt. It was not an option for me. But guess what? It SHOULD have been. I ended up having a breakdown one afternoon, telling my mother I didn’t want to live. That I hated my life. She held me tight and told me everything would be okay. That we would figure it out.
My 7th grade year, my parents decided to pull me out of school. I was home-schooled. That one year changed my life in the most amazing way. My grandmother had suffered a massive stroke and couldn’t do really, anything, for herself. She came to live with us that year. I watched as my mom cared for her. My mom would give me responsibilities – like cooking her eggs. That was my job. I’d sit next to my grandmother and help feed her. In those moments I felt no longer helpless. I realized that I had so much to give just by those small tasks that were given to me. And there sat a woman, who really WAS helpless and I, the girl who felt like she had nothing to give, GAVE. I must admit I learned more life lessons that year than I did school lessons, and I’m okay with that.
A year later, we moved. I found a new power within myself to stand up for what I deserved. I returned to school – a new school, as a new person. I will not lie and say that was the end of my struggles, because it wasn’t. I had to make stronger choices, and remind myself to stand up for what was not right.
The Bully Project & I Stand For The Silent
Bullying is not right. No child/person should ever go thinking that it is either. I knew after my struggles that I wanted to become an educator; to help be a voice for those who thought they had none; to keep that watchful eye on victims of bullies, and to educate those “bullies” who think their actions are okay.
I came across The Bully Project the other night on CNN. Right away there was an advisory about violent material that would be shown. They weren’t kidding! I saw this poor child getting beat on while riding the bus to school. My heart sank! I will not give away all the details of this film, but I do urge you to please go and check it out. Spread the word. Become an advocate against bullying. This film is EYE-OPENING! It should be mandatory for any person working with children to watch it. “Bully” also follows the life of a man and his wife who began an organization called “Stand For The Silent”. The T and the S are blue to symbolize their son, Ty Smalley, who was a victim of bullying and took his own life at the age of 11.
Here is the trailer for Bully:
I hope that from this blog you’ll feel empowered and want to make some bit of difference. Even if it’s small. Every bit counts! As the website states: Become an “Upstander”:
An “upstander” is someone who recognizes when something is
wrong and acts to make it right. When an upstander sees or
hears about someone being bullied, they speak up.
Being an upstander is being a hero: we are standing up for
what is right and doing our best to help support and protect
someone who is being hurt. In many ways, this is another word
for being socially responsible.
The Bully Project: http://www.thebullyproject.com/?recruiter_id=53378
I Stand For The Silent: http://www.standforthesilent.org/index.php