Thursday, June 7, 2012

So Now What?

I have gotten more response from my post  about my experience with bullying than any other in my little blog's history.  Not necessarily in the comment section, but some heartfelt responses on Facebook and in person.  I must say that if any post were going to garner attention, I am both quite pleased and uncomfortable.  Pleased because with a rash of suicides, I can't think of anything more important.  Uncomfortable because it is an episode that caused me much pain in shame and writing about it required quite a bit of vulnerability and openness on my part.

Someone whom I admire quite a bit, commented yesterday about how much he liked the post and felt it was important.  Important because perhaps our work as adults shouldn't be on eradicating bullying--it has existed since the dawn of time--but more about equipping our children with the support systems to weather this pain.  He cut so quickly to the heart of what I was trying to say:  that the bullying occurred because of the unfortunate choices of others, but that I survived thanks in large part to my parents and the sense of connectedness.  My parents couldn't save me from the cruelty, but had planted the seeds from my earliest days to know that they were interested in me, invested in me, and in being so, surrounded me not just with their love, but with other people who appreciated the me-ness that made me, me.

That is our challenge, not to let our youth slip down the deep hole of anonymity and be buried by dirt of pain.  Finding a voice for our own empathy so they can learn.  Finding joy in our own friends, so that the importance of being connected is modeled.  Appreciating quirks in each other, in order that they can appreciate differences in others.


Kelly McD said...

Wow, that hit home. It is about make sure our kids can weather the bullies, not making sure it never happens again, because it will, as it always has. I know that our son will be the brunt of it someday - he is small, super smart, wears glasses, and can be a smart ass. And I have seen other kids make fun of him, but he had no idea, because he couldn't comprehend what they were doing. Or maybe he did, but he realized that laughing it off was the best course of action. Maybe he is already ahead of the game? But I will continue to make sure he has the support system he needs, whenever it may be. And I loved, (and teared up about) your story. Because I felt that pain too.

Courtneytcu98 said...

Kelly, I would love to meet your son--he sounds like quite the charmer. :) It's amazing how we can assume this particular pain skipped over some, you always seemed to have it together, I never imagined.