Today I would like to share T.S’s very emotive, true story from his blog “Crazywriterof6.” As I read T.S’s distressing reality, I felt my body became anxious. I felt his apprehension and fear. His sense of loneliness and isolation is palpable. He says… “Maybe some of you can relate and see that even then, you weren’t alone”. No child should be in dread every day, isolated and living with the fear of bullying!
In my last post I wrote about the difficulty I had in supporting my children, both victims of bullying, because of the pressure on victims to remain silent. You might like to read it… Big Boys…Don’t Cry!
We now hear in T.S’s own words, his deeply ingrained and debilitating belief as to why he was bullied… “The torture continued. Many moments before this event, many after. I have written some of them out, just to get them out. All this because I was different than the “normal people”, different from what society says I should be. Different because I was overweight”. I believe he was not different… everybody is different and everybody has the right to be respected for who and how they are.
Please enhance your understanding by reading his story…
Your child is or has been bullied at school and you have found an opportunity to talk to them, making a written record of events as you discuss them, without being caught up in frustrating and emotionally upsetting arguments. Now pause to acknowledge the progress you have made, you’ve managed to… 6.Avoid the hook!
You’re now aware and can understand that the changes in behaviour you’ve seen are signs of bullying. Those signs probably included your child;
reducing their academic performance,
refusing to go to school,
lacking motivation, wanting to achieve goals but showing perfectionist traits, then appearing paralysed,
disappointed by not living up to the high standards they set themselves,
withdrawing into themselves,
being stressed, having emotional outbursts,
showing signs of anxiety, depression, OCD or specific phobias,
consuming excess alcohol, or maybe using drugs,
getting into trouble in school,
being charged with social disorder,
or engaging in self-harm
If you are like me,
you probably struggle to know what to do.
You are unsure of where to turn next.
You are probably paralysed like we were.
You probably struggled to even accept the situation.
You wanted to wave a magic wand and fix everything…
If any of the above resonates with you, it is very important that you are pro-active. Do not allow bullying to render you paralysed. Your child might not want you to speak up for fear of making the situation worse or been seen as ‘a grass’ or a ‘cry-baby’. You must be very discreet but you must seek out support to help you stand up and speak up to bullying!
I pondered the impact of our thoughts when they transform into words…
As we age, we change how we think, how we feel and how we behave. We drop old habits and seek out new. Enjoy scattering your thoughts…some go unseen and blow away on the breeze but some nourish the ground they fall on.
What thoughts and words have you scattered today? Are they ones you’ll be proud of?
I wrote this post one morning as I really struggled to cope, to accept, to hope…ACCEPTANCE!
When I think back I can still recall how visceral my emotion was that morning.
We had struggled under the weight of both our children being victims of bullying and its short and long term consequences. We watched both our children suffer and we searched for answers to many questions…
With no avenues left to follow, sadly one day we were forced to accept that the situation was outside of our control. I recall the pain of frustration and of what felt like failure.
We offered it up to God, to the Universe, to the silent expanse of the countryside… We were exhausted, depleted and we knew we had to sit back and develop patience.
We tried to listen with love, we spoke with love and we encouraged with love. We learned to trust, to hope and to let go control. We let go our need to fix, our need for things to be as we thought they should be.
As I look back now, it’s amazing how acceptance, love and time changes things!
Hardly two years on, time has intervened…
With time, he re-tuned his body clock. He began to re-engage with life. His motivation to study slowly improved. He spoke of sitting his exams. We quietly encouraged him to do what he thought was best for him… And it worked!
He took back power over his own life. He regained his voice; the damage from bullying being slowly put behind him. He decided how he wanted his future to look…
Now reaching towards the end of his second term of college we see… that acceptance, love and time... was the key.
For our daughter, who continues to struggle with her mental health, a mischievous puppy named Andy may well be… the key!
If you’d like to follow their journey as Andy works to become the first Psychiatric Service Dog in Ireland and Emma resorts to training him herself, while continuing to lobby politicians; although losing hope that her months of requesting them to help her make this service available, will come to any fruition… then you can find them on Instagram @reallyhandyandy or on Facebook at Emma and Andy.
Has bullying impacted your life? What was the key to overcoming your challenge?
I realised the reason why I have to follow my heart and try to begin a conversation about bullying. I realised the reason I can’t stand back is because…
“The song I came to sing is left unsung. I spent my life stringing and unstringing my instrument.” Rabindranath Tagore.
And today I also found myself learning that I can’t let embarrassment of my wounds hold me back because…
“Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.” Professor and theologian Henri Nouwen.
Are you holding back from you song? Will you trust enough to sing your song? Will you hide your wounds or use them in the service of others? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Do you struggle sometimes looking for inspiration for your blog? I know I certainly do, particularly when I’m tired.
You may have heard fibromyalgia being called the ‘holiday illness,’ a very cruel characteristic of fibro/chronic fatigue that, when you ease down from any continuous activity, you then realise you have over-done it. In my case it’s when I’m let go/laid off from my paid contracted Adult Education/Adult Literacy employment. My body crumbles into an exhausted and sometimes lonely mess; if I let it…
When I’m totally drained, having used every tool available to me to manage my fibro/fatigue, such as positivity, pacing and prioritising, I find writing or indeed achieving anything, including socialising is next to impossible but I choose to believe that there is always light in the darkness if you look for it!
So I take encouragement from the words of Pat Schneider in her excellent book ‘Writing Alone and with others.’
She reminds me that…
P.13 “…we will create powerful writing out of the stuff of memory…”
And she tells me…
P.15 ‘…every time you came home from a hard day at school or work and said to someone in your family, “You know what happened to me today?” and told the story – the writer in you was practising using suspense, character, dialogue, metaphor, simile, plot, denouement. All your life, you have been writing on the air, and that has built craft and confidence and voice. It is all there, ready and waiting for you.’
So, I say don’t struggle with tiredness, loneliness or with writing…just reach out in person or via social media, keep sharing your day, keep on “writing on the air.”
So, what do you think? Please join in the discussion below and share what encourages you! Thanks for visiting, your company is another source of encouragement for me!