Quote No. 43 from Encourage Yourself Encourage Others by Anne Devine.
I feel like Anne wrote this one especially for me!
I’m enjoying the challenge of showing up to my blog, almost daily, to share Anne’s warm and insightfully encouraging quotes. I’m also writing a gratitude journal. Reading back through my Journal on Christmas Day last was the best gift I gave myself for Christmas and I’m pretty sure my happiness in sharing some precious memories flowed over onto my family.
What do you do to encourage yourself and encourage others?
In my previous post I wrote about the importance of self-care, you might like to read it 4.Self-care x 10! When you or your children are struggling to cope with bullying it is very important to continue to practice self-care during and after the event. Being bullied can cause strong feelings of loneliness which come from the isolation of bullying. Bullying thrives on isolation and fear. Lack of access to information, lack of support and worse still lack of knowing which way to turn or who to ask for help all serve to enhance the isolation and loneliness you feel!
The loneliness was something I found hardest to cope with as I struggled to find answers and effective support.
But there is help out there. Don’t allow yourself to be rendered voiceless.
I want YOU to know that I am here for YOU and YOU are not alone…reach out, share your concerns and talk about the bullying you or your child are experiencing.
What has been your experience of the loneliness of bullying? How would you describe the loneliness of bullying? How did you overcome it?
Do you see the darkness when you look at this photo or do you see the light?
Do you see people panic buying and paralysed by the unprecedented changes to our daily lives caused by Covid19?
Or do you see ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things to reach out and support one another, in ways not seen before?
This is an opportunity to change our focus,
‘What about me?’
‘What can I do for you? And then realising, what that just did for me!’
We can all do something with the time we are being given!
What are you doing?
I’m working from home, at least until the 29th of March. After that the future is unclear but that doesn’t matter because we only have to focus on this, one day at a time!
I never thought supporting others with their literacy development by phone, e-mail and online could be so fulfilling. I’m finding myself present in somebody’s isolation. I’m a voice and a listening ear. I’m having conversations about the fear this virus is causing. And in the same conversation I’m talking about the power of being connected to each other and its positive impact on mental well-being. I’m highlighting the importance of distraction and the opportunity to set small learning goals…
Taking a break from news updates
and overwhelming media stories,
Setting a goal for this morning
And one more for tonight,
Reading something you enjoy,
Writing the paragraph you just read,
And then selecting two spellings
Breaking them into syllables such as
In / for / ma / tion
Sit / u / a / tion
Then with a sense of satisfaction and achievement,
With a new goal in mind, I’ve had to reluctantly decide to refrain from writing new blog posts, for the immediate future. To keep my blog active I am instead going to re-run my existing posts.
I’ve had to come to this decision so I can dedicate time to my writing project.
I am in the process of compiling my Bullying & Beyond posts into a book. To give adequate time to this project I have to be proactive in managing my health (due to the challenges of living with CFS/Fibromyalgia, as anyone living with a chronic illness will understand).
I’ve really appreciated your constant company while I shared my Bullying & Beyond posts.
Your friendship, encouraging comments and shared experiences have played a huge role in helping me overcome the pain of supporting our children through school bullying and has enabled me to reclaim my voice and write about our experience. I am so grateful to all of you for this gift!
If you would like to share any information about supports available in your area or if you would like to research any bullying prevention and intervention resources that are relevant to where you live I would be delighted to hear from you and look forward to your participation.
I hope you will continue to keep me company and continue to share your thoughts with me. I will of course reply to any comments received!
The turning point came, the day I learned to accept our son John’s inability to attend school or to live a functioning life. His life had become dysfunctional because of school bullying. I shared some of the backstory in Bullying & Beyond… Painting the pain, part three.
Learning to accept his dysfunction as a result of bullying, was a slow process but it was the catalyst for change which allowed him to break free of his dysfunction and move forward with his life. I shared that in Bullying & Beyond… “Acceptance”, Love & Time.
Our daughter Emma also suffered at the hands of bullies and sadly we are, to this day, still dealing with the aftermath.
It has been a struggle to stay strong and be resilient. It was often one step forward and two steps back.
But yesterday I remembered the power of acceptance and I let go resistance. I see yesterday as two steps forward and one step back and that is progress, it is a sign of change to come…
We got half way there when Emma could no longer contain her anxiety.
Yesterday was our second attempt, the first attempt we achieved about a third of the journey so yesterday there was progress.
But the biggest progress for me was remembering my ‘acceptance‘ of John’s dysfunction, thanks to the reminder of my Psychologist to let go ‘resistance,’
I was able to make peace with this event and love Emma for herself. She did her best. We did our best. We sat in our car, in a service station, having a coffee while Emma took a short walk and some air. We made peace with the situation. We were truly grateful and expressed our gratitude for that time, that moment, having coffee, having family time, living life to the best we can.
We turned for home with no regrets or upset or shattered expectations but with happy hearts and later last night, Emma announced that she wants to try again next Saturday!
This exhibition means a lot to Emma. She adores Doris Day and that entire era. She is training her dog, named ‘Doris’ after Doris Day, to be the first recognised Psychiatric Assistance Dog in Ireland. She is pushing politicians to recognise this existing EU law, in Ireland. It is a slow process. I would love you to give her some support as she shares her IG account at dorismakesmyday.
If you are relatively new here, thank you for reading. Thank you to my regular readers for your comforting presence as we journey and learn life lessons together. Your company makes all the difference.
P… for present, being present, living in this very awesome moment with the conviction that any struggle lived in the moment before, is now dead and gone and any pain in the moment ahead, is but an illusion… R…for reality, creating your unique reality, living your dream, accepting nothing less, appreciating the dreams of others even if they could never be your dream E…for evolving, changing, growing, mindful that to remain static is not an option S…for senses, trusting your senses, feeding them with experiences not possessions, not needing to be anything or anyone but yourself E…for encouraging others, seeing the best in them, challenging them to see their own capabilities N…for nature and nurture, learning from nature, changing like it changes with the seasons, nurturing your soul and noticing your creativity and spirit evolve as a result T…for taking time to practice gratitude, thankful for significant others, thankful for coming to know yourself, thankful for being fully and amazingly present… the best present.
I’m angry, and it’s not often I’m angry! I’m also amazed…amazed at how a word can evoke such angry emotion!
This word ‘Acquiesce,’ gives me such an uneasy feeling because for too long, despite our best efforts we were silenced in a system that was disjointed and had no cohesive plan in place.
Slowly, I knocked on every door. I struggled to be heard. I contacted every service. Finally, I discovered the flimsy support that was available. I wasn’t told this support existed. I uncovered it, step by painful step. I came to realise that every school in Ireland has access to a School Psychologist through NEPS.
Our school was one of those schools.
Here’s a small excerpt of what to expect… ”
What do you do if you think your child may need to be seen by a NEPS Psychologist?
You need to begin by discussing your child’s needs with the class teacher and/or school principal. Not every child needs to meet the psychologist in person. Each school makes referrals to their NEPS psychologist who helps the school to plan the work”
I rang a contact number, I spoke to the School Psychologist. I told her our son wanted to achieve his Leaving Certificate. I told her our son was being denied this opportunity because of the impact of bullying on his health. I reminded her that every child is entitled to an education.
Soon I got a phone call from that Psychologist, a meeting had been arranged with the school to discuss our son’s education.
It did not solve the issue. The impact of bullying on a child’s well-being and mental health does not disappear overnight but this State funded and readily available intervention went some way towards helping me realise that I was not alone, that we were not alone and that there were support services available that we had not been informed of!
And now I refuse to ‘acquiesce.’ I won’t, under any circumstances, accept, agree or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing. I won’t acquiesce until I do my bit, no matter how small that may be!
I want to ensure victims, bullies, passive bullies (those who stand by gutless, watching and let the victims suffer), teachers, principals, parents, the community, society, and every nationality have a conversation. I want them to see the damage school bullying causes. I want to paint a picture of the pain it inflicts – a picture that leave you in no doubt of the long term effects of school bullying. Please help me break the silence and as we do this, together, please 1.Take Heart!