Recently, one of my FB friends posted that his son is being bullied by a kid that had recently been a friend. For whatever reason, this other dude had turncoated and was now turning all of their other friends against him. My heart immediately went out to this boy. See, I’ve never met him, but I have been him. I have walked in his shoes.
It was hell.
It was a daily emotional nightmare. It was looking at the kids around me, people I’d done nothing to, knowing that at any moment any of them could lash out to intentionally hurt me, thus causing laughter among the other kids and making the hurt cut deeper.
But anyway…back to present day. As this is something I have walked through, I wanted to offer encouragement to both the parent and the kid. And, as this is likely more common than not, I wanted to share these thoughts with you in case you should ever need to refer back to them. (Names have been changed. Here ‘Bob’ is the dad and ‘Doug’ is the son.)
I’ve totally been there, Bob. I know that it’s hard, but on the other side of it, he will have a compassion for the hurting and the outcast that he never would have had before this. Love him, support him, encourage him to take the higher road and show grace to his frienemies. (Not that I’m saying to chase after them! They’ve shown that they’re not safe people to talk to/be around.)
Reinforce that his worth does not come from his peers but from who he is and what *he* does. Encourage him to journal – it really helped me through the three and a half years (/sigh) that I was friendless. Also…realize that there’s only so much you, as a parent can do. I was 9 when it started. I had really bad acne and went to a very small school. My parents would tell me that I was beautiful in an attempt to counteract what my classmates were doing to me, but I felt that, as my parents, they were obligated to do that. If you can talk to some of the other adults in his life and get them on board with encouraging as well, it may help more than you trying to solo. I’m sorry he’s going through this. There is life on the other side, though.
♥ to you, Doug! I made it – you can, too, dude. You are the bigger man and this test of your character is going to show it. Keep the end goal in sight (survival) and pour yourself into your goals and pursuit of the things you love. Be the very best hockey player you can be. Study like there’s no tomorrow. High school is a place where you will meet new people and make new friends. You can reinvent yourself there – the same goes for college. Hold on, better times are coming! /hug
Also…try to keep your parents in the loop as to where you are – even if you can’t talk about it, try to write a letter to them every now and then. I lashed out against mine because I was hurting and didn’t know what else to do. It made a hard time harder and made a tense place out of our house – what should have been a safe place. I’ll be praying for you.
There is life on the other side of being bullied.
Yes, my self-esteem was trashed for a (long) while. Yes, it took ages to be able to trust people again. (And I’m still a work in progress on both of these.) It didn’t stop me from participating in the high school drama club and speech team. It didn’t stop me from getting a four-year academic scholarship to a university. It didn’t stop me from finding and marrying a godly man who loves me and gently works with me on the previously mentioned issues. Most importantly, it didn’t stop me (and may have even partially paved the way) for me to find and fall in love with my God.
I’m not glad that this was a part of my life. I’d rather it not have been. Still, I’m going to stick with the Joseph of the Hebrew Torah and Christian Old Testament and say that from what was meant for evil – God turned to the good. (Gen. 50:20) He’s pretty amazing like that. 🙂
Have you ever encounter/participated in bullying? Have you ever talked about it with anyone or let God heal you of your brokenness?
Pregnancy Update: I am now 14 weeks along. This last Thursday, I had a bit of a fright when I started cramping. While the cramps were not as severe as when I went into pre-term labor with Baby #3, it was still enough to be alarming. Thankfully, a dear lady who frequently helps me with the children was able to come over and play with them while I rested. The spontaneous doctor’s visit showed nothing visibly wrong and baby has a heartbeat of 150. The cramps eased up as I rested and guzzled water. It happened again on Friday, but Grammy came over and helped me through that episode. Prayer is both requested and appreciated.
One Last Thing: Before I sign off, Keeper of the Home is starting a six week Meal Planning Challenge! I’m excited about this as I know the peace that having an executable plan produces as well as the chaos that ensues when you’re (I’m!) trying to figure out what to make for dinner at 5:30 (“Um…we’re having PBJs again! Uh…yay?”) (Although, generally, I go with pizza – we all like it and it’s pretty fast, too.) Let’s get the (meal planning) party started, shall we?