Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As A Busy Mom Thinks - How Bullies Changed My Daughter



One of my daughters will graduate from middle school next week. It can't come soon enough. You hear how difficult these years can be on children--maybe even recall your own challenges at that age--but until your child is the victim of bullies, I'm not sure one can appreciate how much change happens at the middle school level. 

For years, my daughter held her head high. She believed in herself and her abilities. Her side of the refrigerator was covered in artwork she was proud of and notes stating, "I am awesome!" and "I rock!" 

A mere three years later, she's a totally different person. She believes she's ugly, overweight--though she's not, will never have a boyfriend, and is untalented. This is all thanks to the bullies who have convinced her their words, not mine, are true.

I long for those days when she confidently strolled through the house as if she owned it. I miss those days when I believed her opinion of herself was high enough to weather the storms of middle school with their mean girls and popular boys who don't talk to you unless you are a size two with perfect skin and hair. I never expected my child to be threatened and called names I didn't even know the meaning of when I was that age. And as parents in this age of technology, we know the bullying does not stop at school. It continues via text and social media.

Two major incidents this year brought it all to a head (one I can't talk about here). Then the consequences hit me this weekend when our family was supposed to attend a graduation party. My girls got there first. The minute my middle schooler caught sight of one of the guests--a bully from school--a panic attack seized her. She called me from her cell phone, but she was such a wreck she could barely speak. I thought she was having an asthma attack. What was supposed to be a nice day with friends ended up being a day where my daughter hid in her room watching NetFlix, because no amount of words from her parents could convince her she would be safe at the party.

As someone who was also bullied, I understand what she's going through. But I only felt fearful once that someone would truly act on their words. My daughter's bullies have been physical. They have been hurtful. And honestly, I don't know if there is a way I can help my child gain back what they stole from her: her confidence and her self-esteem.

Please pray for us.






2 comments:

Karen Whiting said...

Such a sad tale. You may want to read Speak Love by Annie f. downs. She has some wise words to both bullies and the victims. But, never give up your trust in God. Your daughter will gain-compassion. The mean girls actually hurt too and it is from hurt that they lash out. Believe truth about you and encourage your daughter to believe truth and not the lies said. Encourage her to hold on to true friends and make new ones who will be upstanders to stand with her.

Cheryl said...

Thanks so much, Karen. I will definitely look that up. Totally agree that there is some hurt on the other side too. Children aren't born bullies. Prayer is needed on both sides.

It was because of two good friends that one of the situations got handled at school, so we are very grateful. What a blessing those good friends are.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. God bless.