Bullying happens every day within our school systems and on social media. It happens to kids who are different, who have disabilities and who are a little awkward. Children in school are under a lot of pressure. Everyone is fighting to be accepted. You either fit in or you don’t. If you don’t fit in, you often become a victim of bullying. Children picking on their peers are not kids being kids. It’s a form of abuse. It is the same as spousal abuse or child abuse. It can be verbal or physical. Whatever form it is, it’s abuse, peer abuse.
When I was in school very few people had computers at home. They were big and information was saved on a floppy disk. We were just learning about the internet and there were no cell phones. We didn’t text or surf the web by a small phone you could put in your pocket, but bullying was just as prevalent. In the modern world, bullying happens on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and through texts. Children are abusing each other using the internet. Words typed are just as painful as words said. They leave wounds no one can see.
Words hurt. Words break hearts and souls. Mean things said or typed over and over leave wounds on the heart and soul that no one can see, ones that could take years to heal. They destroy a person from the inside out. It can lead a person into mental illness and even to suicide. Bullying can also be more than just things said or typed. Some children get beaten up each day, shoved in lockers, knocked down and have things thrown at them. I had rocks thrown at me in my own yard.
The bullying I faced led me into depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety and self-injury. It took most of my adult life to mend the wounds the words my classmates and teachers caused. It wasn’t just words either. It was cologne poured down my back, it was gum thrown in my hair, and it was pushing and shoving and much more. It took years to rebuild my self-esteem, to learn to love myself, to change my way of thinking and everything else bullying ruined. I even thought about taking my life and at one time made unsuccessful attempts.
There are children of all ages committing suicide because of what they face each day at school, on the internet and even walking home from school. Some children just can’t handle it and see that there is no other way out. They suffer so badly nothing can bring them comfort. They have been beaten down so awfully that they can’t find enough strength to fight to go on.
Can you imagine day after day being put down, finding lies about you on social media, being beaten up just because you’re different? It’s just like a wife being belittled continually by her husband or beaten by him. It’s the same thing. It’s abuse. Weather verbal or physical it is very harmful
Take a stand against bullying. Can you just stand by and allow children to be abused at the very place they are supposed to feel safe and by their own peers? Stopping bullying can start with the parents. Teach your children to accept all children and to stand up when they see someone being put down or hurt by others. Teach them to sit with that kid who sits by him or herself at lunch, to say something nice, to tell someone if they witness others being picked on and to get to know a person inside out. If you’re not a parent you can help by sharing your own experiences through writing, videos, talks, and you can support stop bullying causes.
Let’s all step up and say stop the abuse. Let’s tell the bullies to stop and be kind.