Mama Diaries

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bullying

This is not going to be my usual lighthearted silliness.

One of my daughter's friends committed suicide this past weekend.

We're both still in shock. I guess I'd just like to say a few words about this.

Suicide is a growing problem for middle-school aged kids. It has to do with all the bullying that goes on. I had to deal with it when I was that age. Now my daughter is experiencing it. Kids can be unbelievably mean! It seems to have elevated to a new level with technology.  Bullies create hate accounts, steal Instagram photos of their victims, and bash them with hurtful comments.

It's hard for kids that age to have a thick skin and not let comments like that bother them. Middle school is the time of insecurities. You look at your flaws. I know, because that's what I did. When the haters told me I was ugly, I believed them. It didn't matter what my parents said. I only cared about what my peers thought. I even thought about suicide. Obviously I didn't do it, but I know how dark it can get. You just want it to end.

So what I have to say to the bullies is this:  I don't know why you do what you do, or what kind of sick pleasure you get from making another person's life miserable. But hatred is a poison, and ultimately it's going to poison you. If you are dealing with your own issues, get help. If you think bullying makes you cool and will boost your social status, you're wrong. Being nice gets you more friends than being mean ever will.

To those who are being bullied:  Hang in there. You won't have to endure this forever. I know it seems like you're in a huge thunderstorm, with darkness all around. It's hard to believe there's a sun shining above the clouds. But there is. And you'll see it again. Trust that you have a beautiful life ahead of you!

If you or anyone you know may be contemplating suicide, here's the National Hotline:  1-800-273-8255. The website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

    

69 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry! Prayers for that family.
    Bullies do it because they are insecure and they think it will make them feel better.

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    1. They should try being nice. Making people happy would make them feel much better!

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  2. Sorry sorry to hear of this Sherry . Terrible news. Condolences to all her family and friends.
    Bullying is absolutely awful. Very sad

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    1. Bullying is terrible! Unfortunately, it's not something that can be erased easily.

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  3. Bullying is a terrible thing to experience. How very sad that a young life has been blotted out. I hope your daughter will soon be able to see the sun again and the beauty all around. I hope, too, that the bullies will realise what they have achieved and change their ways.

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  4. Awful indeed. Today with technology it sure is even worse. At least before you could go home and get a break from them, now they can be at ones throat 24/7 if they want. Bunch of insecure a-holes is what bullies are.

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    1. Yes, they are. It's shocking to see some of the things these bullies write. My daughter showed me stuff that a bully was saying about her. I can't believe people have such hatred in them!

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  5. Oh Sherry I am so very, very sorry for what had happened. My thoughts and prayers to to the family and friends that goes without saying. Bullying is a form of cowardice, one of my sons' was bullied when he first started school, but it was nipped in the bud very quickly. Once again I send my condolances to all concerned.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I don't understand how one person can be so mean to another!

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  6. Oh, Sherry, that is just horrible. I hate to hear about this stuff. What really gets me is the fact that the bullies have parents, too - what are they doing? Are they that un-involved with their children that they don't release this is going on? It's unconscionable.

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    1. Sometimes the parents are bullies, too.

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  7. My daughter was bullied in middle school and high school, mainly by two young girls: at different times. One wanted the best friend that my daughter had, so she started a lot of mean rumors and told lies about my daughter (this was before social media). The other girl in secondary school was the daughter of a lawyer, was known to be a problem in school, yet they didn't expel her. She would stand outside the classroom my daughter was in and say horrible things about her so everyone could hear. I was well known in both schools for standing up for my daughter and the school principals and teachers knew me well. My daughter hated middle school and secondary. I disliked those years too, constantly worrying about her while at work. This bullying is a disease but I feel there should be consequences for the perpetrators. The gentle glove approach isn't working. . .

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    1. Some of it is a battle for popularity. My daughter is experiencing that now, in middle school. Kids can say and do such mean things in an effort to be popular.

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  8. So sad to read of this. Sad and at the same time confused and angry. Angry for all the obvious reasons and confused because no matter the justification given for bullying I cannot understand how anyone could treat a fellow human being in such a way as to make them feel like this.
    My thoughts to you and friend at what must be an awful time.

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    1. I don't understand it, either. Bullying must give them a false sense of power. It's twisted and sick!

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  9. That is sad. My daughter went through counseling partly because of being bullied. Schools don't really do much because they all say "not in my school".
    Sorry to you and your daughter and everyone.

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    1. Schools try to implement anti-bullying policies, but really, it's ineffective to so much of what goes on.

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  10. I've said repeatedly that I'm so thankful that social media did not exist when I was in junior high school (or high school). If you were bullied at school (in my day), you got a reprieve at home. Not so anymore. The hours after school can be worse than the hours in school. There is truly no safe place.

    As adults, with that perspective, we know that a bully bullies because they need to push others down to build themselves up. They are very insecure and that makes them feel better about themselves. BUT trying to make someone who is going through it to see it... well, that's a whole other ballgame.

    I'm so sorry that this happened. I don't know how many more kids will die before something is done. I think sites should be responsible for monitoring teen pages for bullying and an admin remove any posts that even look like bullying.

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    1. You can't always track the source of hate Instagram accounts and emails. If you could, I bet these mean people would think twice about hiding behind social media to hurt someone.

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  11. What a tragedy for everyone. And I can only imagine the shock waves at that school this girl attended. I'm truly saddened by the loss of this child.

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    1. All of her friends are shocked. Of course, they wish they would've known how she was feeling and done something to prevent this.

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  12. That is terrible! I am so sorry! I can only imagine the sadness, confusion, and pain your daughter is feeling right now. Bullying is horrible and nowadays it gets so ugly.

    I was bullied for being really skinny, for not having nice clothes, for having big feet, and even for the polish I painted my fingernails. I became very shy and withdrawn because of it. But look at me now. And where are those bullies? Working stupid jobs and not advancing anywhere in their lives.

    You, your daughter, and the girl's family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. I experienced the exact thing you did. I too, became very shy and withdrawn. And you are right - many of those bullies have accomplished very little with their lives, while people like you and me, who were bullied, are successful.

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  13. Oh Sherry -I am deeply sorry to hear this-it's so true-kids sometimes can't see themselves getting past this horrible part of their lives- may God put an angel into each child's life and the family of this dear child <3

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    1. May he put many angels in their lives! I think they'll need more than one!

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  14. it's horrible, and it ain;'t gonna get better with all the extreme violence kids are fed with through new films and shows. I have a feeling we're heading towards total anarchy. And parents are to be blame for everything. They either raise bullies or extremely sensitive kids with no self-esteem.

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    1. You are right. If you watch a lot of the shows that these kids watch, you see examples of all kinds of nasty behavior - kids saying mean things and doing mean things to each other. Kids think that's okay, and they're desensitized to the damage these hurtful actions can cause.

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  15. So sorry, Sherry. That's unbelievably sad and tragic. I wish every child would know how precious and special they are.

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    1. Yes. As parents, it's important that we let our children feel our love. It'll certainly help when they're faced with things like bullying.

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  16. Oh my gosh Sherry this made me so sad I cried. I have two daughters... my oldest is all grown up, my youngest is 11... I am worried sick about the bullies that I won't be able to protect her from completely.

    I honestly don't understand how and why other children feel better from bullying... I worry so much about the technology too... they seem to hide behind it and bully more... it's so sickening..

    I pray for the children that are bullied ... that they will know their worth ♡

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    1. As a parent, you feel helpless against this stuff. I'm glad my daughter is able to talk to me about it. I worry for my kids, too!

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  17. What a sad event. :( Children do have thin skins and bullies penetrate right through. Bullies are very cruel and have no idea or concern about how they affect others. When I was a child I kept thinking about the future, so that helped me get through a lot.

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    1. That's exactly what helped me get through it. I was curious about the future.

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  18. Bullies need to be taught a lesson. Just awful.

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    1. How do you teach them a lesson? I have to wonder how the bullies felt when they learned that their victim committed suicide.

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  19. Saying sorry, doesn't seem enough, Sherry. How very awful, horrible, disgusting, and sad that bullies stoop so low as to cause a young person to take their life. And thank you for sharing your story too. I hope your daughter will receive grief counselling. I've also shared this on my FB page with a strong message to pass your post around. :-(

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  20. I'm very sorry to hear that. Bullying is such a frustrating thing in that we all know it's so stupid, yet we still let it crush our self-esteem. It's often harder for the bullies to break their cycle than for the victims to not let themselves be affected.

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    1. That's an interesting thought. That bullies are in a cycle and can't stop. Question is, how do you break the cycle?

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    2. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that trying to make them feel bad about themselves makes it worse :P

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  21. I wish I could reach down and give each young person the strength to just turn off the social media if it gets ugly. Just shut it down and leave it alone. And that I could ensure each one that in the eyes of God they are precious without measure. Perhaps, also to let them understand how many successful, world changing people went through the same things.

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    1. That's what I've tried to do for my daughter. I wish she never had to see the hurtful comments, but I give her examples of people who are very successful who have been hurt by bullies.

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  22. That makes me so sad. Children are most vulnerable when they feel they're facing upheavals seemingly alone. But such is life. There are rites of passage to hurdle. It shouldn't be like that. The world has to be more conscious of others, and it has to care more.

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    1. Middle school is a tough time! Kids seem to be the meanest. I wish it wasn't so, but it's been like that basically forever.

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear that and feel awful for her friends and family. Sadly, those who cause such extreme acts of desperation too often get away with it. I do think bullies are not always happy and often have their own problems leading them to do this. Like you say, they should be given help just the same as their victims.

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    1. I guess as with any problem, bullies have to acknowledge they have a problem before they are open to receiving help.

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  24. I think the bullies actually do get friends from bullying, but they're the worst kind of friends. They used to always do it in groups when I was that age. When I had the chance to turn the tables on a few I never took it. I would have felt rotten if I would have done it.

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    1. They're not true friends. Bullies and their friends often turn on each other. I see it all the time.

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  25. Oh, gosh, how tragic. The middle school years definitely aren't easy to deal with. Losing kids to suicide as a result is always so heartbreaking...

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    1. I can't even imagine how the parents are dealing with this. Horrible!

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  26. That is really a sad news to hear. Suicide cases among Bhutanese youth is also quite common. RIP

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  27. It's such a heartbreaking news. Bullying is serious and having gone through a bit of it during my teens even though for them is just a joke , made it even harder to fit in as a new student. I think it's more challenging to be a teen now given the social media. It makes me worry too. I send my prayers to you as well as friends and families of your daughter's friend.

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    1. Thank you, Arni. Bullying is a terrible thing. While social media can be a good thing to bring people together, it can also make bullying worse.

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  28. I feel your passion, Sherry. Young, young people doing this is becoming an epidemic. How do we help to stop this? Parents need to see what their kids are doing, if they hurt others on social media.

    So, so sorry about your daughter's friend. I hope you will try to find the best way to help your daughter cope because this is a traumatic event for her.

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    1. It certainly is - and for all of those who knew the young lady.

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  29. I am terribly sorry to read this.

    School managements don't take strict action against bullies. The bullies should be handed over to the police and action should be initiated according to law.

    Spy cameras should be installed in schools and colleges so that bullies can be caught red handed.

    Parents should encourage their children to talk about their school activities. If a child reports about internet or mobile bullies, the parents should take it seriously and do something to stop the menace.

    I am very sorry that a young life was lost due to bullies. I hope the police will register a case against the bullies for abetting suicide and severe punishment will be given.

    Best wishes

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    1. It would be nice to have justice. I couldn't even imagine knowing what it's like to live with the knowledge that you hurt someone so badly they chose to commit suicide.

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  30. Oh wow. I'm SO sorry. I see on our Facebook community page that bullying is a serious problem at our city's middle school. People have already said the teachers won't do anything about it. Some parents have had to put their kids in private school to get away from it. That's way too expensive for most people. It's amazing how much words can hurt.

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    1. I think many teachers have just given up on the problem. It's a huge issue in middle school and junior high. I think teachers of those grades need to have special training to know how to deal with it.

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  31. I'm Sorry to hear about your daughter's friend and being on the receiving end of bullying.
    Bullying is a big issue in today's world and especially among teens. We've had issues here. You're right, middle school--7th and 8th grade--is a big time of insecurity about looks, personalities, and figuring out who they are. Vulnerable age.

    Bullys tend to grow up and many use more subtle tactics in the work place. I've been on the receiving end of that. Let's just say, me and that job parted ways once I saw the lay of the land. Wasn't worth the stress.

    Good article!

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Yes, unfortunately many bullies grow up and continue their mean ways. Then they teach their kids the same. It's a never-ending cycle.

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  32. I wonder if we make things worse by constantly telling kids that middle school and high school are the best years of their life and should be enjoyed. For many, it's the worst time of their life and not acknowledging that might lead them to believe it won't get any better.

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    1. Hmmm. I don't know. Both my husband and I told our kids that middle school years are the hardest. It still doesn't make it easier for my daughter.

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  33. I know this is late comment but I was also bullied- to the point I dropped out and considered suicide. If there is ever anything I can do, please let me know. You can comment on my blog, use twitter (whenalionsleeps), or email me (pertinax_puella@hotmail.com).

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. I'm sorry about your experiences. Bullying is a horrible thing to endure!

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