Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never harm me. Unfortunately the old adage is incorrect and the scars of abuse from childhood bullies still remain. The effects lingered into all aspects of life and relationships with friends, coworkers, and love. It is something I have dealt with my entire life and it has taken me 30+ years to come to terms.
This isn’t your typical pumpkin pie post. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and I am taking this opportunity to open up and utilize my voice and blog as a platform to get a message across.
The topic of bullying has been around for a long time and I have shied away from addressing it, probably, because it opens up too much of my life and who I am. As a professional in the marketing world I usually keep my personal image and business image separate, as do many people in all industries, but why should I hide from something that wasn’t my fault?
When I was in grade school I was bullied. Yes, I had braces and the usual pre-teen angst but it went beyond that. The boys, (bullies) were relentless. Not only would they taunt me with words but at times it was physical. Even though these children were very different they all had the same issue. They needed LOVE. Their home life may have been broken, filled with divorce, lack of attention, and low self-esteem.
So, they chose to project their insecurities onto me and I carried the load for all of us.
I think because this type of abuse doesn’t leave bruises we don’t treat it the same as physical violence, but it does in fact leave bruises that the victims can’t get rid of. These bruises not only stay with us but they change who we are and who we may become. It is the responsibility of educators to identify these issues and work with parents on both sides to correct the issue. Telling the child that is bullied to get a thicker skin and not address the children doing the bullying is WRONG. And parents, it starts at home; show your children LOVE.
From childhood bullies to adulthood I faced an abusive relationship of seven years. People that are closest to me know my battle and for some this will be a surprise and a shock. My point in discussing all of this and exposing abuse is to let people know childhood bullying extends beyond the schoolyard and it can become severe.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
I started the dialogue, now I want you to continue and STOP THE BULLYING. I urge you to find a friend, coworker or child and talk to someone about bullying. Share your story or mine and share your thoughts, and a little LOVE.
If you need help with starting the conversation or to learn more about preventing bullying, resources for help, and how to fight back you can click here: