The Lingering Effects of Being Bullied


Being bullied is NOT fun
Being bullied is NOT fun

“I was bullied!” It breaks my heart and takes my breath away when I hear my daughter Rebecca tell people this. “I hate the name _______(bully’s name). Because it scares me.”

I posted last year about all the troubles we were having with my daughter and her “bully” and I received a bunch of responses. The good, the bad and the ugly. We did all sorts of interventions: with her teacher, the school counselor, the Special Ed teacher, the Vice Principal, the Principal and then finally with the Superintendent of Elementary Schools. All to no good outcome. We were frustrated, to say the least.

What did we do? We got a promise that she would NOT be put in the same class as the young man who mercilessly bothered her. BUT, the classrooms are all in the same hallway and activities are done with all the 4th grade groups, i.e. lunch, recess, special activities, passing in the hallway, etc. So we transferred her and her siblings to a Charter school, 35 miles away. We love it, except for the inconvenience of after school activities or school hour illnesses. The school is so accommodating that  it has a bus that comes out to a stop about 12 miles from our house. We love the teaching styles, the staff, the administration, the classes offered and on and on I could go.

As 4th grade started we were all excited; school uniforms, new school, new friends to meet, new classes, new teachers, all the stuff that comes with a new school year. About a month into school Rebecca came home in a frenzy. She had seen him, __________, in one of the other five 4th grade classes. She didn’t get a good look at him, only a profile, but he had the same name as ___________. Needless to say she was so debilitated with fear that she stayed home the next day. Meanwhile I called the school, explained our situation, gave the child’s name and asked if they could tell us if he was a student at their school. He was not. She was consoled and returned to school the next day.

Fear escapes
Fear escapes

The other day we were at a birthday party and the birthday girl’s mom cuts hair for a living, well during a “get to know you” conversation that her mom and I had she noted that Rebecca needed a trim (her hair goes down to almost her waist). I have been telling Rebecca this for weeks, about 1 1/2″ – 2″ needed to be trimmed. Rebecca overheard our conversation and told her friend’s mom, “No one will ever cut my hair again!” “Why?” asked the mom. “Because _______ cut my hair last year. And no one is going to cut my hair ever again!” WOW! I was floored! The lingering effects of being bullied are innumerable. She is such a strong young lady that, even though I have kept an eye out for the after shocks there seemed to be no residual effects. But they creep up on her and me. The next night we trimmed her hair at home with soothing words and promises that only 1/2″ would be trimmed, she cried, I cried for her. And once again I wanted to throttle ________ for taking away Rebecca’s self-esteem.

Don't be fooled. Bullying comes in different ways. 6 types of bullying
Don’t be fooled. Bullying comes in different ways. 6 types of bullying

If you haven’t read my previous blog: Rebecca’s tormentor was a boy in her class that “loved” her and couldn’t leave her alone. He proposed to her, reached up her shirt and touched her side, cut a large lock of her hair off the back of her head, wrote her love letters, threatened to beat her up, threatened to have some 5th graders beat her up, whispered sweet nothings as he walked past, whispered insults, insulted her friends, threatened her friends, chased her friends away on the playground and tried to keep Rebecca separated from their other classmates during recess. He was all over the place. One moment enamored with her and the next furious. It was hard to know from day-to-day which way he was going to go. And Rebecca worried each and every day, what would happen that day.

Although Rebecca is a fighter and has moved on in most ways the effects are hiding, waiting to rear their ugly heads. And she waits….

Her self-esteem grows each day that she is away from her stalker. Her grades have drastically approved and her outlook as blossomed.

There are articles all over the place about bullying, its effects, causes, concerns and cures (we wish). Here are but a few:

http://www.america.edu/bullying_the_biggest_problem_in_elementary_schools.html

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/social-emotional-skills/bullying-and-teasing-no-laughing-matter

and this article fits our experience:

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/194/5/451.full

I pray that this blog will help someone somewhere suffering from being bullied or know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sending out love and light.

Blessings,

prayers
prayers

Mary Anne~

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