I didn’t sleep well last night. I was too restless and my mind was too lost. Lost in thoughts taking me back to my youth. Remembering things I went through during very impressionable years. I laid awake for hours tossing and turning feeling every wave of emotion that flooded over me. I had survived… but I know a lot of people who haven’t. I’m sure you may be a bit confused not knowing why these thoughts and emotions were provoked last night, but it all happened from a Netflix series. A Netflix series that every single person no matter your age- should watch. A series that touched on SO MUCH MORE real shit that’s actually going on in the world whether we want to acknowledge it or not. “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix needs to be watched, felt, and there has GOT to be a fucking change.
I’ve witnessed bullying. I’ve stopped bullying. I’ve also been “bullied” myself. I honestly despise that word. The way it’s so carelessly thrown around these days. You hear it on so many hit reality shows by cast members bringing upon their own drama and dubbing it “bullying.” It’s not bullying. Drama is not the same as Bullying. In reality, the word needs to be thrown around- but thrown around so much that the awareness of the situation FORCES upon change. Forces change for all our youth in school now who are currently living a life where bullying is present. Whether you’ve witnessed bullying, you’ve been bullied, or you’re the bully… we ALL play a role.
Bullying usually takes place in groups. And why wouldn’t it right? Sheep flock together. Playing the lovely game of follow the leader. Bullies are undercover cowards so of course they are going to “herd” together with like minded followers. I know we all love to pretend we live in LaLa Land where unicorns fly, fart sparkles and money grows on trees but unfortunately, that just isn’t the reality. Let me assure you that there are at least a few things going on in your child’s life right now that you know nothing about and these things could potentially effect them- Forever.
Now, before you turn to your kids and start patronizing them into telling you what they aren’t sharing (I assure you that will help nothing.) Instead, go to them and listen. Listen without reacting in a way that will push them away. Listen to what they’re really saying and let them know you hear them. Assure them its safe to come to you if they ever have a problem or questions about anything. Stay consistent with your efforts. Some kids aren’t magically going to start opening up right away so work on building trust.
If they can’t turn to you, then there needs to be someone else they feel comfortable confiding in because they need an escape. Everyone needs an escape. Especially when you’re young and still trying to figure out the World and more importantly- Yourself.
We have all contributed to repeating the cycle of bullying either directly, or indirectly. Maybe you where the “innocent bi-standard?” You know, the one who doesn’t “do” wrong, but definitely doesn’t do anything to stop it. Maybe you where the one being bullied and you can still vividly remember the pain you endured during those trying times. Or- Where you the bully? And now you may or may not regret what you have done to others.
I’m sure you can still remember at least one pivotal moment in your life where bullying played a part- and you have yet to forget about it. Some people- experience a lot of pivotal moments. If we don’t start facing these issues then unfortunately, the cycle is going to continue to play out like it does in “13 Reasons Why.”
Adolescence wasn’t easy when we where in school and I assure you with social media being so present in today’s society- school is way more difficult now. We need to come up with a solution or we are failing our youth and the future generations. Every child, preteen, teenager, young adult- in any school, should have an outlet. An outlet, a resource, a program, a SAFE place where there can always turn to about issues that they face at home or at school. Our kids deserve to feel safe, and if home isn’t a safe place for them- School needs to be.
The things that go on behind closed doors, no one knows about. I look back at my own life during school when shit was not okay for me at home. You better believe that no one EVER knew anything about it. No one walks around shouting out their problems to their judgmental, insecure peers and friends at school. We fake it- and we hope to make it. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you make it out of school with a few emotional scars that you now cover up with a smile and suppressed insecurities.
(Read Here for Life Lessons I’ve Learned)
The bottom line.
I don’t know about you but for someone who hasn’t brought children into the world yet, I never for a moment would want them to endure what I went through. So I can only assume how those of you who already have kids may feel.
I’m assuming you would never want your kids to endure bullying the same way you were bullied. I’m assuming you would never want another kid to quietly stand by watching your child get bullied, the same way you stood by. So that leaves you, the bully… I’m assuming you would never want what you have done to others, to be done upon your own kids.
Now is the time for the bullying conversation. Let’s stop the fucking cycle.
More info on “13 Reasons Why.”
Songs to really “listen” to about Bullying.