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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be Hope-Full and Power-Full



"No one can make you feel small without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
Attribution Some rights reserved by mikebaird

Fifth grade.

This boy picked relentlessly.

Whether it was her hair, her clothes, or just the expression on her face. There he was daily, the small red headed freckle faced kid who would be her nemesis.

Every day she went home crying to her parents.

One day, she met her parents at the table for her snack. They were there side by side. Sitting. They had something to say.

"Tomorrow, if he picks on you and you come home crying you're going to be in trouble with us."
"What?" 

She couldn't believe her ears. She was the victim. Didn't her parents know? There was nothing she could do!

"If he picks on you tomorrow. You deal with it. You are not powerless. You can do something." 

What could she do?

The next day, it happened again. He came picking. She didn't cry. She took it once or twice but before recess the teacher left the room as did the other kids. Just him, his friend and her. Now was her moment.

He started in again,

"Icky Vicki. Icky Vicki. You're just Icky Vicki and no one likes you."

She balled up her fist and punched him in the nose. Across the desk in fact. He fell over backwards onto the floor.

Nothing happened and they went to recess. He wasn't crying - just sitting over in a corner and rubbing his nose, looking at her. She knew there was nothing wrong. Then, he dissappeared.

When they came back from recess, she knew he was in trouble. He was sobbing and crying at the teacher's desk.

"Did you hit him?"

"Yes mam."

"Why did you hit him?"
"Because he has picked on me every day for eight months and I'm sick of it and it is going to stop. But, mam, I hit him before recess and he isn't crying until right now. I don't think I hurt him very much."

She had to go to the principal. But the principal knew. The principal knew what had been happening and so she didn't get in a lot of trouble. Reminded that we don't hit at school. Her parents were called. They listened quietly. They said:
"I don't think this is going to be a problem again. We'll talk to her when she gets home."
She went home. Wondering if she would get in trouble. She didn't. They didn't say a thing. They hugged her and asked her to let them know how it went tomorrow.

Life moved on and so did the small red headed freckle faced boy. He never picked on her again.

There would still be three years of other students making fun of her in her future. She never hit anyone again. But she always knew that when such things happened, she had a choice.

She couldn't control the things that happened to her but she could control her response.

It was her life and she was going to live it and enjoy it.

She would lean on her family and she would make it through this living hell called middle school. She would even make it past high school.

Then, maybe, she would find some people out there in this world like her.

Her life was ahead of her and it started today.

***********************
This is an uncensored, real story. Yes, that little girl is me. I'm not advocating that what my parents did was the perfect thing - but for me, at the time, it was the right thing. 

Probably the two best things said to me were " you are not powerless" and "it is going to be OK."

There are choices. Adults cannot always "fix" everything. 

There are no easy answers in situations like this but there ARE answers. 


No situation is hopeless. Just don't let the bullies cause you to hope - less. 

If you hope - less then you become help-less and that is when you truly become a victim.

When you become hope- full you become power- full.


Work through situations. Help children see they have power and NEVER EVER discount their feelings.


I'm 42 years old and I still feel like I wear the "U" stigma on my shirt. Unpopular. Unwanted. Unnoticed. It comes back at the strangest times. But is is OK. I'm not what he or any of the other people in my childhood said I am. 


God has a plan for me and part of it is writing to you in a way that perhaps you will realize that the super-huge mega-large problems in life. This too shall pass. 


You have more power than you think.

You might have a little kid just like me in your classroom. Give them a hug from me today.

Student Bullying
[Source: Buckfire and Buckfire.com]

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