Day 246

Here’s the the thing about bullying – it leaves scars that never leave you.  Most of the time I go about my life feeling pretty good about myself, knowing I have friends and enjoying their company.  But every now and then something happens – it could be a relatively minor disconnect or misperception (misunderstanding in social planning) or small scale rejection (declining a social invitation, but not future one) but it hits me.  And all of a sudden, I’m ten and being terrorized by Walker Bond in elementary school for being fat or Kaveh Saidi in middle school for my hairy arms. And I  feel small and rejected.  It’s not rational.  Not even remotely.  

I recover.  It often takes patient reassurances from friends and my spouse.  But there’s the thing I feel compelled to say, now that I’ve named bullies.  In high school, Walker Bond came up to me and apologized for being a jerk in elementary school.  I hadn’t talked to him since fifth grade.  But I remembered, and I did he apparently.  He didn’t have to.  But it mattered.  And this is important for parents to hear – if your kids are engaging in in bullying behavior, empathy matters.  I’m not talking about superficial apologies on the playground.  I’m talking about genuine empathy for other people.   It al lot easier to forgive Walker Bond after that moment.  Empathy matters.  

I’m still waiting to hear from Kaveh. 

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~ by realsupergirl on September 2, 2015.

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