Monday, May 9, 2011
I have been bullied.
I have been punched.
I have become an uncounted number.
I am not alone.
During my school days a fellow classmate would come to my locker ever day and he would punch me in the arm.
I lost count.
It was our morning ritual. It hurt but then after awhile it didn't. I became numb. Desensitized to what was really taking place on the surface, but underneath pressure was building.
I knew, and he knew; and there was nothing I could do about it.
There was no reason behind his constant attacks.
There was only latitude to do so.
I couldn't fight back, although I was taller.
I couldn't tell someone, although everyone knew.
He was in a gang.
And I took the bus.
I would pray that I could catch my ride on time because If I missed the first bus,
I would be alone. Vulnerable. Easy prey.
No after school activities.
No games of football in the school yard.
The bell was my escape, and the clock was ticking.
And then it stopped.
Maybe my prayers were answered.
Maybe my best reaction was no action.
It is hard to believe that all of this took place in 6th grade.
Before I could drive.
Before I could die for my country.
I would die everyday.
Bullying is a quiet epidemic that screams in the silence.
Short or Tall
Skinny or Fat
Girl or Boy
Gay or Straight
Christian or Muslim
Everyone has been affected.
Whether you threw the punches, or took the punches.
Whether you watched the violence or turned away.
"Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke."
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, said those words in the 1800s.
His words still ring true today.
I do not write this for sympathy, I write this to dispel the smoke.
Bullying must be talked about and brought into the light.
A stand must be taking when it is witnessed and in the aftermath that follows.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed."
Proverbs 31.8 (New Living Translation)
I bring this to light because there was a girl who I knew whose life was tragically affected by Bullying.
There have been times when I have been bullied since my school days.
It comes in different forms.
Only the setting changes.
Sometimes words hurt more than fists.
Sometimes the size of the bully doesn't change just the size of the office.
The only thing that got me thru those moments then and now is talking about it.
Venting. Loud and Broken.
I do not know where I would be if it was not for trusted family or friends,
that allowed me the space for my messy frustration.
Like a balloon, I have popped, sometimes leaving a mess to pick up.
There is Love in the broken pieces.
Who picks up what is left behind,
And makes all things new.