A tidbit about myself – I am a 40 year old SAHM who enjoys writing and loves (most days) home schooling my boys. I know who I am, I have peace with who I am and I am grounded in knowing my purpose in life and on earth. Why am I saying this?
Because today, I got a glimpse of the utter hell that teenagers/children go through when cyber bullied. I do not know whether I would define what happened to me as cyber bullying, as I have never been cyber bullied before. I was copied in by a dear friend (who was so upset on my behalf) about a discussion that is being conducted about me via social networking.
I would like to share my reaction with you, so that you as parents can hopefully understand what is happening, physically as well as mentally with your kids when it happens.
A bit of back ground – a couple of years ago, while driving, I was smashed and grabbed. So, while in my car, someone smashed my passenger window and grabbed my handbag. And all I could think about was fleeing. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, and I wanted to get away as far away as possible. I felt so incredibly violated. Someone whom I did not know had the audacity to come into my private space and took things that did not belong to him!
Today I experienced that again, in the safety of my own home over the internet! I felt that same fleeing reaction. My heart raced for hours afterwards, my body was shaking literally for hours afterwards, and even relating the story to someone later tonight had my body shaking again. Please take into account that I am not a person prone to panic attacks, depression or any nervous condition. But this threw me totally. And this time I could not flee… I could not get away from the perpetrator, who is not a stranger. It actually is someone that I hold in high regard, and will continue to do so. But it hurt… it hurt like carzy. And I want to tell you as parents to do ANYTHING, ANYTHING you possibly can to protect your kids.
I understand the concept of forgiveness, I understand that I have to let this go. I get all that. I know that this attack reflects more on this person than it does on me. But if it could reduce me physically to such an extent that it felt like a physical assault was imminent – people, how are your youngsters going to deal with this when they are bombarded by this day in and day out? PLEASE, do what you must to protect your children from this cruelty – they are too young to have to deal with this. I do not know how, I just know that you have to.
Mentally I kept asking myself what I did to wrong this person? The only thing she has against me is that we do not agree politically. Just because of that anything else that I say or write or do discredits me? Really? Are you serious? But that is her opinion and that is her baggage – still it hurt because despite the fact that I know we are different I really enjoyed her company in the past. That will never be the case again, because I will ALWAYS second guess anything she says about me or to me. Your children do not know who to trust anymore, because people that they care about are the ones harming them. They feel so incredibly alone. They need to know that you feel that way to sometimes. That it is normal to feel lonely sometimes and that it is a feeling that will visit them every now and again and that you can be trusted AT ALL TIMES. They have to have you as an anchor, they have to know, really truly KNOW that you CAN.BE.TRUSTED.AT.ALL.TIMES.
So from one mum to other parents tonight, please, please look after your little ones. I will do whatever I can to make my boys not go through that while on my watch.
Over and out,