Monday, February 27, 2012

Bullying Follow-Up

I received a comment on my last post that struck me as odd. My post was about the serious bullying that my 12-year daughter has been subjected to recently; a little vent coming from a place of frustration and sorrow. The commenter issued something of a rebuke to me for not being more compassionate to the bullies and for using words like "wicked" when describing people who intentionally try to destroy others.

I ruminated on the commenters words for a while, unsure whether to respond or just ignore it. Obviously the comment was written in ignorance of the details of our situation and a lack of understanding of correct parental responsibilities with regard to the wellbeing of children. I decided to ignore it. This morning, I received some information that changed my mind. Another victim had been claimed in this situation. This post isn't just for the eyes of "GrandmaGracie" but for anyone who has been victimized by bullying in any of its forms or who is ignorant of the urgent need for parents to stand up and fight for their children.

The bullies in our situation have been responsible for a great deal of suffering for my family and most specifically for my daughter. The attackers have included both children and adults and, in spite of the fact that we have never said or done anything other than encourage and support them, they have determined on a course of action to injure us.

They have done it. They have destroyed reputations. They have permanently ruined relationships. They have cut down a child's spirit and attempted to take away something that means so much to her... and have largely succeeded. They have no remorse and have no interest in reconciling or repairing damage done. And as of today... their actions have pushed an adult involved (not a member of our family) to abandon a job which she loves even though she did her best to love them and meet their needs.

We have forgiven. We have loved them. Now, it is time to get as far away from them as possible. I do not believe that Christ would have me leave my child in the midst of a pit of vipers. One of the reasons He blessed her with parents is so that we can protect her from people like these.

Wicked. When I use the word in relation to these bullies, I am not saying they are beyond redemption; I am not judging their souls. Their actions are wicked. Even the secular dictionary agrees with my usage. Wicked: morally very bad; fierce, vicious; disposed to or marked by mischief; causing or likely to cause harm, distress or trouble; nefarious; sinful; bad; wrong.  It's a harsh word, no doubt... but I use it accurately. Morally very bad girls. Vicious girls. Girls disposed to mischief and causing harm.

I spoke to a woman yesterday whose teenage daughter attempted suicide this past year... had her sense of worth cut down so severely by bullies that she was driven to a desire to end her own life. Beautiful girl with a gentle spirit. Any action that intentionally attempts to bring another soul to despair is wicked.

To "GrandmaGracie"....

I trust that your comment was not intended to injure anyone and was only thoughtless. I have written thoughtless comments myself and understand the ease with which inappropriate things roll off the fingers onto the screen. I also trust that you are largely ignorant of this extremely serious problem that afflicts our youngsters or else you wouldn't have written what you did. I am not in the habit of calling out commenters... but this time I felt obligated to for the sake of all the beautiful kids out there who are left defenseless because of misguided adults; adults who are either ignorant of the power of evil against our kids, deluded into thinking that being "nice" to everyone is the cure, or who are spineless in the face of such worldly power that unscrupulous meanness yields.

We have spoken with other adults in our situation who feel as you do, but they all had something to lose if we walked away. Money. Pride. Reputation. One of those adults has now fallen victim herself. I am sorry but not surprised. I'm not sure what is motivating you but I hope it is just ignorance, as that is easily resolved.

You want Cookie to love and forgive. Okay. She has. That's her nature... her character... her faith. She also knows the difference between a wicked action and a loving action and that those girls and mothers have freely chosen the former. It is not her fault. It is out of her hands. She makes a note of how not to treat others. Prays for them. And moves on.

Serious damage has been done and much of it is irreparable. Imagine what would have happened if we had allowed her to continue to be abused at their hands. Always loving, always forgiving, always excusing... always the object of their abuse. You correctly stated that I am the adult and she is the child. Consequently, I will allow her to continue to forgive and love and grow and be a child in a healthy environment. And on the adult side of things, her dad and I will be happy to absorb the fallout of that unpopular decision.

3 comments:

  1. I don't know the full story, but I do feel sorry for your daughter, and have empathy for her. I grew up watching my older sister be bullied constantly when she only wanted friends. It's a hard thing to deal with. I will never understand why some children and adults choose to act this way. You all have my prayers

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  2. Bullying is very detrimental, disheartening, and more hurtful than many adults realize. I can still remember the awful things people said and did to me when I was growing up. People do some really mean things. There are some kids who don't have a clue as to how devastating their treatment of others is, because their parents are just as bad. Praise God that you are sensitive to the needs and concerns of your daughter and that you know to step in when things get out of hand!

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  3. You write so beautifully and even though you are describing the unthinkable I can't help but tell you what an amazing job you do getting your true emotions across. My heart actually aches for you and your family as I read this. I can feel what you are saying, I am a mother of five blessings.
    May you find the strength you need to carry this cross!!!
    Peace,
    Elizabeth

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