For years, and recently with greater frequency, we’ve been hearing about severe issues of bullying in our schools. Our children are subjected to horrible words and actions that make them feel like they are worth so little. In too many cases, we have lost young people to suicide, from the lack of self-worth and the sense that “things will not get better”.
My youngest daughter is currently enrolled at Maumee High School. My older two daughters graduated from Maumee within the last four years.
My youngest had a hard time with bullying at school the last few months of the school year and seemed to have lost all hope. My oldest daughter, who also had horrible bullying experiences when she was in high school, sent this note to my youngest. I am sharing it as I was awed by the honesty, support, and hope her words provided to her youngest sister.
“You think now that everything people say about you is what will define you for the rest of your life. So right now, it seems like “what’s the point of the rest”. But, then you graduate, and you leave all of the people who are making you feel like you aren’t even worth another breath, you get to become whatever kind of person you want. And once you graduate, everyone else’s bullsh*t notions and drama-ridden thoughts of you become absolutely nothing.
Tina Johnson is a mother of two daughters and lives in Maumee, Ohio.
I would never even have been trying to give you advice [seven years ago, when I was the same age you are now] because I thought my words and my life were worth nothing because of the god-awful people, who stopped at absolutely nothing to make me feel the worst about myself.
If there is only one thing I can ever do for you as your big sister, it’s to tell you all of this. You are not what people say you are. If, at anytime, someone tries to make you feel guilty for something you have done, or said, or even just felt, don’t even give them a second thought. You have no one to explain yourself to. Someday, you will find the people in your life who are there to help you make yourself happy. But, even those amazing people are not in control of your happiness, just you are.
And I know that with how crazy talented you are at everything you take up, and how good of a person you’ve been since the day you were big enough to help another human being, that you will never have a problem being happy as you.
We’ve never had a lot in common, but we do have this right now.
It took me far too long to figure it out (because I didn’t have a big sister to clue me in), but very soon you will realize how amazingly petty and stupid these people are/were, and you won’t care what they thought or think of you.
This stuff happened to me at exactly the same age that it is happening to you and I swore I would never live through it. I know that you understand how bad I felt everyday because you were right there to see me go through it. But, high school is not life. Life has so much more to give. Once you graduate, ALL of it becomes nothing but a tiny glimmer in the rear-view.
I’m not saying that there won’t be horrible people, who will try and make you feel bad. Some just never leave the high school phase. But, once you know how amazing you are (and you are), the things people say, and do, to tear you apart won’t even bust a single thread.
Don’t give them your thoughts, your words, and most importantly, your tears. Look the other direction, right into the drama-free, sadness-free, and bully-free future you have coming.
Right now, just help yourself become the even more amazing version of yourself that you are meant to be. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to anyone’s negative thoughts about yourself. You will realize how perfect life, and you, are very soon.
You will always have people in your corner. And I will always be here to remind you of this advice. I promise.”