“Bully” 3

I was first in line to see it this morning. Initially, it looked like I would be the only one there, but thankfully a few more showed up.

Kindness Matters - Photo of My Car Magnet ©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Kindness Matters! It’s just one of the take away messages of the movie, Bully. It is the message that the kids need to get and that some are getting as they join in the cause to help prevent bullying and to support the victims.

There are more important messages for the adults!

  • Blaming the victim for not telling you is not acceptable especially if you gave them empty promises of protection in the past while they continued to be tormented.
  • Scolding them for not forgiving their tormentor is not helpful either.
  • Apathetic attitudes regarding the severity of the problem are not helpful.
  • Excusing meanness that does not result in bloody noses or broken bones is also inexcusable.

We see teachers, parents, principals, vice principals, law enforcement, and bus drivers letting kids down again and again. One child takes matters into her own hands and threatens her tormentors with a real gun. FYI one boy had threatened to sexually assault this teenager, so it is not like she had not been threatened. I do not condone taking a gun to school, but I do understand why she did it, and I found the sheriff to be offensive when he said that she had no cause for this action because she had not been physically assaulted. He thinks she should be locked up for a hundred years despite the fact that the gun wasn’t fired, and she had never been in trouble previously. You’ll find out her fate if you watch the movie.

I will be writing a longer review for Special-Ism for publication on the fourth of May, so I am not going to say more about the movie itself right now. I merely hope schools will encourage their staff and students to see the movie.

PTSD and Ambiguous Loss 6

In When Someone You Love Suffers From Posttraumatic Stress, by Claudia Zayfert, PhD and Jason C. DeViva, PhD , they define ambiguous loss as a “term used to describe any situation in which a loved one is absent in some ways but present in others.” They further explain that this can be when a person is present physically, but is not participating in family life. This describes my family.

The thing is we are still a family and at times we still act like one. However, there are other times, we are not. This may sound like a typical family with a teenager to some of you. It is not.

I am not talking about typical teenage rebellion or pulling away. I am talking about a talented, kindhearted child, who wants to be alone, yet still wants me to be present. The two are contradictory I know, still there it is. She needs me to be present, yet invisible. She needs control of the boundaries she establishes, while at the same time she cannot accept that I too need boundaries. I frequently walk on eggshells as I try to help her.

The more I learn, the more I understand and believe me I understand more than most. Yet, I am at risk. I am at risk for what the book describes as “secondary trauma.” Many family members of those with PTSD have signs of anxiety, depression and PTSD themselves. This is why I get angry when I see people related to the year my daughter experienced bullying. They are all moving forward; this includes the bullies and their families.

We have done many things right to help my daughter. She still talks to me, she still has goals. We take baby-steps in positive directions. She has relived the events too many times already, and does not want to talk about it anymore. She received counseling after the event and was doing better until the school that previously had been supportive let her down completely.

She knows in her heart that it is not her fault, but in some ways the school’s failure caused her to start over at square one and to lose the years of progress. All of the professionals who let her down previously make it hard to trust any of them, and I understand this.

Today I found a wonderful book to help her,The PTSD Workbook. I am also trying to take care of myself, so I can continue to help her. My husband gave me a better camera for Christmas and I am taking pictures of nature as I take my walks. Like the faint rainbow above, there is a glimmer of hope.

Misfits on the Island of Misfit Toys 22

I love Jess at A Diary of a Mom and Leigh at Flappiness is… too, so I completely understand why all of you love them. I followed Jess closely as she went to the White House and I went with Jess to Harvard and I will be eternally grateful that she took me along. I fell in love with Leigh over her beautiful Apology letter. I too enjoyed #youmightbeanautismparentif and #whatanautismparentneeds. I even added to the #AutismPride although not as eloquently as some of you. Yet, all of you break my heart everyday without realizing it.

My heart breaks because I know my daughter did not have the services your children have. My daughter did not have our understanding when she was little because we did not understand. We tried to get help, but we got the wrong help and during that time damage was done. Then bullying made everything over a hundred times worse. Still, she was on the mend until last year when the bullies rubbed salt in her healing wounds, and an intolerant teacher pushed her over the edge.

Then I convinced her to share her heartbreak and her successes with you, but she never got the support Jess and Leigh get, so she stopped sharing. She realized what I tried not to believe. Too few really care and we cannot make any of you care. We are insignificant.

Bullying is not as interesting as successes shared about cute younger children. There is no way to make it fun because there is nothing fun about it. I hope and pray none of you ever know the heartbreak of trying to help your beautiful children overcome the longterm effects of bullying or worse yet having to bury them because of bullying. I was hoping to help prevent this from happening to you. I now realize I cannot do that because no one is really listening.

We are misfits even on the Island of Misfit Toys.

Be the Change You Want! 2

The covers have to come off in the morning, the head must avoid the sand, the lips must speak up for change to happen. Help prevent those stories you refuse to read. Real change requires full participation! Support others who are trying to make a difference.

This includes Michele Borba, who I am proud to call my Twitter friend and hero! She wrote an excellent post on what to do if your teen is cyberbullied! FYI the video is an overview of her book and is used here with her permission. Watch and you will see why she is my hero!

Be kind, respectful, forgiving and supportive of all people. Teach your children with your words and with your deeds. Join in the discussions of ways to help! Truly, this is the only option for real change. Please realize this and join me in helping to make a difference. Our children are our future and they deserve our full support!