I was getting ready to shut down my computer when a friend posted about tomorrow, about wearing Pink. About Bullying. I was grateful.
You see, I wasn’t thinking autism or even my own children but back to life before we were aware of what bullying was.
I thought back to sixth grade, when I had my stretch pants pulled down. It was outside science, after lunch. I stood holding my backpack when the local doctor’s son pulled my leggings down and laughed.
Bright red, I put myself back together and walked in. The teacher told me if I wore button pants, that wouldn’t have happened.
Then there was seventh grade, I sat in class and began to itch. I realized that my classmate poured itching powder down my shirt. As it crept into my undershirt, I became uncomfortable. I was afraid to speak and went home to an empty house and showered in the darkness, sobbing about what had happened.
Then there were the comments. “Your dad will have to pay someone to marry you”. “You were so ugly your mother gave you away” and of course the cliche comments that meant nothing. “You are a carpenters dream”.
I remember walking through town, hoping to make it to CCD before the popular boys saw me and slammed me up against the wall and made comments about how no one would know and if they did no one would care if I was gone.
Silently, I held it in. My mom knew some of it but I always downplayed it, I didn’t want her to hurt and hurt she would.
I remember my hands being smashed in lockers and hoping the physical pain would continue because it hurt less more than the comments, the embarrassment and the shame.
Then it happened. My mom decided my school wasn’t good enough. I needed more and off I went to private school.
It saved me.
Perhaps she knew more than I thought she did. Perhaps she didn’t want to let on to what she saw in my eyes.
It is real. Thankfully there are things in place today that weren’t before. Thankfully kids speak more openly. Thankfully I grew up and grew out of what was.
Life isn’t fair.
Its just not.
We all have our burdens to carry.
If you need help, I am here and one day I may need help too.This journey is unique to each of us.
This year is challenging all of us.No matter what, I want you all to remember each and every one of you is valuable.
You are strong.
You are courageous.
You have purpose.I know some days look dark.
Here too.I know some days you want to give up.
We are more than a pandemic, a government party, a religion.Each of you has the ability to make life better for those you meet.
I do too.
If you need me, I am here.
Yes. I am struggling too!
Today was hard. Really hard but it doesn’t change my support for you if you need me. If you are on my “friends” list, I am here.
For you.Always.I won’t ever ask for repayment.
I will just ask you to “be kind”.
Let us extend that kindness all around and to risk being cliché, throw kindness around like confetti.