Monday, October 4, 2010

I have a date

 with CNN for the next five nights.

Tonight begins the week-long focus on school bullying.

Last week, there was the college boy who committed suicide after his
sexual encounter with a man was streamed live online.
Earlier today there was this.
Both stories nearly broke my heart.
Ty Smalley was only eleven when he took his life.

His father said it right when he said,
"you want to know what bullying and suicide is all about,
you talk to the people and the family who it effects the most."

Because I have my own story of being bullied,
stories like these
make me so angry.
It bewilders me that children are so harsh, and the events are so continuous
and without intervention, that in some cases,
it leads to death.

For those who don't choose death,
many chose silence,
and the silence can be extremely detrimental, too.

In my experience, my silence built the foundation for major emotional distress.  
Because talking with my bullies directly about the hurt they were causing me felt out of the question,
and because I silently agreed to "forget about it" as soon as they went on to high school and the regular degradation they had caused ended, I never learned to deal with the emotions that it caused--effectively.
Instead it left broken emotions at my feet.
Sadness. Anger. At times Rage. Staggering relationships. Depression.

When bullies target,
it causes an immense amount of stress, loss of confidence and sense of safety.
Unfortunately, these things last far past the actual bullying itself.
years. decades.
It did for me.

You can
Stand for the Silent
on their Facebook page.

Watch CNN.
It's important.

Times here.


Erin October 4, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

Alright. I now Stand for the Silent. :) I also wanted to let you know Dr. Phil is doing 2 or 3 shows this week on bullying.

Alan and Kiersten October 5, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

i had no clue you were bullied like that in the 8th grade! that was horrible! i have never been bullied but one of my little brothers is bullied CONSTANTLY and has been since elementary school and it's awful to watch. i almost wish it was me and not him. i'm so glad you're speaking out against this. i love your blog cassie!

Connie October 5, 2010 at 9:40 AM  

Cassie, as your mom, I hurt for you everytime you talk about your bullying because I know a little about what you went through. I am so very sorry that I could not do more to get you out of that torment. I remember your tears, all of your friends leaving you (except for Mindy) because they couldn't take being subject to the torment, too, your clothes being torn and/or thrown away, the depression, and the anger and sadness. I remember listening to you talk to me and cry so many times in your bedroom, visiting with the school security guards on a first-name basis regularly, and waiting in the school parking lot to watch for you and to make sure you were safe. Yes, it has taken years, and I am proud of your decision to take this on and to help others. You've come a long way, Baby! My heart is with you as you continue your journey to make a difference.

Dottie October 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

Hi! I've been meaning to get back here and comment on your bullying story. I'm so sorry that happened to you, it sounded awful and I'm sure originated from jealous girls. Such a shame when people don't have enough heart to know thats not a proper way to handle insecurities they have with themselves, and then take that out on someone so sweet as yourself! Ugh. Anyway, I'm commenting after reading this post because I saw the Today show yesterday and heard about the poor man who took his life. It made me think of your campaign to make an impact to reduce bullying...good for you Cassie! Keep it going!

A Serenade for Solitude October 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

Erin-I'll try and catch Dr.Phil this week. Thanks for the heads up!

Kiersten-It makes me so sad to hear what your brother is going through. He's got a great and supportive family, and hopefully he can see the issue for what it is--immature, heartless kids who have their own issues. He is not the issue. I hope his school is dealing with the issue. Is he in the Evergreen school district?

Mom- You were and have been such great support. As a parent, you were helpless. You did all you could to try and get it to stop. You are great, Mom! Thanks for your support then and now as I help with this HUGE issue. xo

Dottie-Thanks for coming by. It means a lot that people understand the issue and the severity of it, and that they see that it is important as I do. I totally agree with you--kids often bully because of their own insecurities. This is sad, too.

Jennifer D October 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

I am so sorry you went through that. Bullys are the worst. My best friend all through school was bullied constantly and I was amazed at her strength. I couldn't have survived what she went through. God Bless you. I will be watching.

a little bit biased October 5, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

Cassie, I didn't see this post until today! I was so sad when I heard that story too (about the college boy who took his life). It broke my heart. It's so awful to hear about the effect bullies have on people and how they can ruin someone's life. I mentioned the story to Blake [as briefly as I could since he's 8] because he heard my reaction when the story was announced from the T.V. in the other room. I took a moment to teach him about the realities about treating people like that. I'm all for teaching these bullies that it's not a joke what they're doing and about the longterm effects their actions can have on their victims. I would love to help too, if I could.

A Serenade for Solitude October 5, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

Jennifer-Wow, what an amazing friend you are. I bet it meant the world to your friend that you stood by her. I know my friend who stood by me holds a special place in my heart and always will.

Ambs-It's great that you are already talking to the kids about it. It seems if people did more talking about what is destructive by way of the ways we treat each other, kids might consider their actions more. Blake is a smart, sweet kiddo. I bet he'll be a leader in this area. :)

Red Boots October 6, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

It's truly awful what happened to that poor boy. It never fails to shock me how mean kids can be to other kids.

RosyRevolver October 7, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

I've just found your blog and was reading through your recent posts. It was so good to see this one, and I'm really touched by your words.

I'll be reading regularly now. Lovely place you have here.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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