Okay, y'all. I'm dumping. I have a lot of stuff on my mind, and I'm just pouring it all out right here, which is why I started a blog to begin with.
First. It's October, which means it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Which means, if you haven't already, you need to feel yourself up. Or make an appointment to have a big scary machine squish your boobies. I think I have to start doing that after my birthday... Is it 35 when you start getting mammograms? Someone tell me, 'k? And could someone tell me something else? What the CRAP does a Facebook status that is meant to come across as suggestive have to do with breast cancer awareness? At least the bra color one was actually related to breasts.
Did I mention I might be venting in this post? No? Oh well.
It all depends on who you talk to on what the purple ribbon means right about now. Lupus. Pancreatic cancer. Eating disorder awareness.
I saw it today representing two things -- gay teen suicide and domestic violence. I might go spider-webbing here, so bear with me. Or don't. I don't really care. It's my blog and I'll dump if I want to.
First, I want to speak as a conservative Christian parent. As someone who leans way right and does hope that my girls will follow, I want to tell you what I'm teaching my kids. It's not what all conservative Christians are teaching their kids, but at least you won't be able to say that ALL right-wing conservative Christian
nutjobs parents are preaching hate to their kids. Am I going to tell my girls that we believe homosexuality is a sin? YES. Am I going to tell my girls to HATE homosexuals? NO!NO!NO!NO!NO! "Hate the sin, love the sinner." Right or wrong, I grew up believing that a sin is a sin is a sin, and my sin is no less hated by God than someone else's. That's what I want my girls to believe. And to just realize that actions have natural consequences, and some are more severe than others.
Now, before you think that I'm sitting here polishing my halo, I'll go ahead and admit to you that I judge others. I'm working reallyreallyreally hard not to, because GOD KNOWS (and He's let me know, too) that I'M NOT PERFECT. But c'mon folks -- have you ever met anyone who just doesn't judge at all? AT ALL? Probably not. And even if you think you have, you don't know what's going on in someone else's mind or heart. Anyway, I've done it, and it's likely been more fiercely directed at those I think "know better." Why? Because I WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I made so many horrible, awful decisions that were completely and totally judge-worthy by so many standards, and it actually breaks my heart to see other people doing it, but somehow that brokenness turns to hard-hearted judgment at times. Like I said, I'm working on it.
On my mind more is bullying in general though. Bullying has been taken to new levels. I am not going to lie to you -- I pray that my girls are pretty and popular and don't have to endure bullying. Because I have to tell you, I am not sure what I would do if I logged into their Facebook account one day and saw something hateful about them written by someone else. And there is just so much more kids are doing now to each other. It's sad, and it's scary.
I remember being bullied. It was nothing like that, of course. Just your run-of-the-mill "nerd" comments. A few of the semi-popular boys asking me out and then laughing if they could tell I considered their proposal genuine. I did spend almost every homeroom of my 8th grade year in tears, because it seemed every other week I had done something to tick off friends of mine, and other friends of theirs were going to kick my a-double-dollar-sign. Good times, good times.
But I did read something somewhere asking why people didn't get involved. Well, I know why other kids don't get involved -- because they are afraid of becoming the victim. I get that. I pray that my girls won't just stand by if they see someone else being hurt by mean girls. I pray that they won't be mean girls. But why don't teachers get involved? I think because it can make things worse. It's one thing to be a nerd, but to be a nerd and a narc? Because even if the bullied kid had nothing to do with an adult figure getting involved, they are sure to be blamed for it.
In 7th grade (note: that is a picture of me in 5th grade, but things hadn't changed much), I was a really short and scrawny mousy looking girl with permed hair and glasses, and I had been in the gifted program since the 4th grade (same year I got my glasses, so double whammy). I dressed funny. I wasn't athletic in the slightest. I was pretty shy. I got picked on. One morning I opened my locker to find all of my books gone, and a single sheet of notebook paper taped to the back with a note. The note read:
I wasn't a female dog. I can pretty much guarantee that. But at that moment, I got really, really mad. I tore the note out of my locker and marched my short, scrawny and mousy-looking self into the dean's office. I don't even believe I knocked. I smacked the piece of paper on his desk and said, "What are you going to do about this??" The dean looked at it, asked what happened, I told him, and then he asked who I thought did it. I was 99% sure I knew who, so I told him, and he asked if we had any classes together. I told him that, too.
Later, in that particular class, the dean showed up and asked the teacher if he could see me and the two boys I had targeted. He brought us outside and asked them directly if they had left the note in my locker. Looking down at their feet, they admitted to it. The dean then looked down at me and said, "You know, I bet what it is is that these boys have a crush on you, and this was just their way of showing it."
Oh, no he di'n't.
Oh, yes he did.
It was more embarrassing than anything they'd done to me previously, that's for sure.
Now, did my life get easier after that? Yes. Because they were afraid I would tell -- and these were boys who cared about their 'permanent record' and didn't want to mess up in school. These were intelligent boys with bright futures ahead of them -- yet they still thought it was fun to pick on a little girl. But I had done something they didn't expect me to do, and apparently that shut them up.
Is my story all that bad? NO. NOT AT ALL. But I do remember the sting of winning the school spelling bee and having a boy say to me right after, "Wow. You really are a nerd." I remember what it was like to walk the halls of the school and be afraid that someone was going to be waiting at my locker or on my way to a class to smack me around because I wore the wrong shirt on the wrong day, or I looked twice at someone else's boyfriend. So I can't imagine what it must feel like for someone who has it a million times worse than I ever did.
That being said, every parent should read this.
The purple ribbon is also for Domestic Violence Awareness.
And you know what? I can't even get into that now. Because even though I was abused, it was for such a short time, and I am so, so incredibly blessed that I only had a few bumps and bruises, that I got out of it early, and that I had so much love and support the whole time. People who wanted to be there for me -- but others getting involved only meant that I would be punished more. I think I will talk about it sometime, but not now.
Because this dumping stuff feels kind of weird...