In honor of Mother’s Day, I am dedicating this post to my mom, for all she has done for me over the years to help belittle the bullies.
The years when I attended St. Patrick’s were the worst years of my life. I experienced endless tormenting and teasing day in and day out. Most days when I stepped out of the school bus, I greeted my mom with tears and a hug, while most other kids in the neighborhood scrambled out of the bus screaming words of joy, eager to play with their best friends.
My mom was my best friend. She still is. She sat with me at the kitchen table, patiently listening to my recounts, having stopped everything she was doing before I arrived home from school to give me her full attention and support. For each time I sat crying as I told her stories of who bullied me that particular day and how they had chosen to taunt me on that particular day, she sat crying alongside me.
She gave me words of wisdom. She explained that I could not let them get to me and that everything they were saying was far from the truth. She gave me pep talks. She explained that I had great character. She showed me what it meant to have integrity.
But one day, she could not stand to watch me cry another day. She secretly went to the school’s principal—a story she told me many years later—and she screamed and pleaded with the principal to please try to stop the tormenting of which her daughter was victim every day of the school year. She begged the principal to talk with all of the children about bullying and to start advocating kindness and respect among the students. She was more than just my mother and my confidant; she was my advocator.
She spoke for me before I knew the strength of my own words. She did everything in her power to fight for me and protect me and support me. The principal took little of my mom’s suggestions, and those of which she did take… well, let’s just say the principal did not have the fervor that my mom had to correctly administer the right anti-bully talks with the right speakers. If you don’t live through the pain, and if you don’t watch someone close to you ever live through the pain, it can be difficult to fight a passionate battle.
My mother was, and still is, my pillar. Without her guidance and love and support, I could not stand. She shaped much of the person I am today, and I am not sure she even realizes just how much power and influence she still holds over my life.
And my grandmother also played a role in all of this. Just as my mom helped shape the person I am today, she, too, helped shaped the person my mom has become, which, in turn, led to her influencing my character as well. It is an endless cycle of love and support.
And I am writing this post in hopes to adequately share with you all that it is your mom who can be the most helpful in times of great despair and feelings of great weakness brought upon by the bullies in your lives. Even if you feel you are not that close with your mother, try to develop a relationship. Reach out to her. I can promise you—no mother will ever sit back and watch her child be a victim of abuse without some part of her soul wanting to fight back for her child.
I am so grateful that my mom tried to make a difference in my life that day by reaching out to my principal. But it was not the principal I would ever turn to in times of upset from bullies; it was my mother. And it was not the principal who helped to correct the situation and helped build my integrity and mold my character into what it is today; it was my mother.
“I’ll get it if you need it. I’ll search if you can’t see it. You’re thirsty, I’ll be rain. You get hurt, I’ll take your pain. I know you don’t believe it. But I said it, and I still mean it. Well, you heard what I told you. When you get worried, I’ll be your soldier.”–Gavin Degraw