Wounded Spirits

It’s an age old problem…the strong picking on the weak. It’s called bullying and it results in wounded spirits. We all agree it’s wrong to heckle, harass, torment, mock, hit, punch, name call…bully another human being. We make commercials about bullying, we write books about bullying, and we even seek Dr. Phil’s advice on how to stop bullying, yet it continues. It happens in all circles, none are exempt.

One of the following names: persecutor, tormentor, hector, browbeater, antagonizer, or intimidator might be a more appropriate name for a bully, after all, these are the very things bullies do–persecute, torment, heckle, browbeat, antagonize, and intimidate. They wound the souls of their victims. According to http://www.dictionary.com a victim is a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency.

Bullying is not fun and games, even if the one who does the bullying thinks it is. Bullying results in suffering caused by another’s destructive, injurious actions.

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Pain inflicted over and over, with no end in sight, produces a wounded spirit and this is exactly what happens when someone is being bullied.

As a young girl I was bullied, although I realize this doesn’t make me an expect on the subject; I do believe I can shed some light on how it feels to be bullied. I was a very shy, bashful child and I found it difficult to speak up for myself. Therefore, my only defense was to try and stay away from bullies which was nearly impossible to do.

My brother and I were the last two children to be picked up on our bus route before being dropped off at school–the bus was always packed. There was never an empty seat and the other children wouldn’t let us sit with them. When we would sit down in someone’s seat they would use their feet to kick us out onto the floor. The bus driver would get mad if we were standing up when the bus was moving, therefore we were forced to sit on the very edge of the seat almost standing up in order to keep both parties happy. They weren’t satisfied to just push us into the bus floor they also enjoyed calling us names. My mother would call the school and complain about how we were treated on the bus, but neither the bus driver or the school would do anything to address the problem.

The school bus wasn’t the only place I experienced bullying. I had difficulty learning to read and had to repeat the third grade–you can read more about this here. This brought on a whole new group of teasing and taunting children. I remember one boy who would wait outside at recess and punch me when I came out to play–I never understood why he felt the need to hit me other than he just didn’t like me.

Children do not have the resources to stop bullying on their own–they need the help of adults. When you send children to school and they experience bullying and no one does anything to stop it they feel helpless and their spirits become wounded. They have to go to school, therefore they have to endure bullying. When school officials know that bullying is going on and choose to do nothing they are part of the problem–they are guilty of allowing the behavior to continue. Parents need to help their children with bullying. Telling them to ignore the behavior or say something like, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” doesn’t help! Name calling does hurt. Parents need to speak up for their children, be proactive, and do whatever it takes to get their child away from bullying.

I’m not writing this post because of what happened to me; I’m writing this post for all those who are still being bullied. I’m writing this post because the cycle is continuous and it needs to stop. I’m writing this post because my children have been affected by bullying.

One of my children had a best friend for years (they even got each other best friend’s forever necklaces). They became friends when they were about six or seven year’s old. They have spent countless hours together–at church, at each others home, sleep-overs, birthday parties, etc. At about the age of eleven things started to change–their friend began ignoring them. The ignoring continued and progressed to point of not even acknowledging my child’s existence–refusing to even say hello. We all attend the same church which complicates things even more.

I’ve witnessed my child’s heart broken into many pieces over the last several years. It hurts to be rejected. It breaks a mother’s heart to see her child in pain. I’ve counseled my child–trying to explain that its not their fault, that people just grow apart, and that sometimes people choose to be unkind. How does anyone explain why someone chooses to hurt another person? We’ve done what we can to help this child to not be hurt further.

My two girls had three parakeets. My youngest had a little yellow parakeet named Tweety. It was mild mannered, would sit on your finger, and was just an all around good bird. The other two birds were constantly picking on this little bird. One morning we found the yellow bird in the bottom of the cage not looking well at all–we found feathers stuck to cage, evidence that the other birds had been up to no good. We tried to nurse the little bird back to health. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do to help–the bird died. When you hear your youngest wail, “He’s Dead!” Followed by uncontrollable heartbreaking sobs it breaks a mothers heart. I’m convinced that the other bird’s bullying killed that bird.

Bullying results in wounded spirits. Sometimes when someones spirit is wounded they do things that they normally wouldn’t do–like hurt themselves or someone else. I’m not saying they should, but when someone feels beaten down, trapped, and unable to stop torment we just don’t know what they might do.

We need to stop bullying and those who bully need to take responsibility for their part in creating wounded spirits.

Blessings, Kasey

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6 thoughts on “Wounded Spirits

  1. A girl wrote on my teen brother’s Facebook that he should kill himself because he received a higher grade than her in class. She was “joking” but it wasn’t funny to my family. My more outspoken sister threatened to report her to the school. The girl called my brother, crying and apologizing because apparently, the school has a no tolerance policy on bullying, including cyber bullying. A student was recently suspended for cyber bullying, so this girl, an honors student, was scared of the consequences of her carelessly written words. We didn’t end up reporting her and there’s been no issue since. I hope that more schools are proactive in implementing policies regarding all kinds of bullying because it happens all the time. Blessings to you and your courage to write about this topic!

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    • Angela, I’m sorry that your brother had to go through that experience–bullying of any kind is just wrong! I’m glad to hear his school has a no tolerance policy for bullying. All schools should implement a no tolerance policy. I imagine if people were made accountable for their actions we would see a decrease in this kind of behavior. Thanks so much for sharing your story–it’s encouraging to hear that some schools are working to stop this unhealthy behavior. Blessings and grace to you and your family, Kasey

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  2. Kasey, I’m so sorry that you and your children have experienced such outrageous behavior. Thank you for encouraging all of us to think about the effect our words and actions can have on other people. And thank you for linking up to Testimony Tuesday.

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    • Holly, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I hope this post will help others to understand how damaging and painful bullying can be. I appreciate your hosting Testimony Tuesday. Have a blessed week. Grace to you, Kasey

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  3. I believe that bullying has gotten worse over the last twenty years. It was there when I grew up (I was bullied, and so was my husband), but what I hear now is outrageous! I wonder if it is the lack of God in these children. Most parent, but not all, think that their children need to grow up and then choose their religion. That they, the parents, should not foist their religion onto their children. Then in public schools, children are basically taught that there is no God. What morals are being taught to children? Love thy neighbor as thyself? No – that is too Christian. Our children are being taught the 60s philosophies of “If it feels good, do it.” Well, some kids feel good bullying others, and could care less about loving they neighbor and do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Just my two cents worth here.

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    • Danielle, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on bullying. I agree that bullying appears to be getting worse especially now that kids have the ability to bully with technology. I think there are a great many reasons why bullying seems to be getting worse rather than better. I agree that taking God out of the equation can not be helping the problem. I also think that there’s very little accountability for ones actions and lack of respect for others. The downhill slide of morals and lack of Christian values saddens me. I hope you have a wonderful week. Grace to you, Kasey

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