Thursday, October 7, 2010

How can we stop?

National Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, Stop Cyber-Bullying are just a few of the issues that October stands for. Out of these two of them stick out to me. I thought I would pick one today to touch on since it has been in the news quite a bit these past couple of days, which is this cyber-bullying. 

A friend from high school blogged about this a couple months ago and it really got me thinking. Then this week with all of these news stories of these young kids committing suicide due to being bullied, I have thought about this issue even more.

I do agree that today kids are being bullied more than ever. These days there are more outlets to bully someone using email, text messaging, instant messaging, blogs and various social network sites. I started to think about my life and thought that I am glad that I am not a kid in today's times with all this technology. I remember back when I was in I believe third grade it was a big thing to have 6 small Apple computers in the classroom at school, which were used to play games such as Oregon Trail on our lunch breaks. Now days schools have large computer labs for students to use for typing out papers and anything else.

I like probably any other child who grows up in the world, had my share of  being bullied or teased. I was pretty chunky for my age, didn't have a whole lot of money, extremely pale skin, not athletic, and had a speech impediment. With all of these issues I was a prone target for being teased. I would come home on a daily basis in grade school in tears because some girl had called me fat or asked me if I was stupid because I couldn't form one sentence with out stumbling over easy words like dog or garden. I didn't want to go to school in times and prayed on the first day of school that some of these kids who picked on me were not going to be in my class.

I look back now and still have one saving grace and that was my mom. She put me in speech therapy from Kindergarten through fifth grade to help with my stuttering, she gave me the support I needed when I came home in tears from being picked on, and she even had me look up words in the dictionary to use when others called me names. One of the words that I learned was "rhesus" which we all know is a monkey. Well when I started to call the mean kids these wierd names...they stopped because they realized that their picking on wasn't going to phase me.

Over the years of being out of school I have come to deal with what went on in school. At one my high school class reunion, the girl who picked on me in grade school came up to me and apologized for everything that she called me and did to me. I was just shocked and blown away, but I smiled and felt like it was good. She told me that her children are starting to pick on kids at school and she is trying to correct them.

As Dr. Phil stated this week, "If you are even an innocent bystander you are still part of the problem." I am sure all of us have been on the end where we have been in the group that has teased someone else. I know that when I was in high school a classmate of mine didn't bathe on daily basis and my group of friends one day had placed bars of soap under her chair in choir. Now as a kid this is innocent, but now looking back I feel awful that I would do such a thing.

But really, if I had to go through school today with all this technology I can see why kids are attempting or commiting suicide. This has to stop. The social work side of me comes out when I hear about these stories. There needs to be groups in the schools where it is a safe haven for these children who are being teased. There needs to be some coping skills taught rather than the "don't listen to it, don't respond, and tell a trusted adult". The three steps are good starting points, but in the mean time while the teasing and what-have you is still going on...these children need to know how to deal with it. I don't know what the answer is on this, but it is something worth looking into.

If you have with them and lets help try and stop this issue.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A phrase that really bugs me...

Are there phrases that other people say to you or that you read or hear from someone and the phrase just rubs you the wrong way?? Or you walk away thinking, "Is the person really feeling that way or are they just being nice?" There are certain phrases that have been getting on my nerves lately. I can not really explain why...but I wanted to voice them and see what others thought. I appologize in advance if I offend you. None of these phrases are directed to anyone directly.

The phrase that really really bugs me 
right now is:
"I miss you" or "I miss you so much!!"

This has got to be the number one phrase that just irks me. Is our society really missing who they say they are missing or is it just something to say in social settings or internet sites?? Lately I just think that this word has been thrown around and it doesn't really mean anything. I tend to laugh to myself when someone tells me that they miss me since I have moved away. I wonder why this person is missing me since I rarely hung out with them outside of say my job or any other social setting. Someone just a couple years ago had told me, "I miss you so much!!!" A sick feeling just ran through my body once this phrase was said. I wanted to respond with, "How can you miss me so much when we have just been reacquainted after ten plus years with Facebook?" and "How can you really miss me, since we NEVER really spent time together as you were better friends with someone else!" I didn't say anything, though. I figured it was just a ploy to get me to feel good so that I would show up to their social event that they were having while I was in town. I had other plans I didn't feel bad not responding to the message.

The only time I really take this phrase to heart is when I hear this from loved ones or my very small circle of best friends or close work managers. I know that when they say, "Hey Amy, I miss you..." they are truly meaning it. A close friend of mine asked me last week when we were chatting online when I was coming home to Oregon. I hadn't really thought about it and asked her why she was asking? She said, "Because I am missing you right now and could use a married friend right now who has no kids to relate to." It warmed my heart when I heard that. I told her that as soon as I knew when I was making my next trip to Oregon I would let her know.

I will admit that I have fallen under this trap and told people that I have missed them...but in reality...I probably didn't mean it. I am now trying to not just flip this phrase around all over the place...because it is a phrase that should be taken seriously. I now only tell this phrase to people who are in my small circle of close friends or family members. When I would tell someone that I missed them I tended to wonder later if I just missed having the memories with them. Such as, telling an old boyfriend that I missed him after we had broken up. There was a reason why we had broken up and so I didn't miss the drama that was with the relationship or even who the person had turned into. I had just missed being around him when we had first started dating.

I also, asked a couple friends of mine if I were crazy for having a problem with this phrase. They first agreed that I was already a bit crazy but yet they both agreed with me that this phrase is really tossed around. One friend even said, "It's the new thing to say when you have nothing else to say to someone!" Another friend said, "If I tell you that I miss you it is because I honestly do!" They said, "I tell people that I miss them because I miss having them around to just act normal to, or to have an amazing good time with."

So the next time you tell someone that you miss them...stop and and think about it. Do you really honestly miss them or do you just have nothing else to say and feel the need to fill in the gap?
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