My husband was happy to hear 104.1, The Dock, announce it’s anti-bullying month and he commented, however, we should be aware of bullying, year round.  And read on to see why he was so happy!  It’s sad to say but most people have suffered from bullying in some form or another.  It could have been when you were a child and told you weren’t smart enough, handsome or pretty enough, or physically hit or shoved around.  It can occur in the teen years when a little more independence from the parents allows people to act out what they’ve perhaps experienced in their own homes.  It can occur in adulthood when meeting new people and hurtful things are said, or within our own families.  You see, bullying happens at any age, at any time.  My heart goes out to the youth of today with all of the societal pressures and access to media profiling and perhaps not enough one on one with parents who are overworked and stressed out.  In our hometown, when our son was in elementary school and into highschool, he asked if I would be there when he came home from school – in front of his dad.  We worked an enormous amount of hours and often left our son with caregivers, that were mainly good to him, with the exception of one who fell asleep on the job, constantly, and was encouraged to find another job.  So without hesitation, my husband, said of course your mom will be home for you, tears in his eyes.  Elementary school, in particular, was a volatile time for him.  After we moved out of town, we found out he was bullied. How did we miss it?!  Hmmmm…. seven people died, all close to us, within a three and a half year period.  Would I like to go back and strangle…. no wait.  That won’t solve a thing!  However, there have been suicides in our hometown, as in many others, and bullying results often times in suicide.  I am not mentioning names to protect many of the lovely people in our hometown, but the issue of bullying needs to be addressed.  I am often reminded of the struggles our son had through moments of reminiscing and wished I had seen the signs sooner.  He often had an upset stomach, wanted to stay home from school, didn’t want to go out and hang with friends at a party, listened to what I would call depressing music.  Consciously, I thought he was grieving the loss of my parents, my husband’s dad, and many others, but boy, I wished I had asked the question: “What is really troubling you?”  There is no next time for us as we have an only child.  But for all of the parents out there, ask the questions!  Don’t sit back and hope it gets better.  And for the kids who are being bullied:  Speak up!  Tell someone, do not keep it to yourself.  You are important and you are worthy!  And for the bullies, please seek counselling.  You know in your heart that it is wrong but did you know it is often a learned behaviour and in order to break the cycle, you need a third party intervention.  Stop the cycle of abuse, now!

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