This mother’s heart shattered today as she watched her daughter being picked on and bullied right before her very eyes. It all happened so fast, and yet the sting of it all lingers long after. And I find myself asking, “Why?!”
It was a beautiful day today with temperatures in the upper 70s and even reaching 80 at one point, which is unusual for December! We decided to take advantage of the warmth of the sunlight and take a leisurely stroll through our local gardens. We soaked in the sunshine and basked in the beauty that surrounded us. Although the roses and azaleas weren’t in bloom, there were a few trees that offered beautiful blooms while others displayed bright red berries. The wind blew the moss in the trees hanging overhead as I snapped picture after picture of my beautiful girls. As we were wrapping up our glorious day, there he stood … the bully. I came face to face with a bully … with my innocent daughter as his target!
He was my daughter’s age or maybe even a little older, but he was certainly old enough to know the damage that his words would cause. My daughter was standing just a few feet from us, innocently tossing bread to the ducks and geese, then turned to walk down the path that would lead her to us. We were walking toward her when he reached her before we were able to, and as he walked past her, he uttered the words that cut my little girl to the core. He said, “You are u-g-l-y.” It happened so fast that we questioned if we had heard him correctly at first. Then when I saw the look of overwhelming hurt on my daughter’s face, it confirmed what was said. In that moment, my heart wanted to gather her into my arms and hold her, comfort her, offer reassurance and tremendous love to ease her hurting heart … and I did … but not before I confronted the bully!
As he walked past after throwing a dagger deep within my daughter’s heart, he smirked at his friend that was walking near him, and then his eyes met mine. His eyes met that of a mother bear protecting her cub. I maintained my composure while asking him exactly what he had said to her. He, of course, did not want to own up to what he said at that point, but I knew my ears did not deceive me. My daughter still stood in the same spot where the verbal assault was launched at her. She did not move. She had this look on her face still, and I knew that this bully was NOT getting away with what he had done to my innocent daughter. She was minding her own business just enjoying being nine years old feeding the geese, and he said such hateful words to her.
I looked this bully square in the face, and I told him that he needed to apologize to her right that minute. He looked at me as if he wanted to laugh. I told him that I was her mother, and I did NOT appreciate what he said at all and that he needed to apologize to her! He looked at me for a moment, then went back over to where my daughter stood. I told him to look her in the eyes and tell her how sorry he was for what he had said to her. Much to my surprise, he did offer a less than sincere apology to her, to which I responded by telling him that he needed to apologize and MEAN it that time. I thought for a minute that he had learned his lesson as he said he was sorry one more time, walking past my husband to reach her. When he finished his apology, he then went to walk past me at that point, and he said, “I apologized, but she is kind of …” THE NERVE of him! I did not allow him to continue before I cut him off by telling him that bullying another person is NOT cool and does not make him look very good in the eyes of other people. I further explained, with his parents coming toward us and my husband obviously speechless, that it is NEVER cool and NEVER okay to put another human being down like that – EVER – and that there was no reason for him to say such hateful things. I went on to say that maybe next time he would think about what all I said so that he would never assault someone in this manner again with his words. His parents walked past never saying a word, and I gathered my sweet daughter into my arms as I offered reassurance for her broken heart.
I began by telling my daughter how beautiful she truly is and that she is a child of God! He formed her with His very hands – she is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside – she is HIS child and she is perfect in the eyes of God … and in MY eyes as well! I offered words to speak to her little heart and hoped to erase the sting of his words. I know the damage had already been done, and all I could do at that point was to offer my words, prayers, and all of my love to her.
My darling daughter was bullied right before my eyes, within just a few feet from where I stood. How could this be? I am supposed to protect her and shelter her. And yet, he launched his assault on her. There is no reason in this world to EVER do that to someone. It baffles me, and I struggle to find the words … it is beyond comprehension as to why any one would want to hurt another in this fashion. I know the world is full of mean, hateful and cruel people. I know that people are just evil at times. I just do not understand what they hope to accomplish by being this way. Why set out to crush another person’s spirit with such words?! I will never understand that! The sad part is that my daughter may not remember any of the good things that people have said about her as she may instead focus on the negative … I pray that does not happen, but I know that hateful and hurtful words spoken do leave scars long after the moment has passed. I have been bullied throughout life – as a child and as an adult. It hurts to our core, and there is absolutely no reason for any one to ever inflict this type of hurt upon another. And if a bully is not confronted, they will continue to bully others … thus turning childhood bullies into adults that bully on the job, as I have also encountered. I say again, I just do not understand what goes through a person’s mind and why they would intentionally try to hurt another person. My daughter was not doing a single thing in the world to him or any one else for that matter. She was minding her own business, basking in the sunlight and finding pure joy in feeding the geese … she was skipping and running through the park up until that point, free as a bird … enjoying life … and then as she stood at the end of the path, this happened.
Oh dear God, please help this generation. Please stop the bullying. Please stop the mean and hateful things that are said to others. Please reach down Your mighty hand and protect the innocent from this type of treatment. Please protect my daughter’s heart and all of the other innocent and pure hearts out there like her so that this type of thing does not continue to happen.
I know that we live in a fallen world. I know that there is such evilness in the world, and again, it is just beyond my comprehension as to why this occurred in the first place. When we can CHOOSE to build someone up, why wouldn’t we all … instead of CHOOSING to tear them down? Why? He could have very easily chosen to build her up as he walked by, to compliment her or even to smile at her. OR He could have chosen to just keep his mouth shut if he didn’t have anything nice to say. Yet he chose to say such hurtful things to her. His goal was to injure.
I know, too, that if a child is in front of another child, they will try to impress their friend by saying such hateful things also. I understand, too, that if a boy likes a girl, he will do such foolishness as well. It makes no sense at all for this to happen, but boys are just wired differently from what I’ve been told. BUT … this reasoning does little to comfort my daughter or her mother’s aching heart.
My daughter has long recovered, or she appears to have brushed this off after taking another stroll and going to get a special treat. It is her mother’s heart that is still devastated and shattered over the events of earlier this afternoon. It is her mother that sits here wondering how any one could be so mean to such a precious child, yes, even another child. It makes me wonder what this little boy has endured up to this point to make him the way he is. I wonder what he has been taught or what he has witnessed for him to behave in this manner. I wonder if his parents, having heard what took place and yet not saying a word, have encouraged this type of behavior. I would hate to think so, but you just never know what takes place in another person’s home or in their family lives to instill this type of behavior.
What matters at this point is that my daughter saw the mother bear in me come out, and she saw me try to right the wrong that occurred to her in this situation. She saw that he had to apologize to her, twice. She saw that I would not stand for ANY one mistreating her if I had any thing to say about it. She saw how fast I would swoop down to defend her and protect her. She felt me wrap her in my love as I reassured her and tried to undo the damage done by his words. What matters most is that my daughter does not appear to be permanently scarred at this point, and I pray that God will wipe this memory from her so that it does not taunt her or torment her long after the moment is gone, as it has for her mother.
Parents, please, teach your children that it is NOT cool to bully another. If you see any thing of the sort taking place, please take the offender aside immediately to address what took place and let them know that what happened was NOT okay at all. Have them apologize, if at all possible, although in this case, he sought to injure me with his final words after his apology, and as much as I tried not to allow it to, it did. Again, I ask what has happened in this child’s life for him to be going in this direction at such an early age. It saddens me greatly.
Bullying is NOT okay. It is never okay to bully another human being. Ever!
All I can do now is pray – pray for the little boy that acted in this manner today, pray that God would change his heart and his ways, pray that I was able to reach him today with my words so that he will think twice before he ever tries to intentionally inflict pain on another with his verbal assaults again. And I pray for peace for my daughter’s heart … and for mine. I pray that God will wrap my daughter securely in His loving arms and protect her … that she will have the armor of God on and nothing will be able to pierce the armor or her fragile heart.
Please join me in praying for the world that we live in. Please help me pray for children so they are not so mean and cruel to each other. Please pray that people will choose to build others up with their words instead of trying to tear them down. Please pray for their hearts to be changed and for God to convict them to run from their wicked ways.