Tift County - Today’s story comes from Tift County. While we would love to not run a Bully-A-Day story on Christmas Day, the bullying doesn’t always take a break, so we don’t either. This story comes to us from Jenn Coker. It deals with her own son’s dealing with bullying and illustrates well what a bullying victim deals with it.
I want to share the story of my oldest son and what he went through a couple of years ago as a result of being bullied. We live in Tift County and my son was going into 6th grade (He is currently in 9th) We knew this was going to be a tough transition year but we weren’t prepared for what was to come.
My son started to become more and more emotional. Sure, we could blame it on hormonal changes in a 12 year old going through puberty but deep down I felt in my heart something more was to blame for his sudden behavior change. He was lashing out at his younger brothers. He would get upset easy and ended up having anxiety attacks.
One evening he confessed to us in the middle of an anxiety attack that he was thinking of ‘hurting himself’. My world changed in an instant. I knew something else was going on. I immediately got him into the pediatrician who referred us to a Counselor. It was through that counselor that the truth came out — Tyler was being bullied at school. He is small for his age and that gave the bullies ammunition. He was being cornered in the boys’ bathroom and choked repeatedly. He was shaken like a rag doll and called names. The boy that was doing this to my son was much bigger and intimidating. My son tried to tell on him but there were no witnesses since this was in the bathroom therefore nothing could be done. However, one day another kid happened to walk in when this was happening and was brave enough to tell a teacher what he saw. That kid probably saved my kids life in more than one way.
Because my son is shorter and smaller than other kids, he was a target. He was made to feel ugly, useless, and unloved. I look back and think that I was lucky I got him help when I did because my son’s story could have ended differently. My advice to parents/guardians — talk to your kids. Don’t stop talking to your kids even when they’re pushing you away — talk some more. You never know when someone is hiding behind a smile.
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