Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's Not Okay

Bullying...just sucks.  I was not a confident little girl. There was a time I thought that perhaps it was my early abuse that made me different. But looking back after raising a child with Asperger's, I wonder if I wasn't a mild Aspie myself.  Whatever it was, I was a target.

Kids can smell different.  They didn't know why I used words they didn't, or why I preferred to read during recess instead of play handball.  They couldn't understand why I didn't enjoy group  sports, or why I didn't always understand their non-verbal social cues.  So it was on.  I was teased mercilessly and frequently emotionally toyed with.  School became torture.

By middle school I had decided if I was going to be considered different, I was going to be really good at it. And I was. I reveled in everything that set me apart, and began to find others like myself.

In High School I became one of the only openly practicing Pagan students. It was the grunge era, and it fit me just fine. I was emo enough to fit in great with long black tee-shirts and flannels.  I wore different like a suit.  If I was going to be bullied, it would be on my terms.  Somehow, that didn't make it hurt less.

I survived my bullying, and it did get better.  But I thought when I was a grown up, the bullying would be over.  I was shocked to find that the mentality was alive and well on the internet.  Women with the benefit of anonymity and a keyboard could say things they'd never imagine saying to someone's face.  Moms turning against moms.  I can be like childhood all over again.  Just with a much better vocabulary.  It turns out, I'm not the only one who's bothered by that.

We're focused as a nation on changing the culture of bullying in our schools.  It's time to do it for grown-ups, too.

So I've taken the Mom Pledge:
I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.

I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.

I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.

I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.

I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.

I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.

I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.

Read the pledge for yourself, here.
So, who else wants to take the Mom Pledge?


  1. It's amazing how things from childhood stick with you, isn't it? I'm glad you've taken the Mom Pledge!

  2. It's amazing to me that other women, who could do so much to strengthen and encourage one another, don't always decide that it's worth it to grow up. I'm glad I've taken the Mom Pledge, too. I hope it goes viral!

  3. Oh, my, this is one time where I can say with total confidence I know exactly how you felt. I was bullied pretty mercilessly myself. It started in the sixth grade with a teacher I now know was mean to other students, but she seemed to delight in picking on me and belittling me. But with the kids it got way far worse in 7th and 8th grades, especially on the school bus. I still tend to view buses as emotional torture chambers.

    I remember, at the time, curled up inside myself while the teasing was going on, and not responding, that I needed to forgive them. It has been a conscious effort over the years to do that. And it took into my 40s somewhere to where when I thought about it it didn't hurt all the time.

    When Paul Potts made his debut on "Britain's Got Talent," I was so proud of him for being honest about how he was bullied. I think his testimony gave many silent sufferers hope and encouragement.

    I like your mom pledge.


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