I was humbled and overwhelmed by the response to my last post, An Open Letter to My Daughters Bullies. Including, But Not Limited to the Mean Girls. Thank you for your support, your re-posts, and all the love and encouragement you sent our way! It meant so much to me, and to Casey, as well. I was struck by the number of you who told me your own stories of having been bullied and stories of the way your children have suffered and been victimized. But it’s that last phrase, “victimized”, that compels me to write a follow-up blog; Because even though Casey was, perhaps, a victim at the time, that isn’t the case today and that blog wasn’t the end of the story.
Casey is thriving. Period. Although ideally, she would rather be in school, not having to contend with so much high school level drama, intolerance, and exclusion has been a huge relief for her. It’s given her mental and emotional space to bloom. She feels free. She feels relieved. But best of all, she’s happy. She currently has a 95 average. She understands her math. (Sorry, this may be my own issue here…I’m always totally impressed when people understand Algebra. And any math. This could be why I married an accountant.) She has kept up with cello through private lessons. She takes Karate. She attends a youth Bible Study and Youth Group at our church . She’s part of a weekly home school co-op group with other high school students where she participates in a Phys Ed class and takes two other courses- American Government, and Literature- in addition to her own 9th grade academic schedule. She absolutely loves it. This past weekend, a treasured girlfriend invited Casey to her school’s Homecoming Dance- an event that she was originally very disappointed at the thought of missing. It is priceless that this friend thought of Casey and knew how much it would mean for her to still have the chance to go. She had a blast.
It has not changed her. Bullies have not changed her. It hasn’t ruined her. She is not a victim. Was she hurt? Yes. Was it painful? Yes, and still is some days. Would I rather it wasn’t part of her story? Absolutely. But if you ask her about it, she’ll tell you she’s stronger for it. Kinder yet, if that’s possible. She is the girl who will notice someone sitting by themselves and go sit with them and chat because she hates to see them alone. She hates gossip. She hates all things mean. It’s true, I am her teacher. But while I am busy teaching her about life, she’s teaching me what life is all about.
As an end note–If you’ve had a bad day, had your heart broke…or been bullied…there’s a Taylor Swift song for that! And we adore her. Click here to see Taylor’s total victory over her bullies.