First let me say that I am not at all trying to change the message of “black lives matter”. I think that this is actually a very important message to share with others and after a week that saw two horribly violent issues around black lives matter, it got me thinking. There are so many groups that have had to fight a stigma about who they are given their race, creed, color, or religion. As this week saw the horrible tragedy in Texas with police gunned down and also a video of a black man in a car shot by a policeman 4 times for what looks to be no reason, it just got me thinking that the idea that “Bullied Lives Matter” is another important message.
What do I mean by bullied lives matter? As someone who is specializing in bullying recovery, we are just realizing today that the damage to a bullying survivor can be quite severe. With statistics like 160,000 children don’t go to school due to bullying and those who are bullied are 7-9 times more likely to commit suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in youth, we need to do something about this as well. So we need to focus on a lot of issues, including the fact that bullied lives matter and we need to take it as seriously as we do other issues.
Long-term C-PTSD effects from bullying include high stress, anxiety, depression, and health issues. This certainly matters as we try to build a society of people who are good and care. We need to be able to say that bullied live matter and that bullying survivors should not continue to be victimized, ostracized or made to feel as if they are to blame for what happened to them. The mental and physical damage of bullying to the human child and adult can be quite harmful and lead to violent action, both in suicide and using a weapon to defend or fight back against bullies.
We are looking at this issue more closely, just as we are with black lives matter. They do matter, and a bully survivor’s life matters too. We have lots of issues to focus our attention on in this country. But finding empathy in a world that seems so un-empathetic is hard for those that have suffered, are suffering, or will suffer through the issues of bullying. We need to lose the stigma that mental illness is something that can’t be cured and that it is OK to have that happen if you experience trauma. We need to develop better ways to cope with helping bullying survivors as well as serial bullies. We need to care.
So, after a week of seeing how the “black lives matter” is affecting others, I just wanted to add that the life of a bullying survivor matters and we need to pay attention to that issue as well. I certainly hope that the school, workplace, and medical community continue to understand how serious the issue is and that it is one we should be working to make better. But, I know so many bullying survivors that suffer alone and in fear of what happened to them. If you are one of them and are reading this, know that you do matter to me and I know to many others. It is time to take our stand too and let people know we will not suffer any longer and that we didn’t deserve to be a victim. We are a survivor and I will continue to make sure that the voice of the bullying survivor is heard and that our lives matter. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. There is still so much to do, but we can get there together.