Teach Your Children Well...Please.

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janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 10/30/2006 3:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I've gotten a lot of nice responses from my lipstick thread and I want to share something that is very important now. We've all grown up saying the old rhyme, "Sticks and Stones". Our parents tried to convince us that words were something we should just dismiss when our peers insulted us with cruel remarks. Mom and dad were doing the best they knew how to shield us from the inevitable. I donn't know about you, but I STILL carry the bruises and scars from the cruel words of my peers. My only protection was to not let them see how much their taunts were hurting me inside. That would've just fueled their lust for tears and I refused to give them that satisfaction. Thankfully, my mom taught me that early on. Sure, I'm 42 years old now so what little kids said (and the not-so-little kids) don't hurt me any more. Right? Wrong. Definitely wrong! True, I can rationalize now how they were just foolish youngsters and such, but I can't rationalize away the emotional pain that I carry until this very day. I recall the fat jokes. Those were actually not the worst. What stands out the most was what happened in 12th grade. I was in homeroom. As usual, I sat in my seat and minded my own business. I was chubby, but not grossly fat. I had long pretty hair and wore tastefully applied make-up (learned about that one early on, as you know!) Although I make no claim to having been a breathtaking creature, I was far from the homeliest girl in school or even in that classroom. As I sat there in the front row, Eric, a tall black guy that actually had a crush on my sister, came up to me and started talking to me about how Tony, a friend of his that was sitting in the back of the room, wanted to take me to the prom. Now believe me, he was NOT serious. He was laughing as he said it. Tony and the other uys in the back of the room were laughing and shaking their heads. Everyone in class was taking all this in. I was the center of attention. The joke seemed to be that no one would ever seriously want to go out with the likes of me, much less take me to the prom. Being deeply hurt, I defended myself with the most hurtful thing I knew to say---that I would never go out with a black boy. Now this was not true in itself, because I am not prejudiced and had numerous crushes on black guys thru the years. I didn't use the "N" word though. Even then I couldn't bring myself to sink that low. I was just trying to hurt them back where I thought it might hurt them too. When the bell rang, I made a bee line to the door and walked quickly to my next class. When I got to my desk, I laid my head on my desk and cried. I kept wondering what it was about me that was so disgusting and ugly that I was the butt of such mockery. My teacher asked me what was wrong and I stepped outside of class and told her what had happened. I told her that I didn't know what was wrong with me. I wore clothes that were fashionable and my hair and make-up were nice too. All she did was suggest that I go to such-and-such a clothing store and buy some clothes fro there. Like I said though, my clothes were NOT out-of-style. I'd learned the hard way what that would've gotten me, years before and even then, in my darkest hour, I knew that I was dressed appropriately. Anyhow, all that the teacher did was make me feel that it was something about me that wasn't right. I didn't know WHAT it was, but I was not good enough somehow. I could never measure up and would never do so. You'd think that I would've gotten over that by now, but I never have. I have my phobias, including a phobia of relationships, so I've never had a boyfriend. Never. I will die a spinster. Don't try to tell me I won't, because I know what I know. Till this day, I am still uncomfortable calling myself a "woman". And the thought of a guy liking me seems ludicrous. I attribute a lot of my negative feelings about myself to the events of that day. No, it isn't the sole reason, but it plays a part. I remember when I lost a lot of weight in the mid 80's. I looked better than I'd ever looked in my life, but I still felt unattractive and unlovable inside. I've never felt worthy. I can't. Some of you may think that I'm just having a pity party, but I'm not. I'm just telling you the honest truth. I wish I could reason my negative feelings away, but they are even bigger than me. I could tell y'all so much more. You'd be amazed really. When I think back to all the things that have shaped my life and feelings, it's a wonder I'm able to get along as well as I manage to do. Thank goodness for friends like you and also for being able to have a sense of humor! So please, when you're telling your children to treat others nicely, let them know that it goes beyond just doing the right thing. Let them know that it can actually affect ones' lives forever. As they grow up, you can explain it a little bit more as their comprehension grows. Thanks for listening.
Luv,
janet


Yesterday's dead
Tomorrow's unknown
Today is here
And soon will be gone.
Use it wisely
Before it's too late
Remember to love
And forget to hate.
janet


Twiggygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 924
   Posted 10/30/2006 3:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Janet ... if you're not already doing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), I suggest you might want to give it a try. The approach with CBT really really truly applies to you. I could email all the lessons to you if you want. I really think they could help with negative thoughts and such.

I sincerely apologize about thsoe mean people in school and throughout your life, as I suffered through similar situations throughout junior high and high school.

I was never good enough either... I never had exactly the right clothes... and I still feel that way... and am still slightly paranoid about it. I wasn't exactly the "rich kid" and everyone else in the schools I attended were... which made me to be the outcast. Teachers never helped me either. There are so MANY different things that teacher could have said to you besides "try this clothing store" because that only further reassurred you that something was just not right with you, but she could have said "those kids are just mean, and you are perfectly fine as you are" which you ARE!! You're a beautiful person!! Inside and out! It's hard to find good support when you're growing up, and this could very much stem from why you suffer with anxiety and depression now.

If you want the CBT emailed to you, just ask, I will certainly send you every single lesson and every lesson that is sent to me from then on.


I wish you the best.


Twiggygal~
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

DX: Panic Disorder, Depression, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), Chronic Migraines
 
RX: Ativan/Lorazapam (1 MG a day), Lexapro (15 MG a day), Tylonel for the TMJ and Migraines
 



Bunny_UK
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/30/2006 5:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janet
 
I am really pleased I read your post. I too am phobic of relationships. I have had a couple, they last about 6 months because I can then find thousands of reasons why it won't work. But actually I am just afraid of the future. What happens if you pick the wrong one? Therefore it is sometimes easier to be alone but I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. I am with someone now, it has been 5 months. For the past 3 months I have had anxiety. It is hard reading other people's posts because a lot of people fall back on their relationship whereas it is mine that is causing the anxiety. My boyfriend has problems too from his past. We are both perfectionists which is why no one steps up to the mark for husband material. I thought we had done really well over the past 2 weeks and was even thinking in terms of future but on Saturday night he said he wasn't happy and thought we would be better splitting up. He changes his mind a lot and came round to see me Sunday with flowers but this means I am now 10 steps back with my anxiety because how can I trust a guy who can change his mind about leaving me so quickly. I really do think that I love him and he does love me but just can't cope with my anxiety. I am not sure whether to put my relationship on hold until I have finished my counselling (also doing CBT from emails) as I can see that I can change and it is my negative thoughts and learned behaviour that make me anxious. He has to guard his behaviour so as not to make me anxious (like not texting me so often - I know, most women would love the attention) and he feels trapped for doing this and can't express himself properly.
 
You make a very valid point that what we hear as children has a deep effect on our later years. Some of the things I was told at school and heard my parents say is now causing me problems. But I want to work through them. Today is a hard day because I feel very low after anxiety and I am at work trying to make my mind focus on something else. One of the hardest things for me is that one week I can feel really great then something happens and it feels like everything has fallen apart.
 
Twiggygal's advice is good, CBT would really help you.
 
Take care
 
Bunny
 
 

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/30/2006 5:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I was never good enough as far as I was concerned either no self esteem still to this day BUT
I do know I am a dang good mom and I do teach cait the ways of the world and she is a great daughter
has empahy and will stick up for ppl being nullied nd whatnot most of all I see the love in her eyes there just for me at any given time
yes we have our quarrels ......she is a minnie me and she also has no self image or self esteem she is a type A personality.........she talks to her big sis on here and I dont question or interfere I believe so much that she is with the best role model

Has to be A student and is already showing signs of A/p which only makes my opionion that is is hereditary stronger
Sweetie you are really loved and so specail
always giving yourself to others in need
keep that head held high you are well loved and oh so special as I already said but I want you to get that into your head ya know
I wish you knew just how many times you pulled me back up and made me feel so much better '
Luvs ya hun
Lyn
Thanks for sharing that as well
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jordaNZone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 10/30/2006 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there janetlee...I can relate to your story bigtime having endured similar taunts in my childhood...children can be sooo cruel - not realising the scars they can leave us with - which we then take with us into adult life!
You are doing the right thing letting it out - well done!
I have been to a wise and wonderful therapist some years ago, who taught me that it's ok to look back at all these hurts occasionally - coz they will bubble to the surface - but the trick is not to dwell on them too much - easier said than done - believe me I know :)
Lifes ups and downs make us wise. I don't know if you have children of your own..but I know from my own experience - it's made me a better parent in some respects, because I was aware, I was able to teach them to talk about what ever was bugging them at the time..and hopefully not store too much garbage in the back of their minds like I did!
Hope I haven't burbled on too much lol. Keep up the good work!

Maree

Suzy35
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 10/30/2006 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been there many times too Janetlee. We moved ALOT when I was in my school years so I was always the new kid and never really quite fit in. I remember picking gum out of my hair in high school cuz the guys in the back would throw little pieces into it. (I have red curly hair...double whammy) I hated school with every fiber of my being.
Thanks for sharing your story, from what I have read of your responses, you truely seem like a wonderful and caring person and I'm glad you are here.

janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 10/30/2006 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a feeling that most of the folks on here would be able to relate! I really did! :) I think that those mean things make us more empathetic caring people and in that one way, it's made us better people! about the CBT, I do get it in the email, but I need to start doing it! It seems like I'm always doing other things...sigh. BUt you're right, I need to try it! Thanks for sending it!
Lyn, You are a light in my life especially, and I'm glad when I make you feel better! All the folks on here are special, but you were one of the first ones to make me feel comfy on here! So many thanks go out to you!
Luv to all!
janet
Yesterday's dead
Tomorrow's unknown
Today is here
And soon will be gone.
Use it wisely
Before it's too late
Remember to love
And forget to hate.
janet


seechell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 10/30/2006 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Me too Janet and Twiggy-
I was never the popular girl in school. I had lots of friends and was in the pepclub and an officer, but the truth is, it was a lame group. I never had the 'cool' clothes and the popular girls and guys never gave me a second glance. I don't understand how people can be so mean. If they only knew what they were missing out on by being my friend. I'm a nice, caring, giving person. I'd give the shirt off my back to almost anyone. I donate things all of the time to our church for the less fortunate because we are less fortunate right now too. I have a huge pile of clothing I'm giving away, a couple pieces have never been worn.
 
I guess my point is, yes, kids are mean and cruel. My nephew is autistic, he has Aspberger's Syndrome, little geek. He is 8 yrs old, reads on almost my level, knew how to count by age 1, knew all his colors by 18 months, can do math on a 6th grade level, knows all there is to know about cars, can pick out the make, model and year of almost any vehicle by site, before he gets close enough to read it. He has very poor social skills and acts out to the point of horrible melt downs. He's broken metal door handles, thrown things. He's getting better. They are trying to integrate him into regular classes and he'll be there by next year, I hope. He has the social skills of about a 4 or 5 yr old. He's just starting to understand jokes, can't stand to be teased at all. I have to give him squeaky kisses on both cheeks and pick him up when I see him. This is our routine. He loves it. He gets made fun of all the time. He even had one little brat break his glasses. 
 
Kids are mean and I wish we could all know why. But a wise man and woman, my parents, told me that if you hold a grudge and hang onto it, it's only hurting you. The other person doesn't know that they are still doing it. They've probably forgotten it by now. Don't let them keep hurting you. It's poison.
 
I'm good at giving advise and need to learn to take my own. I still wish a swarm of bees would attack my ex. He's allergic. I still carry around the hatred for him and wish bad things on him all of the time, not just bees. It's only hurting me. But I don't know how to let it go. I'm sure you don't either. I'm going to talk to my counselor about it. Maybe that will bring some closer and help me move slowly out of this void I'm trapped in.
 
I hope I've helped a little. Janet, just know that even though I haven't seen you 'physically', I have seen you 'spiritually'. You are a beautiful woman to me. You have a brightness about you that shines through your words and thoughts. I know you've helped me alot, just my knowing you here. I don't need to see physical when all that really counts is the spirit inside you, inside all of us. 
Take Care,
               Chelle
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
  DX: ankylosing spondylitis, periferal neuropathy, chronic migraines/headaches, depression/panic attacks, bi-polar, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, orthostatic hypotension, sleep apnea
  RX: synthroid, estradiol, cymbalta, xanax, geodon, lamictal, inderal la, torfanil pm, celebrex, sonata, aspirin, relpax, phenergan, esgic plus
  Surgeries: hysterectomy 1997, tonsillectomy 2001, deviated septum 2005, cataracts (both eyes) 2006
 
 


stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 10/30/2006 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Janetlee, I think many of us here can relate to everything you have said. I wasn't the view of beauty in my highschool either, my mom was not a friendly sort so she didn't make friend with the other kid's parents, which of course meant that I didn't get to make friends with the other kids. It is all connected.

I think that sticks and stones bit is the biggest bunch of crap that we have ever told our kids. Words do hurt and they do leave bruises. I always tried to acknowledge the pain that it brought to my kids and then talk about why people do hurtful things. It doesn't make it any easier to stand the hurt when it happens but I think it does give kids some cognative tools for dealing with it longterm.

I think that other people's words hurt because deep down we are afraid that they might be right. Perhaps we aren't pretty or strong or smart or, or, or. Hurtful words play into our own selfdoubts. People who use hurtful words are trying to make themselves feel good about their own insecurities. I always told my kids that treating people that way doesn't make them smart, it doesn't make them strong, it just makes them mean. Mean people are cowardly and small. Somehow that has always worked for me and somehow it began to work for my kids too. I will admit that as an adult I have been stuck working for a few people who were bullies by nature. I stayed because I had to take care of my kids at the time and over time, the treatment of those people took it's toll on me. It takes energy and strength to counteract the mean people in this world.

Janetlee, you words are heartfelt and deeply felt. I wish I had words to help you. In addition to what I have already posted, I will again post my view on forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not about the other person. Forgiveness is about you. Forgiveness does not mean approving of the wrong that was done to you. Forgiveness means that you will not longer allow the acts of others to have the power to control you. Those hurtful people are insignificant in your life now. Those hurtful people may not be deserving of forgiveness but you are.

I'm so glad you shared this thread.
Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony


paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 10/30/2006 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
You are so right Janet! I am trying to teach my girls not to say mean things to people or treat people with disrespect. I was always on the other end of the teasing too. It has greatly affected my self esteem. What bothers me most is I still don't understand why I was teased by some kids in elementary school. I feel like because I was shy and quiet I was an easy target. My mom always taught me to respect people and be polite. I am still confused and angry that I once befriended a new boy in school when everyone else was teasing him and being mean to him. A couple of weeks later, wouldn't you know it, that boy started picking on ME! I had friends, I wasn't an outcast. I wasn't weird looking. I don't get it. I'm also still trying to figure out a couple of rude comments that were made to me in high school. They were from kids I didn't even know and they were really strange and mean spirited. I can only surmise that someone must have started a rumor about me that was very negative and made me out to be a sl*t or something?. That's what bugs me most, when I don't know where or why I was treated a certain way. I always second guess myself and wonder if I did something wrong. In the back of my mind I still fear that people won't like me. As I've gotten older though, I also realize that what those nasty kids said really had nothing to do with me. Obviously they had some kind of self esteem issues themselves or they wouldn't have bothered with me. I have some really close true friends and that's what matters in life. sometimes when I've found out the truth of why people were cruel it really puts things in prespective. I found out years later that a bunch of "friends" I had when I was 13 ostrisized me because my mom called everyones parents over an incident where we all blew off a haloween party and went out on our own, up to no good I guess. Long story short, my mom caught us and blew everyone in. She wanted everyone to have the same punishment. Found out later that one of the girls who started picking on me was the girl whose party we ditched. Looking back, that was rude of us and she was probably hurt and wanted to blame someone. Also the girls weren't too happy with my mom. Had I know this at the time it might have been a little easier to take, instead of suddenly finding myself with only 1 friend that would still talk to me. Oh boy, I need to stop now. Thank god I am not in Jr high or high school anymore!

Bethers36
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 10/30/2006 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow can I relate!!! I was beat up by the school bully from K-5th Grade. In turn, our class was small and the other kids would belittle me and make fun of me and I spent most recesses alone. I had no self esteem or self confidence and it has affected me all of my life. The teachers would turn their backs when the bully would hurt me and tried to tell me he liked me as boyfriend. Yeah right. The bruises didn't matter to them. The girls in my class made sure when I went to Junior High and High School that I hardly had any friends and told people I was retarded and a loser, any friends that I did make soon wanted nothing to do with me. Needless to say at lunch hour I got to know the bathroom as my friend as that is where I hung out mostly. It wasn't till we moved my junior year to AZ from MN that I was able to start a whole new life without people trying to make me into something I wasn't. I had friends from all walks of life and it was wonderful. I never felt so free in all my life. I was given a second chance. My senior year we moved back to MN and I had to start a 3rd high school it wasn't as fun as AZ but I still made friends. Sadly, my dad died in his sleep my senior year so that made life very hard for me. To this day, I still harbor much resentment to my former classmates that I spent a great deal of my life with, I feel cheated I missed out on sports, dates, cheer leading etc all because I was made to feel that I was crap and that I wasn't good enough. I was made to feel I shouldn't have a boyfriend, or wear makeup or wear a miniskirt. And if anyone did seem they liked me or wanted to be my friend they were told that I was loser and I would quickly lose that person as a friend. It was the worst feeling in the world. Many times I wanted to just disappear or end my life. There were times in my life and still go through this I experience this weird feeling where I feel I am not good enough to be in a certain store or good enough to be a certain event etc. It affects us for life and I can hope that someday the people that wronged us will realize it and accept some remorse and actually realize how their actions affected and really ruined what are supposed to be some of the best years of a person's life. I am so sorry for what you have been through but know you are not alone, there are many of us that have walked in your shoes, and that there was never anything wrong with you - the problem was THEM!!! They had to make us feel horrible in order to make themselves feel good!!! We are the stronger people and remember even though we don't realize it now there was a reason we had to endure such heartache it made us the people we are today. Strong and Good People and Caring people who would never hurt people the way they hurt us. God bless you and remember you are among friends who will always care!!!
Many Hugs always!
Bethers

Post Edited (Bethers36) : 10/30/2006 7:09:09 PM (GMT-7)


janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 10/30/2006 11:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone, your words are sweet and right on!!! :)
Actually, I DO realize that they were the real losers. But seriously, like Paniccu said, I still don't understand WHAT it was about me that made me a special target...I wasn't weird looking or such. I had my little click of friends. We weren't the popular crowd, we were just our own small group. I never wanted to be in the "in crowd". They were all so superficial and I could see them for what they were. Like the incident I posted about...when I got to my next class and was crying, this one girl walked over to ask me what was wrong. She was acting all sympathetic and such. I wouldn't tell her. She was one of those superficial people that I knew would love to have some juicy gossip to spread about me. Naw! She wasn't getting no info outta me!
Another incident that happened to me that seemed to confirm my being "unwanted and unattractive" was that I had a crush on this guy that worked at the 7-11. His name was Luke. My best friend and I would go in and play video games and he would come over and turn the key and let us play for free. He knew I had a crush on him and I got vibes that he liked me too. Well, one day I went in alone to buy a Big Gulp (I was addicted to them!) and he was there. I walked up to the counter to pay for it and he wanted to know if he could ask me something...I said sure and was thinking that he was going to ask me out...yeah. Uh-huh. HE says, would you ask your sister if she'd go out with me? I painted on a smile and said Sure. I'll ask her. I knew she wasn't the least bit interested in him, but as an honest person I told her later. I cried about that because it was like once again I was being told that I was nothing and my sister was Miss Beautiful. Now he had never shown any interest in her. She's 2 years younger than me. I wonder now if he said that to blow me off? Oh well, it hurt nonetheless. No, I'll never be a bride or a GF, but I've truly accepted that. I have people I love and care about and that'll do me. I love you guys too!
janet
Yesterday's dead
Tomorrow's unknown
Today is here
And soon will be gone.
Use it wisely
Before it's too late
Remember to love
And forget to hate.
janet


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/31/2006 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for those really touching words sis
Luvs ya
Lyn
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
         Don't Comprimise Yourself :you are all you have    
 Never Give up on Yourself ,Your True friends nor your Dignity
   


stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 10/31/2006 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
The truth is that there isn't anything about you, it is about the bully. They bully because they can. People of all looks, sizes, genders, nationalities, etc get bullied. There isn't a rhyme or reason to who or why. Bullies bully because they can and sometimes their victims are just available. There isn't any sense in it.
Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony

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