Have you ever thought about what it would be like to switch places with someone? The movie(s) “Freaky Friday” comes to mind when I think about what it would be like to swap lives and be someone else for a day or two. Switching places in the movie worked out well for everyone involved but the reality is, it couldn’t happen. But even if it could, would anyone really want to?
I look at the lives of the stars who seem to live such glamorous, charmed lives. You see them smiling for the camera, dressed to kill with money and influence at their fingertips. What we forget about is that their privacy has either been given away or taken away. However it happened, the reality is, it’s gone. Cameras follow their every move. Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and their marriage problems are all over the magazines. Jennifer Anniston is said to be having a baby for the umpteenth time; cameras record her going to a doctors office. The young royals are speculated about and followed while they are walking together or coming out of a gym. That’s a little creepy. I don’t know about you but I don’t want be hounded by photographers when I’m just minding my own business and going about my day. No privacy.
Then I look at the lives of people who aren’t in the media spotlight but seem to lead charmed lives as well. Maybe they have a gorgeous home, fancy cars or they seem to get every break but what goes on behind closed doors is unknown. Maybe their marriage is in shambles but they smile just to mask the pain. Maybe they carry so much heart ache from years of pent up grief. Maybe they are gorgeous on the outside but truly rotten on the inside. Maybe their lives aren’t so charmed after all.
A recent blog post of mine was titled “This too shall pass.” I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about bullying and it’s effects on our youth. I read the post on http://www.findcatharsis.com/2011/09/the-bully-factor.html where the author, Laura, talks about her fears about bullying when it comes to her son. It’s beautifully written, giving her perspective on her thoughts about someone bullying her son who is developmentally delayed due to a stroke he suffered as an infant. Her piece got me to thinking about another blog I wrote not long ago called “Bullying.” I talked about my experiences with bullying as it peertained to my own kids. All of this got me to thinking about my own life ~ my past ~ high school and how this saying is applicable to the bullying that I endured and survived.
“This too shall pass” is a bitter pill to swallow when you’re the victim of bullying. You think it will never end. I was bullied high school by a group of senior girls ~ the queen bees ~ when I was a junior. They were the gorgeous girls of the school. They seemed to have it all ~ the clothes, the cars, the boyfriends. They were the “it” girls. I looked up to them and admired them until they turned on me. The queen bees decided, for whatever reason, to make my life miserable. They hunted me down in the halls before school and in between classes. Every day I would change my route from class to class so they couldn’t find me. I stopped going to lunch. I hid in the library during my lunch period so they couldn’t find me. My high school boyfriend made sure to meet up with me in between classes when he could so I wouldn’t be a lone target. I dreaded going to school. I did have a great group of friends but I was so embarrassed to be the target of bullying I didn’t talk about it much, if ever with them. I don’t know what I did to cause them to bully me. I never will. I thought the year would never end but the time finally passed. They were gone from school and gone from my life.
While I was being bullied I wished so badly I could change places with someone, anyone, so the queen bees would leave me alone. Sometimes I even wished I could change places with them so they could understand the knot of fear I felt in the pit of my stomach every morning when I pulled up to school. I even wanted to switch places with them so I could live, what I thought, was a great and charmed life. But now, I look back on the year in my life in a much different light. I survived. I didn’t let them get me. Much later, I realize I became stronger because of their targeted abuse. I don’t know if the queen bees can say the same of their behavior. Are they proud of how they behaved? Do they even remember or care how they behaved? Did they go on to lead the charmed lives they seemed destined to have or are they still beautiful on the outside but rotten on the inside? I won’t ever know the answers to those questions but I don’t really care to find out. I live a great ~ life warts and all and those girls, they have virtually no power over me ~ except to make me want to eradicate bullying in our schools. I remember their behavior but I didn’t let it get me down. It’s the past. Shockingly, I didn’t get change places with anyone, thankfully, or I wouldn’t be the person I am today…no “Freaky Friday” scenes for me.
I want my kiddos to learn to admire people for their character and not for their possessions, looks or any other superficiality. I want them to realize that people who look like they have everything still have shit going on in their lives. I want my kiddos to understand that everyone goes through bad times but bad times do end. I hope they learn to never want to be anyone else. I don’t want them wish for a “Freaky Friday” scene in their lives. I want them to know that shitty times do pass and we will love them, always.
Oh, for the love of my children…