Look at this awesome kid; smart, beautiful, kind to everyone she meets.
This is me. I was bullied.
I don’t mean that some kids were mean to me. I mean that one girl, among other boys and girls, singled me out and made many of my days miserable; relentless harassment, body shaming, terrible, nasty bullying.
For the sake of her anonymity, I’ll call her Sue. I’m not sure why I would grant her that kindness, but I will. Occasionally she comes up on my Facebook as a suggested friend. I typically giggle. Friend….
This girl made me hate everything about myself. She called me fat. She called me stupid and she made fun of my family not having the kind of money her family enjoyed. She evoked laughter from everyone…at my expense.
I hated going to school. I hated getting dressed. I hated myself.
She taught me that I was nothing. I was ugly. Her words struck me so deep, that some of them still seem almost raw.
If only I had had a doula.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother was amazing. Every day she would tell me how wonderful I was, how beautiful I was, and how Sue didn’t matter.
“Look in the mirror. Look inside and out.”
But see, that was her job. Inherently we all know that our inner-circle-people are obligated-and enjoy-building us up. It means so much, but it falls short of FIXING the problem, despite their best efforts.
See, a doula would have empowered me in a way that is not possible through people who surround you ever day. A doula would have shown me my own strength. A doula would have encouraged confidence to speak up and allow Sue to hear my voice, too. A doula would have helped me to forgive myself in my moments of weakness, when I felt overwhelmed by the day, by the inaction of my teachers and the school. In an environment where “kids are cruel” a doula would have helped me to maintain mySELF.
A doula cannot fix a problem, save the day, or make something better. A doula empowers YOU to make it better for yourself.
So, Sue, if you’re reading this, I hope you found the help you needed to not be so ugly on the inside. I found what I needed to bring out what is beautiful, inside and out.
Also, Sue, Fuck you.
For more information on bullying, please visit http://www.stopbullying.gov/