Stand Up Speak Out Bullying Hurts
I am learning to take care of my health now and be a confident entrepreneur, woman, mom, spouse and community leader. I am learning that bullying from my childhood into teens has had a huge impact on my health issues today. It also makes my experience especially important for the vision of my business of fitness, nutrition & wellness. It is through my eyes that I have created a place that gives a sense of belonging, community, acceptance, honesty, where a diverse group can find wellness through a journey of mind, body & soul.
Some Bully Facts that stood out to me
Bullying can have an effect on learning
Stress and anxiety caused by bullying and harassment can make it more difficult for kids to learn. It can cause difficulty in concentration and decrease their ability to focus, which affects their ability to remember things they have learned.
Bullying can lead to more serious concerns
Bullying is painful and humiliating, and kids who are bullied feel embarrassed, battered and shamed. If the pain is not relieved, bullying can even lead to consideration of suicide or violent behaviour.
Symptoms of Bullying have a detrimental impact on present & future
Not being able to sleep
Sleeping too much
Children who learn they can get away with violence and aggression continue to do so in adulthood. They have a higher chance of getting involved in dating aggression, sexual harassment and criminal behaviour later in life.
These facts and more can be found on BullyingCanada.
I can merely present one small piece of a very complex societal issue in order to share an experience that could positively impact someone. I am sure much more will come up in my journals for my own well-being.
As FarOut Fitness is growing as a wellness business and I am growing as a Mompreneur, I see the journey to wellness far beyond weight loss. Discovering my true wellness makes a difference in how I take care of myself and is the inspiration for FarOut Fitness.
It all makes sense. Now I’m connecting the dots. I am facing the health issues that I buried, so I started talking about it to help and heal myself, then others. This meant facing a history of depression & anxiety. The anxiety seemed to be there forever, but as a teen the onset depression meant days of crying, hiding & loneliness. The option to skip school was unheard of at that time. I thought it was just me.
I finally accepted my experience with depression & anxiety in the last 5 years. I know now that it actually helps me gage my own wellness since I listen to my body more when it starts giving me red flags that something is wrong. I can also reach people and help them with my experience, research, systems and strategies. It has only been one year since I stated talking to large groups about my mind-body connection and it is mentally exhausting. I open myself up each time to a vulnerable state, but I am teaching what I am meant to teach. I can be honest and reach kids now with my insight & experience where I couldn’t open up as a teacher in the school system.. I couldn’t take the risk, I couldn’t allow that vulnerability. Now this same vulnerability is exhausting, but powered by passion, strength & happiness to see my purpose and my reason for being a teacher.
An unexpected moment occurred in a ‘Hoop the Grumpies Away’ motivational talk at Holy Cross Junior High. One that brings me to this next level of wellness to connect the dots with my history of depression & anxiety I am opening this up to properly heal and become more aware as a parent and motivational leader for our kids. I am sure my memory is even blurred by the fact that I started to disassociate myself from what was happening in this bullying phase.
My brother came to see me speak at Holy Cross for support and love. We would not normally have this opportunity since he has been living in Vancouver for the last 14 years and he is 10 years younger than me. So as he says realistically, he really didn’t know what was going on with me, he was only 7 years old when I left home for university. So when ‘stuff’ was happening with me, he would just go play video games anyway. I am so happy we got to know each other later in life and talk about what was going on with me, since neither of us knew, my sister is in the middle and she couldn’t know either. I cannot even imagine what my parents went through as they watched it all happen and tried to find solutions in an extremely complex situation.
My Story as I know it
When I was 10 years old and in grade 6, a boy started to write me notes in class. He had a much older gf in gr. 10 at the time. The gf found out about the notes and started to bully and blame me as if I knew enough about stealing boyfriends at the time. I was and still am soft, gentle and kind. I experienced anxiety as a small child & learned to swallow emotions, so had no idea how to deal with this.
The boy and girl broke up and he even moved away but she followed me everyday. everywhere, home on the bus, circled my house, broke in to my house to ‘get’ me. threatening me & grabbing me in the mall, name calling, bum mockery etc, etc, etc. You all know the bully stories. She even followed me to a dance one night and attacked me from behind. I remember during grade 6, I was called to principals office for fighting and as you can imagine, my first time in the principal’s office was a huge deal. I couldn’t even speak to defend myself. She even laid assault charges on me and my mother! It was all very strange and confusing. I started to wonder if I was doing the stuff she accused me of doing. This lasted for 4 years and in that time, I separated myself from me, the depression set in without understanding or awareness that I needed to express my emotions and get support to manage all the events happening around me. My anxiety now had a friend, depression, and Cindy started to get lost way down deep inside. I did try to end it all and luckily I survived, but only by disassociation for a long time. I blocked it all out and would not speak about it. I pretended it wasn’t me. I remember things now like I read it or watched it. It may seem weird but I went on living like this, going through the motions.
I felt displaced for a very long time until Ethan was born and awakened emotions inside me that really hurt. I had to deal with my past to live in the present and the past left a negative impact on other decisions I made in relationships thereafter. I had no idea how to trust my gut, or protect myself. I didn’t learn to express my emotions. Ethan is the baby I never thought I could have, so he is my little miracle. He looked at me with such a complete unconditional love and he needed me to be there for him, to be present and to be his mommy and life force to get him off on a great start. The fear jolted every stubborn cell in my body to rise up and fight for the little girl I buried. There was never anything more important to me in my entire life than to be healthy and strong for this little boy. I finally wanted to live, in the present, for real. My stories started to connect and make me realize who I am. They also made it very important to see people for who they really are. I need to trust and believe people when I am in close relationships with them. Now I trust my gut to tell me to listen to what my body is saying. Now I will take care of my body, mind & soul.
I believe in the teaching Power of Empathy and the Power of Expression to help us at all ages in situations that could lead to a bullying relationships. A heartfelt Facebook conversation produced many comments urging the need for more awareness, more education, more healing. One dear friend posted a beautiful demonstration of the Power of Empathy in the video link above. Another dear friend posted a beautiful, sad video on how children learn. they do what they see, so we as parents, adults & teachers have to learn first to deal with our emotions in order to model to our children. I am learning now with other families to help spread healing words.
Journals were always a comfortable form of personal expression. Everyone needs an outlet. One of my goals is to create positive outlets of expression. It’s why I believe Language, Art, & Dance to be essential to our well-being.
Here’s a poem I wrote to my parents in 2001, trying to explain and apologize for the never-ending confusion in my life. I knew they loved me and I knew something was wrong.
To read my baby book, you can see
I’m a softy at heart, with a will to please
That has been the strife
I’ve endured my entire life
Sometimes I want to be a bitch
But I was taught to be nice
Who knew nice meant sacrificing life
But I don’t regret being me
Since I can pass on a better life
To those who ‘see’
Blind people pass us daily
Thinking the world owes them freely
They will learn now or next
That life is a lesson to learn at best
My parents gave me everything
Positive they possibly could
But the real world changes
Everything we thought that should
They fill me up and send me out
To fight the battles that will not end
A depleted tank leaves us empty
No soul, no spirit in need of a friend
We always go back to will to go on
And our lessons repeat themselves
Through each generation
“Those were the days”, the old folk say
To remember the good times of their day
“What’s happened to the young people?”
We wonder as new problems arise
But it’s the same really
With added pressure and technology
Why do we end up where we do?
Why do we recreate that which we’re used to?
Miscommunication, Abuse or Neglect,
It’s to solve the issues we avoid and reject
Our fears stay with us throughout life
It’s how we learn to deal
That makes a difference to our strife!
Dealing is not as easy as it may seem
For doing what we should is often a dream
Written December 2, 2001 To Mom & Dad with a million thanks
Who knows why, but thank God I’ve had you both,
So I guess it’ll be ok and some of us will be wise?
Wellness – Worth – Identity – Acceptance – Expression – Awareness – Validation – Support – Time – Activities – Communication – Eye Contact – Hugs – Love – Wellness
Share it! Stand Up-Speak Out!
I am on a path of self discovery and wellness discovery so I have written many mood journals to get here. Other blog posts that come from a series of mood journals are listed below. They have helped me open up and be me with love and intention to grow. I am sure I’ll learn much more. I am sure that my memories are blurred from youth and my health. I am also sure that it is extremely difficult to manage a child who experienced what I did. I know that it is difficult on my spouse and family. As I create and find strategies, I will share them in hope that it will help someone else. I believe I am meant to do this and that I have been a teacher for about 20 years now to pass on guidance, support and positive living to break old patterns, to be ok with who we are and know love.
Journals are My Power of Expression
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Stay tuned for more, ’cause we are getting well together <3
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://faroutfitness.ca/farout-fitness-gallery/cindy-hooping-2[/author_image] [author_info]Cindy is a motivational coach in fitness, nutrition & wellness. She teaches Hula Hoop Fun, Kettlebell & Zumba. She also leads school and corporate wellness initiatives.[/author_info] [/author]