I’m worried that my children’s skin won’t be thick enough for this world we’re in. I saw it all over my 10-year-old’s face this weekend when she had my phone.
She was shopping for Halloween costumes when I heard her gasp. Her eyes were big and filled with tears and her hand was over her mouth. “Mom…”
I took the phone from her and I saw another message pop up on my professional Facebook page. It was from the same woman I “exchanged” words with a little earlier. Here’s a screenshot:
My daughter stared and me…waited for me to say something. Her voice cracked when she said, “I am sorry, Mom. That’s so mean. Are you ok?”
The truth is…I was fine until I saw how upset my daughter was. Thankfully (unlike me), she has never been on the receiving end of unsolicted nastiness before. I pray that it stays that way but come on…we all know how the world works.
I can handle messages like this…I have for years. But there are young people out there who get messages like this DAILY. Vile messges full of nastiness, hate and ugliness come at them through text, email or Snap Chat. When we’re young, we don’t grasp the fact that nobody else defines us. When we’re young we don’t truly understand that when someone is acting nasty, then there’s something going on in their own world. When we’re young and someone says this kind of stuff to us, we feel hopeless and worthless.
A friend always tells me “hurt people…hurt people.”
Yes it’s true…but I am getting tired of giving people a free pass. I’m sorry that you’re hurting…I truly am. But that does not give anyone a right to wage a full-on verbal assault…especially to a STRANGER.
I think people need to be held accountable for what they send someone via email, text or social media. And don’t come at me with Freedom of Speech. Yes we have that right but we are not free from consequences. Messages like the one I got over the weekend ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN. Messages like the one I got are pushing our children OVER THE EDGE.
Messages like the one I got over the weekend from an ADULT are serving as an example to kids: IT’S OKAY TO TALK TO PEOPLE LIKE THIS.
It was important my daughter knows this: The nasty girl at the 7th grade lunch table sometimes grows up and morphs into a normal looking mom. But she never outgrew that mean-girl behavior, in fact, it has probably gotten worse because she has gotten away with it for so long. You can’t change her. You can only control how you respond. Know your worth. So when people call you names like fake, fat and ugly…you know you’re better than that.
Even to mean people.
Even when your blood is boiling…
Even when your east coast temper is about to come unhinged…
Even when you’re tempted to share the name of the person who sent the message…
Even when you’re at your breaking point…