Hi everyone! I normally don’t get into topics of religions or bullying or what not but it’s very late and I am in a thoughtful mood so looking back at things I would like to tell you a story. There are many things out there about bullying these days. Unfortunately there is something even worse for kids then bullying, being ignored.
It was a typical winters day, the little girl picked up her lunch tray and walked over to the tables to sit. Nobody looked up as she walked past, none of the other happily chatting and eating kids called her over to their table with the invite to join them. She reached the end of the tables and slid into the end of the last one, alone. No other kids were at the table for her to talk to, not that they would even have acknowledged her if they had been there.
Looking down at her tray her stomach cramped and what little appetite she had disappeared. She fought to hide the fact she was about to start crying, having been made fun of for crying at school a few weeks before. Today was her 10th birthday. Even though it should have been a happy day full of celebration and fun it was actually a very sad empty day for her. Nobody had yet to wish her happy birthday, not her mother or teachers, none of her classmates either. Not even so much as a card or word was said. The teachers always wrote the birthdays on the chalkboard and had the class sing happy birthday, but her teacher hadn’t done that.
She stared off through the big window trying not to think about what her birthday was going to end up like. She didn’t really have any friends because she was shy, her parents had divorced the previous year right after her older brother had moved out of the house. Her mother had already told her she wouldn’t be home till late because she was going to dinner at one of the fancy restaurants downtown with some of her friends from work. Her father was working a 16 hour shift that day so he wouldn’t be able to call her either. Her brother hadn’t been heard from since he had moved out and she missed him a lot. The rest of her family pretty much ignored her too. She picked at the lint on her sweater trying not to think about it. trying to block out the fact it was her birthday. She picked at her food trying to eat something but her stomach always seemed to roll when she took a bite. It was okay though, she wasn’t really hungry anyway. She dumped her tray and went back to her classroom.
The day passed and she concentrated on her lessons, ignoring the upset stomach. Secretly she kept hoping that SOMEONE would remember her. Acknowledge that it was the day she was born in even a small way. As the day wore on her heart and hope sank farther and farther into her toes until it leached out into the floor. The end of the school day came and she put on her coat and got her backpack and books. She rode the bus home just like every other day and let herself into a quiet empty house.
She hung her coat on the back of a chair and dropped her backpack onto the floor, curled up on the sofa and cried. She was 10 years old now, no longer a “little kid” she was one of the “big kids” now and nobody even noticed. Nobody even cared. She felt completely and totally alone. As the tears fell and she cried large sobs her black kitten jumped up beside her and rubbed her on the arm. The little black kitten was her ONLY friend and at that moment it was the only person in the entire world that cared about her. For some reason that made her feel better and worse at the same time and she cried even harder.
She cried herself to sleep there on the sofa. When she woke up it was dark and her mom still wasn’t home. She turned on a light and felt hollow, looking around she sighed and something inside shifted and told her to get used to it. This was how it was going to be from now on. She checked the mail wondering if MAYBE someone had sent her a card, there was nothing. She was let down, hurt and felt alone all over again. It was getting late and she didn’t know when her mother was going to come home. so she went in the kitchen to find something to eat. A plain peanut butter sandwich was her birthday dinner. She did her homework and went upstairs and got a hot bath. By then it was almost 8 and still no mom so she pulled out a book and read. 2 books later her mom finally got home. It was around 1030pm.
Even though her mom had not paid any attention to her beyond what was absolutely necessary since they had moved out of her old home she had a faint hope and fervent wish that her mom would at least wish her a happy birthday before she went to bed. Instead she heard her mom complaining about her book bag being in the floor and her coat not being in the closet. She turned off her light and laid down to sleep. The last thing she heard before she closed her eyes on her 10th birthday washer mother muttering “good the brat is asleep” from her bedroom door and silent tears started falling wetting her pillow. She cried herself to sleep again.
That little girl grew up being ignored, feeling invisible, unloved and unwanted and completely insignificant. The lack of feeling cared about caused her to shut down on people, to become distant, to actually become afraid of people who were supposed to care. She felt completely uncared about by anyone and incredibly hurt by those closest to her. It left her with an inability to trust in people, especially anyone who said they loved her
Yes bullying is wrong and its hurtful but being invisible is worse than bullying. Its one thing to be picked on and tormented, it’s another to feel completely unwanted, uncared for, and completely insignificant. Being an invisible child is what leads to life long battles with self-esteem, trust issues, and depression. It is what causes trouble with having good strong relationships with others no matter how much they may want it. Invisible children will ALWAYS suffer the rest of their lives. They want to trust but don’t know how to do so easily. They want friends and close personal relationships but struggle to maintain them, always fighting with themselves to try and feel equal or worthy or loved or even cared about in the relationship. They struggle to feel good enough or worthy enough of ANY happiness, even with years of therapy and medications. They crave friendships and being around people and relationships yet are constantly afraid of being rejected and turned away or being “odd man out” from everyone. They fear being isolated from people or rejected by people so they isolate themselves to protect themselves from the hurt.
PLEASE people, I ask you to raise your kids in a way so their not ignored, and teach them to friend those kids that don’t have friends. Teach them not to give up on those kids, because those kids are the ones who need a friend the most.