I read an article today about a girl who became pregnant at 13. I need to point out here (especially for my teenage fans) that this girl and her boyfriend were using condoms . . they don’t always work. Just throwing that out there . . .
Anyway, so she found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to go back to school. She starting taking classes online that fall. Her brother was nominated for Homecoming court. So she went to a football game. When the student section saw her, they started chanting “whore” at her. And they were throwing things at her. She said she felt like she was going to throw up. Along with that, she was getting phone calls and texts from blocked numbers. One night she received over 60 messages . . in one night! And none of these were saying nice things.
Here is an amazing thing. This girl was 13/14 years at that time. She made a HUGE decision. She stopped her social media accounts and she put her cell phone in the family safe. She turned off all those voices that seeked to destroy her. Do you know how AMAZING that is???
The rest of the story – the girl is now 17. Her adorable girl is 2 1/2. She switched schools. She’s a member of the National Honor’s Society, has a 3.56 GPA and is a good mother! Those things are all amazing.
Here’s the part I want to focus on . . . she turned off the noise! That is amazing.
A truth of life is that people will always talk about you. They will say good things on occasion. But mostly the people who talk, will talk bad. They will talk in person, on the phone, online, and any other way they can. They will judge you. They will condemn you. They will try to get others to join them. And this can destroy you . . . if you let it. You have the power to listen to them or not. YOU HAVE THAT POWER!
That last part is missed sooo much. I just read the other day about another teenager who ended her life because of the bullying she received. I know some of the bullying was in person. But for the majority of it – the majority of the bullying was online and texts and messages. And it doesn’t have to be this way. I read the remarks from her parents. They want the kids who were doing the bullying to pay and to suffer. I do understand feeling that way.
I would love to end bullying. But bullying has been around since the beginning of time. I am a pretty optimistic person, but I see no way to turn the hearts and minds of every person on Earth.
In the meantime, we can teach an invaluable lesson to our kids. A lesson that the teenage mother learned. We can teach our kids not to listen. We can teach them to shut things down and off. The voices that are torturing you have a mute button . . and you control it. You just have to push it. The more you listen to that garbage, the less you think of yourself . . . and the harder it is to hit that button. Don’t even go down that road. Just turn them all off.
Let them talk behind your back. If you are walking forward, they are staying still. While you move to a better destination; they’ll still be there behind your back . . in the same place . . . still talking. Soon enough you’ll be so far away from them you can’t even hear them. Then you’ll be so far away that you can’t even see them. They can’t stop you! Turn them off!
I know I make it sound simple. Believe me, I know how very hard it actually is. I was bullied quite a bit in middle school. And that was before the days of cell phones and the internet. I remember sitting in a classroom, just praying for the clock to move faster so I could get back home and be safe. But I had that. I had a safe home. I didn’t have the voices following me thru a lit up screen or a phone to harrass me late at night. Sometimes the voices would stick in my head during those times. And for that, I had a friend. I had my mom. I had someone who reminded me to turn those voices off. She reminded me that those words were lies. And now I’m telling you, that if people are bullying you, the mean and hurtful things they say are lies. I don’t even need to hear what they’ve said to know that they are lies. They are. Turn them off.
Tonight I am thankful for reading an article that I thought was just about a teenage mother; when it turned out to be so much more. Think of this girl. Really think about her. She was scared and embarrassed. She was bullied and harassed. But she didn’t stay a victim. She had bigger plans. She turned off the negative voices and she went down her path. Turn off the negative voices . . do it now. Don’t wait until they get louder.