random act of kindness #9

yesterday i was so busy with work and feeling stressed about a few things in my world.  at the same time i was thinking of my friends and missing them.  i wasn’t able to pick up the phone and chat with all of them at that moment.  i was in a time crunch.  but i could easily send a quick text message letting them know i was thinking about them.  i know that when i get a random text from someone in my life, it makes me smile.  makes me happy if i was otherwise bummed out.  a simple text says so much and many people don’t realize that.

in today’s world of technology, it is easy to get away from one on one conversation and hide from any real face to face or voice to voice  interaction with other humans.  for the introverted type like myself, that can be dangerous.  for anyone really, it can be dangerous.  texts, social media, emails…can all act as a shield from society.

but there is a flip side….

this same technology can act as a bridge for connecting people as well.  when life is busy or has its own plans for me…it prevents me from having the time to call everyone on my list or to check in with those i love.  that’s when the beauty of texting comes in to play.  i can say “hello”…”thinking of you”  in a matter of seconds.  and the receiver is sure to appreciate the act (generally) and will then know i am thinking of them and they are still on my radar, even though im not present or able to pick up the phone.  texting is a way to stay connected to those i love.  and i am grateful for that.

so random act of kindness #9 was texting a few friends that were on my mind…just to let them know i was thinking of them.  it’s that simple.  and it generally has  a big (positive) impact on the receiving end.

use our technological world in a positive way to stay connected.  it works.

IT’S SO SIMPLE AND THE KINDNESS IS APPRECIATED….

 

words leave marks!

wow.  i just ran across this story about a young girl who was bullied via facebook (and at school) for being “fat” and “unattractive.”  under a photo the girl posted on facebook of herself, a teen boy commented that she was so fat and disgusting that no one would want to rape her and that she should die and her body should be donated to science.   not sure if those were the exact words, but it went something like that.  watch the video for yourself.  it disgusts me. and saddens me.

this case made news originally because the young girls mom allegedly choked the teen boy after bullying his daughter. no, didn’t choke him to death, just seemingly grabbed his neck with force.   im not going to focus too much on that side of the story.  i will only say that i do not agree with her actions and think things should have been handled differently.

my focus here is going to be on the bullying of this young teen girl.  it breaks my heart.  makes my blood boil.  brings back memories i’d like to erase.  bullying was bad enough when i was a teen…today it is out of control. made worse through social networking, instant photos and videos, etc.  humiliation can be spread in seconds.

sadly, teasing is part of growing up.  almost every kid will experience it at some point.  however teasing turns into bullying when it is repetitive and done with intention to hurt.

as a child i was considered fat.  i was, as i recall, the biggest girl in elementary and junior high.  or at least that’s the way it felt.  i recall very few days that i was not bullied at school.  being called fat. fat ass.  ugly.  gross.  wide load signs put on my back.  cornered by teen boys who would steal my belongings, etc. the list goes on.  i cried all the time.  it was daily humiliation.   i was sad.  depressed.  scared.  and worst of all i hated myself.  eventually i began to believe all the horrible words these bullying kids threw in my direction for so many years of my childhood.

words leave marks!

       

so what effect can such bullying have on a child.  here are a few troubles that may transpire for the victim of bullying:

anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, poor social self-competence, depression, psychosomatic symptoms, social withdrawal, school refusal, school absenteeism, poor academic performance, physical health complaints, running away from home, alcohol and drug use, and suicide.

using myself as an example, by the time i was about to depart from junior high school, i was very depressed, my self-esteem was non-existent, i was horrible in social situations because i felt like no one would like me and i wasnt good enough, my self-confidence was shattered, i was often withdrawn, i faked sicknesses so i wouldn’t have to go to school, and i didn’t want to be alive.  when the time came for me to join high school, i lost a lot of weight, in all the wrong ways, because i couldn’t imagine 4 more years of hell.

as an adult…i am still uncomfortable in social situations, i am very introverted and quiet by nature, my self-esteem certainly resurfaced in adulthood, but has never reached its full potential, same goes for my self-confidence, my alcoholism and addictions were in full throttle as i entered early adulthood, i am rarely happy with my physical appearance and am constantly telling myself i am fat. i believe most of these characteristics developed as a bullied child and stuck with me into adulthood.  they are wired in my hard drive now.  i have a great life today and i do have confidence and self-esteem, and i do like the person i have become, but the ghosts of my childhood past still linger.  naturally.

so when i watched this video of this beautiful young teen, crying as she repeated the words of her bully, my heart broke.  i know what it feels like, and i don’t wish those feelings on even the worst of enemies.  emotional abuse is just as sad and just as dangerous as physical abuse.

how can we stop bullying?  how?

although being bullied as a little girl continues to affect me in some negative ways, i am lucky in that i didn’t grow into a mean, angry, bitter adult by way of my childhood emotional abuse.  i grew into a very emotionally sensitive, kind, thoughtful, and gentle woman. (most of the time-cause im not perfect) and  one who knows the dangers of abuse by words, and who can’t even imagine being so mean to another human being.  in fact, if i witness someone else saying hurtful things to another person, child or an adult, i feel it penetrate in me. and it makes me extremely uncomfortable.  not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  but it just is.

seriously…what can schools/parents do to prevent bullying to such extremes?

i hope this little girl who recently felt such emotional pain from bullying…can keep hold of her self-esteem and confidence and is shown, by way of love, how beautiful she is and how much she shines in this sometimes very cruel world.

please watch the video from the Dr. Drew show.

i am just posting the part regarding the bullying.  if you want to see the whole video, please visit HLN’s/Dr. Drew’s page.

the habit of self-disclosure

how much is too much disclosure?  eh, i don’t think about that too often these days.  my life is much like a permanent tattoo on my once blank canvassed body.  i put it out there.  on facebook.  wordpress.  pinterest.  twitter.  if i press delete, it’s not really deleted.  it’s permanently out there.  and i don’t worry about it.  i’m not going to hide behind a false bravado any longer.  what you see, is what you get.  i’m a little bit of everything, all rolled into one.  i think that’s a song lyric.

hiding behind a false bravado and masked self brought me no real happiness.  it was actually quite stressful acting as someone i wasn’t.  i think i lost my true self in the process.  im certain i did.  not anymore.  the real donna is out and continues to be pieced together daily.  with the help of self-disclosure.

I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR TOO LONG:

i use to hide my addictions.  my fears.  my uncomfortable dispositions.  my thoughts and feelings.  my tears.  my opinions….  you get the idea.  and i hid it all behind what appeared to be a mysterious and confident girl who held her own.  so im told at least.

it wasn’t all false.  i still like to add a little mystery to my persona.  and i do have a confidence that is growing.  however todays confidence is real and not a fallacious coverup.

i say how i feel more often.  i am honest to myself and to you.  if im scared, i’ll acknowledge it.  if im angry, i’ll acknowledge it.  if im hurt, i’ll acknowledge it.  i live by reasonable self disclosure.  i say reasonable, because of course there are some things in life that may need to be gently coddled before disclosing to someone.  or a deeper trust may need to be built before sharing.

so………

i have gotten into the habit of self disclosure.  what does that me exactly?

Self-disclosure means that you allow yourself to be open. It means that you have enough trust and faith in others that you can share your life, your dreams, your pains, your desire, your frustrations, loves, goals, and passions with another human being.

In doing so, you are opening yourself up for great happiness. You are also opening yourself up for great pain. Self-disclosure is a double-edged sword. You should, and need, to be open with people, but you have to choose the people whom you trust enough to let into your life.—-www.netplaces.com

yes, i have been sliced by the double-edged sword for trusting people i should not have trusted with such personal information about myself.  but i refuse to let a few bad seeds stop me from this great path of honesty, love, and happiness.  i cannot be happy if i am not authentic with myself and honest with you about the person i present to you.  and so, i take the risk in life to share.  if i don’t, i will never feel connected.  thus i will never be really happy.

TMI…..i don’t think so.

i found a self disclosure test online from psychology today.  you can find it by clicking here:  psychology today

and below, my friends, are my results:

 

give the test a try.  it’s fun!

i’ve been unveiling layer by layer and showing you the real me.  it’s your turn.

TAKE OFF THE MASKS….and you will find a real happiness.

 

can you make love to your apple device?

i bet there is an app for that! 

so i had to look.  and sure enough…

im not certain how i feel about the above app.  so i will not say anymore about it.

my iphone, ipad, and laptop macbook pro do not have a pulse.  they can not take a breath.  yet i have treated them as if they do.  these technological devices had become my main means of social interaction.  and for an introvert like myself, i welcomed this illusion of a social environment.  why?  because they made me feel “a part of” in areas i never felt “a part of” before.

that probably sounds a bit pathetic.  but im all about honesty in my life today, so if the truth makes me appear pathetic to you, then so be it.  however, i suspect i am not the only one who feels like they are finally a “part of “ this newly impersonal society we live in.  i might just be more apt to admit it and share it publicly then the next person.

i have never liked to talk on the phone.  today i (generally) don’t have to.  i can text.  i can email.  or facebook you.

for most of my life i never felt secure, safe, or comfortable with you in a room, or in a room full of many “youse”.  or sitting at the dinner table with you.  i found a solution for that.  social media.  i could  now feel comfortable walking into your world…your timeline via facebook or twitter.  i can see you from a distance and i can tell you how i feel without actually speaking to you.  i can watch your wedding.  the birth of your first child. your kids growing.  their first puppy.  your first divorce.  breakups. etc.  i can find out your interests via pinterest or your wordpress blog.  i can learn about your professional life via linkden or branchOut.  basically, i can be a part of your life without ever actually physically seeing you. touching you. hugging you, or hearing your voice. etc.

it’s rather incredible.  and on the other hand, it is rather sad.  I am almost 36 years old.  im not so concerned with myself and my lack of social abilities.  but the youngsters in the world are missing out on the vital practice of social interaction.  real human interaction is crucial for physical, mental, and spiritual growth and development.  in my opinion, kids are being stunted by the lack human to human interaction and contact.  i was born socially inept.   after all, i am an addict/alcoholic which breeds social anxiety, awkwardness and fear.  but for those born without the alcoholic gene or disposition, real human interactions can only be beneficial.

for those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you know many changes are slowly and rapidly occurring with me.  one of which is my ability to socialize a little better.  my mouth no longer ALWAYS feels stapled shut when in a room with you.  i might not be little miss social butterfly, but i have improved and my comfort zone has widened.  basically, i am not relying on social media/networks to stay “connected” to the human race any longer.  i still use it.  in fact, i think i use it more now than before.  but that is because my interest in you and my interest in life has blossomed.  and social networks are still the best way to keep track of you.  but i don’t have to rely on them any longer to feel “a part of” this world.  to feel “a part of” the human race. 

REAL PEOPLE. REAL SOCIAL INTERACTION. oh yeah…and REAL SMILES.

i think social networking is fabulous and beneficial in many ways.  but for awhile there it was my only form of “interaction,” and that interaction is really just a grand illusion. now i use these platforms more for information about you, not for the illusion of intimacy.  intimacy in my life now comes from real contact in human relationships.  i now know that i can’t really feel connected to you unless i can look you in the eyes.  hear the tone of your voice. and even give you a warm hug, expressing the joy i have for knowing you are in my life.  my tangible life, not my online story.