I look at my Littles and I can’t help but think of how they might have been now if they had never been bullied. I love my Littles through thick and thin, always and forever. There’s nothing that can ever change that. But there’s a small part of me that wonders what they would have been like if they had not been bullied in the previous years.
Before my daughter had been bullied, she used to talk to anyone and everyone with a second thought. While that scared me a little bit since there are so many strangers and others that could cause harm to her, she would make talk to others without really a second thought. It was very easy for her to make friends, in fact she thought everyone was her friend and played with everyone that she could. She would tell me about everyone she talked to and played with, about their lives, and what she learned from them. She was always so proud to have made a new friend. My daughter used to not care what anyone else thought of what she looked like, what she did, or what she said. She used to be her and there wasn’t anyone that could change her opinion about herself or “rain on her parade.” She knew what she liked and what she didn’t like, who she was, and what she was. Every single day, she would pick out a perfect outfit for herself that completely reflected her personality. It may not have matched to everyone else but it was her style and every clothing she picked out was a reflection of her. She would wear striped pants with a polka dot shirt, glitter jeans with a bright colored shirt, or a cute animal shirt with a skirt. It was her. Her style, her personality, her fashion. She loved it and so did her brother and I. I wished I could pull off the outfits she put together and rock it like she did.
Now, she’s changed. She’s not the same little free style, relaxed, fun loving big girl anymore.
She’s very cautious about what she wears, what she says, and what she does. Those outfits she used to wear are mostly long gone. Don’t get me wrong, she still wears cute outfits but she always stresses she has to make sure they match, are in style, and if anyone else likes them. With other littles, it’s a struggle for her majority of the time. It’s hard for her to make friends, speak to other littles, and play with them. She’s always worried about if they will like her or not like her and bully her, if she will get picked on, and what if she isn’t good enough to them. Anything she does, makes, or says now, is second guessed by herself on whether it’s good enough or not. She’s not confident in herself any more to say what’s on her mind, to do what she wants to do, or wear what she wants to wear. If there’s an idea or a problem she has, she doesn’t voice it until later when she’s alone with me.
She’s not the same little girl she was.
My son didn’t get bullied as much but it still has affected him in some ways. He used to have no problem making friends. Everyone and anyone was his friend, even the crossing guard and cashier at the store. He loved talking to everyone and making people laugh. He was always so excited about daycare, school, and even going to the store, simply because he could make friends and play with them.
Now, he’s different. He’s a different little boy.
He has a hard time making friends. He doesn’t just go up to other littles and adults and talk to them. He watches from a distance for a while and doesn’t really approach them. He’s not the same little friendly spunky big boy he used to be.
Both of my Littles have changed. Because of bullies. There’s no bringing back my spunky, free willed, fun loving, relaxed, outgoing Littles. They are forever changed.
I will always love them, always and forever. No matter how much they change or grow up, they will always be my Littles and in my heart. They will always be my life. It may take some time, like now, to get used to the new them and be able to help them with what they have gone through but I will always be there for them to help support, encourage, and love them.
At times I wish what they would have been like if they weren’t bullied. Would they still have no problem making friends? Would they be fun loving without a care in the world about what others thought of them? Would my daughter still be wearing the awesome outfits she used to pick out that fit her personality so well? Would they have confidence in themselves?
But then I remember that everything happens for a reason and no matter what, they are still my little babies and will always be my world. No matter what they go through or how much they grow up or change, I will always be there treasuring the moments. Every once in a while, like tonight at Girl Scouts for my daughter, I see little glimpses of her being her true self again and it almost makes me cry.
If you know your littles are getting bullied, please take it seriously and push to put a stop to it before it causes damage. If you know your littles are bullying others, please help them. It can cause damage to others that isn’t repairable completely.