I saw an article of a young girl, only in elementary school, who committed suicide because of school bullying. It brought an experience back to mind, and it left me grateful for the day my mother prepared me, psychologically, for the world.
Her intent, I imagine, was to prepare me for first grade. She took my hand and pointed to my very strange and very visible birthmark on my right arm. She told me because of it, children will taunt me and make fun of it. She told me to not let them know if it gets to me because they will only continue if they see they can bother me with it.
I was six years old then, and I learned to make my birthmark my pride and joy. I wore it openly and proudly well into my adult life, until medical experts forced me into surgery to have it removed for health reasons.
The birthmark is gone, but the lesson my mother taught me is still with me. I don’t succumb to the attempts of others to destroy me. I have enough scars and enough victories as proof that I’m not easily broken.
I understand that every situation is different. However, I do hope and sincerely pray that we do not undermine the job of preparing our future generation to deal with adversities or brush aside the signs of the mental impact on those who are not able to cope effectively.