Our experiences growing up with bullying affected us in some challenging ways, but it also motivated us to work hard to prevent others from living through what we experienced. While resources weren't available then, it gives us relief and joy to see them available today.
Unfortunately, as I begin college, I haven't had my last experience with bullying. When most people think of bullying they think of physical brutality or mean girls spreading rumors -- both of which have happened to me. The reality is that bullying comes in many forms and sometimes happens when and where we least expect it.
So one day after picking Morgan up at school I asked her if Mary had ever done anything unkind to her. Morgan reached up from the back seat and pinched me hard behind the neck under my hair. Then she told me about the numerous control moves that Mary was using to try and control Morgan's actions. I tried to remain calm but my heart was racing. My child was afraid at school and it seemed to be out of my control.
We need to change society's attitude towards bullying; we have to educate each other about the things that make us the unique individuals we are -- the same things that other people use as a basis for bullying.
I encourage new members to join me in the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus and continue to build further coalitions with our youth, communities, educators and elected officials as we address and diminish this issue.
One afternoon at a a women's empowerment lecture I was asked up on stage to share my story. My stomach dropped, but then she said, "At any given moment, we have the power to change our story and make it what we want."