My Story about Loss and Grief
in my second blog article I will be talking about my personal story of loss, which is one of my most important motivations to support the Dee Dee Jackson Foundation (DDJF). The DDJF shines a light on children who suffer loss and grief. Did you know loss and grief can be experienced in many different ways? When I lost trust and safety as a child, I went through a grieving process myself. If you’d like to find out more about the many different kinds of loss and grief, please read this informative Grief Support Blog article.
I began to lose trust and safety at the age of six when girls from my class started bullying me. I still don’t understand why these girls bullied me. Bullying is a big problem that affects lots of kids. According to stopbullying.gov bullying is defined as repeated “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance” and includes actions such as “making threats, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose”. I suffered years of bullying from school classmates and students from another school until the age of 16.
My teachers were aware of me being bullied, but most of the time they stood still and did nothing about it. Of course, there were some conversations with the bullies and their parents but this made the situation even worse. At the end the bullying made me not wanting to go to school anymore, school became a place of fear. I always felt relieved when school was over. The end of the school day was the time I finally could go home, the place where I felt being loved and safe. Unfortunately, back then there were no anti-bullying programs. Today sites like stopbullying.gov or bullying.co.uk offer information and advices.
Because I was by myself a lot of the time, I was an easy target for bullies from another school. And I remember them beating me up on three different occasions. While this was happening, I once could look into a house with an adult just standing there and watching but doing nothing to help or protect me.
That’s how and why I lost the feeling of safety and trust at an early age. I not only lost trust in other children but also, apart from my parents, in adults. At the end of elementary school, I had very little self-esteem, I was insecure and didn’t know how to cope with my emotions. All these issues merged in angry outbursts. Music was my escape: Listening to music helped me to release my stress and tension. And I began having flute lessons. When I was playing the flute, I could forget the world around me and put all my emotions into my music.
Have you seen the bonus material from Jacksons Next Generation with TJ and his family sitting on the grass in a park? And TJ telling Jo Jo to say: “My name is Jo Jackson and I don’t take no mess”. This scene touched me very deeply, above all because that’s exactly what my parents practiced with me. It is so incredibly important for a parent to make children strong and teach them how to deal with the world around them.
My parents did everything they could to stop the bullying. They tried to make me stronger and made sure that I felt supported and loved. That period was as awful on them as it was for me. My parents and I thought the only way to escape from this situation was to start high school away from my bullies. In my next blog article I will tell you what happened there.
Until next time!
P.S. I want to thank my parents for always being there for me and sticking up for me when I need it. I love you both so very much.