“I am worthless! No one likes me…I don’t matter!” These are the words that my beautiful 12-year-old sister said to me with tears running down her face, after being bullied at school. As an older sister, I looked at her with sympathy and shock. I asked why she felt this way and she explained how it was the “in thing to do, to not like her.” She stated people made fun of her daily and ignored her in group conversations. I hugged my sister and explained to her that at this age teenagers could be insensitive and said a prayer with her for strength. However, later that month, my sister came back to me and stated two of her classmates came to her and confided in her about the same feelings. All three of these youth were age 12 or 13 and in Catholic school.
This lead me to question how many more children across the country are dealing with bullying and feelings of low self worth and coincidentally suicide? Are our youth maturing on the outside, but suffering on the inside? How might we go about not only helping heal the wounds, but building them up as well in the spirit of Christ? The bible says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34:18, 19). My sister is only one example, but in hearing her classmates echo the same feelings, she was able to find solace in not being alone. I believe this can be the first step. They are not alone and we the sisters, siblings, parents and Church are with them.