If you know anything about the U.S. government, you know that every First Lady declares some type of cause that she wants to support and get behind while her husband is in office. Michelle Obama worked on childhood obesity. Laura Bush was focused on education. Hillary Clintion focused on national policy. Barbara Bush focused on literacy. You get the idea. Every first lady has something to put her all into.
Well, it has become apparent that Melania Trump has decided to work on cyberbullying.
This is so important. I'm extremely happy that she has made this choice. Let me tell you why.
Years ago, when I was in junior high (seventh and eighth grade) I was cyberbullied. It started with one simple message in my inbox of a girl at my school calling me fat and saying I needed to stop eating because I had posted something about having a headache. I won't go into too much detail but it didn't stop there. There were messages every day and people were always making snide, rude comments to me in class. For so long, I had tried to pretend that none of it bothered me. I tried to make that phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" work. I have since come to realize that this phrase is complete bull. But, as I think about it and look back on it now, I was completely broken by everything that was going on.
I tried telling people about what was going on but the sad truth is, schools are not equipped to handle cyberbullying incidents. There really needs to be more laws in place but that's for another article on another day. Needless to say, it didn't stop until I left that school and went to high school. I cried so much during those two years. I felt sad all the time and my self-confidence and self-esteem plummetted to the lowest they have ever been. I never thought about hurting myself in any type of way but I was always just wishing that it would all stop and go away.
I knew that I was not all of those things that they were saying I was. I knew that I was not who they thought I was. I knew I was worth so much wore than the baseless words they were saying. But, you know what? A 13 or 14 year old girl still cares about what other people around her say about her. I had a relationship with Jesus. I knew He made me in his image and that I was his beloved daughter. But, as human nature goes, I forgot that...a lot.
Eventually, things got better. I got to leave that school, move on and go to high school. I got to start a new chapter in life. But, there are still lasting effects of that to this day. I still have a hard time with my self-image. I tend to compare myself a lot with the ladies around me that I know and love. I'm really good at thinking less of myself because of any little flaw or detail. I'm not proud of it. I have good days but not as many as I would like.
With Jesus and the love and support of those closest to me, I know I'll be okay.
When I heard Melania was going to use cyberbullying as her "cause" while she is the First Lady, I was elated.
Maybe, with the work she will put in, there will be less children and teens going through what I did. Maybe schools will be better equipped to handle these situations when they are brought to their attention. Maybe there will be less children and teens staying home from school because their scared the bullying will continue into the classroom. Maybe there will be a decrease in the suicide rate among children and teens due to cyberbullying and bullying in general.
Maybe, just maybe, there will be more hope in the world and the world will be a better place because of the work she will put in.