This post was first published on July 31, 2018. I share this with you again in 2023 with a post-script.
I am a creative person.
This is both an amazing gift and also poses many challenges. One of which is I am highly sensitive.
It wasn’t until recently, while reading “Wired to Create” that I realised that being creative and being highly sensitive were scientifically-proven to be related.
“Not only performers but creative people of all types tend to be acutely sensitive, and conversely, sensitive people are often quite creative. It’s easy to see how one trait feeds into another: To both the highly creative and the highly sensitive mind, there’s simply more to observe, take in, feel, and process in their environment. To highly sensitive people…the world may appear to be more colourful, dramatic, tragic and beautiful.”
And what this means for me is, I cry.
I cry with happiness and I cry with sadness. I cry if I’m completely exhausted and tired and I cry when talking about things close to my heart.
And I cry when people I care about are hurting.
And this brings me to today.
Twice today I cried when other people would have just been able to sit and take it.
First, was when someone asked me: “What would your colleagues, and your family, say about you as a person and an educator?” I welled up. What would people say? I knew exactly what they would say – suddenly their faces flashed through my mind and I could hear their encouraging words. And it made me want to cry with happiness. I am so grateful to have such amazing people around me – supporting and believing in me.
The second time, was out of sadness for someone who didn’t believe there were people supporting and protecting them. Someone who at the age of 12 did something so out of character and desperate – something they will regret for a long time.
As a teacher, I work hard on building positive relationships with my students – getting to know them, providing them a happy smile and kind word. When I hear that one of them is hurting or struggling, it affects me. To hear that a student who is such a sweet, caring and lovely child could be so hurt and afraid they have to take drastic measures to protect themselves makes me sad and makes me feel like we have let them down.
We as a society. As educators. As parents.
The silver lining though is that today was a cry for help and I truly hope that help, support, protection and love is provided. And I am thankful this child is still here – for we hear many many stories of young people who, due to bullying, have taken their own lives.
So, today I am grateful that the worst I had to endure was crying a little because I know there is a scared, sad young person out there who endured far worse today. And it is for this person that I will be saying a special prayer for tonight.
Post Script: I first wrote this post in 2018. I put it up and many read it, but I then removed it. I took it down because I was afraid – afraid of what people would think. Afraid that it could make the position of this young person worse. But today, as I re-read this post, I felt it had a place and an important message for us educators. I also feel it has a place because I met the young woman in this post 6 years on from this incident and she is doing so well. As bright and full of life as ever and she recognised me! She made the time to say hello. And we talked and it made my day. Did I cry? Of course I did. Tears of joy to see a young person who is flourishing and has overcome so much and has such a bright future ahead! Shine bright young lady – we believe in you. And I will always remember you. D x
(Featured Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash)