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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What you need to know about Girl Bullies

Trace in her younger days

Anything had to be better than my childhood. Being back at school was my escape.
I had no clue how to change what was happening at home. Writing in my diary was useful if I had a problem. If I had access to therapy, it would have helped.
Life was simpler then: I thought I knew so much when actually I knew so little.
I didn’t have this great grasp of reality and I wasn’t feeling great about myself. I wanted to be an older jazzier version of me.
Magazines did build my fantasies. Models and musicians were my bigger-than-life role models; all the media hype I believed. No one warned me that gossip rags simply made up stuff.  I became a devoted believer-reader of celebrity trash-talk. Yup, I was naïve. I wanted to be them, not me.
Come to think of it: being jealous all the time was not useful. Those magazines filled my head with what I wasn’t.
So when someone wore new clothes or spoke big words I didn’t understand, I was green with envy. There was plenty I envied. (Of course I knew the Catholic Commandment about coveting and I tried to stop myself.)
I thought my life would actually improve when I got to college; when I was on my own. This idea became constant. This idea kept me relatively sane.
So now its 2010 and school is about to start.  I loved getting ready for my first day back. Then I remembered the two girls who stole what I needed to play the stock market game in my high school social studies class. It bothered me. I didn’t know why they would do something like that to me.
What did I do to them? Nothing.
When my teacher Steve told me their names, it hit me these two girls were bullies.  Nothing I could say to them would make it better.
There are kids who have a mess at home and yes, they might take their frustrations out on other kids and classmates: so they become bullies.
I understand how low self-esteem works. I could have been a bully. It would have been easy. I had plenty to be angry about, especially then.
Something in me snapped. I decided to move past my envy. I decided you have to be a bigger person.
I think about girls who are bullies and bullied today, and how girls are influenced by the media images, just like I was! These bad girl images slam us everyday: be thinner, be prettier, be smarter, be Britney, be Paris.
Repeat after me: I am enough. I am enough.

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Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.