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heidilynnrussell

In reply to Iaan

Dear Iaan,
Apologies that I did not reply sooner -- it's been busy here, as we are already getting ready to start our new school year in one week!
But I did want to respond to your comment about distancing yourself from your friends, in anticipation of moving again.
I understand this feeling all too well.
And I feel it is very important for me to share this one insight with you:
If I could dial back in time to your age again and re-do my pre-teen and teenage years, I would have forced myself to make more new friends, even though I knew my parents were going to move again.
I was in two different high schools in Ohio and New York. When we moved to New York my junior year, I just gave up socially. I decided to wait it out my last two years of high school and isolate myself until I got to college.
It was the worst thing I could have done.
In college, because I knew I had four years in one place, I went all out and made tons of friends and got involved heavily in campus leadership.
But I missed out a LOT on the end of my high school years, because I decided it was "better" for me to not make friends that I would have to leave. It was not the right decision.
I know it is super hard to make friends only to have to say goodbye to them again. Believe me, I know.
But in the future, when you are finally my age, you will be so glad you did it, and you may be surprised that some of them are still in your life.
See, even though I did isolate myself for those last two years of high school, the friends I chose to make are still in my life. In fact, I trade messages with them almost every day now on Facebook, and it's fun to see how their kids are growing and what their lives are like today.
I would strongly encourage you to take a chance and be yourself and do whatever you have to do to make friends.
Just one piece of advice from a former kid who moved around a LOT, just like you are now. :-)

I hope that your new school year will be wonderful, but also remember all of us here are one keyboard stroke away from supporting you. Again, sorry I was not on the forum earlier to respond.
--Heidi
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heidilynnrussell
Checking in on you, Iaann ...

Has your dad been transferred? Wondering how everything is going for you and if 1) you're in a new school again or 2) if you are staying put.

Hope all is well.

Heidi
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Iaan
Hi! And thanks Heidi :)
What a kind message you wrote. Ive been away to Spain but now I'm back. Ill just give a short answer for now cause we are about to eat.
If my dad gets transferred it will be closer to the end of the year theyve said but dad said he would get a clear answer in October so I'm just doing my best to not lose my patience till then! I suppose its grownup work stuff that neither I nor he really can control but it does really stink!
Ive also talked to one of my friends and he was really nice about it and told others (with my permission) and theyve been very helpful to encourage me to not "hide" myself from them or anyone else if I get transferred. So I'm doing okay with it all for now. Trying to focus on the now.
So basically one day at a time!

Hope all is well with you too, and your son, tell him "hi" from me.
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Aileen
Iaan - glad to "hear" your friends know that you might be moving. It gives all of you time to bond some extra if you end up moving and also get used to the idea that you all will have to text and call to keep in touch.
I hope Spain was a good trip!
Smart to focus on one day at a time. When we can't control what is going to happen in the future we might as well let time tell how things turn out.
But yes, I do understand that it's boring and kind of unfair to leave it in the hands of grownups and their "work stuff" as you put it.
Keep up the good mood if you can but don't force it! If you feel sad or get angry at some moments remember that it is absolutely okay to feel those emotions. Just try to not let it spill over someone else and if it does be mindful enough to explain afterwards that it (probably) wasn't their fault that you perhaps got angry or upset so easily - you have a lot to process right now. School start, luckily it is a good school where you have friends but it is still a lot at the beginning of the new term, and the potential of moving and all that you have gone through before must also be affecting you right now so remember to take times to be calm and remember that you are still your amazing self and that you have been able to get over hurdles befor. However hard, you will get through this too.

Heidi- good text! I genuinely hope you, Iaan, found it useful/insightful.

Everyone stay amazing,

~Aileen
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CybersmileTeam
So many beautiful people in our community, it makes us so proud!
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Iaan
Thanks everyone!
School has been good. Different slightly but good. One day was a bit special for me with a new kid who, I guess needed to assert himself, because he for no reason just called me gay - but like in a really nasty way as if that would be something everyone around me should also find disgusting. But the few classmates who were close by immediately told him off and one of them said "in this school we don't care about that, we do however care if someone is a jerk" and they made him apologize to me. That has never happens to me before. Someone stepping in I mean. I've always been bullied in my other schools because yes, I am gay and I've never really "hidden" that because my parents have always told me to be myself, but I have been treated quite horribly because of it by other kids. This school has really made an effort to make me feel welcomed I think. My parents and I had a few meetings with the headteacher before I started to let her know how my previous school experiences had been and I think she really is the reason for why no-one has bullied me in this school. I don't know how she talked to the staff and if they talked to the kids before I started but everyone have always been nice. Also I think it might be because I decided to be honest from day one. You know, that moment when a teacher says "we have a new pupil, please tell us something about yourself" and so I just went "I'm gay, always been bullied because of it, have no friends and my family moves a lot so I probably won't stay long here and plan to make no friends". I don't know? Something changed for me this year. People always say that one should ignore it but it's not easy when you everyday at school through the years have other kids say nasty things and jump you and beat you up after school and then you get home and then comes all the horrible texts. It really isn't that easy ignore it and not let it bother you. I've never felt I was the problem or that I needed to change. But it hurts to constantly have other kids treat you badly and it isn't as simple as ignoring them, I assure you. At this school I decided to not stay quiet in the back. I don't know, I just had a burst of 'just tell them how it is' in the back of my head I was thinking that they won't really care anyway and they will bully me anyway so why hide. However the friends I have now really tried to befriend me and I'm really thankful they didn't give up because I really pushed them away for weeks before I started to let them in my life. And all my classmates have been kind. It's such a strange feeling in the beginning, still strange actually to not be meeted with kids who either ignore you or bully you. One day I came home from school (before summer-break) and actually cried because I was happy! I had friends, I felt liked.
I try to not feel too bad about a potential move because my friends tells me that they will stay my friends. And when this happened, the kid who called me gay and everyone else standing up for me I actually think I might be okay. Sure I don't want to move if it comes to it, but I feel like I will have my friends. It's a strange feeling having friends and working out how that actually works. Does that make sense? My sister told me I was so strong for allowing kids become my friends. I didn't get it first but I guess is the trust and opening up thing she ment. That is completely new to me. And it's not easy. But I do have friends. And I don't have to force it, they want to be my friends.
And everyone here at Cybersmile are always very kind and supportive. And even if I have good parents and my sister who I can talk to its nice to come here and listen to other grownups and kids and see what they have to say on bullying and such.
Big hug to you all. The weekend is almost here (Friday tomorrow) so I'm going to wish you all a good one!
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heidilynnrussell
Iaan!

I know by the time you see this it will be tomorrow morning for you ... right now it is 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night here in the Eastern U.S., and I know you are most likely asleep. But I could not wait until tomorrow to write that I am SO PROUD of you.

I am not just using those words as a flimsy compliment. I really am proud of you -- proud that you had the courage to 1) express who you really are and 2) allow people to befriend you. Your sister is right -- that took a lot of guts. And as we have discussed before, you know that I did not take that step when I was a teenager, so I am really proud of you for doing it.

It breaks my heart to read what you have already been through. I know your parents are probably sick at heart, too. But wow -- you are such a strong young man and have looked this thing straight in the eye and said, "I will be myself, and I will allow myself to be vulnerable with other people." You have no idea how courageous that is. There are a lot of adults out there who don't do this for YEARS.

My own kid has been through bullying issues for different reasons, and as a mom, my heart breaks when I see what other kids do. However he is now 13, and he carries himself with such maturity and confidence. He makes high 90s in all of his classes, and he doesn't let anyone rattle him anymore. He also is good at letting me know when he is facing bullies at school. This is crucial that you communicate this with your parents, because like you have already seen -- they can speak to your headmaster, and the teachers will know and can support you. I get emails every single day from my kiddo's teachers about how he is doing. You are not alone. Adults DO care, and the only way they can help is if you tell them what's going on.

You are doing marvelously, and I'm so pleased that you have found a group of kids that have given you the friendship you DESERVE. You also have learned a valuable lesson about valuable people -- being friends with the people who are true blue and accept you and show kindness. These are the types of people who will build you up and not take away from your ability to succeed in school. Always seek people like this out, and walk away from those who would tear you down.

You are doing GREAT! This report is so terrific that I'll show my kiddo when he gets home on Monday. Super proud of you. Super proud.
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Iaan
Thanks Heidi, thanks for all the supportive feedback. I do my best to carry on. On harder days I always log on here and know I can just write out stuff and it feels better, and sometimes I don't even write, just reading about others help.
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Wanesite
Welcome to Cybersmile Iaan! Sorry for this late reply, but it is because I haven't been around this site for ages. I have finally returned.
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CybersmileTeam

In reply to Wanesite

Great to have you back Wanesite!
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Aileen
Hi!
Apologies for being away. Lots to do at the start of a new school year but I did have a chance to read your posts and Heidi's too, and hopefully you take her words to heart - you are an amazing boy with so much to give to the world that as long as you stay true to who you are nothing can really stop you. Think of how much you have learnt about yourself through these experiences. Obviously in an ideal world you would not have been bullied at all but as that cant be changed focus on how much youve grown and learnt and become an even stronger and more wonderful person.
And I do feel immensely proud of you.
Everyones everyones journey is different and yours have not always been light but you are still on your journey and to be recillient and to keep going like you have is amazing to read about!
A big hug to you too Iaan.

~Aileen
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Iaan
Hi and thanks, you've all been so kind. The news is Im not moving...yet. My dad is getting transferred but its to a county that isnt that far from here.
I kept hearing mum and dad having arguments a while back. And I was starting to worry so I told my sister. She is a few years older than me. She talked to mum about it and so one day mum and dad explained that I shouldn't worry. They weren't getting divorced but they had been arguing lately because mum didnt want to move now that I had a good school and friends and dad didnt want to retire from his profession and find another job. But they decided that he will move in December. And mum and I will stay put and finish the school year. Then we probably will move but at least it wont be for quite a few months until summer. So it feels bad that dad wont be living here but still Im glad they decided this. We will see dad every weekend anyways so I'm really happy about this decision.
I hope you are all fine?
Thanks again for your kind words and support. It is strangely encouraging to feel the support from, in lack of a better word, "complete strangers"!
Take care :)
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Aileen
I am glad to hear(read) that a solution has been made that works well for you. You'll have time to really develop your friendships so that when the move eventually takes place, your true friends will keep in touch! And the luxury of seeing your dad every weekend is not something all children can boast with so I hope you see the good side to that (I have the feelnig you do, but still, a reminder).
As always; we are happy to be here for anything you may need to - vent, share or want an input or support on.
Have a good weekend people and stay amazing,

~Aileen
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heidilynnrussell

In reply to Iaan

Hi Iaan!
I apologize for not replying sooner -- I have been distracted with our news events on this side of the Pond and have not checked in on Cybersmile in about a month!
This news that you have shared is really positive.
One thing that makes me so proud of you is that you spoke up and shared your worries with your sister. That allowed for your parents to know you were anxious and needed information. It's the best thing you could have done, because sometimes our worries and fears become "more" when we are silent. When we speak up and share how we're feeling or what we are worried about, we can get information about the situation. Then we usually see that it's not as bad as we feared. Or, if it is as bad as we feared, we learn how to talk through it to find a solution and conquer it.
It sounds like your parents are very special people who love you a lot.
As a mom, I also have made decisions like theirs. We live in a geographic region of the country that I actually hate (a lot). But my son is now 13, and it's important for him to stay near his father and also to continue to stay with his current school system. Although I have been tempted to move us to another part of the country, we have stayed for those two reasons. I am willing to sacrifice my own desires for his wellbeing.
If you feel afraid in the future, just remember this experience -- that you spoke up and that you received wonderful support from your mom and dad and sister. Then have courage to keep speaking up!
So glad to have read your report!
Heidi