This post is to quickly address a question that a reader posed to me recently. The reader contacted me about the examples I used in my introduction. Her concern was that I was promoting the societal misconception about what is beauty.
While I agree there is a misconception about what is considered beautiful, I do not feel the examples in my introduction were in anyway promoting that misconception. The point of those examples was to talk about some of the steps people have taken to deal with the trauma they experienced due to the peer-victimization they were subjected to.
Each person deals with their trauma in different ways. Research shows that some people who suffer from PTSD and Complex Trauma (not yet in the DSM but is under consideration for the DSM V) turn to drugs or alcohol, others sex or violence, while other still, become socially cut off. The question I am looking to research and understand is what type of reaction is seen in those who experience Peer-Victimization-Trauma (PVT). There is little research covering this; however there are tons of anecdotal stories that, unfortunately, tend to be of people who made choices that are viewed as conforming to societal norms of beauty.
I am not going to stand in judgment of the choices people have made to deal with their trauma, and I ask that others do not either. If we choose to stand in judgment, then we are no better than those who traumatized them to begin with.
If the examples I provided in my introduction have caused anyone any concerns, I apologize; however, I stand by my examples because they are based upon people I personally knew. I ask that we focus more on how to help those who are currently being victimized and worry less about an example used in an introduction. A child in Massachusetts hung himself just this month, due to being bullied. Another child hung herself in California just before the Christmas break. She too was bullied. Their reasons for being bullied were different, yet the net effect was the same. So, let us focus on how to limit the net effect and reduce the suicide and drug use associated with PVT.