This was several weeks ago, it has taken a while to process, and then other things have taken over, as always!
I wrote last year about online bullying and also how I support campaigns like those on TV’s This Morning about being kind to each other on-line. A couple of things have been played out on-line this week too. People who think they are right, and those who have a different view are wrong. There is nothing wrong with having different views, the problem is how we deal with that. There is also over stepping the mark, not knowing when to stop. Which we all have been guilty of, at some point.
Tom had been out with his mates, usual stuff, been to their house, and been out for a bit. There had been no tension when he got back. All was OK. Tom headed of to bed. In the pit of my stomach I knew something was about to happen. I didn’t know what. I just knew. “Sixth sense”.
I headed off to bed myself and said goodnight to both lads. James was fine, watching YouTube vlogs. James pointed out the graffiti picture with his name on – he had put up in his room, with a picture hook, and he also showed me the series of nails he had hammered in to the wall to try to straighten the picture. I had no energy to ask why he thought hammering five nails below the picture would help sort out the picture’s lop-sided-ness. Luckily James had left a spare picture hook, nails and hammer in Tom’s room so he could put his own picture up. I could sort it out, as Tom would never get round to it!
Tom was laughing, he was chatting to his mate on video chat.
I knew something was about to happened. I got sorted and laid in bed. When these “sixth sense” feelings happen, invariably I wait for them to pass. There is nothing to do, anticipation is always there, worrying about what could happen never helps.
It must have been twenty, twenty-five minutes later. James thundered into my room.
“You need to see Tom, now”
I went into Tom’s room. He was transfixed, staring at his computer screen. He was motionless. Staring at the screen.
I can’t put the light on, as that would shock him, anything could happen. He can’t be snapped out of these episodes.
Fairly quickly my eyes got accustomed to the light. I moved round him. I could see his face. Not blinking. Starring at the screen. One hand on his laptop. On his neck, were six or seven lacerations. About three or four inches long. Blood was trickling out of a few of the cuts, down his neck
I said his name gently, to try to bring him round.
I moved round further. His other hand came into view. He was holding the hammer. The hammer was resting on the side of his head. If the hammer had dropped the other way, it would go straight through the plaster on the wall. If he raised the hammer and it fell it would fracture his skull.
I saw the scissors on the bed, I reached and knocked them to the floor. I kicked them under his bed. I put my arm behind him and gently moved the hammer and put my hand on his head, the hammer resting on my hand. I sat next to him.
“Looks like you are really tired. Shall I help tidy up then you can sleep?”
He lent against me. His arm lowered the hammer to his side on his bed.
He told me later he and his mate had been bickering. Arguing about something, but he could not even remember what. They had wound each other up. Then they started to threaten to cut themselves, to show how upset they were the other. The problem was his mate was joking around, and pretending to do things, even got tomato sauce to show his “cuts”. Tom was doing it for real. He had zoned out and cutting himself. When his mate said he was going to something worse, Tom saw the hammer. It was a heavy carpentry hammer, which had he slipped would have caused serious damage.
I talked to the mate the next day, and to his horrified parents, who were very supportive.
My reason for writing this now is – You don’t know what is going on for the other person. When you hide behind your keyboard, trying to be more clever, trying get one up-man-ship. When you hurl insults and then block, because essentially you can’t win the unwinnable argument. When you say what you say, think how that will be heard, by a person hearing in a different way.
Just stop. Just think.
You have no idea why or what else is going on for the other person. Walk away. Hold you head up. I hear about it so much around young people, but increasingly with adults “trolling” and bullying others.
We need to step back.
We need to Be Kind.
Please look at my previous story about online bullying