sticks and stones may break your bones but words will kill you if you let them.

i rarely talk about this because i tend to keep my traumas to myself. but if you were friends with me in 7th grade, there’s a chance that you remember an anonymous email, an FBI investigation and ultimately the truth coming to set me free.

but before i was “set free” i was just a teenager caught in an online cyber bullying fiasco set at a private school in Nashville TN.

i’ll summarize the details. there was an anonymous email sent to a classmate of mine — a racist email — where it basically detailed a plan of attack. who was a part of that racist neighborhood “gang”? my name was on there. in bold.

we are talking about 2000 here.

and i can — with full body recollection — remember what it feels like to walk down the hall thinking that every whisper is about you. every lecture in class became about acceptance and tolerance — some aimed at saying “tolerate Morgan. we don’t know if he did this” — bless those teachers who saw the wounded bird in me and tried to set it free

but the worst part was that i didn’t send the email, wasn’t a part of any “gang” (had very few friends to be honest)… but i was guilty till proven innocent. at least in the eyes of my peers…

the shaming lasted all year until finally the FBI traced the email to the attacker. but the incident still echoes in my body even as i write this now.

nowadays there is snapchat and all sorts of anonymous blogs where, behind the safety of a computer, anyone can become the target of some sort of shame epidemic.

reading this article/interview brought me back to that moment. i’ve learned that you can not erase traumas — they are a part of your DNA when they enter the bloodstream. but you have the power to use these experiences to mold you into a more insightful/strong adult. integrate, as Monica Lewinsky says in this article.

sticks and stones may break your bones but words will kill you if you let them.

but i didn’t, and i won’t.

but this is 2016. and the pressure is higher online. villains can hide behind the computer. and some kids don’t see the other side when they are in the middle of it all.

there is another side. but the trauma won’t go away. but it can be integrated. powerfully. very powerfully into all sorts of beauty the world needs.

[link to the original article/interview with Monica Lewinsky ]