Saturday, April 18, 2015
Imagine if you can, some of you don’t have to imagine, the first ribbons of sunshine making their way through your bedroom window. You roll over and look at the clock, there’s no more time, you have to get out of bed and face another day of fear and uncertainty.
Slowly sitting up, wiping the dried tears of the night before from your eyes, dread and oppression fill your body. You know you have to face the day, you know you have to face people, people that don’t understand you and people that you don’t understand.
Every movement you make to ready for the day is in slow motion. Your innermost being screams out, “Please God, not today.” As the words echo in your mind, you know the encounters you’ll find on this day will be no different then those of days past.
Enter my friend, and director of photography for our TV Series, “The Biker Diva,” Andre Khrul. I've also asked Andre to do my next photo shoot, and he does amazing wedding photography.
My first impression of Andre Khrul was how awesome he was, down to earth. He had the “look,” an incredible, welcoming smile, he was easy to speak with and he definitely knew his craft inside and out. To me, Andre is one the coolest, most talented, people on the planet. He's also an incredible family man, with a beautiful wife and picture perfect children.
His reply,“When communism existed in the former Soviet Union, it was hard for anyone who believed in God. So my parents fled. I remember when my dad asked if I wanted to go to America, I was really excited. I replied, 'I want to go and see the world.' And so we went."
I can’t imagine such a move, not only to another country, but culture, food, language, and alphabet. Andre spoke no English. Imagine how scary that had to have been for 9 year old Andre to face hundreds of faces that could not understand a single word he said, or for him to be in such a state of fear of not being able to communicate with a single person.
Andre’s family was poor. His clothes were out of style, and different. Andre was super skinny, wore glasses, and was artistic, not into sports, and he was the only Russian kid in school. He was the perfect target for bullies, and bullies pinned a bulls eye on him.
Having a child myself that was continually bullied through school I can empathize with Andre. I know a lot of what he went through, although with the language barrier things had to be so much worse for him. Andre developed strategies that helped him cope, something school systems rarely do as I found out.
He put the strategies he learned in a book you can download for 2.99 from Amazon. Andre realized that those that have low self esteem choose victims so they, themselves, can boost their own egos. They never realize they leave scars, some seen, some not, but none forgotten.
What Andre conveys, through his book, I Was Bullied: My Story And Advice: How To Stop Bullying, to the person being bullied, is how to help themselves. Bullies will always be around, even through adulthood. So those of us that have been in the situation Andre found himself in can have tools, tools that work from within, to get through situations when you think there is no way out.
There is a way out, it lies within yourself. Andre does an incredible job of offering how he learned to survive the constant harassment he, and many more, encounter.
If you, or your child, are experiencing the terror Andre did I strongly encourage you to download his book. It's a decision you will not regret.
|Andre Khrul working on the Biker Diva Project|
|Neico giving Andre a helping hand|
|Nieco, Me, Andre....what a team|