There are so many people with a legitimate illnesses which cause severe pain (Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Addison’s Disease and so many other ailments), but unfairly judged for being “addicts”! My heart goes out to you all!
Month: September 2017
HOW A PRIMARY TARGET MAY BE IDENTIFIED.
Here is an article from another blogger about bullying and how to ID a primary victim of bullying. This article is great because all to often, the primary target has a hard time telling others what happened due to shame or fear of retaliation, making it more difficult to get the help they need. Thank you, threetimes for this article!
From My Own Perspective: Adult Survivors of School Bullying and the Ways We Do Things
Being a victim of school bullying often teaches us very hard lessons…lessons that we carry into adulthood, shaping our personalities and the ways we do things once we are out of school and away from our tormentors. Being an adult survivor myself, I can tell you what I took from it:
1. Having been bullied during school sharpened my emotional intelligence- Because I learned very early on how truly evil people can be, I now have a sixth sense. Adult survivors of school bullying are excellent at picking up vibes (especially bad ones) and reading people and their intentions. We know how to watch people without looking like we’re watching them, noting body language, facial expressions, micro-expressions, tonality, delivery, and demeanor. Because our people-sense wasn’t fully developed during our school years, we often let those in our lives, whom were only there to harm us. We paid dearly for it, which is the reason we’re extra watchful and therefore able to avoid such people, now that we’re adults.
2. We’re not afraid to say “no” and will sometimes say it simply because we can! This is because as schoolkids, we had our boundaries violated so much so that we weren’t allowed to protest when something didn’t feel right to us. Therefore, we were forced to take a lot of abuse from others. Now that we’re adults, we get to decide what we will and will not tolerate and we exercise that freedom and autonomy every chance we get!
3. Survivors of school bullying are no-nonsense adults, or at least I am- we’ve learned early on the games people play and we won’t be duped. We live by the old, “fool me once…” saying and hold it close to our hearts.
4. We have a very open and solid refusal to take any crap from anyone, no matter the consequences we may face for that refusal. I’m no exception. We took enough crap in school from our classmates and a few rotten apples, whom called themselves school staff that we’re even more determined as adults not to let others violate our boundaries.
5. We don’t give people many chances. To us, first impressions are important so you’d better make it count. One red flag, I’m gone! One bad vibe, I’m gone! Any attempts to bullshit, I’m gone! This is due to having been too forgiving of others when we were young, being taken for granted, having our kindness taken for weakness and then exploited, much to our own humiliation. And we refuse to ever again be put back in that position.
6. We work our asses off! We’re tenacious when it comes to getting what we want and will stop at almost nothing to reach success- we’ve had enough of what we don’t want when we were in school. We’ve been called “failure” so many times that it lit a fire under us and made us that much more determined to succeed at everything we set out to do, if for no other reason than to show the haters and naysayers (even our ex-school bullies) that we can!
7. We like having control over our own lives and will do anything to keep that control- survivors of school bullying had enough of others taking control of their lives long ago and we will shut down the first person who tries to take away our personal power.
8. We can spot a bully five miles away in the dark- Yes! We’re that good! We dealt with bullies in school, for years, on a daily basis. So naturally, we would be good, nearly expert, at pointing them out.
9. As adults, we either avoid bullies like the plague. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we take extreme pleasure in putting bullies in their places, calling them out every chance we get and making them feel like the losers they really are- remembering all the times we didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against them in school.
10. We have a thick skin that has become difficult for others, other than those close to us, to penetrate.
11. We can’t stand to watch others being made fun of and will rush to their defense. We’re not afraid to get nose to nose with the bully if need be- not only to help the person being bullied, but subconsciously, to make up for all the times we felt helpless and didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against our bullies in school.
12. Adult survivors of school bullying are sensitive to the emotions of others and cannot stand the thought of causing another person emotional or physical harm, if that person isn’t trying to harm them first.
13. Adult survivors of bullying place extra value on their families and friends and never (intentionally) take them for granted- we know what it’s like to be completely alone and not to have any friends. Therefore, we cherish family/friends and time spent with them.
14. Adult survivors of school bullying are, in some ways, selfish. I know I am. We put a lot of value on ourselves, our wants, our needs and our interests. This is because we weren’t valued as kids during school. So, we make it a point to put ourselves first in almost everything. Our children and/or parents may be the only people we put ahead of us.
15. We aren’t convinced by words. We’re only swayed by action and habits. Due to our past histories of being duped by the empty promises and cheap words of school bullies and paying dearly for it. We’ll be damned if we ever repeat that mistake again.
Being bullied as a kid in school has not only make me a very strong adult, it has also exponentially sharpened my people-senses, which in turn has afforded me not only scores of friends who love and respect me, successes and even more opportunities, but ultimately, a very rewarding life!
Telltale Signs of a Target of Bullying
As we know, bullied teens are often silent about the torment they face in school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most parents are not even aware that there is a problem and those who are aware are often at a loss as to how to deal with it. If you are a parent and are wondering whether or not your son or daughter is a target of bullying, here are the signs of a bullied teen:
1. Withdrawal from family and friends- as we know, being the target of a bully can slowly chip away at the victim’s self esteem. And people with low self esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that ALL people are vicious and cannot be trusted. So therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, which can result in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.
2. Underachievement- Most bully targets are underachievers. Their self esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness”. A bully target, after being told that they are a “loser”, “no good” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” so often for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can have a negative impact on grades, class participation, and performance.
3. Over achievement- I mentioned in number 2 about underachievement and with most targets of bullying, this is usually the case. However, this can go either way. Some targets of bullying dive into schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their studies, talents, or any other area.
4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body- most victims of bullying are victims of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc), which occurs mostly in boys, but thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.
5. Sadness and Depression- symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.
6. Excessive absences from school- Most bully-targets are afraid of going to school because they know that as soon as they step onto that school bus or get to school, bullies will be waiting for them. So they avoid going to school by either skipping, or feigning an illness as an excuse to stay home.
7. They may become bullies themselves- Often, bullied children and teens feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something…ANYTHING. They often bully others who are even more powerless than they are to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill. An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school. I simply call this “Kicking the Dog”.
8.Suicidal thoughts and attempts- sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most children and teens who are bullied do not know what to do about it. Most have tried reporting it to an adult or handling it themselves to no avail. Bully targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They feel like they have some major defect either physical or social, that causes them to be mistreated by others. They often feel as is it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get. Sadly, some targets break under the pressure and suicide may seem to them to be the only way out….the only way to make the bullying and the pain stop. If you even THINK that your child or grandchild might be suicidal, GET HELP NOW! And be there for them. Bully-targets need a support system! Be that support system!
If you see any of these signs in your child or grandchild, DO NOT IGNORE IT OR MINIMIZE IT! Ask questions!!!
Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as children, especially teens do not like to admit being bullied, even to their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it and you have to do it gently and lovingly.
Why Bullies Love to Isolate Their Victims
If you are a victim of bullying, then I’m sure that on many occasions, you have wondered why bullies try to turn your friends and everyone else against you. Here’s an in-depth explanation:
In his book, “The Art of Seduction”, Robert Greene said it best when he quoted, “Few are drawn to the person, whom others avoid or neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest.”
It’s human nature to want to be around someone who seems to be desired by others and to avoid lone wolves. All through history, people have had a tendency to assume that those who are loners are also unwanted or defected somehow. Bullies consciously know this, so they stop at nothing to turn everyone against you…friends, teachers, principals, bosses, and sometimes yes…ever family members.
Bullies do this not only to make you look unappealing to others, but also as a means to garner support for the lies and rumors they have spread about the victim…for validation of their words and make them more convincing, while making the victim look bad. They also do this to discredit the victim in case he/she tries to report the attacks and call the bullies into account. It’s just another way for bullies to slyly cover their own behinds and lessen the chances of being exposed. As long as the victim looks like the enemy, then others will look no further than that victim.
If this is something that you’re dealing with now, know that this is only part of the illusion that bullies create to build their case against you and to silence you. It’s nothing more than a magic trick and it doesn’t mean that you are what they say you are. You are NOT how bullies make you look!
You are awesome in your own right and there will come a day when you will have genuine and loving friends, who love you only for being you. You are worth fighting for and you are worth living for! Don’t give up on yourself!
When Bullying is Referred to as “Darwinism”, “Natural Selection” or “Survival of the Fittest”
To call bullying one of these three things is to say that:
- Bullying is completely normal and natural.
- Victims of bullying are weak and/or undesirable and must be eliminated from the human race.
- Bullying is required for survival of the human race.
Allow me to rebut these three (conscious or unconscious) beliefs:
- Bullying is anything but normal or natural. It is brutal, malicious, hurtful and cowardly.
- Victims of bullying are NOT weak, nor are they undesirable. They may only think differently than most. Victims are often exceptional people with brilliant minds. Many celebrities, CEO’s, inventors, writers, scientists, doctors and professors were bullied as children and teens. If these people had not survived bullying, the world may never have seen may awesome inventions and breakthroughs, such as the electric light bulb, telephone, or the first organ transplant. Where would we be without these people?
- Bullying is NOT required for survival of the human race but can actually destroy it. An example of this would be the Nazi’s bullying of Jews during World War II and slaughtering of six million during the holocaust. Now. Do you still think that bullying is necessary for survival of our species?
Bullying is NEVER okay and if you are a victim, I want to assure you that it does not mean that you are defective in any way. It only means that you are an individual, who is brave enough to think outside the box and that you refuse to be a follower. Those are characteristics that you should be proud of because you have a chance to go far and change society.
Don’t give up! Give yourself a chance! You never know, in the future, YOU may be the person who brings positive change to the world and your bullies will more than likely end up living less than desirable lives. Suicide is not the answer. Don’t you want to live long enough to see your own potential? I want you to.
Have a wonderful day!
“From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying. How She Overcame, Won Back Her Confidence and Found Peace and Happiness”
For those whom don’t know, the last six years of school was Hell on Earth for me, as it is for so many children and teens today. Each time I hear on the news about a young man/lady who has committed suicide because of bullying, it breaks my heart because I know all too well of the intense and unbearable pain this child went through.
The feeling of entrapment and being held hostage by your classmates for eight long hours, the pain so intense you can’t even cry, the having your reputation unjustly ruined, the desperately holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you, the intent of your classmates to destroy what little happiness you do manage to scrounge for yourself, the paralyzing fear that washes over you every morning upon seeing the school bus approach, the horrible names, the brutal beatings, the having your cries for help ignored by those in authority, or worse, blamed for your own suffering…all of this for none other than being who you are and committing the sin of simply EXISTING…yes! I’ve been there and it’s a tormenting pain that only few can comprehend!
Each taunt, each dig, each attack, cuts a little deeper and a little deeper as time passes, until the cumulative pain is almost physical!
I’d had the idea to write this book for as far back as the eighth grade. During that time, because no one listened when I attempted to report the bullying or needed to talk, I turned to the only outlet that was available to me- keeping a daily journal and writing down every bullying incident I suffered at school in detail. It was the only thing I could do to get it out!
I remember the day when a nosy classmate found one of my journals and she wasted no time reading it and then passing it around to others! As a result, I got a heck of a reprisal when I was beat up on the way home on the bus for what I’d written! On another occasion, I was caught with my journal by a teacher and the principal was called after another classmate brought it to the teacher’s attention. The teacher then handed my journal to the principal and I watched as he scanned the little red notebook that was my journal, gave me a very dirty look, then walked out of the classroom, flipping the pages. Needless to say, it was the last time I ever saw that journal. However, I was sure to keep a copy of everything in a separate notebook at home. Therefore, I didn’t lose any valuable information. Yes, I did a mountain of writing back then!
There were other reasons for journaling as well, one of which was to gather evidence for possible future litigation should they hurt me bad enough to send me to the hospital, or worse! I journaled all through the last five years of school, then kept the notes put away for years because I knew that one day, I’d write a book and tell my story!
During the second half of the nineties, I began researching bullying online and I was amazed when everything I read was a dead-ringer of what I experienced! That’s when I knew that it never was “all in my head”! This, in itself, was such sweet relief! I continued to research bullying, reading articles and books online and off anything I could get my hands on! I researched the tactics bullies use against their victims, profiles of both bully and victim, true stories of how teachers and school officials mostly sweep incidences of bullying under the rug and blame the victim. I read almost everything there was to know about bullying and the dynamics of the human predator/prey and I was totally amazed at how everything clicked and fit together like a perfect little puzzle…I then had no doubt that I wasn’t “crazy”!
About ten years ago, I began to hear on the news about school bullying and as time went on, I saw more and more stories of kids being victimized pop up on the news with increasing frequency! Then stories of child and teen suicides began to surface and that’s when I knew that it was time to tell my story. So I dug out my old journals and carefully wove them into the book as I wrote it, being sure to keep them in chronological order.
I wrote the book for many reasons: 1. To tell my story and how I survived. 2. To record what I learned from being bullied. 3. To admit my becoming a bully myself in order to protect myself and express the remorse I felt later for it. 4. To give today’s victims hope that it does, indeed, get better. 5. To assure bullied victims that despite what their bullies may say to them, they still have value and are worthy of love and friendship. 6. To be a living testimony to these children and teens that, as bleak as the present may be, the future can be so much better and they can be “normal” again. 7. To discourage suicide and ultimately, help bring down the suicide rate among these precious youngsters.
My goal is to be a voice for these kids, whom have had their voices stolen from them and give them ways to protect and re-empower themselves, boost confidence and find reasons to go on living! This is my passion and my joy! If I can reach out and make a difference in the life of one…just ONE bullied young person, then the torment I went through years ago was not in vain!
I’m No Longer a Victim of Bullying and Haven’t Been for Many Years. How I Was Able to Turn it All Around
Bullying doesn’t only happen to school-aged children and teens and you don’t have to be a member of any certain age group to fall victim to it, nor to be a bully. Bullying can happen at any age, from the very young to the very old. There is school bullying, but there’s also Workplace bullying and yes, even bullying among senior citizens. And as statistics show, those whom are bullied in school are most likely to become bullied adults.
But while this is certainly true, it doesn’t mean that all victims of school bullying are destined to be bullied their entire lives. I’m living proof!
Here’s how I ceased to be a victim:
1. I began giving to others the very thing I was denied during junior high and high school- respect, validation and love. I learned that people…all people, have an innate desire to feel valued, important, respected and loved. Dale Carnegie was dead on when he stressed in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, the importance of making the other person feel good about themselves.
2. It took the realization that my bullies were actually just as scared as I was, if not more more so. It makes sense that they were more afraid than I was because they had so much more to lose than I did. Why else did my school bullies continuously strain themselves just to be someone that they clearly weren’t? Why else would they go out of their own way to keep up the charades and fake personas, which helped them attain their popularity…the consistent posturing, the beating of their own chests in hopes of looking tough, the false bravado, the constant showboating, and the having to lie and put on the act of having more than they did, when in reality, they didn’t have as much as a bucket to pee in? Bullies are pretty much the same and work very hard to keep up the fake alter-ego which generously rewards them a spot in the who’s who section of the yearbook. And sadly, most of my former classmates are the same today…trying to keep up with the Jones’ and covertly trying to convince the rest of the world that they’re better than most.
When I finally came to this epiphany, I was no longer afraid of not only my classmates, but any bully. Any dig, any taunt, any insult they threw at me, did not bother me but only slid in my right ear and out my left, rolling so smoothly down my back that it lost the effect it once had. Today, it’s easier not to acknowledge anything that comes out of their crooked little mouths because not only do I know the secrets they and every bully tries to hide.
3. I’m okay with myself and the people around me. I love and accept myself and I know who I am, what I want and know where my boundaries lie. I realize that it’s perfectly okay to say “no” and to refuse to be treated with negativity. I know that I need no one’s permission to be myself, to be safe and to be happy. And lastly, I waste no time, if need be, kicking toxic people out of my life when their toxicity begins to effect me or those I care about and I can do it without a modicum of guilt.
It took a while to get to this place…this place of peace, love and self-acceptance where everyone I meet accepts and loves me. However, I’m here and I want you to know that, if you’re a victim of bullying…if you struggle to make friends and keep them, if your reputation has been tarnished, know that it doesn’t have to be this way forever! You can’t turn it around to your benefit! Like me, you too can go from being a social outcast to being a social butterfly. Don’t you dare give up!
Assurance For Victims of School Bullying: Most Bullies and Cliquies Only Peak in High School, Then Become “Losers” Themselves in “The Real World”
It’s so true. High school really is child’s play…the kiddie pool of life, if you will. And most often, graduation means the end of the line for most “popular” bullies and cliquies. I say this because most of my former school bullies had their fame in school but are doing very little with their lives today. Most achieve very little as adults, while those like me, who were horribly bullied by these types, evolve into awesome and highly successful adults.
I know this for a fact because I’ve watched as one of my older school bullies got a Nursing degree, got hooked on prescription pills, was caught stealing out of the medicine cart, lost her nursing license and ended up working in a local cafe for minimum wage. Now she can’t work at all due to health issues. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t secretly wish for anything bad to happen to anyone and I don’t glory in the misfortunes of others…not even those who tormented me in school. However, I’m simply making the point that Karma does repay eventually and most of these coddled and babied daddy’s girls and puffed up pretty boys get a huge letdown once they’re out on their own. I came to find out that this has happened to many of my former bullies. They bully innocent others like myself during school, then get the comeuppance they never expected as adults.
Here are a few reasons why most of my ex-bullies aren’t very successful:
In order to be truly successful, a person must leave their comfort zones and face their worst fear…the possibility of failure and most bullies will never leave their comfort zones. They’d rather stay in an environment where they continue to get stuff and opportunities handed to them by their “town connections”, which, by the way, are only small to mediocre victories! Most of my bullies never left the one-horse town I was bullied in after high school. Why? Because they knew they wouldn’t get the special treatment and free passes in any other jurisdiction that were generously afforded them in *Oakley. Therefore, they stay where their friends are and where they know that they can get by on nepotism and the “Good Ole Boy System” which rules not only *Oakley, but most tiny Southern towns.
However, here’s the thing about small towns and rural areas- it doesn’t take long, nor does it take much effort for anyone…ANYONE to maximize their potential in places such as these…bullies and cliquies included…because a person can only go so far in a rural area. So, I say, let them have their small town safety net because they’re only “playing in the kiddie pool”! They would drown in the “big pool”.
High school is, literally, the highlight of most bullies’ lives and bullies today should enjoy it while they can, because the real world doesn’t care who you were in high school, how popular or unpopular you were, whether or not you were Homecoming Queen/King, the captain of the varsity team, on the cheerleading squad,in a fraternity/sorority or that you were the class president! All the world wants to know is whether or not you can contribute something to it and most bullies, although trying like the Dickens to cover it up, are about as weak, cowardly and incompetent as a person can get and couldn’t contribute anything but negativity!
Many of the differences in me, which were ridiculed by my classmates are the same characteristics and skills that people today, outside of my former high school class, value and admire about me! (Forgive me a very satisfied chuckle)WHAM! Take that, bullies!
Most of my former bullies live very unsatisfying lives (Working dead-end jobs they hate and for a pittance, have spouses and partners who abuse them and/or cheat on them every chance they get, incarcerated/in trouble with the law or addicted to some type of controlled substance). They’re very sad, lonely, dissatisfied and bitter forty-somethings because for them, life didn’t turn out like they’d thought it would! Which is the reason why the majority of them still bully others…much worse than they ever did in school.
If you are currently a victim of bullying, I want you to know that justice for them and for you is coming! Don’t commit suicide! Please! Instead, stick around! Because eventually, you will see just how these cowards end up! They may be having the cool time of their lives now, but I can guarantee that it won’t last and the same will be your victimization by them…it won’t last! Take heart that you and your bullies just might end up trading places one day!
High school is the kiddie pool. The adult world is the big pool! Let them have the kiddie pool and let them be the kings and queens of that kiddie pool…while I would rather go to and rule the big pool! Wouldn’t you?
*not the name of the town
Why The Target Often Gets the Blame While the Bully Escapes Accountability
Greetings, everyone! I’d like to answer a question that I’m positive that every person, who has ever been a victim of bullying, has asked either themselves or another person at some point or another: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”
Here is the answer and there are many factors:
Bullies are very convincing liars: Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators, skilled in the art of deception. Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.
Bullies often use projection: They project their own faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When faced with possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.
Bullies are very charming to the right people, which can be used as another weapon against a victim: Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they had a way of winning people over and making them their allies. A good reputation can be used as a weapon against any target because with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled and others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take the outgoing guy that everyone loves, no one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.
Because this person has so many friends who cherish them. Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrong doing, they will still more than likely cover up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.
There is strength in numbers and people in large numbers can have a cumulative power which can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent of individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful or easy going they may be
Bullies use gaslighting: They add their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that you’re at fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.
Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility: They recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you, by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me on a regular basis in school and it would happen as retaliation for my having the gall to stand up to them and assert my God-given, divine right not to be abused or taken advantage of.
There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy. Number one: It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most, who have been in school has a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal. Number two: Destroying the victim’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they feel like it.
Targets get the blame because sadly, the attitude of most bystanders and members of authority is this: “Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?” or “Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”
After all, who is going to look any further then the child with the worst name anytime a confrontation arises? It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.
I believe that victims not only need confidence to fight bullying, but also knowledge of the techniques bullies use. Therefore, the more knowledge we can gain of how bullies operate, the better we will be able to protect ourselves.
A Detailed Description of the Pain and Torment Endured By Targets of Bullying
Good morning, everyone! Here is a very detailed scenario of what it is like to be a target of bullying. My aim is to put you in the shoes of a target so that you can better understand what they are forced to endure on a daily basis. With that said, I want you to know that when it comes to living with bullying, nothing…and I mean NOTHING is far-fetched. No story is unlikely.
This is a long post so please bear with me.
Imagine that you are in Middle School or High School. Imagine waking up in the morning and eating breakfast. Your mother is busy preparing to go to work while you eat. You stare at your mother, wanting so badly to tell her was is happening at school and how much you hurt inside. If you do tell her, will she put her arms around you and reassure you that it isn’t your fault and that you still matter? Or will she tell you that it’s all just a part of the school experience and that you should just stick it out? Will she give you loving motherly advice or blame you, saying that you must be doing something to piss those kids off or they would not bother you? Will she listen to you, or will she just dismiss you, telling you to ignore the bullies? You ponder these questions and what your mother might say and then decide that maybe opening up is a bad idea. You are also ashamed…of being bullied. How can you tell your family that you are the pariah of your school…that you are number one must wanted among your peers…and not in a good way? What will they say? How will they react?
Soon, it’s time to go to the bus stop. You go, however reluctantly. You stand there, waiting for the school bus, hoping that maybe it broke down on the side of the road, had a flat, that something happened to delay it. You absolutely dread seeing the bus approach. You have a lump in your throat and it is extremely hard to swallow. You are terrified because you know what’s coming the moment you step onto that bus and later, when you walk through the school entrance. Just like every day before, for the past several years, you will be ambushed, you will be caught in an onslaught of ugly names, taunts, digs, cruel pranks and probably even punches, kicks and shoves!
Just knowing this is enough to paralyze you and make your stomach turn. As you see the school bus approaching, your heart sinks and your stomach turns somersaults. You wonder if the torment will ever end. You wonder when the day will finally arrive when you can be like everyone else…strolling easily along in school, enjoying friends, laughing it up, and having the time of their lives. You wonder, “Why not me?”
When the bus stops in front of you, the doors swing open and you step on. An instant hush falls over the other passengers, then all of a sudden, you hear several different voices, “Oh God! Not him/her again!” “Hey, bitch! How does it feel that nobody likes you?” “Nobody will EVER like you! You should have been aborted at birth!” “You’re such a waste! Why don’t you kill yourself?” This has been happening for so long that you have tried to numb your pain and stuff it deep down inside. However, you can only do this for so long.
As you walk down the aisle to take a seat, a boy gets up and spits in your face. Another boy gets behind you and shoves you forward so hard you almost fall down. Then you find an empty seat and sit down. The girl behind burrows glue from a little first grader and pours it in your long, shiny-clean hair. Another girl pours red food coloring down the back of your nice white blouse and brand new jeans!
Now you must go to school with glue in your hair and a soiled outfit, only to be further ridiculed. You mother has to work so there’s no way she can come take you home for a hair wash and clothes change. You’re stuck at school all day, disheveled.
When you arrive at school, everyone notices the glue in your hair and stained clothes. They point at you and laugh, call you horrible names, even lay hands on you. You are so distraught that when lunch arrives, you can’t even eat. Your stomach is in knots and your head pounds from the stress of being the outcast of your school. The nausea is intense!
You look around and watch everyone else having fun and enjoying school. You watch as girls flirt with their boyfriends and the boys snake an arm around their chosen young ladies. You watch the rest of your peers as they get to enjoy real friendships, getting invites to birthday parties, slumber parties, camping trips and dates. You watch them laugh playfully with each other, you can see the happiness in their eyes…eyes that look on you with disgust… and the look of joy all over their faces…the joy slowly turns to scorn when they look in your general direction.
You want to be happy for them but no longer have it in you. Instead, you can’t help but to resent the hell out of their happiness and blessings…blessings that you yearn to have…that you would give your right arm for if that’s what it took! Blessings that they seem to take for granted!
You wonder, “Why can’t I have that? Why? I’m important too. Don’t I deserve to have friends?” But God seems to be too busy to answer. You want to cry…to scream but cannot. You don’t want to let them see you sweat…you can’t bear for them to see you cry! Your pride- what little you have left, won’t let you give them the satisfaction of knowing they have succeeded in destroying you…they have killed every opportunity for you to make friends of your own…they have squashed your dating opportunities…they have taken all of your accomplishments and good qualities and trampled them under foot. You then become angry and bitter and wish nothing but destruction for their friendships because they deserve to be taught how it feels. You want so bad to trade places with them and it seems that your lot in life is to wander this earth alone.
You watch as some of them even say horrible things behind their friends’ backs. But you notice that, strangely, the slighted friend is quick to forgive them and they get to go on being buddies, as if nothing ever happened. But you? If you so much as look wrong, they want to tear into you. But they already do it…they tear you apart every day and have been for years. All for nothing but existing…for being YOU!
Then after lunch, the torment escalates to a full blown brawl and you are physically attacked in the bathroom. Naturally, you defend yourself, trying to protect your well-being and keep from being hurt. This is the umpteenth physical attack that you’ve had to defend yourself and you’re just dog-assed tired!
Tired of having to fight just to get through what should be a normal school day! Tired of constantly ducking and dodging everyone! Tired of laying low! Tired of having to grow eyes in the back of your head! Tired of being held hostage for eight long hours every day! Tired of being forced to adhere to the many double-standards that your classmates have held you to for so long…too long! You aren’t just tired, you’re exhausted!
Your classmates have worn you down…trampled your dreams, your personhood, confidence, self-esteem, and your rights to be yourself and to be safe.
A teacher breaks up the melee and you and your attacker are escorted to the principal’s office. If you’re lucky, you and your attacker both are suspended from school. If you aren’t, your classmates will rush to the defense of your attacker and only you will be suspended…for nothing more than trying to defend yourself from being hurt and possibly killed. Because your peers have been standing in line for years, one by one, taking turns attacking you, you are always one of the two…or more…involved. Therefore, you have been labeled a troublemaker and now even some of the school staff are highly suspicious of you. Only the few staff, who are more open-minded understand what you are going through. However, even their hands seem to be tied when it comes to effectively helping you.
You go home that afternoon. In the privacy of your own bedroom, you cry, you scream, you beat your fists against your pillow, your bed, the wall, the door, anything to release all the years-long pinned-up rage, which has festered like a cancerous boil. You fly into a rage and destroy your own bedroom, turning the damn place upside down! What you really want to do is beat the living hell out of all of them. You’re not really beating the pillow, bed, or whatever else, in your mind, you are beating the shit out of them! You want to do to them what they have done to you.
Before long, it’s six o’clock and you are having dinner with your family. You struggle as you tell your mother for the hundredth time that you were in a fight at school and that you are suspended for three days. Your mother gives you the tongue lashing from hell, she tells you that you are trouble and that you need to change your attitude…that if you weren’t so (insert bad quality here), then maybe you would have friends and nobody would mess with you. Even worse, you start to believe it too. But sadly, you haven’t the slightest clue of what it is that you need to change. You can’t fix it because you don’t even know what’s broken.
Your mother has just implicated that what has been happening to you is your fault…that you bring it on yourself. She then grounds you…only you have nothing to be grounded from. It’s not like you ever get invited to any slumber parties. So she grounds you from what little you do get to enjoy.
You remember that in the past few years, you’ve tried to open up and tell the adults in your life what you are dealing with. You plead for help but you are the perceived culprit so no one is interested in what you have to say. They accuse you of lying or manipulating others just to cover your own ass. They tell you to “shut up” and that they don’t want to hear it. You aren’t allowed to speak in your own behalf…at school or at home. Deep down, you try to hold on, with everything you have in you, to the belief that you are a good person but no one else acknowledges it. As a result, your own acknowledgment of your own goodness begins to wane.
You are desperate for a change…for relief but there is no sign of refuge. You want justice but it seems that justice will never come. This is a situation that you can no longer see an end to.
After brokenheartedly realizing that your own blood can’t or won’t even help you, you begin a downward spiral into hopelessness and despair. You have absolutely nowhere to turn and no one to turn to. Now, your bullies have managed to alienate you from not only the people at school, but your own family as well. Your suffering at school has now bled into your own home. And even then, your classmates still aren’t satisfied that you have suffered enough. In essence, your classmates want you dead, only they don’t have the guts to kill you themselves because they don’t want to go to prison. So they continue and even intensify the torment, in hopes that you will do it for them.
You feel that the one and ONLY thing you have going for you is that you aren’t dead. Then you begin to think that maybe death wouldn’t be such a bad thing. At least no one could hurt you again. You start to think of ways to die. Before long, death becomes an obsession. You believe that your life is one big curse and want so badly to end that curse. You are under the misguided belief that death is the only escape from an earthly hell that you have been forced to live.
Now you must choose. Should you keep living in hell, or should you just resign yourself and put an end to it all?
I want everyone to know that regardless of how hopeless a situation may seem, there’s always hope. Better times will find you and there will come a day when Karma will find your bullies and deal with them. And you? You will emerge victorious. You see? I believe that God rewards those who suffer the most…even in this lifetime. So please, don’t take your own life. You are worth fighting for even if no one else thinks so. Keep going! Keep pushing! Keep fighting! Keep living! Your reward and your victory are coming!
Wishing everyone a wonderful evening!
9/11/01- When Life as We Knew it Changed
With yesterday being the anniversary of 9/11, I can’t help but look back on the last sixteen years since. My heart has ached not only for the lives lost on that fateful day, but also for the loved ones left behind.
I also mourn the loss of the America that I grew up in…the America that my Daddy served and took great pride in…an America whose people once felt secure and free in…an America whose schools always began the day with the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer…an America without some of the ridiculous laws of today…an America whose people were never afraid to tell it like it is or call it what it is…an America that was not afraid to profess its faith in God.
When I watched the Twin Towers burning on my television screen that morning, I knew that this country would never again be the same and that life as we knew it was forever changed.
I remember well the images on the news as does everyone else. I recall the towers burning and falling, I remember the streets being covered with ash, plane parts, concrete and papers.
But the image that haunts me the most is of people plummeting 100 stories to their deaths to escape the intense heat of burning jet fuel.
For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the terror that went through their minds as they plunged to the hard asphalt below. I cannot imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of knowing that I am inevitably about to die and having to choose which way to go, with the alternative being so horrible that I would have to jump from so high up.
I hope and pray that no one will ever again be put in a situation to where they would have to make a horrible and soul-shaking decision such as that. Ever! I also hope and pray that one day, we the people can rise up and take back not only the values and morals of yesterday, but also the freer, happier and more care-free America of yesterday.
In God We Trust
God bless the USA
A Message from One of the Ones Left Behind
You know by now I’m passionate about the epidemic of bullying and suicide among children and teenagers because I faced the same thing in my youth. I felt the crushing weight of bullying, and the desperate and dark thoughts that seemed my only way to escape it. But there is yet another reason why I devote so much of my time and effort and spirit to this plague on our society.
I was widowed by suicide. Michael was my husband. He died in October of 2011 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Even worse, I was the first to find him.
I was the unfortunate soul who found my husband’s lifeless body sitting in his vehicle after he put a .357 magnum to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger. It’s both a sight you never want to see and something you never forget, an image that will forever remain seared in my memory and that I will surely carry to my grave.
Any time I listen to the news and hear of a suicide, especially when it’s someone young, someone whose life has yet to begin, it breaks my heart in two. I think about the lost future of that person and I ask myself, “Could they have overcome whatever was dragging them down? Could the lost have gone to college? Could they have become a doctor, writer or teacher? Could they have been the one person, who could have changed the world for the better?”
And it makes me sad because, yes, I believe that they could have.
I also think of the person’s family and how devastated they must be over the untimely death of their loved-one. I know firsthand how that feels—it’s the worst kind of heartache. The pain is gut-level, like being kicked in the stomach, while it leaves our head spinning with questions that will never be answered as your struggle to figure out why only drives you into a spiral of confusion and “what-ifs”.
I want you to know that if you commit suicide, someone who loves you will come looking for you. And when they find you, their whole world will be turned upside down and forever changed.
I know what suicide looks like. As terrible as it would be to find a total stranger that way, when it’s someone you know and love…It’s horrible and grotesque, something no one who hasn’t experienced it can imagine or comprehend unless you’re unfortunate enough to see it yourself. It’s always the surviving loved ones, who are left to pick up the pieces.
This is something that I would never wish upon anyone, not even my worst enemy.
No matter what you may be going through, you need to know that the suffering will not last forever. Better days are ahead, and if you stick it out, you will emerge stronger, happier, and more victorious than ever before—when things seem to be at their worst, your breakthrough is just around the corner.
You will see the sun again! Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Don’t cheat yourself out of what will more than likely be an awesome future! You have so much to look forward to, you just don’t know it yet. Your best days are ahead of you. If this anything you’ve considered, I beg you, please don’t do it, and find help to get you through.
So, very sincerely, I wish you all a wonderful day.