3 More Reasons You Should Write About It

Many targets of bullying don’t speak about the bullying they suffer and for many reasons. They may feel a degree of shame and fear that if they talk about it, others, including their parents, will think that they’re weak. Another reason is that if they speak up about or report the bullying, they might suffer retaliation from the bullies. Or they may fear that no one will believe them. Some targets worry they might be blamed for the abuse they suffer.

1. Writing about the bullying and abuse you suffer helps you to detox.

It’s very important to use writing or other healthy approaches to detoxing some of the negative and painful experiences out of the body. Otherwise it festers and can lead to negative thinking, bad habits, and even lead us to abuse ourselves.

2. Writing about it gives you a voice.

It gives you a chance to be heard. When people target you for bullying, your abusers will use everything in their arsenal to silence you. Understand and by silencing you, they get to bully you freely and with impunity.

3. Writing about the bullying allows you to keep a record of the bullying you suffer.

It gives you evidence ahead of time should you ever have to take the matter to court. When you document the bullying you suffer, using the 5-W (what, who, when, where, why), you are able to establish a clear pattern. Therefore, you will more likely present your case in a more understandable way, rather than if you verbally presented it.

I realize that writing can be tedious at times. It takes a lot of patience to write it down, especially if it’s painful to think about. However, anything worthwhile requires some discomfort and yes, even a little pain.

But the benefits outweigh the sacrifice because writing about it puts you in control!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.5

Minutes later, the distant sound of a siren faded in. The wail of the siren grew louder and louder until a sheriff’s car, complete with flashing blue lights, pulled into the driveway. An unmarked squad car with a flashing blue emergency light on its dash pulled in behind the sheriff’s car.

Brielle, the girls, and baby sat, all huddled together in the living room on the sofa as the deputies and sheriff’s investigator worked, searching for fingerprints. Grant Lindsay, the investigator, inspected Brielle’s gun, turning it over in his hands.

“Nice piece you got here.” He said, “Glock 9-millimeter pistol. That’ll sure do the job. Where’d you get it?”

“My brother bought it for me for my 20th birthday years ago and even taught me how to shoot it.” Brielle answered.

Grant looked at Brielle and gave her back her firearm, “He must not have taught you very well because you fired three shots at the guy and…you missed.”

“Well, I’m surprised because I aimed right at him. And my brother taught me just fine. The guy just got really lucky- probably had a grandmother out there somewhere praying for his sorry ass.” Brielle said in a voice dripping with disdain.


“You just moved here from California, right?” Grant asked.

“That’s right.” Brielle answered.

“California’s a Liberal state. ‘Got some tough gun laws out there. How is it that you were allowed to keep it?”

“You could keep a gun in your home you just couldn’t carry it anywhere.”

“Well, you’re lucky the break-in happened here instead of in Cali. Because, if it happened there and you shot at the intruder, they might be locking you up right about now. But the good thing about Tennessee is that we have The Castle Doctrine. And you can fire at a criminal as long as he’s in your house.” Grant informed.

“I’m fully aware of that.”

“I see you have three children there. So, you had to move to California to find a husband, huh?” Grant asked.

“Excuse me?” Brielle scoffed, feeling that the cop was beginning to get personal (and insulting) with the game of twenty questions.

The Police Mock Brielle

“Where’s your husband?”

“What does any of this have to do with what just happened tonight?”

“It has everything to do with it. If you took the children and left him, regardless of the reason, he may be here looking for you or he may have sent someone to look for you.” Grant explained.

Brielle was an intelligent woman. She knew that this was a reasonable and legitimate explanation. After all, she’d heard of the millions of cases where abusive husbands did, in fact, travel to other states, even across the country, to hunt down their wives and kids and take revenge. What she didn’t understand, however, was the insulting question before the last, which was clearly a dig at her and so uncalled for. Nevertheless, she felt she had no choice but to answer, as much as she hated it.

“He’s still in California as far as I know.” Brielle told him.

“How do you know that?” Grant asked her.

“I don’t.” Brielle answered.

Brielle is Questioned About Her Estranged Husband

“Can you tell me about your husband? And why you left?”

“He was an abusive man. Abused me and the girls. I got tired of being a prisoner in my own home. So, I took the girls and left while he was at work. I wanted to be free of him and to teach my girls that they don’t have to take abuse from a man. That if they’re ever in a relationship that harms them, they’re always free to walk away and create a better life for themselves.” Brielle said.

“Uh-huh.” Grant grunted as he continued scribbling on his clipboard, “So you leave Thomasville and run into trouble again in California. Thats pretty hilarious. Trouble seems to be waiting for you everywhere you run, don’t it?”

He then handed it to Brielle and gave her the pen. Brielle paused, glaring at Grant

“Read over this report and then sign to verify that everything you say here this morning is true to the best of your knowledge.” He instructed.

Brielle took a minute to read over the report, then signed the document before handing it back to Grant. Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice coming from her front porch.

“My granddaughter lives here, and I want to see if she’s alright.” The voice of Grandma Bennett could be heard telling one of the deputies outside.

Grandma Bennett Arrives

Grandma Bennett came through the door and Brielle stood up as Grandma Bennett walked over to her and hugged her.

“What happened?” She asked in a concerned tone.

“Somebody broke in, Grandma.” Brielle informed her.

Grandma Bennett gasped.

“Oh, Lord, Jesus! Did he take anything? Did he hurt any of you?” Grandma Bennett asked in horror.

“No, Grandma. I fired three shots at him, and he ran.”

I’m in bed sleeping so sound, then I get jolted out of my sleep by a bunch of sirens. I looked out the window to see them headed your way. That’s when I jumped in my clothes and headed right over!”

Grandma Bennett took Brielle in her arms and hugged her tight. Suddenly, Brielle heard another voice. It was Raina coming through the door to check on her. Her sister Kim was with her.

5 Reasons to Document Bullying

Bullying, especially of the psychological and emotional variety, is difficult to prove to people in authority who can help the target. There are several reasons for this:

1. Bullies are Master Seducers (Charmers).

Bullies know how to charm the right people. When the target finally gets fed up and reports the bullying, the bully will often make the target look like the bully. The bully does this by convincingly rationalizing and justifying the behavior. Therefore, the staff is likely to either ignore the targets pleas for help, or blame them.

The bully will also use high marks, excellent grades, and class/work performance to charm and influence those in authority.

Bullies can also use good looks, impeccable dressing, and grooming to seduce others. Called the halo effect, this phenomenon is where those who look the best are the most trusted and respected by others.

2. Bullies are Convincing Liars and Actors.

They have a flair for spreading the most convincing rumors and lies. Bullies do this to convince others not to associate with the target. Therefore, the target loses support and has no one to turn to for help.

Because the victim often reacts out of emotion, the bully puts on a calm and collected demeanor. Therefore, people in authority will almost always side with the bully because of this false coolness the bully displays.

The bully points out the target’s perfectly normal emotional reaction and twists everything to convince everyone of the target’s guilt. He will portray the target as unstable, crazy, overly dramatic, or too sensitive. The bully will also feign victim-hood by bursting into tears. Understand that this is all designed to shift the blame onto the real target. Therefore, the bully wins bystanders and authority over to her side.

The most seasoned bullies are also master wordsmiths who can explain away and rationalize any bad behavior. They can spin a story that is so convincing that teachers and supervisors will find it hard not to believe it. In the end, the target gets the blame, and either those in authority either refuse to discipline the bully, or punish the target instead.

3. Documenting (or Journaling) offers the disgraced target a voice, enabling them to have a say when no one else is listening.

As stated, the target often gets the blame when he/she reports harassment to the people who can help them. By documenting the abuse, the target can tell their side without anyone ignoring or trivializing their experiences.

4. Documenting offers Victims a Legal Record of the Bullying.

If the bully hurts the target badly enough to require medical attention, a plaintiff can use the journal as proof in court. Documentation is admissible in court.

5. Documenting is very cathartic and therapeutic.

It allows the target to express the emotions they could never show any other way. Journals cannot trivialize the target’s experiences, nor can they invalidate her in any way. Journals are also confidential. They cannot go to the bullies nor anyone else and repeat what the target tells them.

These are the reasons you absolutely must document every day about what bullies put you through. When you document, be sure to include who the bullies are (full names and, if necessary, titles and positions). Also, jot down where each incident happened (school locker room, gym, the bathroom at work, etc.). Include the names of any bystanders and teachers/supervisors present. Moreover, write down the exact time and date the incident happened, what happened, and who said or did what. If possible, write down why it happened (was the bully retaliating because you reported prior harassment?). Write down every detail!

If you have tried telling a staff member or your parents about how classmates or coworkers bully you, only for them to silence or blame you- document it. If no one will listen or offer support, you owe it to yourself to create a written record of the bullying and harassment.

You want to document every day to establish a pattern of bullying and abuse. It was how I survived those six long years of being bullied in school. It was the only outlet I had. I can attest to you that if I hadn’t documented everything in my journal every day, I might not be alive today. When I began keeping a written record during the eighth grade, it was freeing, and I felt that I was finally having my say.

So, if you can’t talk about it, write about it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.4

After dinner, Brielle and Marcelle helped Grandma Bennett clean the kitchen and load the dishes in the dishwasher. Once they were done cleaning the kitchen, Grandma looked at Brielle and noticed something was wrong.

“Brielle, come sit at the table with Grandma,” she gently suggested.

Brielle did as she was told, and Marcelle joined them while the rest of the family gathered in the living room to watch TV.

“Now, what’s bothering you, honey?” Grandma Bennett asked.

“I don’t know about this, Grandma. I just don’t feel right sending my girls to Thomasville schools. I have a real bad feeling about it,” Brielle replied, “The teachers really weren’t very welcoming to us today. And all I heard was gossip and anger about the video coming from some of them and the other parents. But I don’t have any other options. The girls need their education and if there were any private schools or home schools nearby, I’d gladly enroll them there instead.”

Brielle’s Concern

“Wait a minute. There is a home school here. They opened it while you were in California. It’s called Pathway Christian School and they’ve been headquartered here in Thomasville for about a year now. The kids go to school one day a week, which is every Friday for testing. After they test, they get their assignments for the following week to do at home. Also, they allow the kids to go at their own pace and there have been kids who sailed through and graduated a few years earlier than they would have if they’d stayed at Thomasville and Glover County Public Schools,” Marcelle mentioned.

“That’s right,” Grandma Bennett confirmed, “I didn’t think of that. Otherwise, I’d have told you. However, I need to warn you that the parents who have taken their kids out of public school here and enrolled them in Pathway have gotten a lot of heat from the local establishment and so has the home school itself.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Brielle replied.

“That’s true, Brielle,” Marcelle, her mother warned.

Another Option

“Believe me, if I take the girls to Pathways, I’ll do it no matter the pushback I get. And if I find out that my girls are bullied there, that’s exactly what I’ll do, I don’t care who likes it or doesn’t!” Brielle said firmly, “However, since they’re already registered, I’ll see how it goes before I transfer them. Maybe Jane and Olivia will be accepted there.”

Later that night, after a good family visit, Brielle and the girls returned home.

“It’s after ten o’clock, girls. It’s time to get ready for bed.” Brielle told them as she carried the sleeping baby on her shoulder and headed for the baby’s room to put her down for the night. Jane and Olivia both sleepily trudged to their bedrooms to change into their pajamas.

After Brielle placed the sleeping baby in her crib and turned on the nightlight, she then visited each of the older girls’ rooms to kiss them goodnight before retiring to her own bed for the night.

It seemed as if Brielle had just gotten to sleep when suddenly, in the dead of night, a loud noise sounded, startling her awake. Bandit, who’s been curled up asleep at the foot of Brielle’s bed, began barking frantically. He jumped off the bed and ran down the hallway as he continued to sound off a cluster of loud barks.

B & E

Brielle, now wide awake, noticed her bedside clock which sat on her nightstand. It was three thirty a.m. Hearing the baby screaming in terror down the hall, Brielle quickly and quietly pulled open one of the drawers of her nightstand and pulled a gun out.

Sensing a presence in the house and hearing faint, clinging and clattering noises, along with dog barks, Brielle sprang from her bed and crept out of the master bedroom to check on her kids and see what was going on. As soon as she got into the hallway, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she could see into living room. What looked like a dark silhouette of a man, ran across the living room with Bandit yapping at his heels.

With a ferocious bite, Bandit lunged and grabbed the back of the ankle part of the criminal’s pant leg. The dog growled viciously as his teeth clamped down on the pant leg and began pulling at it. This slowed the burglar down and caused him to stumble. But he managed to keep from falling. Kicking his leg violently, trying to shake the dog off, he kicked Bandit hard. The dog yelped loudly from the pain of the blow.

Modern Day Annie Oakley

Brielle took aim and fired the gun three times. A high-pitched screaming, “Oh my God!” echoed from Jane’s bedroom. Olivia’s blood-curdling screams could also be heard along with the baby’s screams of terror and barking of the dog. The dark figure managed to pull himself free and take off.

“Stay in your rooms and don’t come out!” Brielle shouted.

The sound of the door swinging and slamming against the wall, followed back the sound of fast-paced footsteps across the front yard prompted Brielle to run to the door, gun in hand, but aimed toward the ceiling. She ran out on the porch to see the dark figure run across the yard, then across the road, and disappear into the huge cornfield across the road.

Brielle turned and ran back into the house. She ran back into her bedroom and grabbed her smartphone, being sure to take it off the charger, and shoved it in the front pocket of her pajama pants. She then tucked the gun, nose down into the waist, burst into the baby’s room and lifted little Kennedy out of the crib.

Protecting Her Nearest and Dearest

“You can come out now!” She shakily called.

Jane and Olivia came running out of their bedrooms and into the baby’s room where their mother was. They both ran to her, frantically wrapping their arms tight around her and crying.

“It’s alright now, girls! It’s alright! Everything is alright!” Brielle assured them, trying to remain calm and her voice still a bit shaky. Holding the baby in one arm and wrapping the other arm around both frightened girls, she held them tighter than she thought she’d ever held them their entire lives.

Brielle then let go of the girls, set the baby back in the crib, took her smartphone, and dialed.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” The Dispatcher answered on the other end, after only two rings.


“I’ve had a break-in and just shot at an intruder in my home.” Brielle told her, “I’m at 2301 Hobbs Rd, just west of Thomasville.

“Someone broke into your house, ma’am?”


“And you say you shot at him, was he still in the house when you fired the shots?”

“Yes. I fired three times and he got away.”

“Was the intruder hit by any of the bullets?”

“I don’t know.”

“Okay. Hang tight. I’m sending a deputy.”

Compliments v/s Flattery

Targets of bullying must know the difference between the two. And, surprisingly, many people think that compliments and flattery are one and the same. They aren’t.

A compliment is genuine. Whereas flattery is fake.

A compliment comes from the heart and is truthful. Also, compliments are earned. They’re reserved for people who deserve them. Compliments are given to praise someone for an accomplishment. They are an acknowledgement for a good deed, or a job well done.

Flattery, on the other hand, is used for self-servitude. It is insincere, deceptive, and can be an insult to the recipient. Because, again, it is strictly used for usery and selfish purposes. Flattery and insincere compliments are both the same.

Therefore, bullies never pay sincere compliments, especially to their targets. However, they will use flattery to butter their targets up all for the purpose of manipulating and exploiting them. Bullies may also use flattery as a form of subtle sarcasm. And if the target happens to be gullible, he may confuse it for genuine compliments. Bullies will then watch the target’s face light up with overexcitement, then laugh later.

Remember that many targets of bullying are often thirsty for any sign of approval and praise because they don’t get enough of it, if any at all. Therefore, anything that even looks like approval, they’ll be excited to receive, even overly so.

So, how can you tell the difference between fake flattery and a sincere compliment?

Simple. You can tell by the kind of relationship you have with the person giving you the compliment. In other words, if the person giving you the compliment is a bully who normally mistreats you, then you can be sure that it’s flattery. And the compliment is fake, phony, and false.

I can’t stress this enough. Never take seriously any “compliment” you receive from a bully. When a bully is suddenly nice to you and gives compliments, it is clearly to manipulate you. A bully who gives you a compliment is only flattering you. They are looking for an eventual payoff, be it psychological or otherwise.

In contrast, if the person is a true friend or family member, someone who loves you and has never intentionally harmed you, you know that the compliment is for real. Even if the praise comes from a total stranger, it would be more acceptable than if it came from a bully. Still, even with strangers, you should be gracious, but cautious because they haven’t established a relationship with you yet.

Make Sure Your Own Compliments are Sincere

Just the same, if you are the one making the compliment, make sure the person you compliment is a close friend or family member. In other words, make sure that person damn well deserves it from you and that they’ve done something that warrants it.

Understand that most people know their strengths and weaknesses. And if you give them a false accolade on something they know they aren’t good at, they will know that you’re lying to them. Also, they will wonder what ulterior motives you have in giving them such a fake compliment. Moreover, you can easily lose respect for it.

And last and most importantly, never compliment a bully! Ever!

Here’s why:

  1.  Bullies get their behinds kissed all the time and it’s exactly how they’ll perceive it.
  2. You will be giving the bully a juicy opportunity to turn it against you and steamroll you with it.
  3.  Bullies are the last people who deserve praise. Never give anyone anything they haven’t earned.

Follow these three rules and I promise you that your value will go up tremendously. It may not seem so, but it will.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.3

“Yeah, same with me, Mom.” Jane added, “I just don’t have a good feeling about going to school here. Why did you have to post that video? Don’t you realize it could affect me and Olivia too?”

Brielle paused, laying her fork down, then looked at each of her girls. Bandit whimpered as he lay under the table, waiting for a morsal of food to fall.

“Now, listen. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t understand your fears because I do. I was bullied in Thomasville schools years ago, so- “Brielle began before Jane cut her off.

“Wait! What? You were bullied here?” Jane cried.

“Yes, I was. The Sheriff is one of my former classmates, one of the main ones who bullied me.” Brielle answered calmly.

Brielle Tells her Story

“Oh, that’s great, Mom! Just great!” Jane went on, “It already sucks that we’re the new kids in town and don’t know a soul here who’s our age. But now that you posted that stupid video, they’re going to take it out on us at school because they’re mad at you for exposing that crooked old sheriff for what he tried to do to you! And the fact that they already hated you to begin with makes it worse! Thanks, Mom! Thanks for making me and Olivia targets at school before we even get our foot in the door! Your reputation in this town will meet the teachers and other kids there before we get to meet them! If it hasn’t already! And judging from the stares, the stink-eyes, and the whispers today, it’s a pretty sure bet that it already has!”

“Now, you wait just a minute there, missy!” Grandma Bennett scolded, raising her voice.

“Hold on, Grandma. I got this.” Brielle cut in with a soft voice before giving Jane a stern look.

Brielle’s Determination

“Now, Jane, I won’t tolerate any disrespect. You have a right to be frightened and I don’t blame you. But do NOT get disrespectful.” Brielle warned.

“But what if- “Jane began.

“I’m not finished! Now hear me out!” Brielle interrupted, raising her voice.

Jane clammed up.

“I posted that video because what they did to me and Miss Raina at that reunion was wrong. One thing I want to teach you girls is that you don’t have to take abuse from anyone. Not a man, not your classmates, anyone! And if someone is treating you unfairly, you have every right to speak up about it and to defend yourself. And if that doesn’t work, you have a right to expose them! In life there are going to be times when people will be ruthless, and they will feel entitled to mistreat you. And you must never be afraid to stand up to those people, even if it means you must stand alone, even if it means you get pushback for it. You must continue to stand firm and never give up your ground. That’s what I’m trying to teach you girls.” Brielle told them.

Brielle’s Unwillingness to Take Anymore Abuse

She continued.

“When I was your age, I didn’t have the confidence to stand up to those creeps, and, as a result, I let them steamroll me and it still bothers me today that I cowed down and let them use me as their doormat. You don’t how that feels! To have to look back, knowing that you let yourself down time and time again because you were too chicken to assert your rights not to be mistreated! That you let them get their bluff in on you! And trust me, you don’t ever want to know how that feels! All my life I’ve been treated like garbage and I’m sick and damned tired of it!” Brielle said in a tone of seriousness.

As Jane continued to look at her mother, her eyes softened, and the look of compassion spread across her face. Olivia looked at her mother with compassion as well. The faces of everyone at the table changed as their hearts were pricked. They continued to listen silently.

Brielle Breaks Down

“It’s why I moved to California right after high school and why I took Karate and Tae Kwon Do after I got there and became a blackbelt! And it’s why I took you girls to martial arts school and made sure you both learned how to defend yourselves! And I did all that only to turn around and let your daddy do the same to me! And why did I let him beat up on me and treat me like dirt, even after I was trained in martial arts? It wasn’t because I feared him hurting me, it’s because I loved him so much and couldn’t bear the thought of hurting him! It’s also because I know that if I dared to stand up to him, he would’ve turned it back on me and made me out to be the bad person! Then he would have taken custody of you girls and I probably never would’ve seen you again! But after so many years of being abused, it gets old! You get tired of being a prisoner in your own home and being treated like a slave!” she went on.

The rest of the family listened. Some with tears welling in their eyes.

The Release of Pinned-Up Anger

“You get tired of living your life- your life! On someone else’s terms and not your own! You get tired of being subjugated and made to live up to someone else’s standards! You get tired of having to shape-shift and bend yourself into a damned pretzel to try and fit their version of what’s cool! Or their grandiose and downright twisted view of what a wife, a woman, a person should be! I’m damn near forty fucking years old and I’m tired of other people telling me how I should think, believe, act, live, and be!” Brielle declared, “I’m sick of people thinking they can use me as a punching bag anytime they feel like it! And I’m sick of people using me as a dumping ground for their issues and their insecurities! And it stops yesterday!”

As she continued to speak, her voice rose in anger, then began to break. Tears welled up in her eyes then streamed down her cheeks. Grandma Bennett and Brielle’s mother, Marcelle slowly rose from their chairs as did Jesse, Paul, James, Jerome, and Tim. Grandma Bennett made her way around the table to Brielle, then leaned over and wrapped her arms around her from behind and held her as she broke into sobs. Marcelle knelt beside Brielle and place her arms around her as well.

The Family’s Support for Brielle

“Sweetheart, we love you and we understand your pain.” Grandma Bennett said softly and tenderly, “We’re here for you, Bri. Anytime you need us, we’re here.”

“We love you, baby! And this is what I’ve been trying to teach you all these years, baby. To love yourself as much as we love you. And that means standing to people like Bill and like those brutes that mistreated you in school. We love you, Brielle, and we want you to love you. And we’re so proud of you for leaving Bill and putting your needs and the needs of these girls first.” Marcelle lovingly told her before planting a soft kiss on her cheek.

Jesse then took his turn hugging Brielle.

“I love you, baby sister! And if anybody hurts you, you come to me, and I’ll personally take care of them. You hear me?” He assured her, “You remember when I beat the breaks off that Bobby Crab-apple after he manhandled you when you were in the eleventh grade, right?”

Brielle nodded, wiping away tears.

Lesson for Jane and Olivia

“Well, I can sure use a rematch, I don’t give a fat rat’s ass if he’s hiding behind a sheriff’s badge. That sunvabitch won’t be sheriff forever!” He assured.

Brielle chuckled.

“I could always count on you, big brother. There’s never been any question about that,” she verbally recollected.

“You better believe it, honey! And the same goes for Bill if he ever comes here looking for trouble! I’ll make a bitch outta him too!”

“And I’ll help him.” Jerome said as he took his turn hugging Brielle.

After the men and their wives hugged Brielle, Jane and Olivia hugged her as well.

“We love you, Mom! And we won’t let anyone hurt you! We promise!” Jane assured her as she hugged and kissed her mother, “I’m so sorry. Me and Olivia are just scared right now. You understand, don’t you?”

“Yes, baby girl.” Brielle said gently. She rose from her chair and cupped each of her daughter’s faces with each hand.

The Love of Family

“I want to teach you girls that you don’t have to take abuse from anyone. And if it so happens that any of your classmates try to bully you over my posting the video of the altercation at the reunion, you have my permission to defend yourselves. And if they get physical, use your martial arts training. That’s what it’s there for. Don’t let anyone bully you. And when they do, stand up for yourself right when it first starts. Remember what Sensei Delgado taught you- Never let it go on for such a length of time that people get comfortable with mistreating and abusing you. Because once you let them get away with it a few times, it becomes a pattern, and they quickly grow comfortable with bullying you. And once they get comfortable with abusing you, it’s always impossible to stop even if you begin defending yourself. When a person grows comfortable with abusing you, they’ll only become angry and retaliate when you stand up to them. Do you understand what I’m talking about?”

Brielle Doesn’t Want Her Girls to Be Victims

The girls nodded their heads.

“Yes, ma’am.” They both answered.

“I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. I want you both to command the respect you deserve,” Brielle told them before kissing them each on the head.

School Choice- A Godsend for Bullied Kids!

School Choice is an absolute must for bullied children and teens. Without it, targets would be stuck in a school that hates them. They’d be trapped in a cycle of bullying and abuse with no way to escape. Also, the bullies would be even further emboldened because they would know that their targets couldn’t get away.

It’s a dark side of human nature that, if bullies know you’re trapped, they have a strong sense of glee and become more brazen. Then there’s no limit to how far they’ll take the abuse.

School choice would give kids the right to choose the school they want to attend regardless of their zip code. However, as of now, many bullied kids are trapped in toxic learning environments. They are stuck in schools, where their cries for help go ignored by school officials. Moreover, these adults only refuse to acknowledge that they have a culture of bullying at their beloved schools.

They sweep incidences of bullying under the rug and hide evidence of bullying (like camera footage) from parents. Also, they take sides with the bullies, blaming targeted kids for abuse they suffer at the hands of their classmates.

School choice would allow a bullied child easier transfer. Yet Teacher’s Unions are dead set against it. But why?

Here are a few reasons:

1. Teachers and schools get funding for each child in attendance per day.

2. Teachers Unions want to monopolize students and don’t want the competition. School Choice would give schools and teachers competition for students, and therefore, state funds. Money does corrupt.

3. Bullying teachers and school officials may not admit it, but they don’t want to lose their power and control over bullied children. And if these children start switching schools, bullying school officials will no longer have power over these kids. Therefore, they will need to search for other targets even if they must eat their own.

school bullying

Every child deserves the right to attend a school in which they feel safe, a school that values them as human beings. They deserve to attend a school where they can finally have dignity and respect. And they deserve to learn in an environment where they can grow and flourish without any disruptions.

There are entirely too many special interest groups who wish to squash school choice. They would rather monopolize our children and grandchildren. Again, this is all about having power over bullied kids and lining their pockets. It only goes to show that, in the minds of school officials, money and power take priority over the safety and security of children and teens.

This must stop…yesterday!

Attention Fellow Bloggers: A Nifty Idea!

Crap! Why didn’t I think of this before?

As you all know, my blog was unjustly flagged back in May as the lords of Automattic accused me of bot-like behavior for (in their terms not mine) “over-engagement.” As a result, I was and still am prevented from following and liking new blogs and blogposts that I like. Even worse, I can’t even follow the new blogger friends who have followed me since May 31st.

It’s part of the reason why I haven’t been reading many blogs since because, to be honest with you all, the flagging has really taken the wind out of my sails. Because I thought that reciprocation was key.

Also, what hurt the most was that I actually enjoyed making new friends here. I enjoyed cutting up with you. I cried with some of you, laughed with you. And I learned so much from you! The engagement was what I enjoyed most, not just the writing.

However, an idea came to me not long ago! 💡

That blessing on my sidebar- the blogroll!

Therefore, those of you who have followed me since the flag, know that I’m truly sorry that I can’t reciprocate, although I want to so badly.

Now, here’s the upside! It’s true that I can’t follow your blogs via the follow-button on your page. If I can’t do that, then, perhaps, I can follow you another way, I can put you on my Blogroll!

So, today, I will be busy entering the links and names to each of your sites to the blogroll. It may take a while, but I’ll get all you new followers in!

To all my blog-buddies, I can’t thank you enough for your readership, and most of all, your patience. Sending lots of love and hugs to each of you!

With all my heart,


Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.2

Later that afternoon, Brielle and the girls went to Thomasville Middle School, where Olivia would attend the sixth grade. Brielle thanked her lucky stars that it wasn’t nearly as complicated getting Olivia registered as it had been with Jane, and they didn’t see any of the wrong parents there. However, Olivia nervously looked around to see that there were three female teachers huddled in the corner of the office and one of the teachers, whose name sticker read, “Hello, my name is Mrs. Fisher,” leaned over toward the teacher whose sticker read, “Hello, my name is Mrs. Holloway,” and whispered loudly.

“Is that the woman who posted that video about the Sheriff’s department?”

Hearing this, Olivia recoiled and moved closer to her mother while continuing to stare suspiciously at the gossiping teachers.

“And what is that little girl’s problem?” Mrs. Holloway whispered in an indignant tone, “Does she think we’re going to bite her or something?”

Responses to The Damning Video

Olivia tapped her mother on the arm. Brielle finished the paperwork and handed it to one of the school secretaries. She then looked down at Olivia.

“What is it, sweetie?” she asked.

“Mom let’s hurry up and get out of here. I just want to go home,” Olivia said, “I don’t feel well.”

“What, you don’t want to meet your teachers?” Brielle asked gently.

“Not today. I’ll met them Tuesday,” Olivia replied.

“Okay, we don’t have to meet them today,” Brielle assured her middle daughter before turning to the school secretary.

The school secretary typed the information into the computer, then handed Brielle Olivia’s class schedule.

“Olivia’s homeroom teacher will be Mrs. Fisher for Math and Science. She’ll then have Mrs. Holloway for English and Spelling and Mr. Houlihan for Reading and Comprehension. She’ll have Mrs. March for P.E. last period.”

Olivia’s face dropped and her stomach sank as she looked back over to the gossiping and laughing teachers, two of whose classes she’d have to take.

The Girls Notice the Unwelcome Stares and Gossip

That evening, there was a big family dinner at Grandma Bennett’s house and all the family was there. Brielle placed Baby Kennedy, now eight months old, in a highchair before sitting down with a jar of baby food. Grandma Bennett, Marcelle, Melissa, Amy, and Julie worked together to prepare the food and set the table.

“I made crab patties. There’s plenty for everyone and you should try them. They’re delicious!” Brielle informed them.

“Did you say, crab patties, Bri? Crab’s awful expensive, isn’t it?” Grandma Bennett replied.

“Crab isn’t cheap but for special occasions like this, it’s worth the price,” Brielle said as she held the tiny spoon of baby food to Kennedy’s mouth and Kennedy took the bite.

Grandma Bennett gave Brielle a funny look before turning around and continuing to prepare a pan of strawberry tarts for the oven.

Later, over dinner, as the family ate at the table, Grandma Bennett smiled at Jane and Olivia, who sat by their mother. Baby Kennedy, dressed in a yellow onesie with a print of pink roses, lay sleeping in her play pin in the living room after having been well fed. A brown teddy bear sat, propped in the corner of the play pin and a half-filled bottle of milk lay beside the sleeping baby. Her pacifier dropped from her mouth onto the bedding with a soft thump. The baby continued to make faint suckling efforts as she continued to snooze peacefully.

A Family Dinner

Brielle got up, walked over to the play pin, and gently pulled the thick, pink banket over Kennedy until only her head and shoulders were visible. She then softly tousled the thick thatch of pretty golden hair on the baby’s little head before quietly creeping back to the table and sitting down to finish her meal.

“Well, are you girls excited about school starting on Tuesday?” Grandma Bennett asked cheerfully.

Heariing the question, Brielle gave Grandma Bennett a cautious look. Jane looked up from her plate, half-heartedly shrugged and, in a bland tone, “Yeah, I guess,” Olivia just sat there with a long face and slowly shook her head.

Grandma Bennett looked at Brielle.

“Such long faces! What’s wrong with them, Brielle?” She asked, concerned.

“They’re probably sad that the summer is coming to an end,” Brielle answered, not wanting to reveal the real reason for the girls’ negative responses,“Most kids dread going back to school after a long summer break of getting to sleep in, stay home, and do pretty much what they want.”

Dreading the Coming School Year

“You have no idea,” Jane said in a dreadful tone before taking a bite of hash brown potatoes, “My teacher, Mrs. Dumas? I don’t have a good feeling about her, Mom. Do you remember how she barked at us when we came in to meet her?”

“Maybe she’d had a bad day, Jane,” Brielle said, trying to stay positive.

“What about the whispers we heard at Jane’s school? And the teachers at my school were talking about the video you posted about the cops, Mom. I overheard them,” Olivia reminded, “What if they decide to get back at me for your posting that video?”

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5

Chapter 5

Only the Beginning

During the last week of August, Brielle took a day off to register Jane and Olivia for school. First, she registered Jane.

As they entered the school, a picture of a Lion, mascot for the Thomasville HS sports teams with the words, “Home of the Thomasville Lions,” hung above the doorway to the office. The picture of the Lion was bordered with the school colors, red and white.

Crowds of parents and teenagers flooded the entrance and the hallways as Brielle, Jane, and Olivia eased their way through to the office. The sounds of loud clamoring filled the air. Brielle quickly filled out the papers and got Jane registered. Jane only had three required classes, which was English, Math, and History. Outside of those, she got to choose her other classes, which were Chorus, Psychology, and Study Hall.

School Registration

Brielle took her papers and Jane’s and handed them to Mrs. Murphy, the school secretary. Mrs. Murphy then entered the information into her computer, typing feverishly. A huge cluster of fast taps sounded as her fingers worked the keyboard. Once she was finished, she looked at Brielle and Jane.

“We’ll be sending a request for Jane’s school records to her former school in California. Feel free to look around the school. Welcome to Thomasville High School, Jane,” Mrs. Murphy said with a smile.

Next, they toured the school with the incoming freshman class while the office personnel decided what teachers’ classes to place Jane in.

As Brielle and the girls toured Jane’s school with the rest of the parents, Jane noticed many parents and their teenagers staring at them and whispering. Brielle noticed it too and stopped. She then turned and faced the gossipers, mirroring the nasty looks. Suddenly, she saw Rita and Misty glaring at them from across the room. Brielle glared at them also, showing them that she wouldn’t be intimidated.

The Ire of a Community

Rita turned to another parent while maintaining her eyes on Brielle and her girls. Jane overhead the strange woman as she spoke to another parent.

“Just look at her, trying to stare me down! So, she’s not scared! That’s okay! We’re going to make her scared before it’s over! I goddam guarantee it!” Rita bitched.

“You see that woman right over there? That one right there with the blonde highlights and long hair? That’s the woman from the video! She claims we bullied her in high school and she’s trying to make us, the school, and the town look bad. She’s bad news and I would avoid her at all costs!” Misty told another parent.

“Oh, my God! That’s Brielle Bennett? I never would’ve recognized her if you hadn’t said anything,” the other parent gasped.

A third parent spoke up.

“I bet her daughters are just like her, nothing but white trash!” the third parent scoffed.

Gossip Factory

“That’s the woman from the video!” a fourth parent said to a fifth while pointing Brielle out.

Jane’s eyes flashed and she looked back at her mother.

“Mom, why did you have to post that video? Why? If I’d known you were going to plaster that video all over social media, I would have told you not to!” Jane whispered.

Brielle broke her fiery glare and turned to her daughter.

“We’ll talk about it when we get home, Jane. Okay?” Brielle replied in a low voice.

An hour later, Jane received her class schedule. Now it was time to meet the school staff.

The high school principal, Mr. Harold Winchester, an extremely tall, six foot 5, overweight and round-faced man with silver hair and eyeglasses offered a firm handshake to Brielle and the girls and greeted them with a warm “hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He then continued, informing them of the times of each class, the time lunch would be served, and that the school would be closed the next day, which was Friday, then the following Monday as teacher preparation for the new school year.

Meeting  the Principal

The principal had a distinguished gentleman look. He wore a dark blue suit and tie and looked to be nearing retirement age.

Jane’s new school, Thomasville High School was a tan-bricked, structure that had been built during the sixties but with newer additions to it. It was much smaller than the school Jane had attended in California. She had gone from attending a large suburban school of over ten thousand alumni to a small-town school with just over three thousand students.

The gymnasium was a separate building from the school. From the outside, the gym reminded one of a classic, 1940’s airport hangar, with it’s curved, half-moon shaped roof. A long row of windows lined each side of the building just under the roof. The rows of windows and awnings over them, jutted outward from the structure. The gym and school were connected by a walkway complete with sidewalk and overhead awning.

An Intimidating Encounter

The school was a rectangular, two-story building with four corridors, two upstairs and two downstairs, all of which were dotted with classrooms along each side. Each of the classrooms were empty except for a teacher who was either decorating their classroom or sitting at their desk shuffling papers.

When Brielle and the girls found Jane’s homeroom teacher’s classroom, they entered quietly. A short, average-sized fortyish woman sat at the teacher’s desk in front of the long, white, dry-erase board that had a smaller, decorated bulletin boards on each side.

She had solid dark brown hair except for a small streak of solid silver just above her left temple. She had on a stylish, red, floral print dress with shoulder holes, red high heel shoes, and shiny rings on two fingers of each hand. Her nails were impeccably polished with ruby red nail polish. Her face was made up with red lipstick, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and a shimmery beige eyeshadow with light brown in the crease under her browbones.

As Brielle and the girls approached her desk, the well-decked out teacher looked up with an angry face and pursed lips.

“Can I help you?” she chided in an impatient tone.


Brielle and the girls stopped suddenly and gave the teacher a look of unpleasant surprise.

“We were just looking for my daughter’s homeroom. According to this schedule, this is it, and you must be Mrs. Dumas,” Brielle said matter of factly.

“That’s right. And who might you be?” Mrs. Dumas asked, looking at the older girl who stood beside Brielle.

“Jane Markowitz,” Jane answered.

The teacher looked at her class schedule and list of homeroom students.

“Jane Markowitz…Jane Markowitz,” she thought aloud as she ran her finger down the list of homeroom students.

“Ah, yes! You’re the new student from California. They just added your name to the class list in red ink on the fly. Welcome to Thomasville High School, Jane,” she said half-heartedly.

“Thanks,” Jane replied with a half-smile.

“Now, you know school doesn’t start until Tuesday. Right?” Mrs. Dumas told Jane.

“Yes. We’very been made aware of that. Thank you,” Brielle replied.

“Well, I’ll see you Tuesday morning, Jane,” the teacher said.

Bullying And “The Horns Effect” (Part 2)


(Continued from Part One…)

With the Horns Effect, teachers are less patient with a bullied student who asks questions in class. Therefore, the student will eventually stop asking for help. Thus the target of bullying won’t learn as much, won’t work hard, and won’t make very high grades. Consequently, this will only activate the teacher’s confirmation bias and reinforce her opinion of the poor kid. She will assume that the kid is lazy, good for nothing and a crappy student.

If you’re under the thumb of the Horns Effect, others begin to see you as a terrible person. And they will block any opportunities for friendships, relationships, and success as word travels quickly.

Anytime you suffer bullying and feel you can’t do anything right by anyone, you can bet that you’re under the spell of The Horns Effect.

The devil hiding in the businessman – alter ego concept

An Unfair Disadvantage 

It doesn’t matter whether or not people’s hatred of you is deserved. The Horns Effect mars everyone’s interactions with you. As a result, it leaves you feeling like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Because although you may try, you don’t seem to get anywhere with people.

And because the mistreated target is unhappy, miserable, depressed and angry (and who wouldn’t be under those circumstances?), everyone who already hates the target feels more justified in their hatred.

Sadly, once the Horn Effect takes hold and people form an image of the target, it’s almost impossible to change. No matter what or how many good deeds she does, or how kind she is to others, people will see her good actions as a ploy to kiss-up to and manipulate people.

White egg between angry brown ones

A Powerful Tool for Bullies

Understand that The Horns Effect is what bullies count on. And once the bullies complete their agenda of destroying your reputation, The Horns Affect will automatically come into play.

(The Horns Effect- the tendency to see one bad thing in a person and believe that everything about that person is bad).

It’s tough to get others to change their first impressions of you. It can be done but it takes a truckload of patience and consistency. It also takes a certain amount of pointing out your good qualities, hard work and successes to people. Ironically, this can backfire if you aren’t careful, because people may only think you’re an arrogant braggart.

Realize that any effort to effect change may do no good or make the situation worse. Because people naturally base their decisions and behavior on deeply hidden feelings. Moreover, their actions toward you are subconscious.

Judgements Based on Emotions

Most people are either too lazy or too full-of-themselves to do any critical thinking. When they hate you, they will rationalize any hateful behavior. Also, they will search for clues which confirm that their attitude, feelings and subsequent actions and behavior are justified.

Teachers will often grade student’s papers based on their biases. In other words, they rank a student’s essay based on how they perceive that student. If a teacher sees a student be a low performer and lazy, they’ll grade that paper through that lens.

People don’t judge you from what’s actually there; they judge you from what they expect to be there. If people expect trouble to come from a particular place, then that’s where they’re going to look. Therefore, this brings me back to the subject. If people don’t like one thing about you, the chances are that they won’t like anything else about you, good or bad.

Who You Are Cancels Out Merit

Most ideas don’t stand on their own merits. People judge ideas based on who they came from.

The Horns and Halo Effects have a way of clouding people’s judgment of a person. People will make irrational beliefs because, again, they believe that the existence of one bad trait means that there are other bad qualities.

Any time you are under the shadow of The Horns Effect, anything you say, accomplish, create or do is automatically dismissed without consideration of whether it’s genuine.

Casual business start up team is blame a woman in group

No matter who said it or did it, it’s either genuine or it isn’t, based on its own merit. It is what it is, no matter who it came from. A good idea is a good idea, even if it comes from the town whore. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if it came from a pastor’s wife.

Unfortunately, you have little control over other’s perceptions and opinions of you. However, there are a few things you can do, which is to take care of yourself and do the things you love most and that fulfill your soul. Also, lean on and draw closer to the people who love you.

This is  how you keep the spell of The Horns Effect from trashing your self-esteem.

Bullying And “The Horns Effect”


The Horns Effect (or Reverse Halo Effect) – is the opposite of the Halo Effect. It’s a form of bias that causes people’s perception of a person to be negative based on a single negative trait.

No one’s perfect, and everyone has negative traits. The Horns Effect is an example of how one negative trait over-shadows the positive characteristics of a person. It’s how negative ratings of one quality can easily cross over to judgments of other attributes.

For example, here’s a beautiful and attractive woman. She works hard, has a good heart, and has talent in singing and playing the guitar. Although the woman is kindhearted, is a knockout, and has superior skill in music, they view her as stupid. Therefore, they may also view her as unattractive and untalented.  All it takes is an unfavorable rating of one characteristic to influence lower scores of other qualities.

All It Takes is One Negative Characteristic

What happens is that people jump to conclusions about a person too quickly, based only on one imperfection. As a result, they end up wrongly judging the individual.

Other examples of The Horns Effect are when people judge a group based on the behavior of a few bad apples. Therefore, they think that overweight people are lazy and have no willpower. Blondes are dumb, blacks are thugs, whites are racist, and poor people are bums- you get the picture.

The problem is that we see something we don’t like about a person or a particular member of a group. We then go on judging them from our own unfavorable view. This only determines our attitude and behavior toward them. Consequently, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they push back. Therefore it reinforces our negative attitudes that their bad traits are connected to all other characteristics.

This is what happens when a person is bullied for so long. They finally get fed up and react out of emotion, which only reinforces the attitudes of others. People see the target as overreacting, overly sensitive, or downright crazy and unhinged.

The Horns Effect Labels Targets Unjustly

The Horns Effect causes people to have “selective attention.” They see one undesirable trait and form an opinion of the whole person based on that one single characteristic. It’s an “all-or-nothing” mentality- black or white thinking with no room for the grey. It’s the idea that people are either good or bad and nothing in between. Bullies and their followers refuse to realize that positive and negative coexist.

This is only a stereotype. And bullies and their sheep are either unable to or refuse to go beyond that stereotype. Sadly, they become prejudiced against the target. They judge the target based on a first impression she gave and refuse to give her a “second chance,” which only consolidates the bias. They continue to assume the person is evil and treat them harshly or unfairly.

For example, if something comes up missing, people will automatically presume the target to be the thief who took it.

Selective Empathy

The victim will then become defensive (as every action produces a reaction).

Here’s another example: When things go wrong, people tend to cut everyone else- anyone else, except the target, some slack. They,ll assume that things were only out of their control. If they were within the person’s control, others pass it off that “everyone makes mistakes.”

With the target, on the other hand, people will only view that person’s every action with distrust.  The popular belief will be that the person caused the mishap deliberately or had an agenda. Sadly, people do this subconsciously.

If anyone else is late for class or work, people will only think, “Oh, traffic must have been bad.” “Maybe so-and-so had a stressful morning.”

Singled Out

On the other hand, how will they act if the target, whom they dislike, does the same thing? People will only think, “As usual, the idiot can’t get their shit together.” Or that “she’s just hell-bent on bending the rules.” Or worse, “she has no respect for authority.”

This is known as confirmation bias, when we search for and “find” evidence that proves our opinions of the unfortunate target. Then, we discount or rationalize proof that doesn’t support our views. In short, people judge everything the target does.

Understand that people have a psychological need to “be right” about a person. It’s what leads bystanders and others around the target to assume that any gossip about them is true. And this occurs despite a complete lack of evidence.

Whereas, if the person isn’t the target, people won’t believe any accusation of wrongdoing. They’ll only ignore it, even if there’s a mountain of evidence to back it up.

The Horns Effect Leads to Bias and Predjudice

The Horns Effect leads teachers and supervisors to disqualify people who are well-deserving of and qualified for awards. They are so biased that they’ll select someone who isn’t. And people will punish the target for a particular behavior while overlooking the same behavior in anyone else. And their personal dislike, disrespect and hatred of the target will influence this.

Moreover, others won’t recognize any improvement or positive change in the target. If they do, they won’t believe it will last. They’ll only see it as, “Oh, she’s just on her best behavior to impress others and get them off her tail. She’ll be back to her bitch-self soon enough. Just give her time.”

At the same time, people may not see poor and unacceptable behavior in someone other than the target. With anyone else, people will say, “Oh, so-and-so would never have done that! That sounds like something (the target’s name) would do!”

On the other hand, people will make excuses for someone else. “I’m sure Becky didn’t mean to do XYZ.” Or “Maybe Rhonda is just going through some things and that’s why she snapped and hit Christy with a baseball bat.”

The Horns Effect is the root of discrimination and prejudice just like the Halo Effect is the root of favoritism and partiality.

(Continued in Part two…)

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C4.9

Suddenly, Olivia came running through the backyard gate through the patio, through the patio doors, and into the kitchen. Grandma Bennett and Jane sat up in their chairs and looked at Olivia, then at each other.

“Momma, Momma! There are three guys in a pickup truck sitting across the street and they’re watching our house!” Olivia cried.

Brielle sat the newly finished birthday cake down on the table.

“Olivia, what are you talking about? There’s no one watching the house,” Brielle scolded, “Stop imagining things.”

“Oh, yes there is,” Olivia interjected as she grabbed her mother’s hand and led her through the living room, out the front door, and into the front yard where they could see the street. Bandit followed behind them.

Sure enough, just as she had described, there were three men in a pick-up truck, parked on the other side of the street, looking dead at them with furrowed brows and narrowed, squinty eyes that conveyed danger. Bandit stood there, growling and snarling at the men in the truck. The dog’s ears pointed back and lay almost flat against his head as he hunched downward, preparing to lunge. Bandit raised his lips above his gums and viciously bore his teeth as he continued his deep, gutteral snarl. His back slightly arched upward and the fur of his long coat bristled and stood at attention. Brielle grabbed his collar before he could charge the truck.

The Town Has Eyes

“Easy, Bandit! Easy, boy,” Brielle gently said, trying to hold the dog and at the same time, pet him to get him to calm down.

Bandit went nuts, letting out a stream of loud, vicious barks as Brielle took a firm grip on his collar pulling him back. Bandit continued to bark as he reared up on his hind legs, trying his best to break free of Brielle’s grip and charge the men in the truck.

“Somebody, take Bandit in the house! Fast!” Brielle called out.

Jesse came running and gently took the dog by the collar.

“Easy, buddy. Cmon, now,” he soothed as he tried to calm the snarling dog. Bandit was incredibly strong and, as much as Jesse hated it, he had no choice but to all but drag the fighting dog into the house. He then shut the door.

Brielle stopped and returned the threatening glare. She stood there, feet apart, and placed her hands on her hips, as if to dare the men. Grandma Bennett and Jane joined them in the front yard. Grandma Bennett glared at the men and mirrored Brielle with her body language.

Bandit the Protector

“Whatever you have in mind, you’d better rethink it! Now get outta here! Get the hell outta here! Now!” Brielle shouted at the men.

The driver cranked the truck and, ever so slowly, lurched forward. As the truck slowly pulled away, the three men continued to threateningly glare at Brielle and her family. The looks caused chills to run up both Jane and Olivia’s bodies.

Jane turned to her mother.

“Who are those creeps, Mom?” she asked.

“I don’t know, honey. But I intend to watch for them from now on. In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you girls stayed in the back yard until further notice. The front yard is off-limits. You go outside, you play in the back yard,” Brielle told them.

“Aw, Mom! Aren’t we a little old for that?” Jane groaned.

“Yeah, that’s not fair!” Olivia whined.

Brielle the Mama Bear

“Listen to me! I don’t know who those guys are or what their intentions are. For all we know they could be child sex-traffickers watching you both! Now, I intend to keep you both safe and if that means keeping you both in the back yard then that’s how it’s going to be!” Brielle said sternly, “Now, I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Jane and Olivia both sighed as they all turned and walked back into the house. Brielle already had her suspicions, she already suspected that the video she’d plastered all over the internet would more than likely ruffle some feathers. Was this why the three men in the truck were watching them and looking at them in such a threatening way? Was it all just to intimidate Brielle and instill fear into her, or was it a warning that worse was coming down the pike?

The Nerve! The Audacity! The Chutzpah!

So, you have the gall to think for yourself. Make no mistake! People will hate you. They will demonize you. Others  will consider you a troublemaker, a rabble rouser, a riffraff! People will deem you a crazy person who’s “mentally imbalanced.”

Thinking for yourself or being an independent thinker, whatever you prefer to call it, is such sweet freedom. Yet, most people have always been afraid to do it because it’s much safer to follow the leader.  Safety and comfort always come with doing as you’re told without question or without even thinking about it.

Most choose to take the easy path- the safest route and follow the lead of a person in power. And they’ll do it, even if that person hasn’t the slightest idea of what they’re talking about. Moreover, they’ll comply, even when there’s evidence that the influencer is leading them to their own demise!

The Human Tendency to Allow Others to Lead You to Your Demise

People automatically take orders from someone deemed superior or powerful without ever asking themselves what the person giving the orders has to gain from their compliance.

There’s much truth to the old saying that people are less afraid of death than they are of ostracization from society.

I can certainly understand the fear of bullying, shunning, and ostracization. No one wants others to oust them from “the social club.” Because human beings are hardwired by God and nature to be social animals. Living as a part of a tribe was how we survived back during prehistoric times.  Whereas, anyone who wasn’t a part of a tribe risked starvation and extinction.

The Powerful Urge to Conform

However, it’s easier for the shunned to survive today. And I’d much rather have my freedom. Freedom requires the ability to pick, choose, and think independently despite what others may think of us.

Moreover, when you think for yourself, you step out of your comfort zone and open up unlimited possibilities for yourself. Thinking for yourself means trusting your gut and following your instincts. It means knowing that your gut will always tell you when something doesn’t sound or feel right.

Realize that there’s a reason people have intense hatred toward a person who thinks independently. It’s because the free thinker is least likely to be controlled or to fall for any tricks and manipulation.

The Freedom to Think for Yourself 

The person who thinks for himself is more likely to see right through smoke screens and fakery. Also, independent thinkers know themselves well. They think critically, and, again, they listen to their gut instincts. In that, they refuse to engage in anything that feels unhealthy or dangerous.

Sadly, we live in a culture of bullying- one that demands that we deny our God-given sixth sense. It’s easier to allow others to pressure us to follow along, even to our own detriment. Bullies in power demand that we deny our own needs and human rights. They send the unwritten message that we have no right to defend ourselves nor our families. They decry that we should put them first and ourselves and our loved ones last.

Power Corrupts

Therefore, they use people of great power and influence to persuade us to do their bidding. They pay Hollywood celebrities, sports figures, politicians, and media personalities to convince us. Their message is that we should go along with them and their way of thinking, living, and doing things.

On the other hand, individuality is strongly discouraged, ridiculed, and even severely punished, as is creativity, originality, and meritocracy.

Simply put, bullies in power demand that we do not think for ourselves but only the way they want us to think. And sadly, they successfully hoodwink the majority of us. They dupe us into believing that, just because the people giving the narrative have great power and influence, they automatically know what they’re talking about and “only want what’s best for us and the rest of humanity,” when, in most cases, the exact opposite is true.

Even Powerful People are Fallable 

Remember that these people are not gods. They are human just like the rest of us and they put their pants on one leg at a time just like we do. Understand that they are just as fallable and capable of error.

We must realize that power corrupts, and it takes a special and unique person to not be corrupted by power. We must understand that the vast majority of those in power do not have our best interests at heart but are only out to use us to fulfill their own agendas and end goals. And once they feel that we’ve served our purpose and they no longer need us, they will discard us like dirty diapers.

People in power, who are corrupt, often use beautiful-sounding words and phrases, such as, “for the common good,” and “for the good or betterment of humanity.”

The Masks Evil People Don

They often portray themselves to be the saviors of humanity or warriors and champions for social justice, all while working behind the scenes to destroy the very groups of people they claim to represent and care about.

In short, they hide their evil intentions behind the veneer of philanthropy, love, and goodwill.

Remember that Satan never appears as an ugly red devil with horns and a pointy tail, he always comes as our biggest dream come true, whether it be the man or woman of our dreams, or a sweetheart of a deal that’s hard to refuse. The devil always comes as an angel of light. That is why we should keep our focus on the person’s actions and not their words.

Dare to Think Independently 

That’s why it’s so important that we think for ourselves. We must also understand that there will be sacrifices for it and we will more than likely endure a truckload of hatred and vitriol from countless others, even those we think are friends and allies. Finally, we must trust that, in the end, when it’s all said and done, it will all be worth it.

With knowledge comes empowerment!