A Detailed Description of the Pain and Torment Endured By Targets of Bullying (Part 2)

brokenheart

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 you to pieces. 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 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, their hands seem to be tied when it comes to effectively helping you.

(to be continued in part 3…)

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

Advertisements

A Detailed Description of the Pain and Torment Endured By Targets of Bullying (Part 1)

dreamstime_s_90415670

Having experienced school bullying myself, I would like to give a detailed scenario of what it is like to be a target for those who have been fortunate not to have been bullied. My aim is to put you in the shoes of a target so that you can better understand what they are forced to endure daily. When it comes to living with bullying, no story is far-fetched or unlikely.

Imagine you’re in Middle School or High School. You wake up in the morning and eat breakfast. While you eat, your mother is busy preparing to go to work. You stare at your mother, wanting so badly to tell her was is happening at school and how much you hurt inside. But you’re much too afraid. If you do tell her, will she assure you that she will address the situation or will she tell you that it’s all just a part of the school experience and that you should just put up with it?

Will she put her arms around you, give you loving motherly advice and tell you that none of it is your fault or blame you, telling you that you must be doing something to bring it all on yourself? Will she listen to you, or will she just dismiss you and tell 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…and for the past several years, you will be ambushed, caught in a vicious 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 your life. 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 and you notice the furtive looks, giggles and disapproving grunts as you make your way down the aisle to the first empty seat. Suddenly, you hear several different voices, “Oh God! Not him/her again!” “Hey, bitch/punk! 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 overlook the taunts, numbing your pain and stuffing it deep down inside. However, you can only do this for so long.

As you near an empty seat, a girl gets up and spits in your face. A boy gets behind you and shoves you forward so hard you almost fall to the floor. Then you find an empty seat and sit down. The girl sitting behind you borrows 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 must work so there’s no way she can come take you home for a hair wash and clothes change. And because you don’t want to be a burden to your parents by telling them that you need for one of them to bring you a clean set of attire, you’re stuck at school all day, disheveled.

(to be continued in Part 2…)

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

Male and Female Bullies: The Differences Between Them and The Tactics They Use Against Their Targets

dreamstime_xs_17899897

Female bullies, in my opinion are the worst of the sexes. Girls can be most vicious because they are better at going undetected than male bullies.

Female Bullies:

Although exceptions can be made, most are passive-aggressive and commit much of their bullying on a psychological level. However, thanks to radical feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.

Females bully by Dividing and Conquering – attacking the targets’ relationships, using smear campaigns and witch hunts designed to turn everyone against the target- ’Isolation of the target’.

They also use projection- projecting all of their own shortcomings onto the target. Bullies do have flaws and their greatest fear is having them exposed. What better way can they use to keep their own imperfections hidden, than to either project them onto the victim, or use distraction- distracting others attention away from their own shortcomings and evil deeds by pointing out the negative qualities of their victims?

Girls and some boys, use psychological warfare which includes but is not limited to exclusion, dirty looks, taunts, insults, rumors and lies, thievery, invasion of the target’s privacy and destruction of the target’s property and relationships.

If this does not work, they then may resort to violence although not as often as male bullies. If females want to cause bodily harm to their victim, they are more likely to persuade someone else, either a male friend or a bigger and tougher female friend, to catch the target somewhere alone and do their physical attacks for them. These girls offer either illicit sex (male friend), or inclusion into their particular clique and the chance to climb up the social ladder (female friend) as incentives. Passive-aggressive bullies may also offer money.

Females are hardwired toward maintaining relationships whether they be familial, friendships, or romantic because they are nurturers by nature. Most young girls plan to eventually get married and have families of their own. Thus, female bullies aim to sabotage the target’s relationships. Most girls and women, from the time they are small, dream of one day finding a husband and having children because they have an instinct to nurture. They are usually the caretakers of the home.

Therefore, it should not be any surprise that female bullies are notorious for calling their targets names like ‘whore’, ‘slut’, ‘tramp’, ‘floosy’ and other names which attack the femininity and virtues.

Moreover, anytime you as a young lady are called either one of these names, there is an even deeper meaning behind it, which is that you are not marriageable, you are not worthy of a husband or children, and you are not considered to be a woman.

A female bully wants to brainwash you. This is the reason why her attacks are so vicious and repetitive because she actually wants to convince you that you are worthless and will stop at nothing to make you believe it!

She knows that if she can make you believe the lies, there is a strong chance that you will live up to them. We are what we believe. She knows that if she could drum it into your head that she will succeed in breaking your spirit and making you prove her right.

Get this straight. Female bullies WANT you to live up to the names that they call you. If they call you a whore, they actually want you to BE one.

So don’t live up to it! Show her up! But know that she will not give up so easily. Girls tend to hang on to their hatred of another girl to the point of obsession. The bullying becomes a ritual. And when you stand up to a bully, don’t expect things to get better anytime soon.

Male bullies:

Although there are exceptions, most males use physical aggression. Young men are expected to be strong and tough…to display manhood. Therefore, if the target is another male, the boy bully will not only use his fists, but will also try to feminize their target by repetitively emasculating him.

Male bullies often call their targets names like, “sissy”, “p***y”, “bitch” and other names which attack the male pride and cause them to feel less like men. They try to strip their target of his manhood.

And if the male target speaks out against the treatment, the male bully will trivialize it by referring to the target as a “whiner” and tell him to “toughen up”, or “man up”. The male bully may also accuse his male victim of going against what is seen as “man-code” if he dares to report the bullying.

Male bullies may target a girl as well, with physical assaults, verbal bullying and sexual harassment.

The more you know, the more you will be prepared and the better you will be able to bully-proof yourself.

The Difference Between Bullying and Jerky Behavior

excluded

Everyone deals with jerks and disrespect but not everyone gets bullied. Jerks and disrespect are a normal part of life. Bullying, on the other hand, is a whole other animal. Although the behavior of a jerk is hurtful and negative, it does not mean that it can be classified as bullying. So, when is hurtful behavior classified as bullying and how do we tell the difference between bullying and disrespect? What is the difference between a jerk and a bully?

When a person is “just being a jerk”, his/her bad attitude is random, sporadic and directed at anyone at any time. When you encounter a jerk, you’re just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person but not a target. With jerks, everyone is fair game.

Bullying, on the other hand, is when the ill treatment becomes a habit or pattern and is directed towards one person in particular. Bullying requires a target! It is systematic, deliberate, vicious and always escalates over time. Bullying involves smear campaigns, witch hunts and is relentless. Bullying seeks to destroy.

A jerk is afraid you might want something from him/her.
A bully wants something from you.

My Mother, Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide

Alabama Crimson Tide

My mother and I both are huge Alabama fans and have been for years. When I think of the Crimson Tide, I automatically see the face of Coach Bear Bryant and although he passed away when I was a little girl, I still remember his being tough as nails to push his players to be the best they could possibly be. In fact, he was so tough that he would make sure “puke barrels” were nearby because the practices were so brutal. I have no doubt that Coach Bryant’s influence lives on today and continues to make Alabama one of the top college football teams in the SEC today…decades after his death!

Like Bear Bryant, my mother was also tough as nails…pushing me and my siblings to be smarter, stronger…better than what I ever thought I could be. She was and still is a loving mother, but she could always be tough…even brutal when she knew we were being lazy and not trying as hard as we could try…at anything.

At times, Mom was like a drill sergeant but although it didn’t feel good at the time, I can tell you that her fierceness motivated us to do what we were supposed to do. I don’t think I could’ve graduated college nor become a published author of two books without my mother’s influence.

It is the same with the Crimson Tide. They wouldn’t be the awesome college football team they have always been without the influence of the one and only Bear Bryant. His legacy lives on over three decades after his passing, just as my mother’s legacy will live on in the hearts of her children long after she is gone!

Roll Tide Roll!

Think Before You Act!

dreamstime_s_5907315

Bullies aren’t stupid clods like they’re portrayed in the movies. They’re sneaky, they’re conniving and they have ways of charming those in authority, lying convincingly and making their victims look like the culprits.

Why? Because they will push you! They push and push until you, the victim, snap! Then you look like the bad guy. You are labeled the crazy person. You are labeled the troublemaker. It happens all the time. I understand this because I’ve been there.

You must think before you act. Bullies have a talent for provoking targets, then feigning victimhood. They’re real good at looking like the victim. That’s why you should never let them push you over the edge. Never let them push your buttons, though I realize that it’s easier said than done.

There are so many victims whom have allowed bullies to drive them to bringing a gun to school and shooting their classmates. But all this does is make the bullies the victims and the target the bad guy! Anytime you bring a lethal weapon to school, you only validate the falsehoods and rumors spread about you! It proves every thing your bullies have said about you to be true! Even worse, it ruins your entire future! Do you think they are worth that?

Instead of handling the harassment with a gun, try reaching for success! Bring your grades up and indulge in your talents and gifts! Win awards for those talents! Do the things that you enjoy the most and bask in the friendships you do have. enjoy time with family!

How you handle bullying is to be successful!

Let’s have a school year with no shootings!

Bullies May Turn Everyone Else Against You. Just Don’t Let Them Turn YOU Against You!

bullyingfaces

No matter what other people may thing of you, you are the only one who knows who you truly are. Bullies are known for spinning smear campaigns and witch hunts to turn others against a target because it’s the only way they can make their lies and accusations seem valid. However, no matter how convincing the bullies may be and how many people believe the lies and rumors spread about you, it doesn’t mean the talk is true.

Only you can judge who you really are, nobody else can. I know it’s difficult not to question yourself when it seems that others hate you. Anyone who finds themselves in this situation would ask themselves, “What did I do?” or “What did I say?” It’s only a natural human reaction to being ostracized. It’s difficult not to blame yourself.

But please, for your own self-esteem, do not blame yourself. Remember that the problem lies with the bullies, not with you. You are not responsible for what is happening to you. Believe it!

Although others may turn against you, just make sure that you do not turn against you! Remember that reputation doesn’t equal character!

Continue to love yourself. Continue to take care of yourself and be true to your own heart! Continue to do the things that give you pleasure and surround yourself with those who do love you and want the best for you. Because during this time, you must ‘baby’ your self-esteem and your confidence!

Bullies may turn everyone else against, you! Just don’t allow them to turn you against yourself because you have no reason to hate yourself. So, love yourself even when it seems that others hate you. I promise you that your self-esteem will thank you for it! You will thank yourself for it!

Why Advocate for Bullied Kids?

bullyingstandup

Several have asked me why I speak out for bullied kids through writing. There are several reasons:

1. The suicide rate among bullied children and teens is astronomical and I want to send a message that although it may not seem like it, these kids have more to live for than they know.

2. It has helped me heal from when I was bullied years ago. Writing, helping kids find their voices and see their own worth and exposing bullies and their motives for bullying is what keeps me grounded and provides closure to what truly were the most heartbreaking and humiliating years of my life.

3. If I can help one bullied child find their voice, find their power and see the value they bring to this world…if I can show young victims how much they are loved despite what they are told by others at school…if I can convince them to go on living instead of resorting to suicide…then, perhaps, what I want through all those years ago was not in vain.

4. It isn’t about fame or fortune. It isn’t about notoriety. It’s all about turning past negatives into present positives. It’s about insuring that good can come from suffering.

Bullied kids need to hear from an adult who has lived their nightmare, who understands what they are going through and who can relate to how they are feeling.

Bullied kids need to hear that they are NOT alone…that they aren’t the only ones.

Bullied kids need to hear from someone who has survived bullying, grown up, and gone on to reach success and to have a family of their own…someone who is living proof that there can be life, love and happiness after bullying.

They need to hear that life does, indeed, get better.

The Dark Triad (Psychopathy, Narcissism and Machiavellianism) Are Hallmarks of the Seasoned Bully

bullyingpeanuts

If you have ever taken a Psych class, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dark Triad. Not all psychopaths, Narcissists and Machiavellians are serial killers and rapists. No. Most of these types are right here among us (Scary, I know)! They’re in the classrooms, the hallways, on the street, in the boardroom and yes, even in our own homes if we are unfortunate enough to have a family member who possesses either one of such traits.

Here are a few indicators:

1. Most seasoned bullies are experts at avoiding detection. They are charming to the right people, mainly those in positions of authority (supervisors, teachers, etc.)and they are convincing when they lie. They are good at embellishments and spin. Bullies never tell boldface lies. Their deceptive stories always have a grain of truth to them. However, it is that grain of truth which makes their little white lies so darn convincing. Bullies will often start smear campaigns against their victims for the purpose of silencing them and keeping them from speaking out. If everyone thinks the victim is a bad person, the least likely they are to believe them when they report the abuse. Narcissists, Psychopaths and Machiavellians are known for this.

2. Bullies are deliberately charming to those in authority or those with influence. This charm is just another way to go undetected and make any victim look guilty. They also mask any insecurities, giving off an air of oozing confidence to draw others to them. They build a good name for themselves because they have caught on that having a good reputation is a weapon all it’s own. Who’s going to believe that the All-American Prom Queen, the star of the basketball team, or the most popular and loved kid in town would ever mistreat another person? People with any of the three traits are known for superficial charm as well.

3. They are all about themselves and are completely devoid of empathy. Often, a person such as this has an overinflated sense of their own importance. These people will step on anyone to achieve their own agendas. Having no conscience, they deliberately set out to destroy anyone who does not acknowledge their (the bully’s) importance or who ignores them and doesn’t give them the praise they think they deserve. Seasoned bullies always have to be the center of attention and will not share the spotlight with anyone else. If someone outshines them in any way, this person is in danger of becoming a target of the bully. This are the characteristics of Narcissism and Machiavellianism.

4. They are well-liked by those in authority and they often excel in school and in the workplace due to their bullying. Supervisors and superiors see bullying as being tough and a way to get things done. This is only another characteristic of all three.

Understand that these are the ways bullies get their power and how they are able to destroy others.

Anytime you encounter a bully, please quietly assess the person and how others act around them. If they seem to be the “Golden boy/girl”, you might want to look closer. Sadly, bullies are not how they are portrayed in the movies…stupid clods who have no social skills. Real bullies are sneaky, wily and good in the social arena. They are silver tongued wordsmiths who have a knack for sounding convincing and getting people to like or be impressed with them. So, be on the lookout!

When I Found Out My Son Was Being Bullied at School

dreamstime_s_26260615

My son went through a six month stint of bullying at an undisclosed middle school when he was thirteen. It was also the year he had become withdrawn and seemed depressed. Even worse was that his grades had been slipping for quite some time…all were signs of bullying. Naturally, I would ask questions. However, my son never wanted to talk about it so I had no choice but to step back. My concern only grew.

Neither my ex-husband nor I caught onto it until we had taken him to a gastroenterologist after he’d complained of stomach pain and nausea. The doctor performed an endoscopy of his esophagus and stomach and the results came back normal. The lining of his upper digestive tract was nice and pink…no ulcers, no red spots…nothing.

That’s when I began asking more questions and this time, would not stop. My son finally admitted that he had been only pretending to be sick to stay home from school. When I asked why, his answer was what I had suspected all along. He was being targeted by his classmates!

His father and I went to the school to meet with the principal and she gave the usual song and dance, one I had heard too many times so many years ago when I, myself was a target of bullying. This principal made excuses for the bullies, citing things such as:

“It’s just a personality conflict”
“Your son needs to grow a thicker skin.”
“Your son needs to toughen up a little.”
“Your son is way too sensitive.”

Blah-blah-blah! Your son this and your son that…victim blaming at its finest! His father and I finally got up and told the female principal in no uncertain terms, “He won’t be back.”

The principal’s eyes grew wide and she sat up straight, almost stiff in her chair.
“And why’s that, may I ask?” She asked.
“Because we’re transferring him to another school.” I snapped.
And we walked out before the principal had time to voice protest.

Once we got him transferred, he improved dramatically…so much that he was able to skip a grade! Because I had been bullied, I was better able to see the signs and take my little boy out of that toxic learning environment before it took hold of him and did some real damage. At his new school, he was able to make friends, get along with his teachers and bring his grades back up, enabling him to win several scholarships to college!

Today, he has his own business and I couldn’t be a prouder mother than I am now!