Archive | September 2016

The Reality Behind Reality Shows: How They Glorify and Glamorize Bullying

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all are having a wonderful day so far. Today, I want to touch on a thought, which has occurred to me only recently: Reality shows and the present epidemic of bullying.

I believe that one of the reasons that bullying has become so out of control in our schools is because of the overabundance of reality shows on television, which seem to glorify and glamorize the abuse of others.

Shows like, “Bad Girls Club”, Jersey Shore (which I think are the absolute worst), and The Real Housewives franchise, are shows in which people as old as their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s act like middle schoolers in a locker room brawl. Grown men and women, whom you would think would have a modicum of maturity, often resort to name-calling, bashing others, and yes…even hair-pulling, shoving, punching and kicking.

When I see this, a question always comes to mind: “What kind of example and message are these shows and their stars sending our children and teenagers?”

It’s true that violence has been shown on TV and in movies for decades. However, before reality shows were heard of, TV was not real and kids of my generation understood because our parents never let us forget it. We knew that what we were seeing was only actors playing the parts of fictional characters in fictional shows. Moreover, we were taught not to try anything we saw on TV in real life because it would put us at risk of getting hurt and/or worse. We grew up with the understanding that, “It’s only a television series” or “It’s just a movie” and none of it was real.

Sadly, as television networks slowly run out of ideas for fictional shows and reality shows gradually take over the airwaves, TV is becoming less fictional (and interesting) and is sending the message to kids that bullying is okay, or that you have to be a bully in order to move up in the world…that to get ahead, you have to step over another person. This is WRONG!

Most of the biggest reality stars are lousy role models!

My next post will be Part II of my “Reality Behind Reality Shows” subject, where I will give a more in-depth discussion about reality shows, the bullying epidemic, how these shows get their ratings, and why high ratings seem to equal rewards for despicable behavior. Have an awesome day, everyone.

 

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It’s Not Only About Holding Bullies Accountable. It’s Also About Teaching Victims Confidence!

Good afternoon, everyone. Today, I want to discuss the importance of teaching victims confidence. Sadly, I have noticed that too many people often focus on punishing the bullies for their evil actions. Not that it’s a bad thing because bullies need to be forced to take responsibility for what they do to people, otherwise, they will go on to victimize others and ruin lives. However, we must also focus on helping victims heal and teaching them the confidence needed to bully-proof themselves.

Here’s why:

If the victim does not have the confidence to defend themselves properly, there is a strong chance that they will continue to attract predatory people like a magnet!

Remember that bullies are persistent. They do not give up easily. A bully will not take the punishment gracefully, apologize to the victim and simply leave them alone. No. This only happens on television or in the movies. In the real world, anytime a bully is exposed and reprimanded by authority for harassing their victim, it teaches them nothing.

In most cases, it only further pisses the bully off…AT THE VICTIM! The bully will blame the victim for the humiliation of being exposed and will often intensify the harassment once they return to class from suspension. The torment will then escalate to physical violence! The cycle of bullying will continue and the target’s self-esteem will be further damaged and the person may stop reporting the harassment, due to the threat of being physically harmed.

Even if the bully has a change of heart or is moved away from the victim, chances are that because the target’s self-esteem is still shattered, they will be victimized by other bullies and the harassment will continue, possibly throughout their lifetime if the victim doesn’t resort to suicide first.

Remember that any pack of wild animals (lions, tigers, wolves, etc.) will stalk a heard of prey. They will select and attack the animal that is the weakest/easiest of that heard (the animal that is sick, injured, weak, slow, a runt, a baby animal, etc.). Bullies, although human, in my opinion, are no different!

Therefore, bullying is a cycle. And just as bullies need to be exposed and punished, victims also need a peaceful environment that they can retreat to for healing and confidence building. Unless victims are taught the confidence needed to protect themselves, they will never be able to protect themselves effectively and will always be ripe for the next abuser that comes along.

Have a wonderful week ahead, everyone!

This entry was posted on September 25, 2016. 2 Comments

Survivors of Bullying: How Having Been Bullied Affects Them Later in Life

Good evening, everyone. Before I begin, I want to apologize for being “absent” for the last six days. I have recently started a new part time job, I am undertaking new writing assignments, I am getting married and will be moving in with my new husband in only six weeks, so I’ve had a lot on my plate during the past week. I want to assure you that this is not goodbye.

Today, I want to talk about survivors of school bullying and how having been a victim shapes their personalities. Although being a target is never a good thing, as a survivor myself, I can tell you how my own experiences has shaped me into the person I am today.

  1. Having been bullied has sharpened my “people sense”. I have a sixth sense when it comes to pointing out abusive and controlling people. Here is an excerpt of my book, “From Victim to Victor”, which explains it more thoroughly: “…I am an excellent judge of character. I am very sharp when it comes to figuring people out and I do not have to have a conversation with them to do so. When it comes to seeing through people, I have the eyes of a hawk and can spot a fake a mile away. The only thing I have to do is watch a person, noticing their demeanor, facial expressions and eyes; and I can judge with an uncanny accuracy whether or not that person is credible and I consider this a GIFT! Having been the target of bullying has a way of sharpening a person’s ability to see right through people            I am also very sensitive to the vibes that people put out. I have the ability to pick up on vibes, especially bad ones. And people can say anything with their mouths but if their vibes and/or demeanor does not match what they say, I will, without so much as a warning, drop them like a bad habit. This, I feel, is also a gift. However, these gifts came at a very high price and with a lot of misery and wasted youth. I had to be torn apart by people many times before acquiring and honing these gifts…”
  2. I am very clear on what I will not tolerate. I do not tolerate abuse from anyone and I will call the bully out every chance I get, even if it means facing consequences for it.
  3. I have empathy for and always side with the underdog. One thing that pisses me off worse than anything is seeing someone being mistreated and I will not hesitate to come to that person’s defense. Therefore, if you are a bully and I catch you harassing another person, you will have me to deal with and trust me, it won’t be pretty! You will walk away feeling lower than the person you just bullied. If you think I’m talking just to hear myself speak, go ahead and try it! Please! Pick on an innocent victim in front of me! I dare you! And see what transpires when you do!
  4. As a survivor of bullying, I am difficult figure out because I have an exterior which is difficult to penetrate. I am a private person, so never ask me any questions which are personal. I promise you, you will get a very stern and maybe even a rude, “it’s none of your business” if you do. I feel very insulted when I am asked questions about my personal life because if the person didn’t think I would give them an answer, they would never ask! Although this should go without saying, there are so many rude and nosey people in this world who have no sense of values or respect.
  5. I make it a point not to kiss ass. I spent too many years in school being made to feel that I had no choice but to suck up in order to keep from getting hurt and a lot of good it did me. No more! No way! I don’t believe in joining cliques and getting buddy buddy with you until you have proven that you can be trusted. Understand that winning my trust will take time. Understand that if I do not want to do something, I won’t do it no matter what ramifications I may face thereafter. Also, I love myself and do not need anyone’s approval. I have come to know my own worth as a person and I don’t feel I have to rub noses with those in power or who are considered VIPs in order to feel important.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone!

 

 

 

Using Bullying as a Motivator for Success and Happiness

Good morning, everyone. Today, I want to tell victims that being the object of bullying does not mean that they are failures and it does not mean that they have to give up. Remember that bullies are not only cowards, they’re also liars. Bullies only want to convince you that you are nothing and that you will never amount to anything because they are actually very much afraid that you WILL amount to something. So why not use them as motivation?

Here are ways that you can survive bullying and keep your self-esteem from tanking:

  1. Practice and display any talents that you have. Remember that bullies feed off of your fear. Do not be afraid to show off your talents and receive praise for those talents. And when you do receive praise, never downplay that praise by putting yourself down. You are a victim and you already have enough people who put you down. So, why on Earth would you want to help them??? Accept the praises with a gracious and warm “thank you” and you will be received well by others.
  2. Spend time with those you love and who love you the most. Capture as many happy and memorable moments with these people as possible.
  3. Take care of yourself. Groom and dress the best you possibly can. It is often said that when we look our best, we FEEL our best! So take great pride in your appearance! Groom and dress yourself in a way that makes YOU feel good!
  4. If a great opportunity comes your way, TAKE IT! When your self-esteem has been battered by bullies, self doubt can rear it’s ugly head, making it all too easy to turn down opportunities for fear of failure. Never let low self-esteem cause you to miss opportunities which may better your life. If you are ever in doubt about a task, do it anyway. You might be surprised at how you excel at it!
  5. Do the things you enjoy the most. Most people have hobbies they enjoy and get fulfillment from. Continue those hobbies, even when your bullies say those hobbies are stupid. My bullies always thought my singing and writing was either stupid or a ploy to get attention. It wasn’t. I did them because I got fulfillment from them. Continue your hobbies. You never know when a hobby just might turn into a job that you will enjoy for life…and get paid very handsomely for.
  6. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it. This pisses bullies off because the last thing they want is to see you happy and enjoying life. Also, a smile always increases your attractiveness by leaps and bounds.

If you are a victim of bullying, there’s no better time to do whatever it takes to stay happy and fulfilled. Gather as many successful and happy moments as humanly possible.

Wishing you all a very blessed day!

This entry was posted on September 15, 2016. 2 Comments

Bullying and the Innate Fight or Flight Response

          Good afternoon, everyone. I feel compelled to post something that so many family, friends and teachers of young targets of bullying hardly think about. It has to do with the Fight or Flight Response and it’s relevance to bullying. Anytime a person has been the object of relentless bullying over an extended period of time, that person is constantly in a high state of alert. This hyper vigilance can be unhealthy if the person is in this state for too long, causing stomach issues, headaches, and fatigue among other ailments. Moreover, it can also cause the person to overreact to stimuli due to constantly feeling threatened.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Seven of my book “From Victim to Victor”, in which I discuss this issue and the impact that it had on me while I was a target of bullying in school. Please allow me to apologize for the length, as the situations recorded completely relate to the topic at hand. I wish you all a very happy Tuesday.

           “Every living creature has an innate, perfectly natural physiological reaction in the event of a threat or attack called the Fight or Flight Response and its purpose is to protect us from harm during dangerous situations. It is our survival instinct and involves the release of adrenaline. When adrenaline is released into the blood, it is next to impossible not to do one of either two things…fight or flight.

More often than not, flight was not an option for me as I was either backed into a wall or object, cornered or surrounded. So what else was left to do? I lived on this adrenaline every day, all the time. Just being in the same room with these monsters (my classmates) put my body and mind on constant alert. It was a horrible way to live.

The constantly having to watch my back, look over my shoulder and lay low; and the feeling of knots in my stomach, the nausea, the loss of appetite while at school during the day and the continuous worrying and wondering when I was going to be attacked! All of it was just plain terrible! To top it off, I was now worried about my mother and wondering how she was doing. How I wished over and over again that it had been me that got hurt instead of her.

A week went by and my mother was out of the hospital and recovering at our house. On this particular day, I was having a hard time riding bus 27 to Grandma’s from school.  When I stepped onto the bus, I walked down the aisle, stopped at the first half empty seat I came to.

Each seat was big enough for two passengers. But each time I stopped and got ready to sit down, the one person who was sitting there would throw their arm across the vacant side of the seat and very rudely tell me that it was already spoken for. At first, I went along with it and proceeded to the next and each time I did, I got the same response.

Finally, I was over the pettiness. I was not going to stand in the isle during the entire trip. When I got to the last available seat and someone tried to keep me from sitting down, I swiftly took their arm, flung it out of the way and sat down anyway. This angered the person in the seat and they began to react.

“This was supposed to be my friend’s seat! We all have assigned seats on this bus, you rude, obnoxious bitch! “The girl spat.

“Too bad! I got here first! I’m not standing on my feet the whole trip just because you all feel like being a bunch of ignorant assholes! So shut up and DEAL WITH IT! “I fired back.

“I don’t have to deal with shit, bitch! Mr. Hammond has assigned seats! Boys sit on the left side and girls sit on the right! “She said.

“Are you stupid?” I asked belligerently.

We were sitting on the right side of the isle. Did this jackass not know left from right or could she not tell that I was a female, even with the visibly obvious pair of bosoms I had perched upon my chest?

Then I looked around and I saw a few girls sitting on the left side of the bus, where the boys were assigned to sit and decided to get cute.

“Well, he must be doing a pretty shoddy job of enforcing that rule because I see a few girls sitting on the boys’ side of the bus! So piss off, will ya! “I told the girl. Just then, the girls whom I had mentioned sounded off.

“Hey, you nosey little whore! You need to mind your own goddam business! “The girls on the left shouted.

I said nothing.

Then Stella came along and stood over me.

“Oh, you sound really good, being the offspring of a drunken mother! “ She sneered.

“Really? No worse than being the daughter of a whore. “I told her.

“You better watch your mouth! “ She went on.

“Or what? “ I scoffed, calling her bluff.

“You don’t want to know, honey!” Stella shot back.

“Whatever. “I snapped.

“Oh, yeah! You don’t have to admit it! Nobody wants to admit that their mother was stupid enough to get behind the wheel of a car after she’s been drinking in a bar somewhere! I’ll bet she’s picked up a lot of men too! So I guess that she’s both a drunk and a whore! “She mouthed off.

“Boy, you seem to know an awful lot about bars, drinking and being a whore! No surprise there! Everybody knows that your family name isn’t the best in this town…you dirty butt!” I chided.

Thunderous laughs filled the bus and someone shouted “Dang, Stella! She burned you and you’re still burning!” which was followed by even more cackles and guffaws.

By this time, old Stella’s face was beet red and she pinched a plug out of my arm’ prompting me to jump up and hit her in the mouth. The fight went on until the bus driver stopped the bus and pulled us apart. Surprisingly to me, he looked at Stella.

“Girl, I’m tired of you always stirring up trouble! “ He shouted at her. All of the others sided with her.

“She didn’t start it! That other girl did! Don’t be hollering at Stella! “They all said. But lucky for me, Mr. Hammonds had been watching Stella. She had ridden his bus long enough that he was privy to what trouble she was and knew what to look for. He was smarter than most of the bus drivers I had known. After telling her that she was suspended from riding the bus for three days, he looked at me.

“Don’t worry, honey. I’ve been watching her. I know you did not provoke this. “He said sweetly. After Mr. Hammonds told me this, I looked around and could see the look of utter resentment which had appeared on the faces of the other kids on the bus.

As soon as the bus driver went back to his seat and pulled the bus back onto the road to finish his route, a tomboyish looking high school girl left her seat and approached me.

“You will pay for that, you little bitch! For each day that she is not on this bus, I’m going to make your life so miserable! You’re going to wish you’d been the one kicked off here!” She threatened.

Sure enough, she made good on her threat bright and early the next morning, when I stepped onto the bus. There was no sign of Stella anywhere so I knew that Mr. Hammonds had carried out his punishment of her.

While making my way down the aisle to find a seat, I noticed that the same boyish looking, freckle faced girl looking directly at me. Then she motioned for two other girls to follow her and they all three got up to block the isle, forbidding me to pass.

A group of boys stepped in behind me, blocking me from Mr. Hammonds’ view. As I tried to squeeze pass them, old Freckle-face shoved me backwards. Another girl tried to jab me in the eye with a pencil.However, I managed to grab her hand before she succeeded in doing so, causing her to drop the makeshift weapon. She then violently jerked her arm out of my grip.

“Why did you get Stella kicked off the bus?! “ Freckle-face shouted.

“She got her own self kicked off. I had nothing to do with it. “I said haughtily.

“Bullshit! You’re nothing but a lying ass, sneaky little whore! “The other girl retorted.

A high school boy shoved me from the back, hurling me forward, right into Freckle face. Freckle face shoved me back into the boy who had shoved me first and he shoved me again. Throughout the entire trip to school, each of my assailants took turns shoving me back and forth. It was as if I were a basketball that was being passed from player to player on a basketball court. Although I tried to fight my way out of the circle that I was enclosed in, I could not get out despite my best efforts.

When I arrived at school, Stella was there and wasted no time telling the others how unfairly she had been treated by the driver all because of me and for the entire day, I had to listen to threats from her friends, which fortunately turned out to be empty threats. However, it did not end there.

That afternoon, when I arrived at the high school and switched, I stepped on the bus and took a seat. A high school boy sat in the seat directly behind me and grabbed a hand full of my hair and pulled it. When I got up to move, another bigger boy moved in front of me, took me by the shoulders and shoved me back down into the seat where I was.

“No you don’t, sweetheart! We’re going to have our fun and if you try to run away again, I will personally hurt you! “He threatened.

“Let go! “ I shouted as I shoved him away from me.

But he came back and slapped me in the mouth, then grabbed me by the collar of my blouse and ripped it before shoving me hard back into the seat yet again. Then he reached up a grabbed me by the back of the neck, squeezing his index finger and thumbs into the tender area just below my ears. This hurt and I pulled away from him out of reflex from the pain.

When I got off the bus and went into my grandmothers’ house. I went straight into one of the bedrooms and cried. My grandmother, knowing that something was wrong, followed me and began knocking on the door.

“Honey, are you okay? What’s wrong? Come on out here and talk to Grandma? “She pleaded sweetly. But I couldn’t. I was just glad to be off the bus and talking about it meant that I would have to go through the experience all over again.

When the month of March arrived, mother was still recovering and I was still at Grandmas’.

I had not been able to eat during lunch. My appetite was gone. I had also been having horrible headaches in the afternoon which triggered violent nausea but up until then, although I had come close several times, I managed to keep from vomiting.

On this particular day, my appetite still had not returned and I assumed that maybe I had not puked because there was nothing in my stomach to come up. However, that afternoon I had a headache so intense that I was close to tears and my stomach turned flips. Then my mouth and eyes began to water and I swallowed hard to control my gag reflexes as I approached Mrs. Caraway’s desk to ask to be excused to the bathroom.

“What’s the matter with you?” She asked.

“I don’t feel good.” I replied.

Without a word, she gave me the hall pass and I scurried my way to the girls’ room, barely making it to the first stall before launching a stream of the bitterest, most horrible tasting green liquid into the toilet.

This was followed by a long series of dry heaves which were quite painful. Instead of making me feel better, the vomiting made me feel worse and my headache became next to unbearable.

The sound of the bathroom door being flung open and Mrs. Caraway storming in and demanding to know why I was taking so long did not help matters any. I began to cry and in between gags and wretches, pleaded with her to let me go to the office and call my grandmother.

“Are you making yourself throw up to get out of class?” She asked suspiciously.

“No ma’am! I have a bad headache and my stomach is bothering me!” I sobbed.

“Okay… okay.” She said in a tone of doubt, “I don’t doubt that you’re a little under the weather but I don’t believe you’re sick enough to go home. You stay here until you stop heaving because I don’t want you puking in my class. But when you’re done, I want you back in there.” She said coldly. And she left and came back with Mr. Willard, who stood outside the door.

When my stomach felt a little better, I came out of the stall and Mrs. Caraway escorted me out of the bathroom. Mr. Willard stood in the hall, just outside the door and gave me a cold stare.

“She’s alright now.” Mrs. Caraway assured him, and he started back toward the office as she guided me back to class. My sobs deceased to a quiet, sniffling cry and my head was still pounding. When I returned to class, everyone was staring at me with what surprisingly to me, looked like expressions of concern on their faces.

“Get back to work, everybody. I think she’s alright.” Mrs. Caraway snapped.

As time went on, the fear of going to school and having to face my classmates was growing in me. It was like an infected tumor which grew bigger and bigger with each passing day. My stomach would literally draw up every morning when I would step onto that school bus and for eight hours, it was as if I were walking through a minefield. Any minute? BOOM! I would be attacked- hit…shoved…kicked…or bombarded with a torrent of taunts, insults and name-calling. It was a situation which I saw absolutely no end to. To say that I was afraid would be an understatement. I was petrified.

Soon, there came a morning when I arrived at the high school to switch over to the bus to school and suddenly, my feet froze and I did not have it in me to go any further. It was as if I were paralyzed. My feet felt as if they were stuck in cement and I could not even force myself to take another step.

Once I could move again, I ducked behind a bush until all of the buses left. Then I went behind the shop building and hid for a few hours. The next thing I remember is feeling several nudges to my shoulder. I sleepily opened my eyes to see a man dressed as an officer and wearing a gun in a holster on the side of his waist. I automatically winced.

“Shouldn’t you be in school? How old are you? “He asked sternly.

“Thirteen. “ I answered nervously.

“Where do you go to school? “

“Oakley Junior High. “

“Come with me. “

He escorted me to the office at the main building of the high school and told me to sit down in the lobby. As I sat quietly, I watched as the guard picked up the telephone and dialed a number. He talked on the phone just a few minutes, then hung up. I could not hear his exact words because the office was noisy with the hustle and bustle of high school students and staff. The guard approached me.

“Your principal is on his way here to pick you up and take you to school. If I were you, I would not try skipping school again. “He said in a warning tone.

Oh, great!” I thought. Mr. Willard, of all people was going to pick me up. Having to ride in a car with him was unthinkable and I just did not want to imagine having to listen to another one of his male chauvinist cut downs and digs. Now, he would add truancy to his mental list of all my transgressions .

Thirty minutes later, He arrived in the office and made a head gesture for me to follow him. I followed him out to the front of the school where his white truck sat parked and still running.

“Get in. “he said coldly. I did so.

During the entire ride, I tried to explain myself to him and why I chickened out of coming to school. But he said nothing, absolutely nothing. I figured that he would give me one of his thunderous lectures and tell me what a problem and a complete waste of his valuable time I was but instead, I got the silent treatment which was worse.

I would have much rather he say what he had to say to me and get it over with. At least I would know what was on his mind. But the silent treatment I could not handle. It was the not knowing what he planned to do that drove me crazy…the not knowing what his intentions were scared the living hell out of me.

I look back now and remember all the times in the past, when I had tried to explain myself to people. I thought that maybe that was the reason I was treated so badly. Inside, I was just beginning to feel a bit inferior to everyone I came in contact with and forced to answer, even to the other students for everything I did, good or bad.

Somehow, they had all sniffed that out…that I was beginning to feel a little inferior…the fact that my self-esteem was now taking a nosedive and I had run out of ways to boost it back up. If only I knew then, what I know now things would have been much different.

After the dreaded arrival at school, the principal sent me to my next class, which was Reading. I walked into the classroom, sat at my desk and put my head down. Although today, I felt okay, I was not in Mrs. Caraway’s class just yet so I decided that I would pretend that I was sick so that I could go home.

After lunch, I went into the bathroom and forced myself to drink a little bottle of Ipecac Syrup that I had slipped out and bought the day before and kept in my purse. For good measure, I turned the bottle up and drank the entire concoction and it was the most horrible tasting stuff I had ever put in my mouth.

When the Ipecac finally took effect, I was even sicker than I had been that afternoon in Mr. Caraway’s class not long before. I was so ill that I ended up spending the better part of the afternoon in the girls’ restroom camped out by the toilet.

Although we had a substitute teacher that day and she did not seem to have an issue with me, I still was not allowed to call my family. Instead, I was made to go lay down in the sick room for the remaining two hours until dismissal.

However, right before the last bell rang, Mrs. Caraway and Mr. Willard came into the sick room where I was.

“Get up! “ He shouted.

“What?! “ I said. “I don’t feel good. “

“You’re just pretending to be sick because you don’t want to be at school today! Now get up and go to class! “

Luckily, when I got up and was escorted back to class, there were only about ten minutes left before the last bell. No big deal, surely I could hang for ten minutes.

Looking back today, I still cannot remember what on earth possessed me to think that the outcome would be any different the second time. All I remember was that I would have done anything to get the hell out of that poisonous environment and never again return. These were attempt to flee, to run away from the bullies, to escape…FLIGHT!”

 

This entry was posted on September 12, 2016. 2 Comments

Cyber-Bullying: Bullying of The Most Devastating Kind

Good evening, everyone. I hope you all are having a terrific Friday so far. Today, I want to discuss bullying in the 21st century- cyber bullying.

I’m fortunate enough to have grown up in a time when cyber bullying was unheard of. When I was in school, “Street Bullying” or “Playground Bullying” was the type of bullying targets of my generation endured.

“Street Bullying” happens face to face. It happens on the playground, in the hallways, the bathrooms and locker rooms at school. Years ago, a student could escape it and have some form of refuge once the dismissal bell rang and school was over for the day. And when it got too much to endure, the victim simply changed schools and the problem was solved.

Sadly, those days are long gone. With today’s technology, bullies have unlimited access to their targets by way of “Cyber-bullying”. During the last twenty years, the advancement of technology has introduced email, text and social media. These new vehicles of communication have their benefits. However, they also have their pitfalls.

A bully can nowadays get online and torment their targets for as long as they want without ceasing nor accountability. They can, in essence, reach into the target’s own home and torment them from afar.

Cyber-bullying, or online bullying, is harassment of another person with the use of social media, text messages, voice mail, email and instant messages. It is, in my opinion, the worst kind of bullying there has ever been. Here are the reasons:

  1. Bullies are COWARDS!
    Your attackers have the ability to hide behind a fake screen name or they may create fake social media accounts to conceal their identities. They do this to avoid detection and the risk of accountability for their evil actions. With a cyberbully, you do not know who is attacking you. Also, they can use several different screen names to make it look like a multitude of people agree with them and are attacking you, when it may be, in fact, only one poster committing the harassment. This is done to further intimidate the target.
  2. Gone are the days when bullying only occurred on the playground or in the locker room. In the days of old, before technology took off, a target could finally escape their tormentors with the ringing of the dismissal bell at school.

Back then, you could go home to your family and not have to worry about being bullied again until the next school day. You could at least get a break from the torment. However, not so anymore. Technology has a lot of good qualities, one of which is convenience. Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foolproof. With the rise of social media, text, voice mail, and email, bullies can now pursue their targets 24-7. There is no longer an escape!

  1. The third reason why cyber-bullying is much worse than traditional or street bullying is because the taunts, insults, threats, rumors and lies can be read by a much wider audience, causing loss of relationships, family, friends, businesses, finances, and opportunities.
    On the emotional side, the target may experience feelings of shock, bewilderment, anger, sadness, despair, depression, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide.

Traditional bullying is terrible and causes those feelings as well. However, it is something that you can get away from. On the other hand, you can never escape cyber-bullying. This alone is what makes this type of bullying so sinister and so devastating!

If you are a victim of cyber-bullying, it is imperative that you do not respond to the incendiary posts of cyber-bullies, no matter how tempting it may be. However, I realize that some attacks, especially those, which hit you in the jugular, can cause you to respond out of emotion. This does not mean that you are a bad person for responding to attacks. It does not mean that you are stupid. It only means that you are a human being with feelings and our first instinct is always to defend ourselves and our loved ones when threatened. It is completely understandable.

But no matter what our circumstances may be, we must try to never respond to the ignorance and stupidity of bullies or cyber-bullies. As difficult as this may be, it is better to never give internet trolls what they want. And what they want is a response, any response. They want to kick you while you are already down and inflict even more pain. If you respond in any way, shape or form, they will know that they have reached their goal. But if they never hear from you, it’s going to disappoint them and they just might give up and move on to someone else.

Cyber-bullying can happen to people of any age. Not only children and teens, but adults can also be cyber-bullied. Although as an adult, I have gotten along with mostly everyone, there have been a few times that I have been cyber-bullied, one instance being right after the death of my husband. I can tell you that after refusing to respond to any of it, the harassment died and the thread was eventually removed. No one has bothered me since.

Also, in their weak attempts to put me down, my cyber-bullies unwittingly made me so many new friends and I received so much support from all over the country. It is amazing how the actions of a bully can sometimes turn into something wonderful. I will be forever grateful to the people (even strangers) who stood beside me during this tragic time. I hope this helps you in the event that you are cyber-attacked. And I want to assure you that there is always hope, no matter how hopeless a situation may be.

Cyber-bullying can be stressful enough on adults, but devastating for minors. Adults are emotionally better equipped and therefore, more adept at handling themselves in bullying situations, whereas children and teens have yet to fully develop good coping mechanisms.

Children do not have the cognitive thinking skills, nor the processing ability that adults possess. Adults can be hurt by online bullying because they are human and have feelings also. However, any well-rounded adult is better able to look at the situation and see the lies posted online for exactly what they are…LIES. And they have the ability to analyze the bully and see the person as he/she is- useless trash who is in desperate need of a life. And that in itself can actually be a boost to the bullied adult’s self-esteem…just knowing what a bottom-of-the-barrel, miserable piece of garbage the bully really is. In most cases, an adult can usually laugh it off and go on about their business, provided it doesn’t affect his/her family, marriage, business, opportunities, or way of life. An adult can refuse to accept the lies of another bullying adult and tell them to go blow it out their ear.

A child has not learned to do that yet. Children and teenagers have totally different values than adults. While most “mature” adults place the most value on family, career, and home and less value on popularity; children and teens place the most value on popularity…their friends and being accepted. Most children and teens place emphasis on how others (mainly their peers) see them. They want to fit in, be liked, and be “cool”. And when those things are threatened, as they always are when he/she is cyber-attacked, it can have devastating effects on self-esteem.

As parents and grandparents, we need to teach our children confidence as confidence is the best weapon against a bully. In my opinion, teaching confidence is the most effective way to protect them because bullies are cowards and they always seek out kids who are insecure, self-conscious, and have low self-esteem. And they do this because they know that a child with low self-esteem is less likely to stand up to them.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

 

This entry was posted on September 9, 2016. 5 Comments

A Mother’s Three Wishes For Her Son

Twenty-six years ago today, after only 4 hours of labor, I gave birth to my firstborn, a beautiful baby boy and my life was forever changed. I never truly knew love until I looked upon this tiny miracle for the first time. I remember waiting anxiously for six hours for my precious little bundle to get warm in the incubator, then the nurse rolling his bassinet into my room at almost midnight that night because I would not go to sleep until I got to hold my baby. I was that excited! With that said, I want to wish my awesome son, Aaron a very happy birthday. I love you, hotshot! You have brought such joy to my life!

Son, as your mother, I wish for you to someday marry a strong, sweet and virtuous woman. Don’t pick a woman based on looks alone, because although a woman may have supermodel looks, it doesn’t always mean that she is good for you. All to often “beautiful” women are self-entitled because their looks have opened too many doors for them, causing them to be spoiled and demanding. Women such as these have respect for neither themselves, nor others. Marry an average-looking woman who appreciates a good man and all he can bring into her life. Marry someone, who loves and respects you as a man and one you can love and respect in return.

I also wish you many successes in life. However, I want you to realize that some failures are certain in life. My wish for you is to have the resolve to move past those failures and keep pushing with a positive attitude, no matter how adverse things look. If you need to take a break, take one. But do not, under any circumstances, quit! Keep pursuing your dreams with optimism and they will come true in due time.

My third wish is for you to continue to treat others with kindness and respect and know that in this life, there will be those who will not reciprocate that kindness. For kindness builds a great reputation and a good, solid reputation will be the weapon to protect you from those who defame you. Understand that not everyone will like you, no matter how awesome you truly are. But rest assured that it is they who have the issue, not you. Never let anyone steal your confidence or your happiness.

I love you, baby boy. And even after I’m gone, I will stay near you and you will feel my presence. No matter what you do, I will always…always love you and want nothing but the very best for you.

Love, Momma

 

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