Archive | December 2016

The Difference Between Bullied Girls and Bullied Boys

Good evening everyone, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend.

Although I’m female and have discussed bullying mainly from a female perspective, I would like to help you distinguish between the plights of bullied girls and bullied boys. Wishing everyone peace, health, love and happiness!

In the case of the female target, after having been bullied by her peers and reporting it to school staff and even members of her own family; only to be rebuffed, ignored or blamed, she feels alone in the world and that no one understands her. Consequently, as a result of not feeling loved by family and or her peers, she uses the only thing she feels she has left to offer- her sex appeal. She turns to sexual/dating partners to get the love and approval that she is missing out on and craves so badly. This usually does not end well.

For boys, however, it can be much worse. In most cases, boys don’t have the option to use the opposite sex as a Band-Aid for their emotional needs. Boys are expected to be strong and tough…to display manhood. All too often, the bullied boy has been emasculated and he sees no way to reclaim his manhood. In essence, he has been “feminized” by his bullies. Male targets are often called “sissy”, “pussy”, “bitch” and other names which attack the masculinity and cause them to feel less like men.

Also, it’s considered taboo for a boy to report being bullied. Oftentimes, young men who complain of being bullied are referred to by others as a “whiner” and told to “toughen up”, “suck it up” or “man up” because they’re going against what is perceived as “man-code”. This can also erode the male self-esteem. Once a young man is stripped of his manhood, it’s next to impossible for him to get a date and find love. The suicide rate is much higher in males than in females.

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This entry was posted on December 31, 2016. 9 Comments

Bullied Girls May Turn to Men to Get the Acceptence They Are Not Getting at School

Greetings, everyone. Today, I would like to post about bullied girls and how they may sometimes turn to men and go on “sexcapades” as a means of obtaining acceptance. I say this because during school, I myself leaned on men and sex for comfort. Having boyfriend or sex-partner can feel like such a welcome change when you are a bullied young girl- like a soft pillow to land on when you fall. Dating and sex can be used as a way for the bullied female to rebut the negative messages sent by her bullies and as assurance that she is worthy of being loved. These girls look to these men to rescue them…seeing them as their refuge from what can seem like a cold, cruel world that hates them.

Looking back now, I cannot stress enough how unhealthy this is. Therefore, without further adieu, here is another excerpt from Chapter 10 of my book, “From Victim to Victor” which will give a more in-depth explanation of why these girls do this, why I did it and why this is so unhealthy. Wishing you all a very happy Sunday!

“Females are naturally geared toward nurturing and maintaining relationships; friendships, family, and romantic relationships. With teenage girls, although family relationships are still important, it is mostly about having close relationships with friends and romantic relationships with boys.

Therefore, if a young girl is not getting those wants and needs met through her peers or family, more often than not, if she is determined enough, she will get those needs met elsewhere. When a girl is bullied, she will often turn to grown MEN to get the acceptance that she craves. Sad to say, I was no exception to that. In my case, these young post-high school aged men did not know that my reputation at school had been destroyed and had not heard the falsehoods and rumors tied to my name and I knew that. They were a way for me to skirt around my ruined reputation at school and still have opportunities to date. Yes. I had to be cunning and calculating in order to attain what most others seemed to come by easily and effortlessly. I was constantly thinking up sneaky ways to get around the labels which were unjustly stuck to me by my bullies. I never considered my situation hopeless. Most of the time, I managed to think and think hard, eventually seeing some way around my circumstances. And in most situations it worked, although being ever so calculating would get very exhausting at times.

No true friends at school? No problem. Just put your best foot forward, impress and befriend kids from other towns. No boyfriend at school? No big deal. Just date and/or sleep with the men in the college age range. Piece of cake! Suspended from your school bus and afraid Mommy will find out? Easy. Just ride another school bus and act like everything is hunky dory.

I was never crazy about having to connive and scheme to get anything I wanted from this world and would have preferred to get it without having to resort to such drastic measures. However, I felt that it was the only way I could keep myself safe, cover my behind and get my wants and desires fulfilled…to act sweet, innocent and sexy…to manipulate people and circumstances…to sneak around…to deceive…to beguile…to cut corners…and do it with stealth and careful precision. Yes, there were times I got caught but there were twice as many times I did not get caught. And when I did get caught, I would just get even better at it the next time as I always learned what to avoid. Anytime I got caught, it did not stop me but only made me even sneakier and more cunning.

So I want you to know this: Teenage girls can and will if given the opportunity, turn to dating and/or sleeping with young men who are already out of school when they feel their peers hate them. Remember that these girls are lonely, beaten down, and seek refuge in these men. They look for these men to rescue them. Furthermore, it can not only be a way to one up the girls that mistreat them, but also a way to put a bandage on the hurt and feelings of loneliness resulting from bullying. It is a way to feel special, wanted, sexy and beautiful. And it works, if only temporarily. However, it is a very dangerous way to handle the loneliness of being bullied and having no friends and it also breeds male dependency.

Male dependency is never good because the girl affected by it comes to believe that if she is not half of a couple, she is nothing and this kind of thinking is unhealthy.It is a mindset which sprouts desperation and there is absolutely no dignity in being desperate for a partner. A girl should never rely on a man or relationship as the end all be all. Do NOT look outside of yourself for happiness…ever! Always remember that men come and go and if you continue to depend on them to be happy and to feel worthy of love, you are in for a huge disappointment. Anytime a girl looks solely to a man to validate her, she does not know her own worth as a young woman. Men can see this and they are all too often either repelled by it, or they see her as someone they can use and degrade.

A predatory man of low integrity will hang around as long as it takes to get what he wants from her. Then when he has bled her dry of dignity (and resources) and becomes ready to break off the relationship, there is a chance that she will be totally devastated. A break up should not be devastating. Should it be sad and difficult? Yes. This is perfectly normal as the end of a relationship is never easy. But it should never be devastating.

Also, men of quality and integrity do not want a girlfriend whom they have to “fix” and/or “rescue” and they will flee…FAST!

Always love yourself first and foremost. Love should come from within and never from any source outside of yourself. A relationship does not complete you and just because a man has sex with you does not mean that he loves you, so don’t be fooled.

Love yourself and all of your imperfections, for we are all “perfectly flawed”. Accept yourself and respect yourself. You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do in order to be accepted and make someone love you. If a person does not want to see you for the beautiful person that you are, you cannot make them. However, you do have the choice of whether or not to keep them in your life.

Always remember that you teach people how to treat you. And how do you teach them this? By how well you treat yourself…by what you will and will not put up with…by the boundaries that you set.

To put it plainly, you can either allow unsavory people into your life, letting them abuse and degrade you or you can put your foot down, call them on their unacceptable behavior, and give them the old heave ho. You decide. And the proof is in the doing, not the saying.

With most people, you can verbally express your displeasure of their bad behavior all day long and if you do not back it up with some action, it is not going to make a difference to them. Talk is cheap and people know when you are bluffing.

Verbally call them out if it makes you feel better. But if talking does not work, then stop hanging around with them and start avoiding them. Regard them with indifference. Remove yourself from their element if you can do so. Have no more to do with them and pick better friends. Believe me, they will get the hint and you will be much happier.

With bullies however, this may or may not change their behavior toward you and worst case scenario, might even make it worse. However, you are not looking to change anyone’s attitude, you are looking to take care of yourself and to achieve your own peace and happiness. It is not about changing them, it’s about looking out for yourself and keeping your dignity and self-respect. It’s about taking appropriate measures to make YOU feel good.

Always be true to yourself. It does not matter how ‘cool’ a person may seem or how many friends that person has. If said person says or does anything to make you feel less than, it is time to drop him/her from your life and surround yourself with people who value you and lift you up. Never stay around anyone who does not see your worth. Get your butt up and walk away from those poisonous people and do it FAST! Your self-esteem will thank you for it. I promise you.”

A Message to Every Person Who Presently is or Who Has Ever Been a Target of Relentless Bullying

I too was a target of bullying when I moved to a small Tennessee town after having been an Army brat for most of my childhood and having lived in several different areas. From the sixth grade (arrival in this Tennessee town) until I changed schools during my senior year in high school, I was a victim of merciless and relentless bullying and even attempted suicide at age 14 because it had gotten so out of control.

I am so blessed to have survived the attempt and lived on to tell my story. I also went through a second round of bullying…bullying of the more sinister type when my husband passed away four years ago. I was cyber-bullied by not only a few of my former classmates but several others joined in and this was during a time when I was already in mourning. Bullies love to kick you when you are already down.

BUT….I want you to know that the torment will not last forever. There will come a day when you will no longer have to deal with your classmates and you can feel free to be yourself without fear of ridicule. I want you to know that your situation WILL NOT LAST FOREVER! I am living proof of this! I not only survived, but I won. I am now a very confident, happy and successful person! I am the mother of two wonderful sons and the grandmother of one precious grandson! I have a great career and so many friends that I couldn’t possibly keep up with all of them. I have written and am currently working on getting published, a book about my experiences with school bullying. My mission is to reach as many bully targets as possible around the globe and to assure them that they are awesome people in spite of what others say to or about them.

I know your situation seems hopeless and I know all too well the feeling of exhaustion that overwhelms you after having been bullied for so long. The desperately hanging on to your own dignity…the refusing to bow down to your bullies only to be bullied even more for that refusal…the being in a situation that you did not ask to be in and seeing no end to it…the wanting everything to stop! I was there once! But never give up! I know it can be unbearable at times, but hold on to yourself, hold on to hope, hold on to your future! You are worth it! You ARE worthy to be loved by others! You DO matter! You ARE an awesome person! Never forget that.

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.”

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

Bullying and Suicide

Hello, everyone. The subject of bullying has been my passion for over 30 years. I was a target of relentless bullying myself when I was in school. Although technology had not taken off and their was no such thing as social media or texts, the bullying I suffered was horrible nevertheless. I want you all to know that there is hope and that you are awesome in spite of what your peers may think or say! I have written a book, which is entitled, “From Victim to Victor”

In writing this book, my purpose is to re-empower targets of bullying everywhere. I want to assure them that they are never alone and that there are so many other people…awesome people who suffer the same fate. I also want to send the message that they are good enough, that they do matter, they do have value and that their value does not decrease because of the inability of their peers to see their worth.

No matter how hopeless your situation may be, there is always hope. There will come a day when you will be free of your tormentors. I am living proof that you can go on to live a happy, peaceful and successful life. Just don’t give up.
I would like to post an excerpt of my book, “From Victim to Victor”. This excerpt tells the story of how I attempted to end my own life at the age of 14 after the bullying had escalated out of control. Thank you so much in advance.

“…A few of my brother’s friends had already arrived. I was in the house alone.
Now was the time I could do what I intended to do. I went into the bathroom, grabbed a bottle of Mom’s pain pills which was full, and turned it up, swallowing all but a few pills.

I did not care anymore. I felt that death was a solution to me now. It was the only escape from a life of pain. Now, I would have the peace I had never known. I would sleep peacefully and eternally, feeling no pain. I would finally be free! I could go to a place where no one could ever hurt me again.

Later that night, I was rushed to a hospital in the next county and I remember feeling very angry that I was not dead yet. Why was God letting this happen to me? I just wanted everything to stop, didn’t He know that? I wanted the pain to just go the hell away and everyone to just leave me alone! I was so tired…no, I was beyond tired. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I could not help but to think,
“Does anybody even give a crap? I am going through so much hell right now and nobody seems to know it but me! Or they don’t care, one of the two! I just want someone to hold me and tell me that everything is going to be alright! But nobody will do that! Even members of my own damned family see me as nothing but a thorn in the side… pain in the ass! Maybe they would be better off if I weren’t around anymore! When am I ever going to be happy and live a good life? I’m so tired, Lord! I’m tired of being treated like I don’t matter…like I don’t have a right to have a say in anything that happens to me…like I am just supposed to take the crap with a smile.”

As the nurses surrounded me and worked diligently to set my tired body free of the pain pills which I had overdosed on, I cried not only from the pain of having my stomach pumped, but from a year of torment, the awful fight with my mom just a few short hours before and not understanding why things had turned out the way they had.
My father arrived and he was furious with me.

“What the hell’s the matter with you? Are you that starved for attention?” He said cruelly.

It seemed that nobody understood, not even my parents who were supposed to love and protect me. I was hurting and I so desperately needed one or both of them to hold me and tell me that everything was going to be alright…and if not them, somebody…anybody. I just wanted the pain to STOP! I wanted everything to stop!

I thought back to those happy days which seemed like a lifetime ago, when I had been a little girl living in Fayetteville, North Carolina and my mother and father were still married. I recalled Daddy coming home from a long day on post at Ft. Bragg, still dressed in his Army greens and scooping me up in his arms and I wondered,

“How and when did it all change? How did such happy moments turn into the god-awful, shitty mess that is now my life? At what point did things take a turn for the worse?”

I couldn’t understand it. And life at school? Having been an Army brat, I had gone to several different schools and lived in so many different areas and I had always gotten along with everyone. I was happy, I had friends…good friends, I got along with all of my teachers and even had teachers whom I loved dearly. Then we moved to Oakley, Tennessee and when I began attending school here and it was like stepping into the Twilight Zone.

Every other school I had ever gone to was the same, a peaceful and fun learning environment. Sure, there had been a few incidences of teasing but they were just that, normal teasing and very few and far between. It was not constant. However, what I endured in Oakley went way beyond teasing.

Oakley Elementary and now Oakley Junior High, on the other hand, was anything but fun and peaceful. I was now going to a school, which seemed to be full of sadistic and psychotic students and some staff. People who were hell bent on making things difficult and tearing down anyone who dared to be a little different…who had their own opinions and did their own thing.

They hated anyone who did not think like them nor act like them. They despised anyone who was quiet and who did not have a lot to say to them. They loathed anyone who had talents that they were proud of and who displayed those talents. It looked as if individuality, creativity and self-expression were off limits not only at Oakley Schools, but in the town itself and forget showing any pride.

And it was not just the mental strain I had been under but the physical as well. The loss of appetite during lunch had caused horrible afternoon headaches that were next to unbearable. The stomach pains and waves of nausea had me rushing to the bathroom. And as much as I had needed to some days, I had not been allowed to call out and go home sick because any complaints had always fallen on deaf ears. In their minds, I was faking so that I could go home early from class. Other symptoms included weight loss, huge wads of my hair falling out and FATIGUE! I had absolutely no energy! These symptoms occurred during the last two months of the past school year.

Those dinguses were making me physically sick! They were destroying my health and I knew that I was much too young to begin having problems with my health.
Later that night, I was placed in the Intensive Care Unit because the doctor thought my liver and heart had been damaged and it would be almost a week before I was transferred to a regular room.

During my stay in the ICU, there were only a few hours per day that I was allowed visitors, so there was plenty of time to reflect. As I lay in the hospital with electrodes taped to my chest, an IV stuck in my arm and an oxygen cannula in my nostrils, not only did I recall the torment, I also remembered the many people who had witnessed it firsthand…people who were in a position to speak out and possibly put a stop to it but did nothing to help. Even those who were supposed to have been my friends had often left me to fend for myself.

I can look back and recall that over the several years that I was bullied, I can only count on one hand the number of peers who did speak in my behalf. And that’s without using all five.

Even today, this happens all too often. Many bystanders who witness someone being bullied either just stand around letting it happen, turn a blind eye to it, or worse- join in ‘the fun of’ ridiculing another person.
If you are reading this and you have either witnessed or presently witness incidences of bullying, I want you to understand that if you watch another person being harassed and do nothing to help that person, you then are part of the problem. In fact, you are just as guilty as the brutes who are inflicting the torment.

How would you like it if you were being targeted and there were other people standing nearby watching you get pummeled with insults, digs, fists or feet? What if one of those people were in a position to help you but chose not to? Allow me to answer those questions. I have been there and I remember what it was like when no one stepped up to help me.

You would feel alone! And if the people who refused to help you happened to be people whom you thought were friends, you would feel betrayed…sold out…delivered up to your enemies! Nothing is worse than the realization that someone you trust and think highly of does not value your friendship, nor think enough of you to speak against the torment. The shock of it is akin to being kicked in the stomach.

People who watch the bullying but stand by and let it happen have not the slightest idea of how it feels to be on the receiving end. They can never comprehend the pain this causes. It is a pain that most targets can see no end to. All too often, a victim results to ending his/her life to make it stop. Suicide is one of the top causes of death among people ages 12 to 25 and the death of any young person is a tragic waste of precious life!

Some consider ridiculing another human being either funny, cool or both but to the person being ridiculed, it is anything but! Small taunts and digs can add up over time and have a cumulative result of a pain that can be devastating. The suffering of being bullied grows and each taunt, dig or cruel joke cuts a little deeper and a little deeper.

For far too long, the subject of bullying was a taboo issue to bring up in conversation or to even write about. Up until about ten years ago, most people refused to discuss it and targets often kept it hidden due to the shame that often comes with being a victim. Why? Because in most cases, they knew that chances were that they would either be the ones blamed, accused of being the aggressor, or labeled as “weak”.

However, the reality is that it doesn’t matter how tough, strong, smart, or awesome a person is. Anyone can become a victim of bullying and bullies always attack in groups. There is strength in numbers and people in large numbers can have a cumulative power which can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent of individuals. If enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful or easy going they may be.

It is only when we as parents and school officials open up, face the truth and admit that bullying does exist in our schools that we will be able to tackle the problem and make a safer learning environment for all students.
Within the last ten years, bullying has finally been considered a serious enough problem to make national headlines and is now at the forefront of today’s issues. I believe that this is long overdue.

What Do You Think of the Idea of A National Registry Database for Bullies?

This is something I have had in my mind for a while now and recently shared with a fellow anti bullying advocate and friend. I believe that a national registry should be put in place for people found to have bullied others…just like sex offenders. It’s no secret anymore that schools often cover for the bullies and hang the victims out to dry.

I believe that the sins of a bully should follow them for the rest of their lives, causing loss of opportunities. Bullies destroy lives and reputations of innocent people every day. Why then shouldn’t bullies have a taste of their own medicine. This is just an idea. Feel free to give your input.

Suicide is NEVER the Solution!

Good afternoon everyone, as you already know, the suicides of Destiny Gleason, Danny Fitzpatrick and Brandy Vela have drawn media attention over the last several months, driving home the sad truth of an epidemic that has gone out of control- the epidemic of suicide among young people due to bullying.I believe we must do what we can to reach out to these unfortunate young souls who are at risk of leaving this world much too soon. And this is how I reach out to these kids.

Here is another excerpt from my book “From Victim to Victor”. It is from Chapter 13 and what you are about to read is something that every person who is or who has ever been a target of bullying must read. Even if you have never been a victim but know someone who is, this is also for you.

“…I cannot stress enough that suicide is totally fruitless and not to mention selfish. All too often, people do not think of the ramifications. When you commit suicide at such a young age, regardless of your reasons, you are cheating yourself out of what could possibly be a wonderful future. You destroy any chance for happiness and fulfillment.

You also cheat the people who love you, setting them up for a lifetime of heartache and the question of “why did he/she do it?” and this will be a question which can never be answered.

You must realize that even though things may seem hopeless now, there is still a high probability that life will eventually change for the better if you just be patient and wait. As long as you are still alive, there is a good chance that things will improve…and improve drastically. However, once you are dead, there is no chance for improvement and there is no coming back. Therefore, anytime you take your own life, you cheat yourself.

Suicide is not an escape, not glamorous and it is not a means of obtaining pity. The bullies or whoever else mistreated you will not feel the least bit sorry about it. They will not care and some might even be happy that you are no longer around, getting complete satisfaction and gratification from your death. They will live on to select another person to torment and denigrate while you’re lying six feet under and being forgotten about.

People will only mourn your loss for a little while, then they will pick up and move on with their lives. Life does go on after you are gone. Although this seems brutal and unfeeling, it is the cold, hard truth and I want to shock a little sense into those of you who may be contemplating on doing something really stupid. That’s what suicide is…stupid.

Before you make the decision to end your life, there are questions that you must ask yourself:

Is suicide something that you want to be remembered for? Is it a legacy that you want to leave behind?
Do you really want to give your bullies the satisfaction of knowing that they had the power to drive you to doing something so rash? Do you want to give them the gratification of knowing that they had the power of life and death over you?
Do you still want to give them that power?

I would hope and pray that you do not!

As it is, they already have enough power over you if you are a target! Why then would you want to give them more of it?

The next time a bully tells you to “go kill yourself”, not only should you ask the bully, but ask yourself who that person is to decide whether or not you deserve to live? In, fact there are several questions to ponder here.

Who is anyone to decide what your worth as a human being is?
Who are they to decide what your value is?
Who are they to decide whether or not you are good enough?
Who are they to decide who or what you are or should be?
And who the hell are they to decide whether you should live or die?
WHO…ARE…THEY?

It’s not what they call you or say to you, it truly is what you answer to. Your life does not depend on who does or who does not like you and neither does it depend on who hates you.

I recently went to my twenty-fifth class reunion just a year ago and got to see about thirty classmates, most of whom either bullied me or sold me out at some point or another during school. Although the vast majority of them have grown up by now and were very kind people, there were still maybe two or three out of the whole bunch who still, after all these years, hold resentment and contempt. Although, they never came out and said anything for fear of looking bad in front of the other classmates, I could see it in their eyes when they looked at me and in their facial expressions and body language. And one woman even threw a very subtle dig while sitting right beside me, to my right, during a class meeting just a month prior to the reunion. A dig to which I only responded with a smile and actually got a genuine hug from another classmate.

I did not fire back at her because I decided that this woman was not even worth the energy. I just very gracefully blew her off because it was only further proof that in this world, there are quite a few 40+ year-old prepubescents walking around. Age does not equal maturity.

I now take great pride in myself for responding to such immaturity with class and I had an awesome time at the reunion. I never let the immature actions of a few bad apples spoil it. I continued to be my authentic and awesome self. I socialized and danced! I let my hair down, let myself shine, and ended up having a wonderful time and being very glad I went!

The point to my reunion story is this: Bullying does not stop after high school graduation. All through life, you will encounter scores of ignorant people and I feel it incumbent upon me to prepare you for this. While you are still young, you must learn now how to let the ignorance of a few narrow-minded people roll off your back or you will be in for a very difficult life ahead.

In life, there will always be a handful of people who will never approve of you. But always know this: it is THEIR issue, not yours. I will say it again:

THEY are the ones who have the issue, not you! So never allow yourself to be sucked into thinking that there is something wrong with you just because people refuse to see your worth. There is nothing wrong with you.

Never give anyone the power to determine how you feel about yourself, whether or not you have fun, or what mood you should be in. And for sure, never give them the power to cause you to die by your own hand.

You may be called the foulest, most horrible names in the English language but it does not mean that you are those names. Remember that bullies are LIARS! As long as you have the determination to stay alive and stay true to yourself and to your own heart regardless of what others may think of you, you are anything but those names! You are strong, resilient, determined, intelligent…you are AWESOME! Because you refuse to be brought down!

But if you commit suicide, then you only cause the people who called you the above names to think that they were right about you all along!

Suicide is for quitters! And you are not a quitter! You are a fighter and if you remain tough long enough, you will emerge a winner! I can almost guarantee it!

I fought like hell to hold on to my pride, dignity, and self-respect! And most importantly, I LIVED through it and eventually things changed for the better!

I lived to write a book, which is designed to help you and give you strength. This book is my way of turning what was once a very negative experience into a positive outcome!

So don’t give up! Don’t quit! As long as you keep on living, you keep on fighting and as long as you keep on fighting, you have already won. You just do not know it yet.

In hindsight, I never should have resorted to an attempt to take my own life. Instead, I should have wanted to live…to stick around, even if for no other reason than to piss them off.

If I had it to do over, I would have worked on me. I would have gotten busy practicing and honing my talents and would not have been afraid to display those talents. I would have been entering talent shows and writing contests…and winning all sorts of prizes! I would have begun striving toward self-betterment and a deeper understanding of not only what was happening to me but also of the world and people around me.

Suicide is never the answer…never! I did not realize then, that I was playing right into my bullies’ hands and giving them exactly what they wanted. My bullies were already out to destroy me and I was making it that much easier for them to do so.

Now that I know better, there will be a cold day in Hades before I will ever let another person drive me that far down! Instead, I will only be that much more determined to keep living and enjoying the good things in life! There is beauty in life if you look for it.

Being bullied should be a motivator. It should make you that much more determined to live, and to live a happier, more peaceful and successful life. Spend as much time as possible doing the things you enjoy and being around the people who love you the most…positive people who lift you up and make you feel awesome…caring people…loving people! The happier you are, the less you will be affected by the ignorant actions and words of any bully.

Always look your best and do your best at any task. Excel in your studies, talents and anything else that you do. Do what you have to do to feel good about yourself just as long as it does not cause harm to another person.

Do not wallow in self-pity no matter how bad things get. Sure, it’s okay to feel emotion anytime someone hurts you. So get angry, feel sad, cry, beat a pillow, do whatever you can to let those emotions out when you feel them because you certainly do not want to hold it in. But do not dwell on those emotions…never stay in that hurtful place for long because it can be a real confidence killer if you do.

Be a positive person and interest yourself in other people and what is going on in their lives. People will love you if you are genuinely interested in them. Be kind (without being a pushover of course) and meet new people, being interested in them. Let them talk about themselves, their hobbies and interests.

While they are talking, listen with your eyes focused on them. Be genuinely interested in anything they talk about and get excited about their dreams, being happy for them when they achieve those dreams and wishing them well. People love someone who is excited about them. Smile at and greet people, calling them by name. By doing this, you will eventually make lots of friends and live down a bad reputation caused by bullies, past or present.

I say this because it happened for me. I no longer have the reputation I once had, or at least it does not stick like it used to. I have so many friends today that it’s hard for me to keep up with all of them. I have also won over many of my former bullies from school. That’s right. Several of the people who once bullied me in school are now some of my closest friends!

And how did I manage to turn everything around and live down the horrible reputation I once had?

I did it by taking my focus off of me and acquiring a genuine interest in others and how their lives were going. I did it by replacing hate, contempt and bitterness with love, acceptance and forgiveness. I began to love myself and see my own worth as a person. I started to value myself and quit worrying about what others thought of me. I made doing the right thing my goal.

Did it make everyone like me? Of course not. However, I did not and still do not concern myself with what others think or how they act. Instead, I concern myself with how well I made someone else feel about themselves. Did I put a smile on the face of someone who would otherwise still be sad? Did I make a difference in the life of at least one person today? Did I help restore hope in someone whom would otherwise not have any hope at all? Was I the difference between someone deciding whether or not to take their own life? I always hope so.

Do everything that you can possibly do to build your confidence and do it constructively. Take risks by meeting new and interesting people….”

This entry was posted on December 22, 2016. 6 Comments