Archive | January 2017

Survivors of Bullying, Your Past Does Not Determine Your Future

Good evening, everyone. I hope everyone has had an awesome weekend. We all have pasts, some good and others not so pleasant. Anytime you take steps to change your life, there will be a few individuals who will bring up something you might have done or been involved in years ago. So many people either live in regret of their pasts, or they let others remind them of it. They can’t seem to move forward because something which happened years ago is holding them back. My message to these people is, “STOP IT, NOW!”

There is nothing you can do about your past. What’s done is done and it’s time to forgive yourself and move on. Even if you have others who are constant reminders of the “old you”, you must keep in mind that you are not that person anymore.

There are several celebrities who had a past before they became famous. Some were bullied during school and told by everyone they knew that they would never amount to anything, some were sexually abused, some were incarcerated, others were addicts or came from poverty. Therefore, never be ashamed of your past. It doesn’t define you, nor does it determine what your future will be.

Have a wonderful week!

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I Am Not Only a Survivor of School Bullying, I Am Also a Suicide Survivor

Good morning, everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Saturday. Today, I want to give another reason why I’m so passionate about the epidemic of bullying and suicide among children and teenagers. That reason is that I was also a widow of a suicide before I married my current husband.

My last husband, Michael Moore, died in October of 2011 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Anytime I listen to the news and hear of the suicide of another person, especially someone who is young and whose life has yet to begin, it breaks my heart in two.

I think about the lost future of that person and ask myself, “Could they have overcome whatever was dragging them down? Could the lost have gone to college? Could they have become a doctor, writer or teacher? Could they have been the one person, who could have changed the world for the better?” Yes, I believe that they could have.

I also think of the person’s family and how hurt they are over the untimely death of their loved-one. I know firsthand how that feels and it is the worst kind of heartache. The pain is gut-level and is a feeling of being kicked in the stomach. There are questions, which will never be answered and attempts to figure out why only leave you more confused and eventually drive you crazy.

I also know what suicide looks like and it is not a pretty sight. It is a horrible grotesqueness that cannot be imagined until you are unfortunate enough to see it. It is terrible enough when it is a total stranger, but when it is someone that you love, it is a hell that no one who has never experienced it can comprehend.

I was the unfortunate soul who found my husband’s lifeless body, sitting in his vehicle after he put a 357 magnum to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger and it is an image that will forever be seared in my memory and one I will surely carry to my grave.

I want you to know that if you commit suicide, someone who loves you will come looking for you after so long having not heard from you. And when they find you, their whole world will be turned upside down and they will be forever changed. It is always the surviving loved ones, who are left to pick up the pieces. Also, you cheat yourself out of what will more than likely be an awesome future. So I beg you, please don’t do it!

No matter what you may be going through, know that the suffering will not last forever. Know that better days lie ahead and that if you stick it out, you will emerge stronger, happier, and more victorious than ever before. It is said that the skies are always the darkest just before dawn. Therefore, take comfort in knowing that when things seem to be at their worst, your breakthrough is just around the corner. You will see the sun again.

Don’t give up! Don’t quit! You have so much to look forward to, you just don’t know it yet. Your best days are ahead of you.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

Bullying/Crimes Against Anyone with Autism/Asperger’s/Special Needs Should be Considered a Hate Crime!

Good morning, everyone. For months, I’ve wanted to speak out about people on the Autism Spectrum and the extreme high rates of victimization and bullying they endure on a daily basis. It’s bad enough that they must go through life struggling with a disability that they neither asked for, nor have any control over. It’s even worse that they also struggle with constant cruelty from people in the general population because of that disability.

“A new study finds that children with autism spectrum disorders are bullied for more often than their typically developing peers.” (healthland.time.com)

According to Time Magazine (the above link), 46% of children on the spectrum reported being bullied compared to only 10% of neurotypical kids. And the statistics are estimated to be even higher due to the fact that most people on the spectrum do not recognize the subtler types of bullying because of their inability to read social cues. No one can report anything they do not know is occurring.

Because people with these disorders have difficulty reading social cues, have repetitive behaviors, and tend to be highly sensitive to external stimuli, bullies easily zero in on their perceived weaknesses and see them as easy prey who are ripe for harassment and degradation.
Bullies target them because of their extreme vulnerability and inability to assert themselves and to fight back. In the minds of bullies, people with special needs are easy prey.

Bullies get off on the power they wield over their special needs victims because they consciously know they can torment them endlessly and with impunity. They also know that chances are that no one will stop the abuse, nor speak out for the victim because the sad reality is that most others do not see those who have special needs as “human”. Therefore, bullies take full advantage of this.

Anyone who intentionally targets a person with special needs is, in my opinion, a coward of the lowest common denominator. Too afraid to go toe to toe with someone of their equal, they seek out victims, who are unable to speak for or defend themselves. Talk about despicable!

Every day, people who are mentally handicapped, have Autism/Asperger’s are accosted, taunted, physically attacked, or even murdered because they are considered easy targets and laws must be firmly put in place to protect these people, who are unable to protect themselves. Any crime against people in the above categories should be considered a hate crime because of the high vulnerability and severe disadvantage compared to regular, everyday people.

It’s still discrimination, any way you look at it and just as horrible as bullying someone due to age, sex, race or orientation. In fact, it’s WORSE because most people in the other four groups at least have the facilities to speak for and defend themselves! People with special needs do not! This is why we MUST make those with special needs a protected group!

These people are already fighting a very tough and likely, lifelong battle. Why then do those who are more fortunate wish to make their lives much more difficult than they already are?

This entry was posted on January 26, 2017. 6 Comments

Most School Bullies Grow Up to be Adult Bullies

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all have had a wonderful week. Today, I will use my twenty-fifth reunion as an example of how school bullies can go on to become bullying adults.

Last year, I went to my twenty-fifth class reunion and got to reconnect with about thirty classmates, most of whom either bullied or sold me out at some point or another during school. Although some of them have evolved and were very kind people, there were others who still, after all these years, hold resentment and contempt.

Although, they never expressed it with the spoken word, for fear of looking bad in front of the other classmates, I could see it in their eyes when they looked my way and in their facial expressions and body language. And one woman even threw a very subtle dig while sitting 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 didn’t fire back at her because I decided that this woman wasn’t 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 and let myself shine! Ultimately, I ended up having a wonderful time and being very glad I went!

The point to my reunion story is this: All through life, you will encounter scores of ignorant people and I feel it incumbent upon me to prepare you for this. While you’re 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 those very few who will never approve of you. But always know this: it is THEIR issue, not yours. It is up to you to love yourself in spite of the infantile actions of a few morons. Always put yourself first. You are beautiful, awesome, smart, strong and worthy of love and friendship!

Have a wonderful Friday!

This entry was posted on January 25, 2017. 6 Comments

Cyber Bullying: The Most Devastating Kind of Bullying

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all are having a terrific week 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:

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.

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!

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 just 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 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 January 23, 2017. 7 Comments

Why The Target Often Gets the Blame While the Bully Escapes Accountability

Good morning, everyone. Today, I feel that it is important to answer a question that I’m positive that every person, who has ever been a victim of bullying, has asked either themselves or another person at some point or another: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”

Here is the answer and there are many factors:

Bullies are very convincing liars: Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators, skilled in the art of deception. Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.

Bullies often use projection: They project their own faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When faced with possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.

Bullies are very charming to the right people, which can be used as another weapon against a victim: Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they had a way of winning people over and making them their allies. A good reputation can be used as a weapon against any target because with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled and others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take the outgoing guy that everyone loves, no one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.

Because this person has so many friends who cherish them. Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrong doing, they will still more than likely cover up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.

There is strength in numbers and people in large numbers can have a cumulative power which can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent of individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful or easy going they may be

Bullies use gaslighting: They add their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that you’re at fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.

Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility: They recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you, by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me on a regular basis in school and it would happen as retaliation for my having the gall to stand up to them and assert my God-given, divine right not to be abused or taken advantage of.

There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy. Number one: It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most, who have been in school has a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal. Number two: Destroying the victim’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they feel like it.

Targets get the blame because sadly, the attitude of most bystanders and members of authority is this: “Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?” or “Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”

After all, who is going to look any further then the child with the worst name anytime a confrontation arises? It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.

I believe that victims not only need confidence to fight bullying, but also knowledge of the techniques bullies use. Therefore, the more knowledge we can gain of how bullies operate, the better we will be able to protect ourselves.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Low Self-Esteem Is Not Something We Are Born With

Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re having a happy Friday. Today, I want to discuss the downward spiral that victims of bullying often experience over time if they aren’t removed from a negative environment.

Insecurity and a lack of confidence are not characteristics that we’re born with. They are taught! Not only by bullies or abusive family members, but can also unwittingly programmed into us by caring family members who call themselves trying to teach us humbleness and humility. These characteristics are both good virtues to have, but only in moderation. Too much of it, however, can cause us to suppress a little too much of ourselves and hide our own awesome personalities, talents and gifts, which can grow into insecurity and in worse cases, self-loathing.

I believe that each and every one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. Yet over time, our environments, circumstances and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly erode that natural confidence and goodness we were born with.

After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier to protect ourselves. We turn cold and began to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it. Before long, we regard the feelings and suffering of others with indifference- we just don’t give a damn about anyone, how they feel or what they think. Sometimes we even grow cold toward the people who love us because we have lost the ability to trust. We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold on our personalities and we secretly or openly, take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.

Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc.; we must also take steps to protect our self-esteems.

Have a blessed day!

This entry was posted on January 20, 2017. 1 Comment