There are so many people with a legitimate illnesses which cause severe pain (Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Addison’s Disease and so many other ailments), but unfairly judged for being “addicts”! My heart goes out to you all!
Here is an article from another blogger about bullying and how to ID a primary victim of bullying. This article is great because all to often, the primary target has a hard time telling others what happened due to shame or fear of retaliation, making it more difficult to get the help they need. Thank you, threetimes for this article!
Being a victim of school bullying often teaches us very hard lessons…lessons that we carry into adulthood, shaping our personalities and the ways we do things once we are out of school and away from our tormentors. Being an adult survivor myself, I can tell you what I took from it:
1. Having been bullied during school sharpened my emotional intelligence- Because I learned very early on how truly evil people can be, I now have a sixth sense. Adult survivors of school bullying are excellent at picking up vibes (especially bad ones) and reading people and their intentions. We know how to watch people without looking like we’re watching them, noting body language, facial expressions, micro-expressions, tonality, delivery, and demeanor. Because our people-sense wasn’t fully developed during our school years, we often let those in our lives, whom were only there to harm us. We paid dearly for it, which is the reason we’re extra watchful and therefore able to avoid such people, now that we’re adults.
2. We’re not afraid to say “no” and will sometimes say it simply because we can! This is because as schoolkids, we had our boundaries violated so much so that we weren’t allowed to protest when something didn’t feel right to us. Therefore, we were forced to take a lot of abuse from others. Now that we’re adults, we get to decide what we will and will not tolerate and we exercise that freedom and autonomy every chance we get!
3. Survivors of school bullying are no-nonsense adults, or at least I am- we’ve learned early on the games people play and we won’t be duped. We live by the old, “fool me once…” saying and hold it close to our hearts.
4. We have a very open and solid refusal to take any crap from anyone, no matter the consequences we may face for that refusal. I’m no exception. We took enough crap in school from our classmates and a few rotten apples, whom called themselves school staff that we’re even more determined as adults not to let others violate our boundaries.
5. We don’t give people many chances. To us, first impressions are important so you’d better make it count. One red flag, I’m gone! One bad vibe, I’m gone! Any attempts to bullshit, I’m gone! This is due to having been too forgiving of others when we were young, being taken for granted, having our kindness taken for weakness and then exploited, much to our own humiliation. And we refuse to ever again be put back in that position.
6. We work our asses off! We’re tenacious when it comes to getting what we want and will stop at almost nothing to reach success- we’ve had enough of what we don’t want when we were in school. We’ve been called “failure” so many times that it lit a fire under us and made us that much more determined to succeed at everything we set out to do, if for no other reason than to show the haters and naysayers (even our ex-school bullies) that we can!
7. We like having control over our own lives and will do anything to keep that control- survivors of school bullying had enough of others taking control of their lives long ago and we will shut down the first person who tries to take away our personal power.
8. We can spot a bully five miles away in the dark- Yes! We’re that good! We dealt with bullies in school, for years, on a daily basis. So naturally, we would be good, nearly expert, at pointing them out.
9. As adults, we either avoid bullies like the plague. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we take extreme pleasure in putting bullies in their places, calling them out every chance we get and making them feel like the losers they really are- remembering all the times we didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against them in school.
10. We have a thick skin that has become difficult for others, other than those close to us, to penetrate.
11. We can’t stand to watch others being made fun of and will rush to their defense. We’re not afraid to get nose to nose with the bully if need be- not only to help the person being bullied, but subconsciously, to make up for all the times we felt helpless and didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against our bullies in school.
12. Adult survivors of school bullying are sensitive to the emotions of others and cannot stand the thought of causing another person emotional or physical harm, if that person isn’t trying to harm them first.
13. Adult survivors of bullying place extra value on their families and friends and never (intentionally) take them for granted- we know what it’s like to be completely alone and not to have any friends. Therefore, we cherish family/friends and time spent with them.
14. Adult survivors of school bullying are, in some ways, selfish. I know I am. We put a lot of value on ourselves, our wants, our needs and our interests. This is because we weren’t valued as kids during school. So, we make it a point to put ourselves first in almost everything. Our children and/or parents may be the only people we put ahead of us.
15. We aren’t convinced by words. We’re only swayed by action and habits. Due to our past histories of being duped by the empty promises and cheap words of school bullies and paying dearly for it. We’ll be damned if we ever repeat that mistake again.
Being bullied as a kid in school has not only make me a very strong adult, it has also exponentially sharpened my people-senses, which in turn has afforded me not only scores of friends who love and respect me, successes and even more opportunities, but ultimately, a very rewarding life!
As we know, bullied teens are often silent about the torment they face in school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most parents are not even aware that there is a problem and those who are aware are often at a loss as to how to deal with it. If you are a parent and are wondering whether or not your son or daughter is a target of bullying, here are the signs of a bullied teen:
1. Withdrawal from family and friends- as we know, being the target of a bully can slowly chip away at the victim’s self esteem. And people with low self esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that ALL people are vicious and cannot be trusted. So therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, which can result in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.
2. Underachievement- Most bully targets are underachievers. Their self esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness”. A bully target, after being told that they are a “loser”, “no good” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” so often for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can have a negative impact on grades, class participation, and performance.
3. Over achievement- I mentioned in number 2 about underachievement and with most targets of bullying, this is usually the case. However, this can go either way. Some targets of bullying dive into schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their studies, talents, or any other area.
4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body- most victims of bullying are victims of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc), which occurs mostly in boys, but thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.
5. Sadness and Depression- symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.
6. Excessive absences from school- Most bully-targets are afraid of going to school because they know that as soon as they step onto that school bus or get to school, bullies will be waiting for them. So they avoid going to school by either skipping, or feigning an illness as an excuse to stay home.
7. They may become bullies themselves- Often, bullied children and teens feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something…ANYTHING. They often bully others who are even more powerless than they are to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill. An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school. I simply call this “Kicking the Dog”.
8.Suicidal thoughts and attempts- sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most children and teens who are bullied do not know what to do about it. Most have tried reporting it to an adult or handling it themselves to no avail. Bully targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They feel like they have some major defect either physical or social, that causes them to be mistreated by others. They often feel as is it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get. Sadly, some targets break under the pressure and suicide may seem to them to be the only way out….the only way to make the bullying and the pain stop. If you even THINK that your child or grandchild might be suicidal, GET HELP NOW! And be there for them. Bully-targets need a support system! Be that support system!
If you see any of these signs in your child or grandchild, DO NOT IGNORE IT OR MINIMIZE IT! Ask questions!!!
Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as children, especially teens do not like to admit being bullied, even to their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it and you have to do it gently and lovingly.
Anyone who has ever been bullied will tell you that it sometimes takes years to overcome the after affects, get completely comfortable with yourself and find happiness.
Because of the torment I suffered at school, I was a shy person for years and my shyness peaked during my childbearing years. I would not speak to anyone unless they spoke to me first, out of fear that I would say something wrong. I didn’t like myself because I felt that I was somehow different…that God had put a mark on me like Cain. I felt that I didn’t quite measure up. And this was during my early 20s when I was just beginning to discover who I was and what I really wanted out of life.
Throughout junior high and high school, I was bullied so much that I was blinded to my own feminine beauty (I was a very beautiful young girl). I also did not feel free to express myself and most importantly, get to know myself.
Being in a toxic environment or around toxic people can block you from opportunities, blind you to your own inner and outer beauty, diminish the ability to use talents and natural abilities, prevent you from having your own opinions and feelings and from accepting and being yourself when you are young and haven’t been in the world long enough to know the difference.
When I finally left that toxic, poisonous, downright dangerous environment that was my old school and transferred to a new high school, I felt like a bird out of a cage…like I had just been given a full pardon and released from prison.
From that day forward, I could finally begin working on getting to know ME and I was put on the road to self discovery. However, that road proved to be a long one.
During my mid to late 20’s I became hungry for self betterment. I slowly began trying new things and confronting my fears and shyness HEAD ON by actually doing the things I feared most! I discovered talents and abilities I never thought I had and could express myself and my wants and needs without ridicule.
Like magic, new opportunities and better situations began opening up to me. It was like the floodgates of heaven had suddenly opened and I was washed away in a river of blessing.
But it took years to get through the anger, the sadness, the shyness, the defensiveness and being closed up and guarded before I was finally able to totally and completely accept who I was as a woman. And when I finally accepted myself, which meant accepting the good, the bad, and the ugly qualities, I found a peace and happiness I never thought possible.
Am I perfect? No. Do I try to be? Nope. I accept all characteristics of me. I know my good traits: that I have a good heart, that I have compassion and empathy for others, that I am outgoing and confident, that I like to have fun, that I love to sing, dance and write novels. Am I proud of that? YES! YES! YESSSS!!!
I also know my bad traits and I embrace them.
I accept that I am sometimes forgetful.
I also accept that I no longer have the perfect body after having had children. I am comfortable in my own skin.
I also prefer Tee shirts, jeans, and sneakers over fancy dresses and high heels (which I only wear when an occasion calls for it). Do I like this about myself? ABSOLUTELY!
What I want is for you to completely accept yourself because it is a stepping stone to happiness. When you accept yourself as you are, quirks and all, and stop being so concerned about how you are seen by others, you actually FREE yourself from that ball and chain called self consciousness. It is like a huge weight being lifted off of you.
Also, you become much more attractive to people and they are drawn to you like a magnet. And the individuals who are waiting for you to mess up actually get bored, give up and stop watching you. I know this from experience. Acceptance of self (all aspects) is such sweet freedom!
No one likes to be around a self conscious and insecure victim. I’ll say it again:
No. One. Likes. A. Victim!
So I want you to make a brand new start today and begin your new life by accepting who you are. Count your blessings, your friends, your family, and your chance opportunities. Anything positive that is happening OR has happened in your life is a blessing. This is where you start. Start by counting blessings. Take a pen and piece of paper and write down each blessing and I guarantee you will be on your way!
I wonder how many people can actually list all of their blessings without running out of paper and/or ink. I know I couldn’t.
If you are a victim of bullying, then I’m sure that on many occasions, you have wondered why bullies try to turn your friends and everyone else against you. Here’s an in-depth explanation:
In his book, “The Art of Seduction”, Robert Greene said it best when he quoted, “Few are drawn to the person, whom others avoid or neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest.”
It’s human nature to want to be around someone who seems to be desired by others and to avoid lone wolves. All through history, people have had a tendency to assume that those who are loners are also unwanted or defected somehow. Bullies consciously know this, so they stop at nothing to turn everyone against you…friends, teachers, principals, bosses, and sometimes yes…ever family members.
Bullies do this not only to make you look unappealing to others, but also as a means to garner support for the lies and rumors they have spread about the victim…for validation of their words and make them more convincing, while making the victim look bad. They also do this to discredit the victim in case he/she tries to report the attacks and call the bullies into account. It’s just another way for bullies to slyly cover their own behinds and lessen the chances of being exposed. As long as the victim looks like the enemy, then others will look no further than that victim.
If this is something that you’re dealing with now, know that this is only part of the illusion that bullies create to build their case against you and to silence you. It’s nothing more than a magic trick and it doesn’t mean that you are what they say you are. You are NOT how bullies make you look!
You are awesome in your own right and there will come a day when you will have genuine and loving friends, who love you only for being you. You are worth fighting for and you are worth living for! Don’t give up on yourself!
To call bullying one of these three things is to say that:
- Bullying is completely normal and natural.
- Victims of bullying are weak and/or undesirable and must be eliminated from the human race.
- Bullying is required for survival of the human race.
Allow me to rebut these three (conscious or unconscious) beliefs:
- Bullying is anything but normal or natural. It is brutal, malicious, hurtful and cowardly.
- Victims of bullying are NOT weak, nor are they undesirable. They may only think differently than most. Victims are often exceptional people with brilliant minds. Many celebrities, CEO’s, inventors, writers, scientists, doctors and professors were bullied as children and teens. If these people had not survived bullying, the world may never have seen may awesome inventions and breakthroughs, such as the electric light bulb, telephone, or the first organ transplant. Where would we be without these people?
- Bullying is NOT required for survival of the human race but can actually destroy it. An example of this would be the Nazi’s bullying of Jews during World War II and slaughtering of six million during the holocaust. Now. Do you still think that bullying is necessary for survival of our species?
Bullying is NEVER okay and if you are a victim, I want to assure you that it does not mean that you are defective in any way. It only means that you are an individual, who is brave enough to think outside the box and that you refuse to be a follower. Those are characteristics that you should be proud of because you have a chance to go far and change society.
Don’t give up! Give yourself a chance! You never know, in the future, YOU may be the person who brings positive change to the world and your bullies will more than likely end up living less than desirable lives. Suicide is not the answer. Don’t you want to live long enough to see your own potential? I want you to.
Have a wonderful day!
For those whom don’t know, the last six years of school was Hell on Earth for me, as it is for so many children and teens today. Each time I hear on the news about a young man/lady who has committed suicide because of bullying, it breaks my heart because I know all too well of the intense and unbearable pain this child went through.
The feeling of entrapment and being held hostage by your classmates for eight long hours, the pain so intense you can’t even cry, the having your reputation unjustly ruined, the desperately holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you, the intent of your classmates to destroy what little happiness you do manage to scrounge for yourself, the paralyzing fear that washes over you every morning upon seeing the school bus approach, the horrible names, the brutal beatings, the having your cries for help ignored by those in authority, or worse, blamed for your own suffering…all of this for none other than being who you are and committing the sin of simply EXISTING…yes! I’ve been there and it’s a tormenting pain that only few can comprehend!
Each taunt, each dig, each attack, cuts a little deeper and a little deeper as time passes, until the cumulative pain is almost physical!
I’d had the idea to write this book for as far back as the eighth grade. During that time, because no one listened when I attempted to report the bullying or needed to talk, I turned to the only outlet that was available to me- keeping a daily journal and writing down every bullying incident I suffered at school in detail. It was the only thing I could do to get it out!
I remember the day when a nosy classmate found one of my journals and she wasted no time reading it and then passing it around to others! As a result, I got a heck of a reprisal when I was beat up on the way home on the bus for what I’d written! On another occasion, I was caught with my journal by a teacher and the principal was called after another classmate brought it to the teacher’s attention. The teacher then handed my journal to the principal and I watched as he scanned the little red notebook that was my journal, gave me a very dirty look, then walked out of the classroom, flipping the pages. Needless to say, it was the last time I ever saw that journal. However, I was sure to keep a copy of everything in a separate notebook at home. Therefore, I didn’t lose any valuable information. Yes, I did a mountain of writing back then!
There were other reasons for journaling as well, one of which was to gather evidence for possible future litigation should they hurt me bad enough to send me to the hospital, or worse! I journaled all through the last five years of school, then kept the notes put away for years because I knew that one day, I’d write a book and tell my story!
During the second half of the nineties, I began researching bullying online and I was amazed when everything I read was a dead-ringer of what I experienced! That’s when I knew that it never was “all in my head”! This, in itself, was such sweet relief! I continued to research bullying, reading articles and books online and off anything I could get my hands on! I researched the tactics bullies use against their victims, profiles of both bully and victim, true stories of how teachers and school officials mostly sweep incidences of bullying under the rug and blame the victim. I read almost everything there was to know about bullying and the dynamics of the human predator/prey and I was totally amazed at how everything clicked and fit together like a perfect little puzzle…I then had no doubt that I wasn’t “crazy”!
About ten years ago, I began to hear on the news about school bullying and as time went on, I saw more and more stories of kids being victimized pop up on the news with increasing frequency! Then stories of child and teen suicides began to surface and that’s when I knew that it was time to tell my story. So I dug out my old journals and carefully wove them into the book as I wrote it, being sure to keep them in chronological order.
I wrote the book for many reasons: 1. To tell my story and how I survived. 2. To record what I learned from being bullied. 3. To admit my becoming a bully myself in order to protect myself and express the remorse I felt later for it. 4. To give today’s victims hope that it does, indeed, get better. 5. To assure bullied victims that despite what their bullies may say to them, they still have value and are worthy of love and friendship. 6. To be a living testimony to these children and teens that, as bleak as the present may be, the future can be so much better and they can be “normal” again. 7. To discourage suicide and ultimately, help bring down the suicide rate among these precious youngsters.
My goal is to be a voice for these kids, whom have had their voices stolen from them and give them ways to protect and re-empower themselves, boost confidence and find reasons to go on living! This is my passion and my joy! If I can reach out and make a difference in the life of one…just ONE bullied young person, then the torment I went through years ago was not in vain!
Bullying doesn’t only happen to school-aged children and teens and you don’t have to be a member of any certain age group to fall victim to it, nor to be a bully. Bullying can happen at any age, from the very young to the very old. There is school bullying, but there’s also Workplace bullying and yes, even bullying among senior citizens. And as statistics show, those whom are bullied in school are most likely to become bullied adults.
But while this is certainly true, it doesn’t mean that all victims of school bullying are destined to be bullied their entire lives. I’m living proof!
Here’s how I ceased to be a victim:
1. I began giving to others the very thing I was denied during junior high and high school- respect, validation and love. I learned that people…all people, have an innate desire to feel valued, important, respected and loved. Dale Carnegie was dead on when he stressed in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, the importance of making the other person feel good about themselves.
2. It took the realization that my bullies were actually just as scared as I was, if not more more so. It makes sense that they were more afraid than I was because they had so much more to lose than I did. Why else did my school bullies continuously strain themselves just to be someone that they clearly weren’t? Why else would they go out of their own way to keep up the charades and fake personas, which helped them attain their popularity…the consistent posturing, the beating of their own chests in hopes of looking tough, the false bravado, the constant showboating, and the having to lie and put on the act of having more than they did, when in reality, they didn’t have as much as a bucket to pee in? Bullies are pretty much the same and work very hard to keep up the fake alter-ego which generously rewards them a spot in the who’s who section of the yearbook. And sadly, most of my former classmates are the same today…trying to keep up with the Jones’ and covertly trying to convince the rest of the world that they’re better than most.
When I finally came to this epiphany, I was no longer afraid of not only my classmates, but any bully. Any dig, any taunt, any insult they threw at me, did not bother me but only slid in my right ear and out my left, rolling so smoothly down my back that it lost the effect it once had. Today, it’s easier not to acknowledge anything that comes out of their crooked little mouths because not only do I know the secrets they and every bully tries to hide.
3. I’m okay with myself and the people around me. I love and accept myself and I know who I am, what I want and know where my boundaries lie. I realize that it’s perfectly okay to say “no” and to refuse to be treated with negativity. I know that I need no one’s permission to be myself, to be safe and to be happy. And lastly, I waste no time, if need be, kicking toxic people out of my life when their toxicity begins to effect me or those I care about and I can do it without a modicum of guilt.
It took a while to get to this place…this place of peace, love and self-acceptance where everyone I meet accepts and loves me. However, I’m here and I want you to know that, if you’re a victim of bullying…if you struggle to make friends and keep them, if your reputation has been tarnished, know that it doesn’t have to be this way forever! You can’t turn it around to your benefit! Like me, you too can go from being a social outcast to being a social butterfly. Don’t you dare give up!
It’s so true. High school really is child’s play…the kiddie pool of life, if you will. And most often, graduation means the end of the line for most “popular” bullies and cliquies. I say this because most of my former school bullies had their fame in school but are doing very little with their lives today. Most achieve very little as adults, while those like me, who were horribly bullied by these types, evolve into awesome and highly successful adults.
I know this for a fact because I’ve watched as one of my older school bullies got a Nursing degree, got hooked on prescription pills, was caught stealing out of the medicine cart, lost her nursing license and ended up working in a local cafe for minimum wage. Now she can’t work at all due to health issues. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t secretly wish for anything bad to happen to anyone and I don’t glory in the misfortunes of others…not even those who tormented me in school. However, I’m simply making the point that Karma does repay eventually and most of these coddled and babied daddy’s girls and puffed up pretty boys get a huge letdown once they’re out on their own. I came to find out that this has happened to many of my former bullies. They bully innocent others like myself during school, then get the comeuppance they never expected as adults.
Here are a few reasons why most of my ex-bullies aren’t very successful:
In order to be truly successful, a person must leave their comfort zones and face their worst fear…the possibility of failure and most bullies will never leave their comfort zones. They’d rather stay in an environment where they continue to get stuff and opportunities handed to them by their “town connections”, which, by the way, are only small to mediocre victories! Most of my bullies never left the one-horse town I was bullied in after high school. Why? Because they knew they wouldn’t get the special treatment and free passes in any other jurisdiction that were generously afforded them in *Oakley. Therefore, they stay where their friends are and where they know that they can get by on nepotism and the “Good Ole Boy System” which rules not only *Oakley, but most tiny Southern towns.
However, here’s the thing about small towns and rural areas- it doesn’t take long, nor does it take much effort for anyone…ANYONE to maximize their potential in places such as these…bullies and cliquies included…because a person can only go so far in a rural area. So, I say, let them have their small town safety net because they’re only “playing in the kiddie pool”! They would drown in the “big pool”.
High school is, literally, the highlight of most bullies’ lives and bullies today should enjoy it while they can, because the real world doesn’t care who you were in high school, how popular or unpopular you were, whether or not you were Homecoming Queen/King, the captain of the varsity team, on the cheerleading squad,in a fraternity/sorority or that you were the class president! All the world wants to know is whether or not you can contribute something to it and most bullies, although trying like the Dickens to cover it up, are about as weak, cowardly and incompetent as a person can get and couldn’t contribute anything but negativity!
Many of the differences in me, which were ridiculed by my classmates are the same characteristics and skills that people today, outside of my former high school class, value and admire about me! (Forgive me a very satisfied chuckle)WHAM! Take that, bullies!
Most of my former bullies live very unsatisfying lives (Working dead-end jobs they hate and for a pittance, have spouses and partners who abuse them and/or cheat on them every chance they get, incarcerated/in trouble with the law or addicted to some type of controlled substance). They’re very sad, lonely, dissatisfied and bitter forty-somethings because for them, life didn’t turn out like they’d thought it would! Which is the reason why the majority of them still bully others…much worse than they ever did in school.
If you are currently a victim of bullying, I want you to know that justice for them and for you is coming! Don’t commit suicide! Please! Instead, stick around! Because eventually, you will see just how these cowards end up! They may be having the cool time of their lives now, but I can guarantee that it won’t last and the same will be your victimization by them…it won’t last! Take heart that you and your bullies just might end up trading places one day!
High school is the kiddie pool. The adult world is the big pool! Let them have the kiddie pool and let them be the kings and queens of that kiddie pool…while I would rather go to and rule the big pool! Wouldn’t you?
*not the name of the town