My Classmates’ Reactions to FVTV

From Victim to Victor By Cherie White

When I wrote and published “From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying”, I received mixed reactions from my old classmates. Several were happy for me and are proud to see a fellow classmate reach success. For this, I am very grateful.

The majority of them (those who bullied, participated, or turned a blind eye), however, were and still are very angry and upset over the book. And the funny thing is, I can understand why they would be.

Think about this, if I had abused and mistreated someone on a daily basis, in my past and then years later, that person turned around and put me on blast by publishing a book about it, even with name changes, I guess I’d be a little steamed too (If I was an abuser)! And what abuser wouldn’t be?

Why are most of my old classmates outraged? Why? It’s because they feel a mountain of guilt and shame, and they’re afraid of somehow being exposed.

Naturally, I changed the names to preserve their privacy. Still, they’re very much afraid. Afraid of being identified, afraid of feeling any guilt or shame and afraid that people just might come around asking uncomfortable questions. I truly pity them because they must constantly maintain any lies that they told by telling new lies and they must now do it indefinitely! Can you imagine how exhausting that would be? It takes a lot of work to maintain a fake façade and rewrite the past.

And the only way it will stop is if they do some deep soul-searching and realize their guilt. I can tell you, they won’t! No way, Never! Not in this lifetime!

Because to admit what they did would mean admitting they were wrong, that they were the inferior ones, that they had the psychological issues. Understand that bullies and abusers will never admit they were ever wrong.

My old bullies from school will likely spend the rest of their natural lives covering up and being afraid, which means they will never truly be free.

Do I hate them. No.

Am I angry with them? Of course not.

The only thing I can feel for them is pity. That’s right! I can only feel sorry for them.

As John Bradshaw quoted,
“Guilt says I’ve done something wrong; Shame says there is something wrong with me. Guilt says I’ve made a mistake; Shame says, I am a mistake. Guilt says, what I did was not good; Shame says, I am no good.”

Is it any wonder my old classmates are so angry, bitter and defensive? Guilt, shame, and fear of exposure are major anger/temper triggers. When a person carries guilt and shame and constantly fears being found out, they tend to react with anger when criticized even mildly or called to account, even under a fictional name. The rest of the world may have no clue who they are, but they themselves know and that’s enough.

Peeling the masks off the bullies one layer at a time!

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Can Bullies Get Intel from the Very Information which is Supposed to Help Victims?

Spy Snooping Spiders Spies Covert Intelligence 3d Illustration

There are many positives to bullying and suicide awareness, one of which is the ever so slow change in attitudes en masse about bullying, bullies and victims over the last twenty years. More and more people are coming to the realization that bullying is not “just a normal rite of passage” or “just a normal part of growing up” like previously thought a few decades ago. People are finally seeing it for the huge health hazard and the threat to human life that it truly is and perhaps, always has been.

Unlike thirty years ago, when I was in school, there is a vast wealth of knowledge, resources, and programs readily available to anyone who finds themselves on the receiving end of such harassment and a treasure trove of articles, books, and videos on what victims can do to bully-proof themselves. Also, today, we know that victims of bullying are not weak, too sensitive or to blame for the treatment they receive like previously thought decades ago. We have made great progress for victims of bullying and I cannot thank enough all those who contributed to this progress.
However, I want to stress something that I’m positive very few have considered:
Bullies also have access to this widely available information!

Although the data available is meant to help and empower victims, bullies can use this same data as counterintelligence and turn it against their targets. And they can do it by using the information to tailor any future attacks.
For instance, since bullying has been shown to cause suicide, there has been a drastic uptick in cases where bullies have told their victims to “kill themselves”. A few have even talked them into it.

Remember that the most talented and seasoned bullies are cowards at heart and always commit their evil undercover and with subtlety. Bullies are smart, stealth, meticulous, and worst of all- patient! They will not risk being caught. Also, anytime a victim attempts to assert their right not to be mistreated and to better their lives, bullies only escalate the harassment to punish the target and keep him/her silent and, in essence, enslaved.

I want you to understand that any power the victim regains for him/herself is power the bullies must lose! And when bullies see a threat to the power they have over a target, they will only tighten their grip and escalate the torment to keep the victim under their thumb.

Bullying is a slow death by psychological, emotional, and physical torture. It is systematic, subtle and sadly, escalation of it is sometimes so gradual that it often goes unnoticed by bystanders and authority until the victim dies by their own hand.
When a target of bullying commits suicide, the bullies have committed murder without laying a finger on the target. And because there’s no physical contact or weapon discharged by the bully or bullies at the time of the target’s death, the bully gets away with this murder.

Bullies murder their victims by gently and over time, persuading and influencing them to do it for them. Now, this is how they get away with murder! What better way is there to kill someone without ever touching them, without firing a single shot, and without ever seeing the inside of a prison?

Bullies know this instinctively! I say this with full conviction and being fully aware that I might be giving a few evil and unsavory souls a few ideas! Of this, I am truly afraid! The best I can do is to hope and pray to the goodness that no one with evil intentions comes across this blog post!

In closing, if you are a target of chronic and relentless bullying, I urge you to never give up on yourself. Never let a bully convince you that the world would be better off without you! It wouldn’t! Never let a bully convince you that you would be better off dead because chances are that you’re only being targeted because you are doing something right! You’re being bullying because you stand out from all the rest! You somehow outshine the bullies and they only mistreat you out of jealousy!

Know that you’re worth fighting for and you’re worth living for!

Believe it!

When I Look Back, I Don’t Wish I’d Been More Popular, I Wish I’d Been More Secure and Loved Myself More.

I love being me - napkin

I wish I had put myself first, I wish I’d said “NO” a lot more, I wish I had been true to my own heart and I wish I had known my worth and realized my potential. In a nutshell, I wish I had been better at being me. We all wish these things when we get older, don’t we? That we’d done things a little different- a little better?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown a very thick skin and learned to handle any confrontation with composure and aplomb. As we get older, we shed that shell we curled up and hid in when we were younger. We grow to love and accept ourselves as we are and grow comfortable in our own skins and let me tell you! It’s immense freedom that can’t be described!

I’ve learned that the reason people bully is not because of something the victim has said or done and that it is not the fault of the victim. The reason bullies bully is because they themselves have issues, whether it be a bad case of narcissism, low self-esteem, jealousy of something the victims have that the bullies don’t or they’re trying to prove something to anyone who’ll watch or listen. I’ve learned that bullies, at their very core, are great big cowards and attention-seekers. That knowledge alone is freeing!

Just knowing why unsavory people do the harm that they do to others serves as a huge buffer to any self-esteem blows. Today, I no longer get bullied by anyone, but if anyone tries, I am easily able to laugh and blow the idiot off. Instead of getting hurt or angry, I get amused by them and am usually able to have fun with it. Unfortunately, that takes time, learning and most of all experience. I feel a sense of regret when I think of all the years I spent feeling insecure and sorry for myself. What a total waste of my time and energy!

It’s important that you don’t take anything your bullies say as the truth. It is imperative that you know that their actions or words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them! Hey! I know it’s hard not to and I know it hurts. I know it’s hard not to blame yourself when it seems that you’re being bombarded with negativity from everyone and from every direction.

However, I want you to love yourself and see the bullies for who they truly are- pathetic souls who are desperately trying to look tough, smart or cool. I want you to see that bullies are trying their hardest to get attention. You must know your value. You also need to know that some people are just wrong for you and were never meant to be in your life!

Most of all, I want you to be assured that you will eventually find people who are right for you. And when you do, they will love you simply be being loveable, beautiful, intelligent and awesome you! There will come a day when you will be loved, appreciated and celebrated for all that you are!

It happened to me and if you don’t give up, it will happen for you too! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!