Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. She walked into the room, head held high, and whispers could be heard all over. Wasn’t she the one who verbally abused her friends in that meeting? He stood up to give his speech and they started […]
As an activist in the Bullying Awareness Movement, I’ve had many adult survivors of school bullying ask me whether they should send their children to the same school where they were bullied themselves as children and teens. Naturally, my response is a “No!” – or more appropriately, an emphatic “HELL NO!”
Having been a target of bullying from grade six until I finally escaped through a school transfer, I decided during my pregnancy with my first child, that should we ever have to move back to the town I was bullied in, hell would freeze before my children would grace the halls of the schools there.
“What parent worth their own salt would subject their children to that kind of learning environment if they could help it?”
Here are my reasons for keeping my kids clear of *Oakley Schools:
1. Bullies tend to take jobs that give them authority (Teaching, Law Enforcement, Corrections Officer, Supervisor, etc.). I knew that by the time my babies reached school age, the majority of my former bullies would probably be teachers in the small town where I had been a victim (teaching is the second-highest profession for workplace bullying and teachers who bully other teachers are likely to bully students too).
2. In most small Southern towns, such as the town in which I was victimized, the mentality is this:
“If we hate you, we will hate your children even more.”
Because they had targeted me in the past, it was a safe bet that upon their finding out who my children’s mother was, they would target my babies as well, if not worse. Anytime you are or have been a victim of bullies, anything (or anyone) you love and care about is always fair game to them. If they come for you, they will come for those you love also.
I realize that in this day and age of progress and advanced technology, this may sound a little “Hatfield and McCoy” but things like this do happen and more so than we know.
Every situation is unique and naturally, everyone has different experiences. So, again I ask you, Would you send your kids to the same school you were bullied in?
Feel free to comment below.
(*not the real name of the school district)
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt ~
If you are a victim of bullying, you probably have very few friends, if any. It’s not your fault. It really isn’t. Truth be known, you’ve more than likely been bullied by your peers for a long time now and your lack of true friends has compelled you to question your own value.
You wonder what your are doing wrong and may even wonder if you’re a good person. Your family and those who truly care about you may assure you that you are indeed a great person, yet you may be thinking, “If I’m so great, why is it that people at school or at work treat me so badly?”
Believe me, I understand, having been through the same situation and had those very thoughts once upon a time.
However, a lack of friends does not mean you’re a bad person nor does it mean you’re doing anything wrong. You are NOT weak, stupid, ugly, crazy, trash or whatever your bullies may call you. No!
In fact, you just may be doing something right! And because you’re doing the right things, you stand out for it.
Think about it this way: Charles Manson, leader of the infamous Manson Family whom were responsible for several gruesome murders back in the late sixties, had many followers. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, had only twelve.
Also, several big-name celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, Tamar Braxton, Lady Gaga, Prince, Tom Cruise, and Patrick Swayze also got bullied either in a past job, in school or sometime in their pasts and they were very talented and exceptional people. Some of them still get bullied today via hate mail or hate messages online.
Case in point: People who are great, uber talented, exceptional always stand out from the rest. And those who stand out will be targeted by bullies. Do you understand now? Great! I knew that you would!
Rest assured that despite the vile treatment that you may be getting from others, you are awesome and you still matter! Keep standing strong and never let bullies define who you are!
It’s because they feel dirty. That’s right! Any time bullies and abusers must face the reality of any past abuse they may have inflicted on someone else, deep down inside, though they would never admit it to themselves much less you or anyone else, they feel like a piece of scum. And in order to not feel dirty, they must live in denial of what they did. It’s the only way they can bury their sins and still feel good about themselves.
My former classmates who bullied me, are no different. Denial is a useful psychological defense, and it does have benefits.
Many bullies deny their abuse because of their hatred for the victim, and they wish to reduce sympathy and support for the victim. They will claim that the violence a victim speaks of is either invented or exaggerated to either get attention or to make others feel sorry for him/her.
Sometimes, even bystanders and witnesses will side with the bullies and deny the abuse to keep from being bullied themselves or because they too have a secret hatred for the victim. Bystanders and witnesses may also want the bullying of the victim to continue for entertainment purposes. Believe it or not, many witnesses to the abuse enjoy seeing the victim get bullied because, to them, it is a source of entertainment and makes them feel superior to somebody.
Also, bystanders may feel dirty as well because they know they didn’t speak out for the victim when they should have, or the bullying may be something they would like to have done to the victim themselves but didn’t have the guts.
Understand that the psyches and egos of humans are very fragile, even those of bullies. So, any time your abuser denies any abuse they know they dished out to you in the past, you don’t have to feel angry or insulted. You don’t have to try and force them to fess up. Because just knowing why they deny it and the nastiness they feel inside when they see you should be enough satisfaction.
So, if you’re a survivor of bullying and anytime you’re out shopping, and see one of the people who bullied you in the past; and you immediately notice how they turn and walk away or avoid looking at you. Know why they do that and feel good about it.
I can tell you that most of my classmates can’t face me today. They cannot bear to look at me because they know what they did, and they feel so dirty. I am a reminder of what they never want to see in themselves, and I always provoke feelings of shame in them. Therefore, I can’t get angry at them, nor feel insulted. There’s no need for revenge, nor to hate them because, in the end, they are the ones who must live with what they did.
Always remember that!
“Whoever said ‘words will never hurt me’ you’re right. Words kill instead.”
~ Unknown ~
A commentary on weight bullying
Self-confidence is THE key ingredient that everyone must have to succeed in life. When you have it,
1. you have better and more fulfilling relationships
2. you are more successful in school and in your career.
3. You have more dates, friends, are more likely to have a great marriage and raise confident and successful children.
But a Perfectionist, on the other hand, is not a confident person and has to work so much harder just to go through life. A perfectionist is insecure with herself and others. She focuses more on herself than others and is always worried about what others may think and say about her. This is why she tries so hard to be, well, perfect.
A perfectionist is both critical of herself and others and tends to have strained relationships because of her obsessive need to be right- all the time- about EVERYTHING!
She thinks that she must be perfect for others to like her and covertly seeks validation from others rather than looking within herself for it. And the outcome is usually adverse.
A confident person realizes that no one is perfect and that they will make mistakes. When that person does make a mistake, she doesn’t make a big deal about it and beat herself up.
Sure, she may be disappointed for a short while but she always gets over it very quickly and “bounces back”.
She may even have a few people who do not like her. But being the confident person she is, she doesn’t concern herself with how she’s perceived because she knows that she is awesome and that there are plenty of others who DO love her.
A confident person is a “proud to be me” kind of individual and always takes care of herself and the people she loves. She always surrounds herself with positive and uplifting people who love her and steers clear of the negative people who want to bring her down.
A confident person sees beauty where a perfectionist only sees flaws. She sees opportunity where a perfectionist sees strife and hard luck.
When I was young, I was a perfectionist. Why? Because I was a beaten down and very negative person who couldn’t see the forest for the trees and I felt I had to be A-1 best before people would like me. I had yet to realize that all I ever needed to be was my natural, authentic self.
When I began to love myself, flaws, quirks, and all, things began to change, and for the better. Now I am at peace and comfortable in my own skin.
Everywhere I look there is opportunity. Everywhere I look, there is beauty because I look for it. I love myself and the people around me.
There’s no benefit to being a perfectionist, you only end up working too hard to meet standards that are more than likely impossible to meet, spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
Also, you end up failing miserably and in the process, looking like a try-hard.
Confidence, on the other hand, is FREEING and it allows you to be you without fear.
It also brings patience, faith, and positive self-awareness. Instead of spinning your wheels, you move slowly, steadily, and PATIENTLY toward your goals, step by step, until you eventually reach them, therefore reaching success!
“Not everyone deserves to know the real you. Let them criticize who they think you are.”
~ Unknown ~
Sadly, victims of bullying often make poor life choices because of bullying. Years ago, I was a victim and yes, I made some really bad decisions, some of which continue to affect my life today.
At the time, I didn’t really know why I made those decisions. However, today, there is no doubt in my mind that the reason I allowed myself to get into smoking marijuana and having lots of sex during high school was that I was lonely from being bullied.
You see? Most victims of bullying have been bullied for so many years that they will do anything- anything, to be accepted and make friends. After so long, the loneliness, the despair, and the sadness becomes too much to bear and desperation begins to creep in.
Young Targets may do one or more of the following:
1. Try drugs
2. Have unsafe sex/promiscuity
3. Join gangs
4. Participate in crime
5. Commit high-risk behaviors (like drag-racing and dangerous daredevil stunts)
They will sometimes do these things just to feel like they belong.
Girls may begin “dating down”. They settle for either a partner they don’t really love, or an abusive partner just for validation that they too can attain romance and they are worthy of love just like everyone else.
Girls may also deliberately become pregnant because they want so bad to have someone (the baby) to love them.
If you are a victim of bullying, I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t have to do these things to be accepted or to feel loved. There are better options.
Instead of making unwise choices, practice your talents, and do the things you enjoy. Spend time with the people who DO love you. Give a little of yourself to help others every day and I promise you, it will pay off sooner or later.
You will attract genuine friends into your life and best of all, your self-esteem will go up as well.