Is There a Connection Between Biological Changes and Bullying?

I’m sure no one has thought of this, but I’ve lived long enough to notice that bullying seems to reach a peak during certain stages in people’s lives.

Puberty

Looking back, I remember that the bullying I suffered at school peaked from grade six to grade nine, then dropped somewhat after my freshman year. I’ve since read books, articles, and posts that supported what I experienced. I’ve even read and heard personal stories of other targets who suffered the worst and most frequent bullying during those years as well.

The twenties and Thirties

From my twenties until my late thirties, I got along rather well with people. Sure, I ran into a few jerks and even had a few enemies, but I can’t say that I experienced any bullying during those years. For the most part, I was well-received by people, especially people my age, during this period of my life. I loved going to work and felt equal and accepted by most.

What bullies I did know in the workplace during these years never targeted me. I do remember seeing them bully a few others. However, my reading and research into school bullying were in their infancy, and I hadn’t yet heard of bullying in the workplace. I was still under the impression that bullying only happened in school.

Therefore, back then, I didn’t realize what I was seeing and didn’t speak up but preferred to mind my own business. Also, I only saw a targeted coworker’s bullying in passing and assumed that the coworker wasn’t pulling their weight.

Although I hated seeing those targets suffer and always made a point to be polite and friendly toward them, that was as far as I went. I felt that there was nothing more I could do for them. Sadly, I share some of the blame for what those targets must have endured.

Eventually, I left that workplace and soon discovered the term “workplace bullying” when I was thirty-six years old after stumbling upon Tim Field’s website, BullyOnline.org. I found that this website was chock full of information about school bullying and workplace, family, and community bullying. Because of my horrible experience in school, I wanted to know about the other types of bullying and wanted to see if there were any similarities.

I hungrily read everything, and, to my surprise, there were! Child, teen, and adult bullying weren’t much different. I found that bullies of all ages and in all environments used the same tactics, and the only difference was that adult bullies were more stealthy in their attacks.

Change of Life

I didn’t experience bullying a second time until around my early forties. At the time, I was working at a nursing home, and many of the bullies were old classmates and others who were in their late thirties to mid-fifties- the exact age-range when people began perimenopause, mid-life crises and menopause.

During this time, I noticed a drastic uptick in bullying behavior and immature attitudes among people in this age group. The bullies were mostly women, but there were a few male bullies as well.

Because I’d already experienced bullying in school and had been doing about 15 years of reading and research on school bullying and nearly five years of research on bullying in the workplace, I was able to cover my behind and finally walk away from the job after working there almost three years. Luckily for me, I was able to leave confidently, when I was ready, and on my terms. However, I wasn’t the only one targeted.

I also witnessed the bullying of other targets as well. I saw people forced out of their jobs. Most of them were fired, a few were given the ultimatum to either resign or be terminated. One got angry and quit on the spot. Sadly, they weren’t as fortunate as I was, and my heart hurt for them.

During the time I worked in this nursing facility, I witnessed a lot of corruption and illegal activities. But I’ll elaborate on this in a future post.

In noticing the life stages of most of the bullies at work and remembering the peaks of bullying in middle school and middle age, I can’t help but wonder if, perhaps, a surge or drop in hormone levels could contribute to these spikes in bullying behaviors.

It’s definitely something for me to do more study and research on, and I’ll be sure to give updates on what I find, complete with links and sources.

A Day in the Life of a Target of School Bullying – Part 2

brokenheart

(Continued)

When you arrive at school, everyone notices the glue in your hair and stained clothes. They point at you and laugh, call you horrible names, even lay hands on you. You are so distraught that when lunch arrives, you can’t even eat. Your stomach is in knots and your head pounds from the stress of being the outcast of your school. The nausea is intense!

You look around and watch everyone else having fun and enjoying school. You watch as girls flirt with their boyfriends and the boys snake an arm around their chosen young ladies. You watch the rest of your peers as they get to enjoy real friendships, getting invites to birthday parties, slumber parties, camping trips and dates. You watch them laugh playfully with each other, seeing the happiness in their eyes- the same eyes that look at you with disgust.

And that look of joy all over their faces slowly morphs into scornful scowls and eyes that flash and shoot fiery darts when they look in your general direction.

(Continued)

You want to be happy for them but no longer have it in you. Instead, you can’t help but to resent the hell out of their happiness and blessings…blessings that you yearn to have…that you would give your right arm for if that’s what it took! Blessings that they seem to take for granted!

Deep down, you know without a doubt you’re a great person and if they’d just get to know you, they’d feel differently. You wonder,

“Why can’t I have that? Why? I’m a good person. Don’t I deserve to have friends too?”

But God seems to be too busy to answer. You want to cry…to scream but can’t. You don’t want to let them see you sweat. You can’t bear the thought of them seeing you cry!

Your pride- what little you have left, won’t let you give them the satisfaction of knowing they have succeeded in destroying you. Because the truth is they have killed every opportunity for you to make friends of your own. Your classmates have squelched your chances of enjoying fulfilling friendships  and squashed your dating opportunities.

They have taken all of your accomplishments and good qualities, minimized and erased them.

After so long, you become angry and bitter and wish nothing but destruction for their friendships because they deserve to be taught how it feels. You want so bad to trade places with them and you fear that your lot in life is to wander this earth alone.

You watch as some of them even say horrible things behind their friends’ backs. But you notice that, strangely, the slighted friend is quick to forgive them and they get to go on being buddies, as if nothing ever happened.

But you? If you so much as walk by, they want to tear you to pieces. But they already do. You don’t have to provoke them. They tear you apart every day and have been for years. All for nothing but existing and for being YOU!

Then after lunch, the torment escalates to a full-blown brawl and you are physically attacked in the bathroom. Naturally, you defend yourself, trying to protect your well-being and keep from being hurt. This is the umpteenth physical attack that you’ve had to defend yourself and you’re just dog tired!

You’re exhausted- tired of having to fight just to get through what should be a normal school day! Tired of constantly ducking and dodging everyone!

Tired of laying low! Tired of having to grow eyes in the back of your head! Tired of being held hostage for eight long hours every day! Tired of being forced to adhere to the double-standards that your classmates have held you to for so long- too long! You aren’t just tired, you’re spent!

Your classmates have worn you down, trampled your dreams, your person-hood, confidence, self-esteem, and your rights to be yourself and to be safe.

A teacher breaks up the melee and you and your attacker are escorted to the principal’s office. If you’re lucky, you and your attacker both are suspended from school. If you aren’t, your classmates will rush to the defense of your attacker and only you will be suspended- for nothing more than trying to defend yourself from being hurt and possibly killed.

Because your peers have been standing in line for years, one by one, taking turns attacking you. You are always one of the two, or more, involved. Therefore, you have been labeled a troublemaker and now even some of the school staff are highly suspicious of you.

Only the few staff, who are more open-minded, understand what you are going through. However, their hands seem to be tied when it comes to effectively helping you.

(to be continued in part 3…)

From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying eBook:

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/cherie-white/from-victim-to-victor-a-survivors-true-story-of-her-experiences-with-school-bullying-how-she-overcame-won-back-her-confidence-and-found-peace-and-happiness/ebook/product-1nzv5nn7.html?page=1&pageSize=4

I Need Help With Something

My fellow bloggers

I believe that when there’s a problem that’s overwhelming, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help and that no one should be afraid to do so.

I’m having trouble knowing where to place the  code for Google Ads and need a step by step guide to know exactly where to go to place the code. The directions that Google gives are way too vague. Could you help me?

Thank you so much in advance. Love you all.

Bullying People Perceived to Be Mentally Ill or Neuro-Diverse

It’s comparable to racism.

Discrimination is discrimination, and prejudice is prejudice. It doesn’t matter who’s dishing it out or who is receiving it. The mentally ill and mentally disabled are still a minority; it doesn’t matter their sex, race, religion, or orientation. Even if you think that person is “crazy” and they happen not to be, you’re still guilty of discrimination, prejudice, and bias.

The mentally ill and disabled are favorite targets of bullies for several reasons:

1. They are different.
2. They are least likely to have the ability or know-how to defend themselves.
3. They don’t have the same protections as other minority or oppressed groups (racial minorities, women, LBGTQ, elderly, etc.).
4. Others flippantly disregard the mentally ill and disabled and do not see them as human.
5. They are least likely to be believed or taken seriously if they report abuse and victimization.

All the above leave the mentally ill and disabled most vulnerable, and bullies take full advantage! It’s no different than being a racial minority, a woman, a member of the LBGTQ community, or being a senior citizen.

In fact, it’s worse because other oppressed groups have more legal protections under the law than the mentally disadvantaged. Therefore, if you are a bully and you target these people, or you stand by and watch it happen without speaking out, you are no different than a card-carrying racist, homophobe, or misogynist!

There’s a term for this kind of bullying. It’s called Ableism!

Here’s something I’ll bet no one has thought of. If a person bullies these people, they probably are a racist, etc. They only hide it because it’s politically incorrect and against the law, and it’s not considered by society to be as evil or illegal to discriminate against those who are or are perceived to be mentally disadvantaged. The mentally ill are safer victims to bully, so they’re who bullies target.

Therefore, it would be safe to say that most bullies are racists and sexists at heart because bullies don’t accept anyone who is not like them. It doesn’t matter what the difference is.

The more you know.

A Day in the Life of a Target of School Bullying

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Imagine you’re in Middle School or High School. You wake up in the morning and eat breakfast. While you eat, your mother is busy preparing to go to work. You stare at your mother, wanting so badly to tell her was is happening at school and how much you hurt inside. But you’re much too afraid.

If you do tell her, will she assure you that she will address the situation or will she tell you that it’s all just a part of the school experience and that you should just put up with it?

Will she put her arms around you, give you loving motherly advice and tell you that none of it is your fault or will she blame you, telling you that you must be doing something to bring it all on yourself? Will she listen to you, or will she just dismiss you and tell you to ignore the bullies?

After replaying these questions and what your mother might say through your mind again and again, you decide that maybe opening up is a bad idea. You are also ashamed-of being bullied. It’s humiliating. How can you tell your family that you are the pariah of your school- that you are number one must wanted among your peers and not in a good way? What will they say? How will they react?

Soon, it’s time to go to the bus stop. You go, however reluctantly. You stand there, waiting for the school bus, hoping that maybe it broke down on the side of the road, had a flat, that something happened to delay it. You absolutely dread seeing the bus approach. You have a lump in your throat and it is extremely hard to swallow. You are terrified because you know what’s coming the moment you step onto that bus and later, when you walk through the school entrance.

Just like every day before and for the past several years, you will be ambushed, caught in a vicious onslaught of ugly names, taunts, digs, cruel pranks and probably even punches, kicks and shoves!

Just knowing this is enough to paralyze you and make your stomach turn. As you see the school bus approaching, your heart sinks and your stomach turns somersaults. You wonder if the torment will ever end. You wonder when the day will finally arrive when you can be like everyone else- strolling easily along in school, enjoying friends, laughing it up, and having the time of your life. You wonder, “Why not me?”

When the bus stops in front of you, the doors swing open and you step on. An instant hush falls over the other passengers and you notice the furtive looks, giggles and disapproving grunts as you make your way down the aisle to the first empty seat.

Suddenly, you hear several different voices,

“Oh God! Not him/her again!”

“Hey, bitch/punk! How does it feel that nobody likes you?”

“Nobody will EVER like you! You should have been aborted at birth!”

“You’re such a waste! Why don’t you kill yourself?”

This has been happening for so long that you have tried to overlook the taunts, numbing your pain and stuffing it deep down inside. However, you can only do this for so long.

As you near an empty seat, a girl gets up and spits in your face. A boy gets behind you and shoves you forward so hard you almost fall to the floor. Then you find an empty seat and sit down. The girl sitting behind you borrows glue from a little first grader and pours it in your long, shiny-clean hair. Another girl pours red food coloring down the back of your nice white blouse and brand-new jeans!

Child abuse with the eye of a young boy or girl with a single tear crying due to the fear of violence or depression caused by hunger and poverty and being afraid of bullying at school.

Now you must go to school with glue in your hair and a soiled outfit, only to be further ridiculed. You mother must work so there’s no way she can come take you home for a hair wash and clothes change. And because you don’t want to be a burden to your parents by telling them that you need for one of them to bring you a clean set of attire, you’re stuck at school all day, disheveled.

(to be continued in Part 2…)

From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying eBook:

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/cherie-white/from-victim-to-victor-a-survivors-true-story-of-her-experiences-with-school-bullying-how-she-overcame-won-back-her-confidence-and-found-peace-and-happiness/ebook/product-1nzv5nn7.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Happiness Isn’t a Pursuit, It’s a Choice.

Many don’t know it but it’s true. Happiness doesn’t just happen to a lucky few. It doesn’t fall into your lap and it isn’t magically given. We choose happiness.

Once upon a time, I was one of the most negative people you ever met. I soon grew tired of being miserable and begin doing a lot of reading. That’s when my eyes were opened and I finally put in the time and the work to change my thoughts and attitudes.

And in changing those things, I changed my life. This is not to say that everything is perfect. I still have days when things don’t go the way I want. The only difference is that I no longer see it as the end of the world.

There are even times I get angry or upset, but the difference is that I don’t set up shop and stay there. I usually bounce back pretty quickly.

But how do you attain happiness?

Here’s how:

1. By checking your thoughts – it starts with a single thought. Anytime a negative or depressing thought crosses our minds, and they will, we must catch it and replace it with one that is positive. Once we begin to do this, it’ll slowly become a habit. Keep it up long enough and it will become like second nature.

And you’ll be so surprised how your life will change when positive people and experiences will suddenly begin flowing into your life.

2. By not sweating the small stuff – the small stuff are what people think and say of us. You shouldn’t worry about it because these people don’t matter and either do their opinions and petty remarks. Forget about them and continue to do you.

3. By doing what you love and enjoy the most – Do what fulfills you. Engage in hobbies and interests. You must create opportunities to enjoy yourself.

4. By spending time with the people you love – Hold your family and closest friends close to your heart. Visit them often and don’t lose touch.

5. By learning something new every day – if you’re not learning, you’re stagnating. Reading and learning new things can be exciting and it helps you grow! So, grab a good book or read articles. I guarantee that it will pay off huge dividends!

6. By finding a hobby if you don’t already have one – hobbies are fun, and they keep your mind off the bad stuff. They also give you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment!

7. By staying away from drama – Others’ moods have a way of rubbing off on you. So, stay far away from anyone who’s immersed in the drama. Otherwise, they’ll smother and kill your vibe!

Do these things and I promise you! You’ll be on your way to joy!

But You’re My Parents. You’re “Supposed” to Love Me

You’re at the dinner table eating with your child. Lately, you’ve noticed that your son or daughter, who used to be happy, carefree and bubbly, has been going through some changes. Your once happy-go-lucky child is now withdrawn, sad and sullen. You ask questions only to be stonewalled in the beginning. Finally, your son/daughter confides in you. He/she is being bullied at school and feels worthless and stupid.

You sit down beside your child, place a loving arm around their shoulders and tell them that you love them and that they are awesome no matter what others at school may tell them. You explain that they have value and are worthy of being loved. You even point out their best qualities to them, only to find that your loving words provide little, if any consolation or assurance.

Your teen or tween looks at you as if you do not know what you’re talking about and says, “You only love me because you’re my mom/dad.” or “I’m your kid. You’re supposed to love me.”

This is exactly what young victims think and say when well-meaning parents or grandparents begin attempting to convince them that they are, in fact, good people.

All too often, the parent is the last to know when their child is being bullied and by the time the parent or legal guardian does find out, the harassment has gone on for so long that the child’s self-esteem has already worn thin. This is why parents should never stop reminding their children/teenagers of their worth.

If your child is a victim of bullies at school, keep showing them love and affection. Never stop praising them because they need it now more than ever! Although children, especially teenagers may respond rather coldly and it may not look as if the loving words and gestures are having any effect right away. Your child does hear you and it just might be the only thing which keeps him/her from trying to harm themselves.

bullied victim crying tears

Know that for a few years, between the ages of about 10 to 18, life is about having friends, looking cool and being held in high regard by peers. Popularity is highly valued by those in this age group. Also, remember that bullying is a form of brainwashing. Bullies repetitiously remind victims that they are worthless and sadly, after enough time has gone by, the victim comes to believe it themselves.

Parents should be just as repetitious, if not more than the bullies when countering the messages that bullies bombard their children and teenagers with.

It may take time before the child begins to see their own goodness but rest assured that eventually, the positive words and actions toward the child will pay off and he/she will finally begin to realize that they really are awesome people. Therefore, the words of bullies will no longer be so devastating and chances are that the bullied victim will regain confidence. Better yet, they just might cease to be a victim because of that regained confidence!