Today’s Quote

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

– Coco Chanel

Other Bullied Classmates Are Still Afraid to Tell Their Stories Today

small town bullying

Even today, thirty years later, there are other targets from way back who are afraid of telling their stories. Some are scared that it may somehow get back to the people who bullied them. And that the bullies from high school will hunt them down and harm them or their families if they speak out. Hey, Oakley’s a small southern town and they have to live there. Luckily for me, I got out of there.

Their worries aren’t exactly needless either. Many of them live in the same small town the bullies do, and the bullies have powerful connections. Many of the classmates who bullied me are either working in law enforcement (Isn’t it funny how most people who were bullies in school seek out careers that give them a little power and authority?), or ended up with spouses in law enforcement.

People in small towns never forget who they hated in high school and seem to carry grudges for a lifetime. Many of them would jump at the chance if they could bully the person again for old time’s sake. Trust me. I know these people, and they wouldn’t think twice about it!

Hate is blind

I’ve heard countless horror stories from others. They were stories about how these former bullies from high school would have certain people they didn’t like pulled over and plant drugs in their vehicle to press bogus charges of illegal possession and ruin their lives. It happens more than we realize. So far, when passing through, I’ve been very fortunate.

I’ve also heard another story from a very reliable source about how one of the women who bullied me in school, handled marital issues with her husband.

Because she was angry and wanted to get back at her spouse, she sent a picture of herself and another man in their home to her husband’s phone while he (the husband) was at work at the police department, all to prove a point to him that she could leave and have any other man she wanted.

In doing that, she baited her police officer husband into losing his temper, leaving his shift and coming home to fire several shots into the home they shared, placing both herself and their children in grave danger. Yep! Talk about stupid!

 

Luckily, neither she nor the kids were hurt. However, if she would do a damn fool thing like baiting her spouse to do something foolish and make herself out to be the innocent wife who’s so abused and mistreated, then she’d bait someone else with whom she wanted to get revenge on. And most of her friends, who were also bullies, are the same manipulative way, which is why I make it a point to keep them at a long distance from my loved ones and me.

I’ve committed a grave sin by writing and publishing a book about being bullied in high school, and yes, they know about it. Although I never used their real names in the book, I received quite a few nasty and threatening messages from them after the book became available, and a few other classmates bought it.

One woman even informed me that she had contacted several classmates, and they all wanted to meet me somewhere where we could “have a meeting” and “have a well-needed discussion” over what I’d written and published.

nope refuse bullying

Emoticon making deny sign

That meeting didn’t happen. And it never will because I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could throw them. You never know what they may be plotting or what might happen. Had I stupidly agreed to meet with them, there’s no telling what I would’ve walked into. So, I bade them thanks, but no thanks.

No reunions for me. I hope my classmates have fun, but they’ll have to do it without me.

There are times I still get nasty messages from a classmate or two, not often, but it does happen. It doesn’t phase me any because number one; they don’t know where I live. Number two; I could care less.

gut feeling

If I must do any business in the town, I do it without worrying about the possibility of being seen by the wrong people. I know that they would be a fool to approach me today.

The bullies know that if they try anything foolish, and if anything happens to me, anything at all, they will only prove every word I wrote in “From Victim to Victor.” Also, people from everywhere will come around asking questions and guess who they’ll go to for answers.

They will only make themselves suspects.

In essence, “From Victim to Victor” is my protection. The book can serve as a shield from any retribution my old bullies may want for my daring to speak out about the notoriously vile and ignorant way they acted years ago. These people know not to bust themselves.

My other classmates, who were also victims, do not have that protection going for them, and I can only hope and pray that they are left alone to live their lives with their families in peace.

It’s Hard to Feel Empathy When You’re A Target of Bullying

Targets of bullying often get accused of being selfish and out for their own interests. However, anytime we are hurting so badly, the pain only blunts our capacity to feel for others.

Anytime a person suffers severe and relentless bullying for so long, their pain overrides any ability to empathize with those around them, who may also be hurting.

It’s like lying in the emergency room with both legs broken after a car accident. The pain is so intense that you could care less about the patient in the next room. All you’re thinking of is how soon a doctor will see you and order a pain reliever.

I tell you this because it happened to me. When I was a target of bullying in school, two girls in my class died in a horrific car crash during the eleventh grade, and as much as I hate admitting it today, I could not have cared less about it back then.

Naturally, I don’t feel the same today. Now, thirty years later, I’m sorry that happened to them, but at the time it happened, I had absolutely no feeling for the girls and even had the attitude that it had served them right and that maybe I’d get lucky and a few more bullies would drop dead soon.

I had been a target of the class for so long I just did not have it in me to care.

After a person endures bullying for so long, he/she becomes cold and unfeeling toward other people if they aren’t careful, and it will only bring about resentment from people who might otherwise offer love and support.

If you are a target of bullying in school or at work, never let it take away your empathy, kindness, and humanity. It won’t be easy, but there are ways to buffer your self-esteem from the effects of bullying and hold on to your sweetness.

Humiliation: The Bully’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Humiliation, unlike embarrassment or shame, leaves a mark on the person who suffers it, and the stigma surrounding the person can follow them for the rest of their lives. Why? Because people who’ve been publicly humiliated are always thought of and remembered for their humiliation. Think, Harvey Weinstein and the sex scandals which broke a few years ago.

Although ol’ Harvey’s humiliation is well-deserved, not so for victims of bullying. Innocent victims are often humiliated by their bullies and stuck in an uncomfortable and degrading position while others gather around excitedly to taunt and abuse them.

Humiliation has been used down through the ages. Tarring and feathering was a technique used in the Old West, which involved covering people with hot tar and feathers and parading them through the crowded streets on a horse-drawn cart. Think of Chuck Connors’ character, Jason McCord, in the old western series, “Branded.”

To humiliate someone is to assert power over them by denying and destroying their personal dignity. Throughout history, humiliation has been the most common and effective means of punishment, abuse, and oppression. It’s not the threat of imprisonment or even death that is a deterrent of crime; it is the dread of humiliation.

It’s a fact! People fear losing face worse than they do a violent death!

Humiliation is also used to maintain a social hierarchy and to emphasize that the group, alumni, organization, or community as a whole supersedes the individual. It is designed to defuse any threat to a particular order or someone’s esteemed position.

Think of today’s cancel culture.

In student hierarchies in schools, bullies at the top of the pecking order go to great lengths to protect their often ill-gotten status and uphold their positions. At the same time, the other kids are forced to submit to different kinds of debasement. And it’s the same in the workplace too.

Anytime a target of bullying defends himself against harassment and abuse, the bullies will often use humiliation to retaliate and subdue the victim by way of jokes, pranks, or setting the target up to get in trouble with the staff or a horrific beating by other kids. Bullies at the top will also spread vicious rumors and lies against their object.

Most forms of humiliation involve invading the victim’s privacy and sneakily taking videos of him/her in compromising positions.

Example 1:
A targeted girl is taking a shower in the locker room or undressing in the privacy of her bedroom, and the bullies hide behind a corner or just outside her bedroom window at night and take videos of her with their smartphones. They then spread the videos to other classmates. Or worse, a girl naively sends her boyfriend a nude selfie. They break up. He then shares it on social media, and the photo goes viral!

Humiliation and exile. A crowd of people chases a sad person.

Example 2:
A targeted boy is standing in front of a urinal using the bathroom, and a bully hides in the stall next to him, peering through the crack and the camera lens on his smartphone, taking videos of his manly areas. He then sends the video to all his buddies, and they laugh and joke about how small, crooked his package is (or it could be the mole, anything different about it). Remember the suicides of Tyler Clementi and Amanda Todd and the circumstances surrounding each case.

Example 3: A bright worker is set up to fail in the workplace. And when he does, it follows him the rest of his working life.

Humiliation is horrible for anyone. It is so devastating that it involves negative things with which the victim will always be associated, and there will be no getting away from it! Embarrassment and shame are only temporary. Humiliation, however, can follow a person for the rest of their lives!

So, if you are a victim of bullying, protect yourself. Also, I cannot stress this advice enough! No matter how much your boyfriend/girlfriend may claim he/she loves you! No matter how much the person begs and pleads for you to do it, nor what they threaten you with if you don’t! Never, ever, ever let anyone talk you into sending a nude pic! Ever!

And if anyone ever films you in an indecent position without you knowing it, know that what they did is against the law! Speak out about it and file criminal charges and a civil suit for damages!

The more you know, the better you protect yourself!