Music That Lifts My Moods During This “Shelter-In-Place” Period.

DANCE CDs and songs

Janet Jackson – “Rhythm Nation”
Paula Abdul- “Spellbound”
Donna Summer- “On The Radio”
Prince- “1999”, “Purple Rain”, “Controversy”, “Private Joy”, “Dirty Mind”, “Around the World in a Day”, “Sign O’ the Times”
Jade- “Mind, Body & Song”
Bobby Brown- “Get Away”
TLC- “Crazy Sexy Cool”

LaBouche – “Sweet Dreams” “Be My Lover”
Culture Beat- “Take Me Away”, “Got to Get It”
Captain Hollywood Project- “More and More”

ROCK CDs and songs

Dokken- “Back for the Attack” “Under Lock and Key”
Motley Crue- “Shout…” “Girls Girls Girls” “Dr. Feelgood”
Lynch Mob- “Wicked Sensation”
Winger- “Karma”

If You’re a Target of Bullying, Never Isolate Yourself.

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Many targets are bullied so viciously that they become terrified, withdraw, and isolate themselves. They grew leery of social situations and lose trust in all people. Once they lose faith in humanity, they can sometimes become hermits.

Some solitude is healthy, but too much of it isn’t good. Although staying away from people may seem to be the safest way to deal with being bullied, it isn’t.

Understand that when you withdraw from people, you not only close yourself off to bullies, you cut yourself off from people who can help you and from information that could be important.

You’ll cut yourself off from any talk that your bullies might be planning something harmful and you must always pay attention to what’s going on around you. Also, when you isolate yourself, you draw too much attention to yourself and make yourself an easier target. When you’re alone, you’re ripe for attack.

Realize that we humans are social creatures and to have any power requires connection, interaction, and being out and about.

It’s much better to mix and mingle with people and find friends and allies. What you should do is hide in the crowd from your bullies. Find others your bullies have bullied and use what you have in common to win them over to your side.

Making friends and allies both in and out of the bullying environment helps to counterbalance your bullies and give you protection.

When you refuse to isolate yourself, you’re more likely to receive news of what your bullies are doing and secrets they’re hiding, then use it to your advantage or for your defense. You can also better predict what they’ll do next.

Besides, the more sociable you are, the more at ease you’ll be, and the more attractive you’ll become.

Too much isolation, on the other hand, will also make you awkward around people and they will begin to avoid you.

So, remember. Isolation should only be temporary and in small doses. Only then is it good because it allows you time to think and evaluate things.

But too much of it can leave you exposed for attack because bullies always attack when the target is alone.

Think about it. In the animal kingdom, predators like tigers and wolves always attack in packs and when the prey is separated from the herd. Bullies are the same!

Witnessing Bullying in Nursing School

It seems that the finest nurses get the worst rap. Because of their empathy and their love and dedication to the job, they are often the ones who are targeted most by bullies. A nurse’s job is hard enough but when she is bullied by not only superiors and coworkers, but patients and their families too, I can only imagine how much harder she must work to hold it together- especially if he/she is fresh out of nursing school.

When a nurse is bullied, it’s devastating and only goes to show what a thankless job he/she does! And sadly, bullying often starts in nursing school.

There’s a saying that’s been popular for quite a while:

“Nurses eat their young.”

Sadly, it’s true and most likely the reason the medical field has such a shortage of nurses.

If you’ve ever been through nursing school, then you know it’s not only boot camp for your brain, but also a cesspool of bullies. Not that all nurses are bullies because they’re not. We have some fine nurses and they are our heroes! But sadly, the bullies seem to spoil it for all these wonderful people!

It’s shocking that there are bullies in a profession which is centered on care and healing and pride’s itself on compassion and empathy. Yet many students who’d be awesome nurses are often bullied out by those who are only in it for the great pay and prestige they know will come with being a nurse.

And in the workplace, the handful of bullies often make it hard for the greatest nurses in the field!

In 2013, I began training to become an RN. And I won’t pretend that it wasn’t tough. Although there were a few times when a few attempted to bully me, I managed to blow it off and after a few times, they left me alone.

However, there was another woman, a young girl who was just a few years post-high school. I had the displeasure of watching her get tormented by the other students. And they would bully her to the point of tears! Even the instructors mistreated her. My heart broke for her. We’ll call her McKinley.

McKinley was young, a vibrant and gorgeous lady! And beautiful! So beautiful that she could’ve easily been a face on a magazine cover!

I’m not kidding. This young lady had movie-star looks- a trim waist, long beautiful hair, wide, almond-shaped eyes, and a natural sun-kissed glow! And these spiteful older women in the staff seemed to target her every chance they got, which sent the message to the other students that it was okay for them to bully her too.

Bullies only ruin any profession they seek.

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What was really shocking was that the two main bullies in the class would cheat on tests and when the rest of the class reported them, they were allowed to get away with it because, conveniently, the cameras in the classroom weren’t working or so it was told. And would you believe these instructors made sure the cheaters went on to graduate?

It’s funny how those two seemed to get a free pass. But you can bet that if they’d accused sweet McKinley of the same, they wouldn’t have thought twice about kicking her out of the nursing program!

Lucky for me, I still remember the cheater’s names and will know who to watch out for in the event I get sick and end up in a hospital bed.

As I continued to watch McKinley get berated, I grew both sad and angry at the same time. So, I decided to befriend her and immediately took her under my wing, giving her a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when she needed it.

Great illustration of Retro Styled Businesswoman who caught up in a bureaucratic Spiders Web and looks like she is on the menu of a business lunch.

Having been bullied in the past and knowing well how it felt, I bore this child’s pain! She soon became “my daughter from another mother” and through the rest of the semester, McKinley and I were inseparable.

I never went back after that semester. This experience made me realize that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do. McKinley dropped out the following semester.

She and I remain friends to this day and I’m excited to say, she’s happy! McKinley has moved on to a better life. Having since gotten married and had two children. She’s also moved on to another career, one she enjoys!

McKinley now has the job, family, and home she’s always wanted and I couldn’t be more proud of her. And I have no doubt she will continue to make her surrogate mother proud!

Reminder:
Don’t forget to pray from all the great nurses and other healthcare workers during this crisis! They not only put themselves but their families at risk! Pray that God will form a hedge of protection around them and bless them with staying healthy as they continue to put in long hours and help those who are stricken with Coronavirus.

A Letter to My Teenaged Self (Part 3)

It won’t always be this way!

People won’t always bully you. And your classmates won’t always be in your life.

Your stomach won’t always be in knots and you won’t always be running out of class to go to the bathroom and throw up because of the intense stress.

You won’t always have to wonder when some snake at school is going to attack you in the halls or in the girls’ room.

The looking in the mirror and trying different outfits, makeup tricks, and hairstyles- thinking that if you make yourself more attractive than you already are, the bullying will go away? It will soon end.

The wondering if you’re good enough and worthy of love? This will go away as well.

The wondering if you’ll ever be allowed to be yourself and to relax? This too shall pass.

The wondering if you’ll ever have true friends- friends who will love you for being you, stick up for you, and take care of you? Friends you don’t have to explain yourself to? In a few years, none of it will even be an issue.

Trust me. There will come a day when you won’t have the fake friends you have in school. And when that day arrives, you will have real friends who will love you for all that you are and all the beauty you bring to this world.

There will come a day when you’ll have the courage to walk away from toxic people who are no good for you. And you won’t be afraid to stand alone until better people find you.

There will come a day when you’ll be so confident and secure in yourself that the cruel words of others will no longer matter.

There will come a day when you’ll have a family of your own and friends who’ll love you for you.

People will no longer only tolerate you but celebrate you!

And each rejection, each bad name, each cruel taunt hurled; each punch, each kick, shove, and blow to your body will piss you off a little more, and a little more. But that anger will give you the dogged determination to tune out the naysayers, follow your dreams, and reach success!

Each incidence of bullying is only preparing you for what you’re meant to do later. It’s preparing you for a rewarding and successful life in the future.

Each blow you take, each bruise, each disappointment, each humiliation, each pull of your hair, and each tear you cry is only making you better. It’s making you the lady you’re meant to become- a more compassionate, empathetic, stronger, and wiser woman.

Your loneliness now will be an appreciation of the circle of friends and abundance of love you’ll have later.

Your naivete will become wisdom.

Your victimization will become your launchpad

And your bullies, your motivation.

I know it hurts. It hurts terribly! But the pain you suffer today will be the power you enjoy tomorrow!

So, hold on.
Don’t lose sight of your goals.
The best is yet to come!

Love,
Your Adult Self

 

A Letter to My Teenage Self (Part 2)

I know it’s tough. But sometimes you must first live with what you hate before you can move on to what you love. You must weather the storm before you can see sunlight. Understand that only when we’ve been through hell, do we appreciate heaven so much more.

Although your mind tells you that there’s something wrong with you- that it’s your fault- that you must be doing something to rub these people the wrong way, your heart tells you differently.

Your heart tells you that you did nothing wrong, that these classmates don’t like themselves and that they’re putting all that negative energy off on you. But this war between your mind and your heart leaves you exhausted.

No matter how bad things get, I see that small glimmer of hope in your eyes. Don’t lose it.

Although you carry an enormous amount of pain, you’re still holding on, taking it one day at a time. Keep it up.

Please love yourself and continue to forge your own path despite how others may treat you.

And please don’t hate your classmates, feel sorry for them- take pity on them. Because their lives aren’t as perfect as they let on. Believe it or not, your classmates are hurting too.

They have mental problems of their own that they never confessed, addressed, nor got help for. Only they’ll never in this lifetime tell you about it.

Understand that they’re only keeping up appearances, which is such hard work. And they’re angry at you because you don’t have to work as hard as they do.

Realize that many of them are abused at home, have parents who are into prostitution or drugs and alcohol, and who fight. Many of them are also dirt poor, surviving on welfare and ashamed of it. Many of your classmates have home lives you couldn’t imagine! And school is their happy place.

Open your eyes and see that your home life is better than a lot of kids your age. Be thankful for it. Your home is a sanctuary compared to most.

And they’re also scared- scared of becoming just like you- a target! Therefore, they feel compelled to join in the bullying in order to make their bones with the in-clique.

But understand that all this makes them cowards and again, they’re to be pitied, not hated.

You don’t yet realize how strong, brave, and resilient you are. But you are- just for the fact that you haven’t dropped out of school like so many of your classmates. You haven’t quit the race! You haven’t given up on life!

Even though you know all too well that you will be bombarded with a barrage of taunts and insults, or worse, physically attacked once you pass through the school entrance, you manage to find the courage to get up every morning and go to school and- you do it scared!

So, who are the weak ones now?

They may have favor with most of the teachers, even the ones who have little hope for you. However, most of them will never leave this town. This is a small town- only a dot on the map. In a small town, it doesn’t take much effort nor very long to maximize one’s potential.

Even though you feel so small and insignificant, understand that each of your classmates feels the same way you do. And the only way they can feel big and powerful is to make you feel bad. And one day, you’re going to see just how they end up.

Only a few will make it. The rest will be living in loveless and abusive marriages. Many will be poor and wondering how they’ll pay the rent. Some will join gangs or begin slinging dope.

Several will immerse themselves in drugs and alcohol to cope with their failures in life. A good portion of them will end up behind bars. And many will have kids who disrespect and hurt them.

Love yourself

Most of your classmates will be on a desperate and never-ending search for love, going through numerous divorces and broken relationships. They’ll never learn to fall in love with themselves and with life first.

They’ll be on an endless quest for happiness and never realize that happiness comes from within themselves.

I know you want so badly to fix it, but don’t know what’s broken.

You’ll laugh at me when I tell you what I’m about to tell you. You’ll probably tell me I’m crazy and that I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I’m going to tell you anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with you. Your classmates are the ones with the issues! They are the ones who are “crazy” and to keep everyone from figuring it out, they put it all off on you.

I want you to know that you’re a major threat to them. That’s right. You are a threat to your classmates. Do you know why?

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It’s because you’re smart- smart enough to see right through them and they know it. They also hate it!

You’re also talented. You can sing, for crying out loud! Your classmates know you can sing and they’re jealous of your beautiful voice. They’re afraid that you’ll expose the bullying and let all their skeletons out of the closet.

Why do you think they shout you down and tell you to “shut up” every time you start to open your mouth? Why do you think they scream at you and tell you to sit down every time you get up to sharpen a pencil or turn in homework- or speak up to answer a teacher’s question in class?

But they’re very much afraid that you’ll humiliate them, so they keep you afraid to open your mouth.

They hate it when you write. But understand that they’re afraid you might be writing about them and their cruelty. Isn’t that why they had your journal taken?

But know this. You have so much potential. You just don’t know it yet, because you’ve been programmed to think that you’re no good and will never amount to anything.

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I know that sometimes you want to die. But if you keep living, I promise that things will get better- much better! Because you’re going to accomplish things you never thought you would. You will end up surprising yourself!

Although you think this is a load of feel-good garbage now, the truth is that your classmates bully you to keep you down because they fear that if you ever rise, you’ll cause them to fade into the background.

I also know that your home life isn’t so hot either. Your father doesn’t believe in you and treats you more like a stepchild than a child. He acts like you’re not one of his. But understand that he’s battling demons of his own.

And I know that you’re anxious for your mother to remarry so you’ll have a replacement dad. I know you dream of having a stepdad who’ll legally adopt you as his own. But honey, no one else will ever replace your daddy and someday, you’re going to realize it.

I know it seems that you and Mom don’t see eye to eye and the easiest way to avoid any fallouts is to stay in your room, write, and get lost in the music you blare so loudly.

I know you feel like she’s ashamed of you and wishes she had a different child. She isn’t and she doesn’t. She loves you very much and the bullying you suffer hurts her too. Know that she’s on your side.

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And you’re going to find out later that if you open your heart to her and talk, even cry to her, she’ll listen while she holds you, and you’ll grow closer than ever before.

Also, realize that every kid goes through times when they’re at odds with parents. And I’ll go back to a point I made earlier- your home life is a lot better than most.

I know you’re withdrawn- closed off- scared to talk to people because you’re afraid they’ll make fun of anything you have to say. But take the risk anyway. Open your heart to people. Laugh and have fun with them. I promise you that they just might see your golden heart and love you for it.

School is worse than anything. I know that inside, you want to laugh, want to sing, want to dance, but you’re afraid. Know that one day, you’ll have the courage to let yourself do and be.

Know that what you’re going through now is only temporary.

(Continued in Part 3…)

A Letter to My Teenage Self

bullied girl crying

Hey, Angel!

I know you’re hurting, you’re lonely, and you’re frightened. You’re exhausted- damned tired of having to fight just to get through what should be a normal school day. You’re also confused- you’re not sure what you should do to remedy the situation.

Hurting, heartbroken- crushed because the judgments are severe, and no one will give you a chance. Your opportunities have been taken from you- opportunities to make new friends, to get a part-time job, for scholarships, and for dating and romance- just to grow as a person and move forward!

Lonely, isolated- alienated from seemingly everyone because your good name has been defamed and destroyed. Everyone is seemingly scared of you- scared to be seen with you. Or they’re cruel to you.

bullied help

You can feel the contempt when they look at you with eyes that pierce you. And yes! It cuts deep! You withdraw and refuse to speak to them. You act as if you don’t need any of them, even respond to them in kind. You do all this not because you want to but strictly for self-preservation, which only makes them hate you more, and alas, reinforces the alienation.

Frightenedterrified of making mistakes, and of failing because of the continuous threat of being taunted, ridiculed, humiliated! And why not? It’s already happened, and it continues to.

You’re in danger- danger of being physically attacked- shoved to the floor, your hair pulled out, punched, kicked, choked! You even fear they’ll slice your face, cut your throat, stab or shoot you because they’ve already threatened to. In the back of your mind, you know that every action begins with a thought.

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Exhausted– damned sick of the never-ending drama, the fakery, and the stupidity of not only your classmates but a few petty, immature, and cliquey teachers who are only adult versions of the punks who torment you, and who probably picked their careers because they couldn’t get enough of their glory days of high school. I know that’s what you’re thinking.

You’re just plain worn out from the incessant need to grow eyes in the back of your head- watching your back, looking over your shoulder and of the ducking and dodging people who wish to do you harm! Who can learn when they’re constantly in defense mode?

You’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Period!

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Confused– bewildered as to how you should respond to the cruelty the school subjects you to. Because of the constant abuse, you don’t even know who you are now. You’re not sure which direction you should go in, nor what the future will bring. You don’t know what to say because you aren’t sure how the words will come out and whether you’ll end up saying something stupid.

You consistently wrack your brain, trying to figure out why. You wonder how it all even got started and what you must’ve said or done to bring it about.

You’re bullied every day, all the time, by everyone, for everything.

It seems that no one will allow you to be a human being.

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If you smile, people automatically think you’re up to something.
If you frown, they think you’re feeling sorry for yourself.

If you laugh, people think you’re making fun of them.
If you cry, they tell you you’re too sensitive and call you a crybaby.

If you sing, you’re accused of showboating.
If you write, they accuse you of writing something nasty about them.

If you wear a dress, makeup, and your hair down, you’re only trying to impress the opposite sex and get a date and/or laid.
If you wear your jeans a little too tight, they label you a whore.

If you get angry, speak out or fight back, they label you as crazy, mentally unbalanced, and in need of professional help.
If you’re happy and cheerful, they ask you what mischief you got or whether you slept with someone.

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If you’re friendly, they accuse you of kissing up.
If you’re quiet, distant, and don’t feel like talking, they call you a snob and accuse you of being stuck-up.
Yet, if you speak, they only shout you down and tell you to shut up.

If you’re dating, they think you’re having sex
If you’re not, they say it’s because you’re a prude, a loser, or that no one will have you.

You’re fully aware that everyone- everyone is watching you closely- clocking your every move, listening to every word that comes out of your mouth. They’re nosy, always prying into your private business. And they’re constantly waiting- just waiting for you to screw up- make a mistake- just one tiny error, all for the purpose of using it against you later and making it bigger. It’s akin to being under a microscope!

Close up of examining of test sample of microchip transistor under the microscope in laboratory.

Sweetie, I know that you’ve been unjustly and unfairly labeled- branded, like a cow. Even worse, they’re trying their hardest to make you believe it too.

But don’t! Don’t believe the lies! They don’t know you, even after so many years, your classmates still don’t know you. Because, for so long, they’ve been so busy pointing fingers at you that they never really took the chance to get to know you.

And what they don’t know is that you have a heart of gold.

You only want what everyone else wants and seems to have- friends and to be loved and accepted for the person you are. Although they may ridicule or demonize you for wanting those things, please know in your heart that there’s no shame in having those desires because it’s only natural to have them. It’s only human nature.

It seems that every time you pull yourself up, they always seem to be waiting to knock you back down again. But they only do it because they’re deathly afraid that if you ever rise, you’d take some of the spotlight from them, along with the benefits they’re getting at your expense.

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When you try to talk about the brutality you suffer at school, the classmates bully you harder and the adults only turn a deaf ear. But understand that they only silence you out of fear- fear that their own bad behavior and shortcomings will be exposed. And the adults are afraid of being seen as negligent and of the impact on the school’s reputation. The town of Oakley prides itself in its schools.

You’re so anxious for school to just be over with, but don’t rush it. Instead, learn everything you can while you can. Get as much out of it now, while it’s easiest to do so!

You’ve been beaten down and trampled underfoot for so long that now, you’re feeling desperate- desperate to just pack up and leave. And you’re willing to go to any lengths necessary to get out of this toxic environment you’re trapped in. Just be sure that you don’t end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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I also know that you’re in a hurry to grow up. You just want to turn eighteen and become an adult who can then have control over her own life. But please, slow down! Having control of your own life is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Please! Whatever you do, don’t lose hope because I promise you! Life will get better- much better. It’s just not time right now. Your due season hasn’t arrived yet.

(Continued in part 2…)

The Evil Wordsmith

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If you’re a target of bullying, do you ever wonder how some bullies are able to lie so convincingly and turn everyone against you?

It’s because these bullies are master wordsmiths. But let’s delve a little deeper. What makes them so good at wordsmithing? How is it that their words seem to have a hypnotic effect on your friends, associates, teachers, and supervisors?

Here are your answers:

1. They use loaded words and language. Good or bad, loaded language appeals to or triggers other’s emotions. And when emotions are high, the logic goes right out the window! Sadly, most people are ruled by their emotions and bullies instinctively know this. They may have learned by watching and listening to others at home or a maybe they’ve done a lot of reading you don’t know about

2. They make off-hand comments. Offhand comments can be taken in many different ways and are interpreted based on the perception of the person you’re talking to. These types of remarks often sound innocent but are meant to be highly insulting, which makes them so easily deniable.

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3. They are good at taking your words out of context. And they do this deliberately to use them against you. The intended meaning behind your words won’t matter because these bullies will twist and spin them any and every which way to fit their narratives.

4. They ask “gotcha questions.” Many times, bullies will get you in front of bystanders and people in authority. They’ll then ask you questions that are designed to trap you into giving answers that may damage your credibility and reputation.

It’s these types of bullies you should avoid at all costs. And if you can’t avoid them, find a way to learn how to counter these monsters because they can do real damage if you don’t defend yourself against them.