Please Hold On! The Best is Yet to Come!

People may bully you now but they won’t always. Although the bullying is intense- even unbearable, the struggle is only temporary. And I do not say this lightly. I know what you must be thinking… “But she doesn’t understand!”

“Nobody understands!”

“She’s isn’t suffering, and she doesn’t understand the hell I go through every day at work or at school!”

I do understand because once upon a time, I was stuck in the same spot that you are in today. I know what it is like to want to smile, laugh, sing, and dance only for others beat it out of you. Also, I understand the pain of wanting to believe in yourself and see your own value. You try to feel good about yourself, only for others to repeatedly and seemingly deliberately drum into your head that you are nothing.

I Feel Your Pain because I Experienced it.

To want to speak and use your voice, only for people to silence you. You want to just live in peace. But others only threaten physical harm, further degradation and humiliation. School staff threatens suspension or expulsion. Your supervisor may threaten you with the loss of your job and livelihood. Moreover,  others may sabotage your opportunities! I know all too well the desire to move forward and go places, only for bullies to hold you back.

To want to escape the torment, only to be stuck in a toxic environment with toxic people, against your will! I know the horror of knowing that others curse your very existence and bombard you with death threats.

I know what it feels like to have others force you to sacrifice your own needs and wants for their own satisfaction! And to see others getting gratification and entertainment- all at your expense. I know what it’s like to be marginalized, shut out, devalued as a person. Additionally, I know what it’s like to even be slapped, kicked, beaten, scorned, disregarded, walked on!

It is a feeling of being run over by a truck, whose driver then stops, throws it into reverse, and backs over you again. The driver shifts back into drive and mows over you- yet again. He then stops the truck, opens the door, sticks his head out, and asks, “Are you dead yet?”

Bullies Don’t only Want to Hurt You, They Wan’t to Destroy You.

And any signs of life- any whimper or movement only encourages the driver to close the door, shift into reverse again, and back over you again. He just keeps running and backing over you until you finally succumb to the trauma and die.

Yes. This is akin to what targets of bullying endure. Bullies want to destroy you, and it seems that they won’t relent until they are sure that they have done just that.

But know this. You will not have to deal with these people forever, and Karma does repay- in spades! If you keep believing in yourself, you will become successful and happy. And when you finally get there, your bullies won’t even matter to you.

Know that You CAN Overcome Bullying!

You are beautiful! Smart! Awesome! And one day, you will cross paths with people who will see your worth and love you. Even better, they will love you unconditionally- just for being YOU! You will find a teacher, school, supervisor, or employer who will see the good you bring to the table.  And these people will view you as the asset you truly are!

Don’t give up. You are worth fighting for!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why You Have So Many Reasons to Live

If you are a person being bullied and are considering suicide, this message is for you! Please hold on. Stay strong. Continue the fight.

Know that you deserve love and friendship just as everyone else does. Know that you are just as good as everyone else. Above all, rest assured that life will get much better! Instead of thinking of reasons why you should take your own life, think of reasons why you shouldn’t. There are so many reasons to keep living.

Let me put this another way. If you resort to suicide, you will cheat yourself out of the possibility of one day overcoming your present circumstances and out of so many exciting firsts. You will cheat yourself out of so many wonderful years that lie ahead.

If you’re under 16, you will cheat yourself out of driving a car for the very first time!

And let me tell you! That feeling of sliding in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of a car and your hands on the steering wheel for the very first time? There’s nothing like it! It’s one of the most liberating experiences!

You will also miss out on prom and high school graduation!

This is another one of the most exciting and hopeful times of life.

You will also forfeit the magic of falling in love and the joy of marrying your soulmate.

And I can tell you that love is one of the most intoxicating and fulfilling experiences life has to offer!

And lastly, you’ll forgo the beautiful experience of having your first baby!

I want you to imagine yourself, five or ten years into the future: You’re married to your spouse and you’ve become a new parent. You’re holding that precious little life in your arms for the first time and gazing into that precious, tiny face!

You now able to have a life beyond your own! You’re holding that soft, tiny body against your chest and watching it sleep against you! I can’t explain what that feels like or the love and joy that goes with it!

You have so many firsts…so many magical and beautiful moments yet to experience and enjoy, so much beauty yet to behold and so many awesome people, potential friends and family yet to meet!

motivational inspirational

Please don’t cheat yourself!

However, if you die by your own hand, you’ll cheat yourself out of all of it! On the other hand, if you’re patient and you keep fighting, life will reward you with such beautiful moments!

Another thing I want you to consider is that if you give up, the bullies will automatically win! That’s right! Your bullies will win and you will lose! Do you really want to let them win? Do you really want to give them such an easy victory? Think about it for a minute. Really think!

As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will improve!

As long as you are alive, there’s always a chance that things will improve…and improve drastically! But once you’re dead, that chance dies with you and there’s no coming back! Death is final and there are no do-overs! So, if you ever consider suicide, I beg you! Talk to a close family member and if you can’t talk to a family member, talk to someone! A loved teacher, a trusted friend, a stranger- someone!

And give yourself a chance! Give the people who love you a chance! Give love a chance! You won’t be disappointed!

I promise you that you’re worth it! If you continue to fight for yourself, I can guarantee that there will come a day when you will look back on this moment and thank yourself. You will look back and be glad that you fought the good fight and stayed alive. I’m living proof! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 Reasons Enduring Bullying Takes Guts

It amazes me when I hear of targets of bullying, especially kids, being told to “toughen up.” Because anyone who endures long, miserable years of being bullied by everyone for everything and still finds it in them to get up and get on with it? These individuals are already tough.

I remember swallowing hard every morning at the bus stop.

For any bullied kid, it takes a mountain of courage to step onto that school bus every day, knowing all too well what’s in store for them as soon as they get on and even worse once they grace the entrance to the school. For me, it was like walking into a minefield!

The daily ritual of being name-called, tripped in the hallways, having books knocked out of my hands, my long hair pulled, my head slammed into lockers, slapped, punched, kicked, shoved to the floor, and a barrage of death threats…it was never-ending! But through it all, I never gave up!

Targets of bullying are stronger than they know.

I look at these kids today- the ones who endure the same as I years ago (and worse today with the internet), and they have more heart and soul than all their classmates combined! They’re the strongest because they have no other choice but to be. When you’re bullied, you either sink or swim.

Here are 8 reasons enduring bullying takes guts:

1. You find a reason to get up and go to school every day.
2. You hold on to your dignity with everything you have in you.
3. You face your worst fears daily.
4. You endure countless beatings or insults and still refuse to give up or give in.
5. You choke back rivers of tears which beg to pour forth.
6. You suffer constant thievery of your pride and personhood, yet you refuse to cave into your bullies’ demands or live by their standards.
7. You suffer never-ending violations of your rights, to safety, and to learn in peace.

And lastly,

8. You have the courage to stand alone.

To face all this, day after day, and STILL, find a reason to keep going? That takes grit! It takes guts! Moreover, it takes balls of steel!

You might not think we notice you, but we do!

So, if you’ve never experienced what these kids endure, before you tell some poor, bullied soul to “toughen up,” ask yourself this question. Would you have the fortitude to hold up under that kind of pressure?

And if you’re a kid who does face that kind of pressure at school every day, know that I understand, I hear you, I see you, and I have your back. Also know that you’re so much stronger and have more courage than you know! You have the heart of a lion!

Know your own strength and know your own worth!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The World Through the Eyes of a Target

After you’ve been a target of bullying for any length of time, the world becomes a terrifying place.

You begin avoiding people and social situations like the plague because you’ve become afraid of people- all people. In short, you’ve lost all faith in humanity. Everything becomes threatening. You’re stuck in defense mode and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The ability to think becomes blurry. You drown in self-doubt and lose the ability to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from lies. Therefore, you lose the ability to make smart decisions. You’re always on guard and trust no one. Again, everyone becomes a threat. Even total strangers become threatening.

You can’t give anyone a chance because you’ve become so afraid of being hurt again. And why not? Your classmates or coworkers have done extensive and deliberate harm for so many months or even years. So, who’s to say that others won’t do the same.

Knowing that anyone could bully you at any time, you must always watch your back and cover your behind. And you must continually look over your shoulder and observe those around you for signs of hostility.

You come to believe you have a mark on you that everyone but you can see, and it’s why others always seem to come after you. As much as you want to get rid of that mark, you’re not sure how to do it.

You don’t think you’ll ever stop being a target.

There’s the feeling that there’s no possibility of ever overcoming it. Other victims might rise above it, but you never will because you think that love, success, and anything good is for anyone who isn’t you.

You’ll never be the same person you were before bullies began targeting you. When you’ve been a target of bullying and continue to be, jokes stop being funny because you automatically feel they are somehow aimed at you. Bullying makes a person paranoid. And with good reason.

You lose all confidence, and your self-esteem hits rock bottom. Therefore, your mind is poisoned with the belief that you can never do anything right. You see yourself as a failure. You think that anything you touch, you’ll only screw up.

There’s the expectation that you’ll fail in social situations and that everyone will see all your flaws, real or perceived. You start having unexpected and uncontrollable emotional meltdowns and outbursts. Why? Because you’re in constant fight or flight mode. Your mind is in overdrive, and you’re hyper-vigilant. Your physical body suffers splitting headaches and violent bouts of nausea.

You don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve become a stranger to yourself- this person you don’t even recognize.

You’re shaky inside. You feel tired and run down all the time now. Even worse, you pass out from panic attacks, and you can no longer sleep at night. Your weight drops and your hair falls out due to the overwhelming stress. You feel as if people are torturing you.

In essence, you turn against yourself because you feel the entire world has turned against you.

I was there at one point. Then, I got mad! I didn’t only get angry at them for driving me into that dark pit of hopelessness, but I got mad at myself for allowing it! And when I got mad at myself and started working on changing my self-perception, that’s when things began to change!

The good thing is that I wasn’t down for long. Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, and this describes how you feel now, I want to give you a big hug.

I also want to tell you that regardless of how things are looking now, there’s hope. You will see the sun again.

‘You see? It’s one thing to have people look down on you, but it’s another when you allow them to cause you to look down on yourself. If nothing else, hang on to your self-love and your strong sense of self. Please don’t allow your bullies to force you to see yourself through their eyes. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Never ever give up.

Bullies may turn everyone else against you. Just make sure they never turn you against you.

Know that no matter what, you’re worth it! And you deserve friendship, love, and happiness just as much as anyone else!

Hold On. The Best is Yet to Come!

Your situation may seem hopeless now.

If you are a target of bullying, you must hold on.  Although intense- even unbearable, your pain will only be temporary. I don’t say this lightly because know what you must be thinking.

“But she doesn’t understand! Nobody understands! Nobody else is going through it! How can she possibly understand the daily hell I endure at work (or at school)?”

I do understand. Once upon a time, I was stuck in the same spot that you are in today. You want to smile, laugh, sing, and dance; only for others to beat it out of you! So strong is the desire to believe in yourself and see your own value. Yet others repeatedly and deliberately tear you down!

The night always turns darkest before the dawn.

All you want is to speak and have your voice heard!  But others only silence you with threats of physical harm and further degradation. The threat of suspension or the loss of your job and livelihood hangs over your head. Also, the danger of having opportunities for future employment ruined looms over you. Or you face the possibility of a school suspension or expulsion. Survivors know firsthand what it feels like. It’s the feeling of wanting to move forward, only to have bullies hold you back.

You want to escape the torment. But you’re stuck in a toxic environment with toxic people, against your will! We know the bewilderment when people curse your very existence. It’s terrifying when bullies bombard you with death threats.

They force you to sacrifice your needs and wants for theirs. It sucks to see others getting gratification and entertainment at your expense. Being dehumanized can be life-altering. Many others, just like you, have also felt the pain of being slapped, kicked, and beaten. It’s no fun when people scorn, disregard, and trample you underfoot. You don’t know how much we hurt for you.

There are people who understand and who care.

We know what it feels like. It’s like being run over by a truck, whose driver then stops, shifts into reverse, and backs over you. For a second time, he shifts back into drive and mows over you. He then stops the truck, opens the door, sticks his head out, and asks, “Are you dead yet?”

And any signs of life- any whimper or movement only encourages the driver to close the door, shift into reverse again, and repeat. Therefore, he continues doing so until you finally succumb to the trauma and die.

Yes. This is how bullying feels. Bullies want to destroy you, and it seems that they won’t relent until they succeed at it.

But know this!

You will not have to deal with these people forever, and Karma does repay- in spades! If you keep believing in yourself, you will become successful and happy.  Your bullies won’t even matter to you when you reach success.

You are beautiful, smart, and awesome! And one day, you will cross paths with people who will see your worth and love you- unconditionally- just for being YOU! You will find a teacher, school, supervisor, or employer who will see the good you bring to the table. And they will see you as the asset you truly are!

Don’t give up. You are worth fighting for!

Bullies Who Think They Can Predict Your Downfall

Bullies are notorious for playing fortuneteller to their targets. They laugh at your goals and dreams. They try to derail and sabotage your progress. And they do it because they’re so darned insecure in themselves. Why do you think bullies work so hard at bringing others down?

Realize that all this is very telling about the bullies’ own lives. In many cases, you’ll have the smart kid in your class who always makes straight A’s and makes high remarks and he’s targeted by bullies.

There’s also the girl who can sing like a professional, the boy who wins all the awards, the girl who writes the most beautiful poems and interesting stories, the guy who always gets the promotions at work, or the woman who always gets noticed by potential suitors.

One thing they all have in common is that they’re the ones bullies come for to make their lives as miserable as possible.

In school, I could sing, and the music teacher would pick me to sing solos in the school choir. I also write stories and poems back then and I cannot count the times my bullies told me:

“You’ll never make it in the music business.”

“You’ll never publish any books.”

“No book publisher will ever choose any of your lame stories.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“You’ll never be anybody.”

“You’ll never get married.”

“You’ll never have children.”

“You’ll never be worth a damn.”

And the list goes on…

And each time I’d hear garbage like this from my bullies, I’d think of the sounds I’d hear every time I’d watch Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and see them talking to an adult, whether it be their parents, or a teacher in class.

toxic brainwashing

I would think, “Wa-wa-w-wa-wa-waaaaaa.” That’s how little I valued their words when it came to things I enjoyed doing and my dreams and goals.

With bullies, it’s always the same old you’ll never this and you’ll never that. But, here’s the thing. People who haven’t accomplished much themselves will always try to drag you down when they think you’re striving for something. And because they haven’t tasted success, they don’t believe that anyone else will (or should) either.

Understand that when bullies predict your failures, they only reveal all their failures and disappointments. That’s right! They’re speaking from their own perspectives. Anytime they tell you that you’ll never succeed at anything, it’s because they’ve never succeeded at anything and likely never will.

What these bullies are also telling you is that they’re afraid that you will succeed and make them feel even more like the losers they are. Realize that your bullies are trying to wreck your optimism, kill your confidence, and crush your self-esteem. And they want to do it before you end up winning at something.

Bullies want you to fail and they want it so badly they can almost taste it. Because, if you do reach success, your win will only reflect back to them their own laziness, failure, and mediocrity. Therefore, they relentlessly try to drum their words of doom into your head to condition you to not even bother to try. Because they know that not trying only ensures failure. In trying to condition you to not try, they’re only trying to ensure your failure.

That’s why it’s imperative that you turn a deaf ear to your bullies’ bogus predictions of your future because they can’t possibly know what their own futures entail, much less yours. You must not allow them to discourage you and cause you to lose sight of your goals and dreams.

Let the trash they talk go in one ear and out the other. Tell them, “That’s your opinion” and laugh at them or maybe scoff and give your bullies a scornful eye-roll. Then turn your back to them and walk away snickering. Look on your bullies with scorn when they try to predict your outcomes because they only do it out of ignorance and stupidity.

Do these things because it’s the only way you’ll keep your power and continue to feel confident. Your self-esteem will thank you for it later!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

If You’re a Target of Bullying, Here’s a Message for You

Many bullied kids (and adults) are committing suicide. This should hit home with many people because the suicide rate among bullied kids and teens is astronomical! It certainly hits home with me because I attempted suicide at age fourteen after being bullied for several years.

Therefore, I wrote, “From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying” to tell my story and encourage today’s youth. I survived, and things got much better once I left that toxic learning environment I was bullied in.

I want the bullied children and teens of today to know these truths:

1.They can overcome and move on to a better life.

2. School is only one chapter of their lives, not the entire book.

3. There are better ways to handle bullying other than taking your own life.

4. They must love themselves and be themselves regardless of what others think.

5. They are just as good as anyone else, regardless of what they’re told.

6. They can do anything they put their minds to if they believe in themselves.

7. They must educate themselves about bullies, their mindsets, their tactics, and the damage they can do.

8. They must recognize the beginning symptoms of low self-esteem and find ways to fight it.

9. They must realize that if bullies take their confidence, then bullies can alter the course of their lives.

10. They have more power than they know.

11. Confidence is the key to a better and more rewarding life.

If you’re a target of bullying, I urge you to hold your head high and keep the faith. Stay true to your own heart and follow your dreams. Know that it won’t last forever and one day soon, things are going to change for the better! I guarantee it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

“Good Will Hunting” The Moral of the Movie

When I watched the movie “Good Will Hunting” for the first time twenty years ago, the character Will Hunting reminded me a lot of myself during high school- bullied, angry, lashing out at people, and would fight at the drop of a hat if someone stepped on my toes. I wasn’t a genius like he was. But still, there’s a moral to the movie.

Will, although uber-smart and talented, had been conditioned to think he was worth less than what he was, hence his working a job as a college janitor at the beginning of the movie. With his smarts, Will could have any job he wanted. He just didn’t know it.

Because this poor kid had a terrible start in life, he had long ago lost sight of his worth as a person. Just as I, and the character Will Hunting, leaned the hard way, you must know your worth to be happy and have a good life. Know that you have value and that you matter because if you’re blind to that, you’ll never be successful at anything.

For example, if you do not know your worth, you’re likely never to reach your true potential. You’ll end up settling for less than you deserve. You’ll sell yourself out in every area of life.

You’ll settle for crummy dead-end jobs that pay a pittance, dates, and partners you aren’t interested in, and friends who treat you shoddily. But one thing Will did have is great friends who had his back. Those guys would’ve laid down their lives for him.  So, I can say that Will chose his buddies wisely. But in every other area of life, he sold himself short. And his best friend finally told him the same thing, in so many words, toward the end of the movie.

As the old saying goes, “If you settle for less, you get even less than what you settled for.”

And that’s the gospel truth because I did that when I was young and got even worse than what I thought I’d accepted. It was all because others had programmed me to believe that the mere crumbs I’d received were the best I could do. And let me tell you, it royally sucked!

That’s what bullying does if you let it.

Fortunately, I eventually scratched and clawed my way out of that mindset, and now live a better and happier life. It wasn’t easy, but it got better once I began drumming into my own head that there was more out there for me and that I deserved a good life as much as anyone else.

Will Hunting also got the message at the end of the movie. He eventually saw his worth and found the courage to go after the life he wanted.

Isn’t it time you started getting more of what you want and deserve out of life?

Make the decision today to begin aiming higher! Apply for that 90K per year job you may or may not qualify for. Go ask out the girl who you initially thought was out of your league. Command respect and love from others and return the same to them. Aim higher than you ever have and watch your life begin to change for the better and become more rewarding!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Heart of a Winner

There are losers, average people, and then there are winners.

The winner is set apart from the rest because He/she sees the beauty in everything and everyone. The winner sees every opportunity and will not hesitate to seize it.

The winner remains optimistic even when the chips are down because he/she knows “this too shall pass”.

The winner wears a smile, but at the same time, is true to themselves when storms rage, and will admit when he’s just not feeling it. He knows that the storms won’t last.

Yes, winners have troubles too, only they don’t quit. They either find a detour, carry out a plan B, C, D, or beyond; or embrace it if they’ve done all they can to see change and it doesn’t come.

Winners are resourceful in ideas, resilient in adversity, and stubborn in discouragement from others.

No matter how rough the terrain, he soldiers on. No matter how steep the mountain, he keeps climbing

Though progress and eventual success may take time, the winner will always find a way around any obstacle.

And when he reaches his goal, he will be thankful for the grit it took to get here!

He will look back on all the obstacles he faced along the way. He’ll look back down at the valleys from the pinnacle on which he stands and say it was all worth it!

For it is the struggle that made the prize so much more valuable and meaningful!

Learned Helplessness

When a person has been bullied and abused long enough, they develop a condition called “Learned Helplessness.” In essence, they give up and forego any options they may have to make a better life for themselves.

Many targets and survivors of bullying are stuck in the only life they know and if bullying and abuse are the only things a person knows, they’re likely to stay stuck in relationships and environments that are harmful to them because they’ve been conditioned all their lives to accept it and that it’s normal.

This can happen to animals as well. Here’s a piece from the book, “The Body Keeps the Score,” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M. D.

“Maier and Seligman had repeatedly administered painful electrical shocks to dogs who were trapped in locked cages. They called this condition, ‘inescapable shock.’”

“After administering several courses of electric shock, the researchers opened the doors of the cages and then shocked the dogs again. A group of control dogs who had never been shocked before immediately ran away, but the dogs who had earlier been subjected to inescapable shock made no attempt to flee, even when the door was wide open- they just lay there, whimpering and defecating. The mere opportunity to escape does not necessarily make traumatized animals, or people, take the road to freedom.

Like Maier and Seligman’s dogs, many traumatized people give up. Rather than risk experimenting with new options, they stay stuck in the fear they know.”

This is interesting.

Many targets of bullying have been repeatedly traumatized just like the electric shock dogs in the excerpt. They have been abused for so long that they’ve been programmed to stay in a miserable environment and tolerate more abuse. It’s heartbreaking!

Nine times out of ten, the target is trapped in the bullying and has no chance of getting away from it. They’re trapped in a school they can’t transfer from, or a job they can’t afford to quit. Many parents can’t afford to move to a new area and zoning laws forbid switching schools. Whatever the situation may be, there’s no getting away from the bullying.

When your fight or flight response has been blocked, what can you do? What can you do when you’re prevented from running away or from fighting back? You either fly into a rage and end up committing a serious crime or you shut down completely and surrender to “what just is” or “the way things are”- you give up.

Targets and survivors who suffer from Learned Helplessness have been programmed to believe that there is nothing they can do to defend themselves. They are trained to believe they have absolutely no control over what happens to them.

This is why we should take care never to allow bullies and abusers to drive us to the point to where we give up and become brainwashed into believing that we’re helpless because it will have devastating consequences for your entire life. No matter how others treat us and how bad things get, we must hold on, with everything we have, to our belief in ourselves.

We must hold on to hope and keep our eyes on our goals and dreams. Only then will we be able to truly break the hold any bullies or abusers have on us.

Although you may not physically be able to escape the bullying and abuse you suffer, you still have control over your mind. You still have a say in what goes into your mind and what you choose to kick out of it. So, never allow the words of a bullying abuser clutter your brain. Instead, fill your mind with your goals, dreams, and things that make you feel good about yourself.

Work on devising a plan of escape and stick to it. Then, when the time is right and a door opens, put your plan into action.

Trust me, you’re worth it and you deserve to live drama-free and in peace.