“My Give-A-Dam is Busted!”

If you are a target of bullying, there are times when you get fed up with people’s crap. Then…BOOM! You snap on some creep who pushed you over your limit. Believe me, I understand and if this has happened with you, I cannot fault you for it. I empathize with you wholeheartedly.

It’s not that you want to fight. In fact, you hate fighting- intensely. However, if you’re a 5’4”, 120 lb. teenage girl with a target on her back, what do you do? Stand there and let them jump you?

Like most targets, I too hated to fight but there were times I didn’t have a choice. It was either fight or be beaten within an inch of my life. Not only the girls would try to jump me, but the guys would too and most of those redneck brutes had no qualms nor reservations about beating up on a female, even one who was little. Some of the bullies at Oakley High threatened with a knife or a box-cutter and it’s amazing I got out of there alive.

But that’s what bullying does to people if they don’t have the proper psychological tools, confidence, or know-how to deal with it. It makes them paranoid, makes them desperate, puts them in survival mode! In other (and more scientific) words, it awakens their primal instincts. It rewires their brains in preparation for a hostile environment.

A target of bullying must live in constant vigil and adrenaline. They must always be on alert- they must grow eyes in the back of their heads and be prepared for danger every time they turn a corner. That gets both frustrating and exhausting after so long.

I cannot count the times in school I showed my booty to people after having taken all I could take. And there were times I didn’t just let off a little stream, I blew a gasket!

The longer you are bullied, the more it builds- the sense of injustice, the sadness, the rage. It all piles up. We are all human and no one can hold that crap inside forever it doesn’t matter how resilient they are. It’s humanly impossible.

You’re like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken up until it finally spews.

Like a dormant volcano that finally awakens, you erupt when that last (and unfortunate) creep sticks as much as a toe over your boundaries. Some people, you scare half to death, others, you piss off even more and make twice as determined to get you, and few see your tirade as personal entertainment.

I did that a few times back when I was being bullied and abused at school.

There were times I’d yell, curse the bullies out, throw stuff, and slam doors. I would tell people to get the eff away from me and not to come back around. I admit it. I showed the worst sides of myself on a few occasions.

I remember grabbing one girl by the hair and beating the living snot out of her in the library after she’d spent the last month getting in my face and taunting during the last class of the day.

Another bully received the business end of a fist after attempting to shove me down a flight of stairs. I remember running back up the stairs, whacking her upside the head with a fist, a second time with my purse, then a textbook. The next thing I remember is dragging her down the stairs. She seemed to hit and bounce off every step going down.

Once I got her to the bottom, I beat and kicked her until a teacher and three other students pried me off her. These were only two of the many incidents that occurred during those years.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I’m proud of. Each time, I remember feeling terrible about it after it was over, and everything had cooled off. No decent person wants to lose their cool and act a fool, but when you been pushed and pushed, there is an eventual breaking point.

Yes, I got into fist fights. I won some fights but lost a few too.

Sadly, it all seemed to be a cycle. After getting bullied and bullied for several months, I’d snap. Some of the tiredness bled over into my home life. Sadly, when bullies have worn you down, you’re too exhausted to even be there for the people you love when they have problems too. You’re fresh out of patience and energy, and yes, even love.

You can’t pour from an empty cup and as a result, you just don’t give a crap- about anything or anybody. All you want is to be left alone.

I look back now and realize that I didn’t handle the bullying the right way. Understand that if you don’t set healthy boundaries, this is what can happen.

Today, I’m a much calmer and happier person than I used to be. Why? Because I’m more assertive and I set boundaries. If I say no or ask someone to please stop doing something when they violate my boundaries, and they insist on continuing the behavior, I either tell them to leave right then, or I walk away after telling the person exactly what I think of them. I then cut them out of my life.

I have learned that, although you cannot control another person’s behavior, you do have control over your own and whether to continue having them in your life. And if you refuse to associate with a person, they no longer have easy access to you. Therefore, it’s not nearly as easy for them to get to you and harm you.

So, never allow people to bully you and get out of control with their abuse. Speak out when people violate your boundaries. It’s the only way to keep the pressure from building and reaching a boiling point.

If this has been your experience, feel free to comment.

Reasons You Should Never Be Afraid of Conflict

Let’s face it. Conflict is a part of life and something we all encounter at many points in our lives. Many targets and survivors of bullying are deathly afraid of conflict. Why? Because they’ve had so much of it forced on them in the past by bullies who just refused to let them be. Also, many targets and survivors are traumatized by the bullying they presently suffer or from past bullying.

Understand that these poor souls haven’t yet dealt with the hurts they still have, and they don’t yet know their worth and the good they deserve. Many targets and survivors of bullying suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Because of this, they’re still stuck in survival mode.

As a result, target’s cave in and give in to bullies to appease them just so they’ll shut the hell up and go away. And people do get tired of hearing self-entitled and self-indulgent bullies bitch, rant, and beat their chests when they don’t get their way.

So, the unspoken message is, “Look! Just take what you want and get lost!”

I can understand why targets and survivors end up being this way. It’s because a person gets exhausted when they’re constantly have to battle and struggle to take back their autonomy, their self-determination, their personal power, their safety, their dignity, and their right to exist. They get worn down, they get weary, and all they want is for people to leave them alone and let them have some peace.

However, this can become a problem. If you go out of your way to avoid conflict, people will soon mistake you for being weak and they’ll walk all over you. You must set boundaries. There are times when you must say no. There are even times when you may have to show your ugly side to get your point across and let people know that no means no and enough is enough.

Understand that this requires guts. It means you must step out of your comfort zone and take risks. You must risk hurting others’ feelings and making people angry. You must risk being lashed out at and retaliated against. Moreover, you must also risk losing relationships and no, none of it feels good.

In short, you must stand up for yourself and that means facing conflict.

Think of it this way, if you’re a target of bullying, you’re going to face conflict no matter what because people will bring the conflict to you. Hiding from it does no good because it will eventually find you. When you are a target of bullying, conflict is unavoidable and certain.

In other words, run from conflict and you’ll end up running from it for the rest of your life!

So, why not face it head on, better yet embrace it and stand up to people, then you can feel better about yourself later knowing that you finally grew a spine and told them where to shove it. You may face retaliation for it, but you would face it anyway because, right or wrong, bullies will always find some justification for attacking you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Deep in The Eyes of a Target of Bullying

You see the anguish- the desperately yearning to belong.

You see the hopelessness and despair- the wondering if things will ever get better.

You see the fear- the knowing he/she could be physically or psychologically attacked at any moment, or many even killed.

You see the sadness- the wanting to cry but not daring to for fear of looking weaker than they already look to others.

You see the determination- the determination to survive another day.

You see the silent pleas for help- help that is being denied and seems to never come.

You see the lack of trust in humanity- because the person has been let down too many times. How can that trust be restored?

You see the exhaustion- the weariness of the constant battle they face.

You see the yearning for peace- the desperately wanting the war to stop so they can relax, breathe, be themselves, and not have to fight anymore.

And lastly, you also see the fire of determination- to create a better life for themselves and to build a better tomorrow!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Should Never Be Afraid of Conflict

Let’s face it. Conflict is a part of life and something we all encounter at many points in our lives. Many targets and survivors of bullying are deathly afraid of conflict. Why? Because they’ve had so much of it forced on them in the past by bullies who just refused to let them be. Also, many targets and survivors are traumatized by the bullying they presently suffer or from past bullying.

Understand that these poor souls haven’t yet dealt with the hurts they still have, and they don’t yet know their worth and the good they deserve. Many targets and survivors of bullying suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Because of this, they’re still stuck in survival mode.

As a result, target’s cave in and give in to bullies to appease them just so they’ll shut the hell up and go away. And people do get tired of hearing self-entitled and self-indulgent bullies bitch, rant, and beat their chests when they don’t get their way.

So, the unspoken message is, “Look! Just take what you want and get lost!”

I can understand why targets and survivors end up being this way. It’s because a person gets exhausted when they’re constantly have to battle and struggle to take back their autonomy, their self-determination, their personal power, their safety, their dignity, and their right to exist. They get worn down, they get weary, and all they want is for people to leave them alone and let them have some peace.

However, this can become a problem. If you go out of your way to avoid conflict, people will soon mistake you for being weak and they’ll walk all over you. You must set boundaries. There are times when you must say no. There are even times when you may have to show your ugly side to get your point across and let people know that no means no and enough is enough.

Understand that this requires guts. It means you must step out of your comfort zone and take risks. You must risk hurting others’ feelings and making people angry. You must risk being lashed out at and retaliated against. Moreover, you must also risk losing relationships and no, none of it feels good.

In short, you must stand up for yourself and that means facing conflict.

Think of it this way, if you’re a target of bullying, you’re going to face conflict no matter what because people will bring the conflict to you. Hiding from it does no good because it will eventually find you. When you are a target of bullying, conflict is unavoidable and certain.

In other words, run from conflict and you’ll end up running from it for the rest of your life!

So, why not face it head on, better yet embrace it and stand up to people, then you can feel better about yourself later knowing that you finally grew a spine and told them where to shove it. You may face retaliation for it, but you would face it anyway because, right or wrong, bullies will always find some justification for attacking you.

When Your Give-A-Dam Breaks

If you are a target of bullying, there are times when you get fed up with people’s crap. Then…BOOM! You snap on some creep who pushed you over your limit. Believe me, I understand and if this has happened with you, I cannot fault you for it. I empathize with you wholeheartedly.

It’s not that you want to fight. In fact, you hate fighting- intensely. However, if you’re a 5’4”, 120 lb. teenage girl with a target on her back, what do you do? Stand there and let them jump you?

Like most targets, I too hated to fight but there were times I didn’t have a choice. It was either fight or be beaten within an inch of my life. Not only the girls would try to jump me, but the guys would too and most of those redneck brutes had no qualms nor reservations about beating up on a female, even one who was little. Some of the bullies at Oakley High threatened with a knife or a box-cutter and it’s amazing I got out of there alive.

But that’s what bullying does to people if they don’t have the proper psychological tools, confidence, or know-how to deal with it. It makes them paranoid, makes them desperate! Puts them in survival mode! In other (and more scientific) words, it awakens their primal instincts. It rewires their brains in preparation for a hostile environment.

A target of bullying must live in constant vigil and adrenaline. They must always be on alert- they must grow eyes in the back of their heads and be prepared for danger every time they turn a corner. That gets both frustrating and exhausting after so long.

I cannot count the times in school I showed my booty to people after having taken all I could take. And there were times I didn’t just let off a little stream, I blew a gasket!

The longer you are bullied, the more it builds- the sense of injustice, the sadness, the rage! It all piles up! We are all human and no one can hold that crap inside forever it doesn’t matter how resilient they are. It’s humanly impossible.

You’re like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken up until it finally spews!

Like a dormant volcano that finally awakens, you erupt when that last (and unfortunate) creep sticks as much as a toe over your boundaries. Some people, you scare half to death, others, you piss off even more and make twice as determined to get you, and few see your tirade as personal entertainment.

I did that a few times back when I was being bullied and abused at school.

There were times I’d yell, curse the bullies out, throw stuff, and slam doors. I would tell people to get the eff away from me and not to come back around. I admit it. I showed the worst sides of myself on a few occasions.

I remember grabbing one girl by the hair and beating the living snot out of her in the library after she’d spent the last month getting in my face and taunting during the last class of the day.

Another bully received the business end of a fist after attempting to shove me down a flight of stairs. I remember running back up the stairs, whacking her upside the head with my purse and a textbook, then dragging her down the stairs. She seemed to hit and bounce off every step going down.

Once I got her to the bottom, I beat and kicked her until a teacher and three other students pried me off her. These were only two of the many incidents that occurred during those years.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I’m proud of. Each time, I remember feeling terrible about it after it was over, and everything had cooled off. No decent person wants to lose their cool and act a fool, but when you been pushed and pushed, there is an eventual breaking point.

Yes, I got into fist fights. I won some fights but lost a few too.

Sadly, it all seemed to be a cycle. After getting bullied and bullied for several months, I’d snap. Some of the tiredness bled over into my home life. Sadly, when bullies have worn you down, you’re too exhausted to even be there for the people you love when they have problems too. You’re fresh out of patience and energy, and yes, even love.

You can’t pour from an empty cup and as a result, you just don’t give a crap- about anything or anybody. All you want is to be left alone.

I look back now and realize that I didn’t handle the bullying the right way. Understand that if you don’t set healthy boundaries, this is what can happen.

Today, I’m a much calmer and happier person than I used to be. Why? Because I’m more assertive and I set boundaries. If I say no or ask someone to please stop doing something when they violate my boundaries, and if they insist on continuing the behavior, I either tell them to leave right then, or I walk away after telling the person exactly what I think of them. I then cut them out of my life.

I have learned that, although you cannot control another person’s behavior, you do have control over your own and whether to continue having them in your life. And if you refuse to associate with a person, they no longer have easy access to you. Therefore, it’s not nearly as easy for them to get to you and harm you.

So, never allow people to bully you and get out of control with their abuse. Speak out when people violate your boundaries. It’s the only way to keep the pressure from building and reaching a boiling point.

If this has been your experience, feel free to comment.

When You Look into The Face of a Target of Bullying

You see the anguish- the desperately yearning to belong.

You see the hopelessness and despair- the wondering if things will ever get better.

You see the fear- the knowing he/she could be physically or psychologically attacked at any moment, or many even killed.

You see the sadness- the wanting to cry but not daring to for fear of looking weaker than they already look to others.

You see the determination- the determination to survive another day.

You see the silent pleas for help- help that is being denied and seems to never come.

You see the lack of trust in humanity- because the person has been let down too many times. How can that trust be restored?

You see the exhaustion- the weariness of the constant battle they face.

Lastly, you see the yearning for peace- the desperately wanting the war to stop so they can relax, breathe, and not have to fight anymore.

Emotions That Targets of Bullying Feel

cry tears

Targets of bullying endure a hell that no one can comprehend unless they themselves have experienced bullying. It’s the same with the range of resulting emotions they feel. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine the intense stress and the wide array of powerful emotions that come with it.

  1. Grief- Once you become an object of bullying or mobbing, life as you know it changes. You mourn for the way your life used to be and long to get your former life back. You also grieve the loss of your respect, dignity, reputation, good standing, and your identity. You mourn the loss of your friends and in some cases, your spouse and family.
  2. Bewilderment- You don’t understand why this is happening to you- why you’re being bullied and why people you love and thought loved you have turned against you. You’re also at a loss as to what you did to bring about such hatred. In your heart, you know that you’re a great person and that you never intentionally slighted nor hurt anyone. So, what gives?

  1. Confusion- You’re at a loss as to which way to turn and who to turn to. And you don’t know what to do to remedy the situation because each time you try, only makes the bullying worse. You feel stuck!
  2. Terror – Anytime you’re targeted, the fear can be paralyzing. You’re afraid to speak but afraid not to speak. You’re afraid of the people around you. You’re afraid to make any moves or decisions because you know that anything you do will be scrutinized and made to look bad, crazy, or evil. You’re afraid to come to school or work because you know they’re all out to get you and you know that if you show, they’ll only blindside you with another attack.

  1. Sadness- You cry in your car to and from your school or workplace. You cry in your pillow at night when you go to bed. It seems that no one will give you a chance and you’re isolated and alone. When you try to make new friends, the bullies always seem to intervene and turn the new people against you too. The type of sadness a target feels is the kind that is deep, dark, and overwhelming.
  2. Depression- This comes with being rendered powerless. It seems that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You have the feeling of being bound and gagged. You feel trapped like a rat and there’s nowhere to go where the bullies and participants won’t find you. And you feel that there’s no hope that things will ever get better.

  1. Ohhhh, the rage! This is, by far, THE most powerful emotion targets can have. With each physical or psychological attack, the fury grows until you’d give anything just to have the power to rip their heads off and shoved them up their you-know-whats. Oh, yes! Rage does that to you and gives you such evil thoughts!

I remember the rage I felt in middle and high school when I was a target of bullying and it grew to a level until, at one point, I felt homicidal! I loathed them so intensely that I just wanted all of them to drop dead.

I used my brain. I didn’t allow myself to snap and take any lives. I thought about my future and how doing something horribly violent would ruin it, I then decided that none of my classmates were worth ruining my future and causing my family heartache over and eventually, a door opened for me and I was able to transfer to a new school where things got better.

  1. Suicidal thoughts. It’s not that you want to die. You just want the torment to stop and when it gets to a certain level, death seems to be the only escape for it. These thoughts happen when you feel you’ve exhausted every possible option to make things better. But don’t give up. Because as long as you’re alive, there’s always a good chance that things will change for the better and you can come out victorious on the other side of it.

 I want you to know that if you’re a target of bullying, things may seem hopeless, but they aren’t. Things change for the better all the time and when you least expect them to.