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!

Heide’s Story of Survival

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

This is my story—of oppression, of getting through, of moving on—my survival story.
Looking back on the events of my life, I realize that the hurt I’ve dealt with was due to extreme neglect as a child. Our parents’ loved their children to the best of their ability; however, my mother suffered from major depression, to the point where she was slowly giving up on life. And, in my father’s case, his own father had left him when he was young.
A Survivor of Neglect
No one had taught my mother and father how to be good parents. As a child, I had very little to no supervision. My mother was very carefree with us. One memory I retain was when I was four years old. I was swimming in a lake, and a neighbor frantically called my mom to let her know I was out there.
My mother’s response was to ask her to just send me home. To this day, my family and I laugh about it, but looking back, it was extremely neglectful on my mother’s part.
As I started school, kids were very mean. I was teased, spat on; I was not picked for teams in gym, and I often sat alone at lunch. Teachers would not say anything to stop it. I felt scared to go to school and terrified to ride the bus. I truly hated elementary and middle school. I hardly had any friends, and the ones I thought were my friends were often two-faced.
In seventh grade, I was at a friend’s house, in her basement, and a girl with rings on physically beat me up, holding me down and punching me repeatedly in the face. There was a boy watching and swinging a knife around, laughing. Then I had to walk two miles home in the dark, alone, after being beat up. When I got home, my mother was lying in bed, asleep, with no idea I hadn’t been home.
Inner Strength In Spite of Her Bullied Past

Looking back, I was severely neglected, and it wasn’t a nurturing, caring living environment. When my mother was not working, she was sleeping. Now and then she did things to take care of us, but most of the time, we ran the streets and fended for ourselves.
Sadly, she passed away from breast cancer when I was thirteen.
Over the years of neglect, I developed many insecurities.
I now realize the trauma I dealt with made it difficult to socialize with other children as well. My sisters and I came from a poor upbringing, and I truly believe that is one of the reasons as to why I was made fun of and rejected growing up.
Many years later, I was diagnosed with ADD/OCD and anxiety. I had these brain-based challenges my entire life but did not realize it at the time.
The Effects of Trauma
OCD/ADD causes individuals to be impulsive, to have less patience around others, and to overthink everything. These tendencies can cause people to react to you in a way you may not deserve, but it’s unfortunately a result of struggling with mental health issues.
These issues were key as to why I heavily grieved over losing my mother, why I chose relationships that kept me feeling “vulnerable,” and why I always felt so alone.
I even allowed my ex-husband to control everything in our marriage. I wanted to feel safe, but this led to various forms of abuse. In 2015, I became a single mother, and even though I was scared of failing and struggled financially, I had to learn how to do everything on my own. Though difficult, I became a strong woman and a mother, and I was finally happy.
positive bullied victim says NO
These foundations of my identity, as well as my faith, helped me feel secure and that true hope could be fulfilled. To this day, I still struggle with self-esteem issues, anxiety, and some seasonal depression; however, I choose to see other people’s needs instead of focusing on my own negative emotions.
The Courage to Leave an Abusive Marriage
My goal is to use my past hurts to bring them hope. I have a motto for myself: “I’m the glass half full kinda girl.”
Year ago, when I shared my story, others would often say, “I don’t remember you being bullied, when/who bullied you?” Questions like these caused me to question the validity of the pain I felt and made me think I had no right to use the word “abuse/bullied” to describe my pain.
However, as I dealt with all of the denial, anger, blame, sadness, and grief over the years, I realized I indeed had the right to feel everything I did, and no person could take that away from me.
That emotional strength and security has made me want to make a positive out of EVERY negative. Recently, I reached out to the girl that beat me up in the seventh grade and I reminded her of the events that happened. She did not even remember and explained how much hurt she was going through at the time.
She apologized, I told her I forgave her, and now we are friends and talk from time to time. So you see, I chose to use my pain to inspire others and show them that there IS hope, no matter what you go through in life.
Resilience
Sometime it is as simple as saying hello to random people on the street, calling others by their names, making sure to wear a smile often, and going out of my way to be a friend to ANYONE who needs one. This is especially important to me, since I lost my brother in 2018 to suicide.
I know I suffered a lot of loss and hardships in life, but I know that others have suffered quite a lot more. We all experience different things, and what’s important is not how others think we’ve lived, but instead how we ourselves experience life.
I TRULY believe if I can share—or sing, a passion of mine—my story and save a life or even inspire one person, then it makes it worth going through all of this pain and coming out the other side.
A Passion for Music
Heide has a lovely singing voice! You can check out her single, “Bulletproof,” here!

6 Ways to Get Rid of Self-Doubt

Many targets of bullying are filled with self-doubt. However, it isn’t only targets of bullying that suffer this malady. Self-doubt ranks right up there with fear. It’s a close second to it as it kills your dreams and causes you to live in mediocrity. Therefore, fear and self-doubt are the catalysts to life-failure. I don’t want this to happen to you.

So, how do we get rid of self-doubt? And how do we bravely work on our goals and dreams and ultimately, achieve success?

It starts in the mind.

1. Remember how far you’ve come.

2. Remember the battles you’ve fought and won.

3. Remember the fears you’ve faced and overcome.

4. Remember all the bullies and mean people you’ve overcome.

5. Remember all the hurts you’ve come back from.

6. Remember all the things you’ve accomplished- even the tiniest of wins you’ve scored.

Understand that we all come to roadblocks and hit brick walls. We all have our down times and, sadly, sometimes those bumps in the road can cause us to doubt ourselves.

Hey! I just hit mine in the last month and had to take a rest! Yes! Me- the blogger my friend Kym Moore and a few other bloggers like to call “The Energizer Bunny!” But even the Energizer Bunny needs to stop and recharge every now and then.

Again, we all- even the best of us, have periods when we doubt ourselves. The trick is to get up, dust yourself off, and keep pushing on. Rest when you must. And when you rest, take all the time you need to recover. But don’t you dare give into self-doubt and quit.

As mentioned earlier, we all have times when we self-doubt. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is whether they give up or keep going.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Ways to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Bullying can be devastating to a child’s or teen’s self-esteem. And the damage can last a lifetime. It can have a negative effect on their progress even into adulthood.

No, it isn’t your fault. You and your child are innocent in this, but you still must do some damage control.

The parents of bullies should teach them kindness and empathy, yes. However, the targets’ parents also have work to do- they must teach their children confidence. Neither side gets out of this without some degree of responsibility.

I realize that it isn’t fair that most of the confidence-building work must be done on the target’s end. But nothing in life is fair and we can’t change that reality. We, as parents of bullied children still have to take action. We still must do our part to ensure our children’s confidence stays in tact so that they’ll be able to flourish. Therefore, it’s up to us to tip the mental health balance more in the target’s favor.

Teaching targets confidence involves teaching them never to look to bullies, or anyone for that matter, for confirmation of their worth and validity. Most of all, it means creating experiences for them that naturally balance out all the negative experiences they face at school. To neglect this work would be devastating for our children!

How do you do that?

By giving them opportunities to make friends outside their toxic school environment.

For instance, they can join a martial arts class, a scout troop, or go to summer camp, to name a few. There are so many options available for targets to forge lasting friendships. And you will be amazed at just how it will help build their confidence and self-esteem.

Yes, kind words, encouragement, and verbally re-enforcing positivity to your child is important. But giving them the positive experiences that back up your well-meaning words will work doubly well because it will serve as confirmation that they really are good and normal kids and give the self-esteem that extra boost.

So, give your bullied child fun, exciting, and positive experiences that they can look back on with confidence and assurance! They will thank you for it later! I guarantee it!

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!

Your Mind Is Yours and Yours Alone. Keep It That Way.

Bullies don’t only want to hurt you or destroy your good name. More than anything, they want to get into your head and alter your mind.

The worst thing about bullying isn’t the physical assaults. Cuts and bruises heal easily. It isn’t even the name-calling, the smears, the rumors, or the marginalization. It’s what it can do to the mind if we aren’t careful.

The worst thing that can happen to a target of bullying is when he begins to believe what he’s being told. The worst thing that happens is when she begins to see herself through the eyes of the very people who hate her and who want nothing more from her than her complete destruction and ruination.

Anytime a target begins to believe he is nothing, he does himself a huge disservice because he discards his own definition of him and replaces it with that of his bullies. He values the bullies’ opinions over his own.

I cannot stress enough the importance of loving yourself even when it looks as if others don’t love you back. You must continue to believe in yourself even when it seems that no one else does. You must also continue to stand your ground even when people want to bury you in it.’

That’s how you keep your confidence and self-esteem from tanking. It’s how you keep even a little bit of your dignity and it’s how you protect your spirit from being broken.

Yes, your confidence may take many blows, but it doesn’t have to die. Your self-esteem may be pummeled, but you can keep it for hitting rock bottom. Bullies may break off pieces of your dignity, but you don’t have to give them the piece of it you still hold for yourself. Your spirit may take a hard beating, but only you decide whether to let them break it.

In short, you don’t have to surrender everything that matters to your bullies.’

You have more power than you know. Your thoughts are the freest commodity you have. No matter what they take from you, they can never take your mind if you don’t let them.

“Power is not what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Think about that quote for a moment and realize that it’s what all bullies live by.

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!

My Mother, Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide (Flashback)

Alabama Crimson Tide

My mother and I both are huge Alabama fans and have been for years. When I think of the Crimson Tide, I automatically see the face of Coach Bear Bryant and although he passed away when I was a little girl, I still remember his being tough as nails to push his players to be the best they could possibly be. In fact, he was so tough that he would make sure “puke barrels” were nearby because the practices were so brutal. I have no doubt that Coach Bryant’s influence lives on today and continues to make Alabama one of the top college football teams in the SEC today…decades after his death!

Like Bear Bryant, my mother was also tough as nails…pushing me and my siblings to be smarter, stronger…better than what I ever thought I could be. She was and still is a loving mother, but she could always be tough…even brutal when she knew we were being lazy and not trying as hard as we could try…at anything.

At times, Mom was like a drill sergeant but although it didn’t feel good at the time, I can tell you that her fierceness motivated us to do what we were supposed to do. I don’t think I could’ve graduated college nor become a published author of four books without my mother’s influence.

It is the same with the Crimson Tide. They wouldn’t be the awesome college football team they have always been without the influence of the one and only Bear Bryant. His legacy lives on over three decades after his passing, just as my mother’s legacy will live on in the hearts of her children long after she is gone!

Roll Tide Roll!

The Resilience of The Target of Bullying

Understand that we, as humans, know what we need to nourish and flourish. And if we’re not getting what we need and want in our current environment, we’ll get it somewhere else.

Targets of bullying are like flowers that lean toward the sunlight to grow.

If you’re a target of bullying, you will find someplace where you’re accepted. You will find friends. You’ll find love, and you’ll find happiness.

My bullies weren’t able to keep me bullied and broken. After I moved to a new school, their power ended. I was no longer within their reach. As badly as they wanted to, they couldn’t keep me under their bootheel forever. I moved on to a place with people who accepted me as I was.

Understand that bullies can only keep you down for so long. They can’t do it forever. There’s always somewhere people will accept you- just for being your awesome self. Always remember that. There’s always a better tomorrow!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

I Used to Hate It, Now I Welcome It: Dislike and Hatred

Everyone has people who do not like them- you, me, everyone. It isn’t personal (or at least I no longer take it so). It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or defective about you. It’s only a part of life. Like is subjective, and not everyone meshes with everyone.

So, why do I welcome being disliked, you ask?

1. It means I’m doing something right. And making the haters and people doing the disliking feel uncomfortable, insecure, and like fools.

2. It only shows that I’m true to myself. You stay true to yourself by setting boundaries and not allowing others to invade them. You stand up for your beliefs, your convictions, and, most of all, yourself! You follow your dreams and goals and never let anyone distract you. When you do these things, it makes you a powerhouse. But! It also makes you enemies.


3. It gives me just another reason to reach success. Who doesn’t love to make supporters proud and enemies jealous? I love seeing my loved ones’ faces light up, and my hater’s faces contort! I feel the love of my friends and get free comedy and entertainment from my enemies. Enemies can motivate you if you let them.

Most people are slaves to approval. They chase it like a starving dog chases a thick, juicy steak.

Once you stop caring what others think and looking for people to like you, you’ll no doubt make quite a few enemies, even bitter ones. But you’ll be amazed at how much freer you feel. Being yourself is the most important thing you can do and frees you from the constraints of society.

When you have people, who dislike or even hate you, you know you’re putting yourself first, and that’s what it’s all about. If you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to properly take care of anyone else, even the ones you love, whenever they need you.

Sadly, it took getting older before I realized the value of having enemies.