When You “Embrace the Suck”

Embracing The Suck

Many young targets of bullying are trapped in a school that hates them. It’s easier to get out of a toxic environment when you’re an adult target bullied at work. You can transfer, and if you can’t transfer, you can always quit. However, when you’re a minor, it’s almost impossible. What if your family cannot afford to move to a new school district? Also, what if your parents refuse to move or to transfer you? What if your parents can’t afford to home school you?

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a toxic environment and in a horrible situation. When you’re suffering from bullying with no way to escape it, it’s the feeling of entrapment! Just imagine you’re in this situation and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it! And you can’t get away from it! You’re just stuck there!

So, What Do You Do?

You embrace the suck. Embracing the suck means that you just grin and bear it. You just accept the god-awful, crappy mess you’re in because there’s no other choice. In other words, you’re just plain screwed and there’s no way out of it. You learn to live with it and make peace with the possibility that things may not get any better. And yes, it sucks!

Sadly, many targeted kids are stuck in schools with a toxic culture of bullying. These kids get attacked daily. They’re attacked psychologically and physically. Teachers and principals view these children unfavorably because bullies have them convinced that the targets are the instigators. Therefore, school staff are constantly watching these young targets, waiting for a reason to drag them into the principal’s office.

These kids suffer from plummeting grades and poor school performance because they’re forced to live in survival mode. Why? Because having to prepare for a hostile learning environment takes priority over studying and learning. Therefore, school staff see them as lazy and hopeless and refuse to give them the extra help they need.

Gee! That’s an awful lot of suck!

And how much suck can one child deal with?

Understand that if you’re a child dealing with these kinds of circumstances, you don’t have to just “embrace the suck.” There’s always School Choice. Nowadays, families can get vouchers to make it easier to transfer you to a new school and start fresh. Also, there are other things you can try if, by chance, School Choice isn’t an option where you live:

  • You can document the bullying and have your parent or legal guardian help you with your documentation.
  • Also, you can, depending on the jurisdiction you live in, hide a body cam or digital device in your backpack or on your person.
  • Thirdly, you can practice self-care.

And keep the faith. School Choice may not be available in your area now but it doesn’t mean it won’t be later.

You don’t have to be completely powerless. Do the above three things because they are the things you do have control over. And when you do, not only is it probable that you’ll change the dynamic, but you’ll feel so much better about yourself. You will also feel that you have, at least, some control.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Poem: Survival Mode

Tip toe, tip toe, tip-tippy toe, I must walk ever so carefully

While looking up to Heaven I can only plea prayerfully

Walking through this toxic place is like walking through a minefield

No, this isn’t like the part of Newman on an episode of Seinfeld

In glee the bullies watch as they smile with their eyes twinkling brightly

Their unsolicited and repeated advice is for me to tread lightly

My eyes scan, watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop

I must fight, no end in sight, not one sign that the bullying will stop

Knowing in my gut, feeling in my bones that something’s gonna pop off

If I didn’t have hope nor care for my future, I’d bust some shots off

Angry and contemptuous eyes narrowed into slits all around me

Watching, waiting, and anticipating the next juicy opportunity

Looking at me, watching me, with their breath just a-bating

Like ravenous vultures on the hunt, they’re patiently waiting

My stomach turns and flips until it draws tightly in knots

As they gather ‘round, poking, prodding, and making pot-shots

Holding my head high as I continue to walk the daily death march

Like a cornered cat in preparation for attack, I feel my back arch

“Walking the Mile, Walking the Mile, Walking the Greeeeen Mile”

I walk with a brave face through a cesspit nest of creatures so vile

Making a point to be careful not to disturb or stir the hornet’s nest

On high alert, I see nothing but a blurry red as I try my level best

Just to blend in, hide, and be safe as another face in the crowd

Look, look! There she is! Get her! Get her! They all yell aloud

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, to escape this chilling cold

Forced, compelled, with no other choice but to live in survival mode

3 Ways Living in Survival Mode Robs You of Personal Power

Living in survival mode can make for a hellish life. Sadly, many targets of bullying go through day-to-day life surviving instead of thriving. Not only can it have an impact on your successes with your family, relationships, and opportunities, it can affect your mental and physical health as well.

Personal power isn’t only essential to personal freedom, but also the last vestige of power we have. Without it, we’re completely powerless. So, what are the ways that being in survival mode can rob you of your personal power?

1. It exhausts you both physically and mentally.

And when you’re exhausted, you’re only running on fumes. You need extra sleep and have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings. You go into work or school at 8am dreading the day. Your butt drags around like an old, tired dog. You have zero energy, and you constantly feel sluggish. Living off raw adrenaline every day is never good and can cause health problems, such as autoimmune disorders, hypertension, and heart issues.

2. Instead of living, you only exist.

Instead of living a purposeful life, you only go through the motions. You’re being forced by circumstances beyond your control (i.e., bullies and their sycophants) to just get by. You have no chance of reaching your full potential and happiness quotient. And if you feel you can’t reach those levels, you don’t really live.

3. You either don’t have time to think about personal goals or you give up on them altogether.

When you busy living in survival mode, you’ll more than likely give up on your goals. Once you resign yourself, then the goal simply becomes just to survive and get through the day. If you do think about your goals, those goals are only passing thoughts. Or you wish for your goals to materialize.

But here’s the thing about wishing instead of goal setting. Wishing denotes a spirit of lack instead of the spirit of abundance. A spirit of lack only invites more lack to come into your life. Thoughts and feelings become our circumstances. What we think about, if even subconsciously, comes about.

Sadly, getting out of survival mode is a lot easier said than done. So, how do you do it?

Realize that when you’re constantly in survival mode, it usually means that you either live in a toxic environment, work in one, or go to school in one. And where there’s a toxic environment, there are toxic people.

Again, how do you get out of survival mode so you can finally relax and begin to enjoy life?

1. If you can, get out of the environment.

Getting away from the toxic place is a sure-fire way to reduce your stress levels and restore your mental health as well as your personal power. However, some people can’t leave because they have circumstances that prevent them from doing so. So, if you can’t leave, what else can you do?

2. You drawn strength from your faith.

Remember that prayer works. It works wonders.

3. Go for a walk or take a break.

This works wonders as well. Going for a walk or taking a break gives you time away from toxic people and the environment you’re stuck in. Even five minutes of time away can reduce your stress levels. In just doing these things alone, you can exercise your personal power, or what little of it you think you have left. And it feels exhilarating!

Know that you always have a choice, you may not have many of them, but you have at least one choice. Find out what your options are and use them. Only then will you feel a degree of personal freedom and, therefore get out of survival mode, if only temporarily, so that you can finally breathe again.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How I Compensated for Being a Target of Bullying

So many targets today can easily relate to my story. With that said, I want to tell you that if you are or have been a target of school bullies, you are not alone and, with a little inner work, you will eventually overcome your tormentors just like I did.

I was one of those targets who rebelled against the bullies and fought back. To keep my self-esteem from completely tanking, I dressed my absolute best, but still it was not good enough for me. I wanted to dress like a million bucks for school. Clothes from Walmart weren’t good enough. I had to go to the mall, Cato, Tempo, Maurice’s, or Hollywood’s before I was satisfied. I wasn’t happy unless I was dressed to the nines at school.

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I felt I had to be well dressed because I was still quite a bit insecure inside. I didn’t feel like I was worth anything unless I was dressed to impress. One of the thoughts which consumed me all during high school was how to dress like a fashionista.

It had a lot to do with how poorly I was being treated and I continued to believe that the better I dressed, the better I would be treated although, the exact opposite would occur. It seemed that my attire was arousing even further hatred and contempt.

Nevertheless, I absolutely had to be dressed in the hottest fashions or I just didn’t feel adequate. The more they put me down, the more I would dress up. I felt that my attire provided me with not only a sense of style but also control.

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Some mornings, I’d dress up, look at myself in the mirror and think,

“So they think I am trash? They must be blind. Does this look like trash? I think not! I know I’m hot and they are not going to convince me otherwise!”

Does this sound arrogant? Conceited? Maybe. Does this sound downright narcissistic? Perhaps. Was it the right attitude to have? Both yes and no. My defense was to act conceited, like I didn’t need any of them.

This holier-than-thou attitude, however unattractive it might have been, helped me preserve what little self-esteem and dignity I had. It helped me to keep going when things were at their worst. It helped me to keep from being totally brainwashed and reprogrammed by my evil classmates, unlike a good majority of other bullied targets, who, sadly, weren’t that fortunate!

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I walked around with my nose in the air and refused to speak to any of them. I had a sassy and smart alicky attitude. I was extremely sarcastic and had a snotty disposition. I even laughed at and bullied others to grab back some power. My attitude stunk – period.

Sure. This attitude could’ve easily gotten me hurt or worse had my bullies known for certain about it. A lot of those girls carried knives, especially those who were from families of criminals and ex-cons, families who were dirt poor or just plain loco. Sadly, that was over half of the student body.

I have no doubt that they would not have thought twice about whipping a blade out and slicing my face with it if they could have gotten me in the right place and I would have had to wear it for life.

However, this arrogance I often displayed was the only way I knew to stay strong and to maintain a little bit of power. I was only a teenager and had not yet fully developed the concrete thinking skills nor the processing ability to handle my situation more objectively. Back then, I was a slave to my emotions and I let them guide me in how I handled people and situations.

Also, I was under a tremendous amount of stress and had been for the last three years. And when anyone, even the most logical and rational person is under a large amount of stress that lasts over a long period of time; memory, emotional regulation, and ability to maintain positive relationships are negatively affected. Therefore, neurologically, I had two strikes against me- a double-whammy.

From the sixth grade, up until I left Oakley, I was constantly in survival mode due to being bullied and had to be in order to protect my personal well-being. To even make it to graduation, I had to be hyper-vigilant to be safe. You must understand that when you are a target of vicious bullies, it is as if you constantly have a target on your back. You are a marked person and you learn very quickly to grow eyes in the back of your head.

And it’s no way to live. Please feel free to comment on your experiences and what you did to cope.

Doing What Ya Gotta Do is Sometimes Doing What You Wouldn’t Normally Do

Anytime you’re bullied, you become desperate and will go to any means to take the bad spotlight off yourself. Many times, I would pit a few of my classmates against each other. If I knew of a few who disliked or hated each other, I’d very quietly and slyly pit them against each other.

An offhand comment here, another there, and I’d have them fighting among themselves. Yeah, I know, it was a shady thing to do. However, if I could keep them fighting among themselves, then I could distract their attention and hostility away from me and thus, keep the spotlight away!

Again, when you’re chronically bullied like I was, you’ll do anything and I mean anything to get a nice, albeit short, a reprieve from all the drama. And sometimes, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do” to keep yourself safe- even though it isn’t necessarily the right thing to do.

I understand. You never set out to cause anyone harm. You don’t want to cause discord. However, sometimes you’ll do what you normally wouldn’t do to protect yourself. So, if you have to, keep them too busy fighting each other to even think about you, I completely understand your position. Your only goal is to keep yourself safe!

Sometime later, I’ll give you more detailed pointers on how I did it.
Until next post! Stay safe and stay well!

Here Are Some Negative Ways I Coped with And Survived Bullying

Bullying throws a target into survival mode. If a situation is threatening and there’s no escaping it, the victim will often find ways of coping. And some of those coping mechanisms aren’t good ones. Anytime we’re stuck in a toxic environment, we become desperate and do things we usually wouldn’t do to either escape or for relief. Here are a few things I did wrong.

1. I bullied kids I thought were weaker than I was. Today, I look back on this with great remorse, and I have apologized to those I hurt.  It’s not something I’m proud of. Because I felt so powerless, I bullied others to feel more powerful. But a reason never equals an excuse.

2. I faked like I was sick so that I could stay home from school or go home from school early. Many of my classmates and a few teachers accused me of wanting attention or to skip class. Far from it! I faked an illness because I wanted an excuse to get the hell out of there away from the bullies. Back then, there was no internet, so if I left early, I could get a reprieve from the bullying I was suffering and not have to deal with my classmates nor see their faces.

Again, I just wanted to get out of that snake pit and go home—nothing more, nothing less. And I would do anything- anything to make that happen. Back then, the ends justified the means.

3. I resorted to deception, con games, and trickery. Oh, yes! I was a master manipulator! I made it look like I was pregnant in the seventh grade to trick my classmates into leaving me alone and not physically attacking me. I did this by going to school dressed in bigger clothes I’d found put away in a box at a family member’s house. I didn’t come out and tell them at first, only made the excuse that I’d gained a few pounds. They didn’t believe it, which was precisely what I was counting on.

I made my classmates wonder a while, letting their curiosity build and making them continue asking if I was pregnant until I very sarcastically told them I was and walked away snickering under my breath. Sure enough, just as I’d known they would, they took it literally and ran with it. Once word had gotten around, everyone left me alone. It worked for a while, and the joke was on them.

And I knew that if they found out I wasn’t pregnant, I could turn it back on them and say,

“Awwww, no! I didn’t lie about that! Are you so stupid that you don’t know sarcasm when you hear it? Boy, you’re a bunch of freaking morons!”

Needless to say, they were furious because they knew I’d tricked them, and the bullying escalated exponentially.

4. I instigated fights between others. And not only because I was jealous of other’s friendships, but because I knew that if I could stir the shit pot a little, sow a little discord, and keep some of them fighting among themselves, I could take the spotlight off me, fly under their radar and get a short break from the bullying. As long as they were at each other’s throats, they’d leave me alone, and that was the way I wanted it.

These were not my finest moments, but this goes to show that sometimes, targets resort to being sneaky and a bit underhanded to stay out of harm’s way. So, if you know a kid who seems to be a pathological liar, manipulator, and a sneak, you might want to do a little investigative work to figure out why. The young man or lady might be in survival mode. Using trickery and deception may be the only way they feel they can ensure their safety.

Lovingly explain to them that the way they’re handling it is not the right way and suggest better ways. Also, explain the importance of being yourself and being true to your beliefs and convictions. They may or may not listen, but your message won’t go unheard.

Negative Ways I Coped with and Survived Bullying

Bullying throws a target into survival mode. If a situation is threatening and there’s no escaping it, the victim will often find ways of coping. And some of those coping mechanisms aren’t good ones. Anytime we’re stuck in a toxic environment, we become desperate and do things we usually wouldn’t do to either escape or for relief. Here are a few things I did wrong.

  1. I bullied kids I thought were weaker than I was. Today, I look back on this with great remorse, and I have apologized to those I hurt.  It’s not something I’m proud of. Because I felt so powerless, I bullied others to feel more powerful. But a reason never equals an excuse.
  1. I faked like I was sick so that I could go home from school early. Many of my classmates and a few teachers accused me of wanting attention or to skip class. Far from it! I faked an illness because I wanted an excuse to get the hell out of there and away from the bullies. Back then, there was no internet, so if I left early, I could get a reprieve from the bullying I was suffering and not have to deal with my classmates nor see their faces.

I just wanted to get out of that snake pit and go home—nothing more, nothing less. And I would do anything- anything to make that happen. Back then, the ends justified the means.

  1. I resorted to deception, con games, and trickery. Oh, yes! I was a master manipulator! I made it look like I was pregnant in the seventh grade to trick my classmates into leaving me alone and not physically attacking me. I did this by going to school dressed in bigger clothes I’d found put away in a box at a family member’s house. I didn’t come out and tell them, only made the excuse that I’d gained a few pounds. They didn’t believe it, which was precisely what I was counting on.

I made my classmates wonder a while, letting their curiosity build and making them continue asking if I was pregnant until I very sarcastically told them I was and walked away snickering under my breath. Sure enough, just as I’d known they would, they took it literally and ran with it. Once word had gotten around, everyone left me alone. It worked for a while, and the joke was on them.

And I knew that if they found out I wasn’t pregnant, I could turn it back on them and say,

“Awwww, no! I didn’t lie about that! Are you so stupid that you don’t know sarcasm when you hear it? Boy, you’re a bunch of freaking morons!”

Needless to say, they were furious because they knew I’d tricked them, and the bullying escalated exponentially.

  1. I instigated fights between others. And not only because I was jealous of other’s friendships, but because I knew that if I could stir the shit pot a little, sow a little discord, and keep some of them fighting among themselves, I could take the spotlight off me, fly under their radar and get a short break from the bullying. As long as they were at each other’s throats, they’d leave me alone, and that was the way I wanted it.

These were not my finest moments, but this goes to show that sometimes, targets resort to being sneaky and a bit underhanded to stay out of harm’s way. So, if you know a kid who seems to be a pathological liar, manipulator, and a sneak, you might want to do a little investigative work to figure out why. The young man or lady might be in survival mode. Using trickery and deception may be the only way they feel they can ensure their safety.

Lovingly explain to them that the way they’re handling it is not the right way and suggest better ways. Also, explain the importance of being yourself and being true to your beliefs and convictions. They may or may not listen, but your message won’t go unheard.