Tag Archives: Bullying

I DESERVED IT, DIDN’T I?

I was physically assaulted for years by different men and there were times when I woke up that I didn’t remember agreeing to have sex with a person or know where I was.

Alcoholism will lead you to dark places and to people you wouldn’t normally be friends with.

My parents were actually good parents. They had some moments when we were younger that could’ve been better but I don’t think any of it was too bad. Then again maybe it was and I don’t want to remember it. I don’t really know. I do know I was always painfully shy, over weight by the 6th grade with glasses and acne. It wasn’t fun from the 6th grade to the 12th grade. A lot of damage was done that couldn’t be undone.

When no one stands up for you as a child or intervenes you start to believe what is being said to you. So I believed I was fat, useless, ugly, unlovable, even that I smelled when I didn’t because everyone believes when you are fat you must smell. I was the cleanest person I knew. I became obsessed with expensive perfume as I grew older because of one comment made in the 10th grade. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on perfumes from places people have never had of.

The group of people I surrounded myself with when I began drinking at 16 were all predators in some way or another. Some were emotional predators, some financial, and some sexual or needed to feel in control.

I was perfect for all of it. I had zero self confidence and thought I was nothing when I arrived. I worked hard and always had money. I was easy to control when drinking and I was always drinking to numb a feeling or fake a personality or emotion or to feel normal. They saw me coming a mile away and never wanted me to leave.

While one would say and do cruel things another would be there to act as the good guy. Then it would flip. I went on like this for almost 9 years starting at 16. Those are important years where you learn how to be a young adult then an adult. I didn’t learn any of those things. I learned a lot of street smarts and how to immediately scan a room for scumbags or trouble. I learned to always sit with my back against a wall facing the door so I could see who was coming and going. I learned not to trust anyone ever again and to look people in the eye. I learned how to read facial expressions and tell when a person is lying to me.

I learned all of these things the hard way and by slowly becoming the monsters I hated.

I never fully became the monster but I still carry that fear with me and the street smarts. I also carry the “Trust No One” mentality with me because it huts too much to trust and be let down over and over again even by your family. I have brief flashes of the rage I carry deep within me and I won’t lie, it scares me. I wouldn’t hurt another person but I would hurt myself in that rage as I tore through the World. So I have to be careful with it and channel it into something else. That’s where the tears and stuttering come in I think.

I didn’t ask for any of this. The mental illness I knew was a 50/50 shot so was the drinking. But when I was growing up no one really knew that or talked about it. If my parents had taken me to a Doctor when they first suspected I would have been institutionalized until the age of 18.

It’s here and now at 44 that I decide how I want to deal with all of what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned, what I still need to learn, and pass it on.

If I could travel and speak on Radio Shows or in High Schools and tell the absolute truth with no sugar coating that’s what I want to do more than anything. There are too many organizations right now that so many feel like they don’t belong in because all they see are the positive messages of hope and recovery which is fine but don’t promise it right out of the gate. When I’m feeling like 0 the last thing I want to see are shiny happy people holding hands because I’ll already have the thought of failing in my head.

I don’t know if I’m making sense about this at all or if I’m completely off base and too messed up to even know it. I wouldn’t mind some feedback as long as you don’t completely tear me down because then that’s all I’ll think about for weeks. Ridiculous! But that’s who I am now. I’m a lot stronger in many areas but I still seek love and approval. I’m a work in progress like everyone should be.alone-by-edgar-allan-poe-scarebaby-design

Advertisements

THE BULLIED BULLY THAT I KEPT A SECRET FROM MYSELF

Bullying started early for me. I went into puberty at a very early age, I had breasts before the rest of the girls which also came with hormones and everything else. Having adult breasts at the age of 10 isn’t as good as it might sound to some people. Boys at that age are not ready for breasts and are still at the “Girls are icky” stage.

It didn’t help that with puberty came acne, glasses, and weight gain. I was also the tallest and heaviest girl in my class. My twin sister wasn’t having the same problem.

A group of kids called me “Dino” after the dog on the Flintstones. My first name is close to Dino. Every piece of paperwork had your last name first. My last name has to do with food in a way. When it was called out first everyone laughed and said that must be why I’m so fat and ugly.

There were not many days where I wasn’t tripped, called names, had chairs pulled out from under me, spit on, or ignored.

I began drinking at 16 and went to parties with a group from another town. They were older. A few were from the town I lived in and went to school in. There were nights where I was bullied at parties and would lock myself in my car where I cried myself to sleep. These parties were up an old dirt road called “Purgatory” that the police never found out about. Purgatory was a good name for it.

It’s where I thought sexual acts equaled someone liking you or a way to get someone to like you. I would take many years for me to realize that sex and love are two different things.

It’s also where a darker side of myself started to emerge little by little.

If you are mistreated and told you are nothing for long enough you start to believe it. When you’re Bipolar and don’t know it and an alcoholic you can turn that hurt and pain into something else at times.

There were times when I was drinking where I felt cocky, almost better than everyone, like I could take on the world. Situations became really bad, really fast on these nights. I remember one night J’s grandfather had passed away and he was depressed. But as usual there was a group of loud idiots in the living room. I left him in his room and went to tell them to be quiet. A girl I didn’t know said “F*ck you! Who are you anyway, you fat c*nt.” That didn’t sit well with me. At the time I loved J and I knew what it felt like to lose someone close to you. He had no one to take with him to the wake so he asked me because he knew I had manners and could speak respectively to adults. So I to be fair I asked the girl to repeat herself in the hope that the people with her who knew me would tell her to shut up. Nope. So I punched her in the face. She was very quiet after.

I’m not proud of any of the things I’ve done but in a way I miss that person could stand up for themselves and say what they wanted. Instead of this person who starts to stutter and shake at loud noises, heavy footsteps, angry men’s voices, and cries at everything.

I usually didn’t get into physical fights with other females because I didn’t think it was fair in my mind. I thought because of my size it wasn’t fair. Not to mention it was mostly men who did the most damage. I did fight a lot of men for good reason but violence isn’t really the answer. One day you will meet someone bigger and badder than you are, and on that day no one will help you, some will think you deserve it, they won’t know what you’ve been through your entire life.

In the end you’ll go back to being the frightened child you used to be but this time it will be much worse. This time you will have memories of the things you did and the worst that was done to you.

If someone had intervened when it all started maybe things could’ve been different. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad now. I don’t know. I do know that when an adult notices something is a little off with a child they should go with their gut. You don’t have to call in Children’s Services but maybe observe their behavior or talk to their teacher.

If nothing is said than nothing can be done. And where does that leave them as an adult?


The First Amendment, Social Media, And Cyberbullying (part II)*sensitive material*

This post may contain triggers and adult subject matter.

ME

I can’t remember the first time I hurt myself or the last. I do remember the overwhelming need to feel pain anywhere else than on the inside. The inside I could do nothing about.

There was no “Cyberbullying” when I was in school. I know I sound old but I have had the lucky fortune to experience it as an adult. I have to say that even as an adult I didn’t handle it well. I’m not sure anyone would. Who really wants to hear or read negative things about themselves? In my case I think them about myself most of the time with short windows of manic activity so I suffer enough. For some people (I use that term loosely) it isn’t enough. They can’t tolerate anyone different form them or anyone whose afflictions or differences they can’t comprehend.

If anyone thought when I was younger that I didn’t own a scale or a mirror they were bigger idiots than I thought. BUT as a kind woman once told me at the jewelry factory I worked at when I was 12, “You can still lose weight. They’ll still be ugly.” She meant inside. And even if she didn’t that’s what I took from it. I forgot it at times and was ugly on the inside and always regretted sinking to that level. Most of the time the person doing the bullying is craving attention mostly because they never received it themselves when needed most. It still does not excuse the behavior or make the statistics go down any smoother.

STUDIES AND STATISTICS

The University of Alberta’s Researcher Michele Hamm and her colleagues sifted through recent studies on Cyberbullying and Social Media. Thirty six of the studies specifically researched the link between Health and Cyberbullying in children ages 12-18.

ONE THING FOR CERTAIN, EXPOSURE TO CYBERBULLYING INCREASES THE CHANCES OF DEPRESSION. THE MORE CYBERBULLYING A PERSON SUFFERS THE MORE SEVERE HIS/HER DEPRESSION WILL BECOME.

  • Bullied students tend to grow up more socially anxious, have less self-esteem, and require more mental health services throughout life.
  • Over 160,000 miss school everyday due to bullying.
  • 38% of online girls report being bullied compared to 26% of boys.
  • Girls 15-17 are bullied more than any other age group.

RESPONSIBILITY?

Where does the responsibility lie? Parents? Social Media? The School System?

All of the above.

We know that in the time we live in most parents work. There’s nothing wrong with that, if you still manage to make the time needed to talk to your children. If you are just going to work, coming home and putting them to bed, it isn’t enough. Before anyone says it I will. I do not have children, I have nieces and nephews. What I am qualified in is years of torment and suffering at the hands of all kinds of bullies.

Monitor Your Children’s Social Media for Warning Signs

Sites like Tumblr and Instagram have a difficult time controlling the content on their sites. They have tried up to a point. The biggest problem they are up against are self harm, suicide, and pro anorexia sites or content.

The only thing Tumblr and Instagram are able to do is have a message pop up with information on where you can go to learn more or get support for anorexia, self harm, or suicidal thoughts.

But these people are not stupid. They carefully hide their agenda with hashtags and what they think are clever names. I’m only going to give ONE EXAMPLE. I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE ANY OF THESE GROUPS MORE ATTENTION THAN THEY ALREADY RECEIVE.

Instagram has a site/group #sue with 800,000 tagged posts. It serves as a “how to”, “fantasy”, “successful tips”, you name it. There are darker sites for anorexia that have not been monitored.

Everyone has choices in life. Some of the people visiting these sites are not fully formed people yet. Scientists now know that our brains do not reach full maturity until our early 20’s. Except for me because I started drinking heavily at 16/17 and that delays maturity. If a depressed, anxious, teenager with low self esteem visits one of these sites chances are it won’t end well. Their brains are not fully formed, they think what they are going through will never end, that they will forever be the fat/nerdy kid who was picked on. They do not see an alternative to their situation. They don’t know that 10 to 15 years from now most of the same people that picked on them are going to be fat, bald, divorced, have too many kids that they resent, look like they’re happy but are secretly miserable, and were probably miserable back then too. That’s what Reunions are for.

There is another side I feel I have to talk about. If someone has taken their own life, it was their choice. No one has a right to pass judgement on them or their families. Walk a mile. More than half of you wouldn’t make it.

If you need help it is out there. There are people of all ages that have gone through something similar.th4wjg08ss

 

 

 


BULLYING AND SUICIDE PREVENTION

On the homepage of my computer was a story today about a 9 year old boy. He was from West Virginia. Normally my eyes would’ve passed right by if it wasn’t for the fact that he resembled my nephew. Because of this I went on to read the story. Part of me wishes I hadn’t.

On September 10, 2016 it was National Suicide Prevention Day. It was also the day this adorable 9 year old boy was found hanging in his room. He was dead when his sister found him.

The boy’s biological grandmother had guardianship of him. She says that he was often bullied at school but handled it with humor or if he really had to he would fight. Recently though he had become more withdrawn than usual. His grandmother tried to get him to open up to her but he wouldn’t.

The school says the family never reported the bullying. They’re still “looking into it”.

His hair is dark blond, he has a too large forced grin on his face and there is something in his eyes that I recognize. There is a look of suppressed anger, despair and resignation.

Society sees bullying with boys in a different way. When my brother was younger and bullied by older kids in the neighborhood he was expected to fight back. If he didn’t he was told that it would just get worse. One day 5 of them came to our house. I remember it was snowing. My brother was about 13 at the time but was already taller and bigger than the children around him. The problem was my mother had taught him to be polite and respectful. Unfortunately other parents had not done the same. It had gotten so bad that to this day I can’t watch Full Metal Jacket without thinking of my brother and what he went through. I feel sick. But on this one day everything changed. Those 5 boys left on their hands and knees wondering what the hell had just happened. They had unleashed a monster that could never be put back. I hate to say it but my father helped. These “boys” were older and bigger and brought sticks, belts, and socks filled with rocks. 5 against 1 mind you. It was because he was so much bigger and older looking but never used his size that they singled him out. It sounds absurd but it was true. It was all downhill for him from there.

Once he realized his new found power he used it constantly to intimidate everyone around him. His teachers were frightened of him and my father felt defensive. My mother always had the attitude ” I brought you into this world I can take you out”. Not helpful. He was difficult to live with. He’s still a bully. 

I was also bullied. In a small way after taking it for so many years I became like my brother. This was only when I drank. I never could’ve done it sober. That’s the sad part. Even now I can’t stand up for myself and I’ve been sober for years. I’ve joked to my bestfriend after someone has hurt me that I was going to the bar to do a couple of shots, then going back to tell them off. She knows I won’t and understands how difficult it is for me. But we can at least laugh about it.

My nephew was bullied last year. He’s the smallest in his class. Another child hit him as hard as he could between his shoulder blades. My nephew threw up and had a bruise in the shape of a hand. He started having stomach problems, nightmares, and didn’t want to go to school at all. The child that hit him has behavioral problems and has an adult that supposedly supervises him in the classroom at all times. This is in addition to the teacher. I would like to know where both of them were. His problems are due to the fact that his parents are in the middle of a divorce, his mother is an alcoholic with mental health issues, and neither spends any actual time with him.

I can’t blame the children. These behaviors are learned. To drive another child into feeling so hopeless that their only choice is to remove themselves from this world is deplorable.

I know there has to be a solution. I just don’t see a solution to a problem that has been happening since the dawn of the time, happening soon. That doesn’t mean we do nothing in the mean time.10153640_10151988208565685_8901309243108819210_n


%d bloggers like this: