Do you understand what it means to be bullied? Do you know what the signs of being bullied are? Are you sure about whether or not your child is being bullied? If they are bullied is it only at school?
Or is your child bullying other children? Are you bullying your children?
I often talk about myself here. The reason is that I have experienced a lot of things in my young life. I have not experienced everything and those things I will draw on other’s experiences, but for this I will draw on my past.
I was a bully. I was bullied – both at school and at home. It has effected the way I have lived and I am trying to ensure it does not effect me for the rest of my life.
I cut myself and I tried to kill myself. I lost myself in drugs and sexual proclivities. I was disrespectful and fearful. I was scared and alone, even among my family and friends. I wanted it all to end.
And when I was the aggressor I found a high that I only found with the first hit of whatever narcotic I chose to experiment with. That is what bothers me most now. I have tried to find those that I hurt, but it is difficult and some of them did end it all and some of that weighs heavy on my conscious.
The only thing I can do now? Open up and tell you everything I can about what I have been through.
Was it the result of my choices? Were those choices and everything else my parent’s fault?
I honestly don’t know.
It would take me a year to tell you of my life from first memory to now and so I will not even try right now. I will tell you I was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused as a child. I was sexually abused as well but not by my parents. I have a lot of trauma in my life and I have yet to deal with it all.
My step-father was a physically intimidating man. It was not only the fact hat he was a coke addict, but the fact that he treated me like his son, in his way, and by doing so treating me like a punching bag and a door mat. I know that sounds odd, but he only treated me as he was treated as a child. I know this now, but not then. Then I thought he hated me. Then I wanted to kill him – I even made several plans.
He was not the only one I wanted to kill. I was very homicidal as a child. I wanted all the kids at school dead who called me names, in jest or not – it still hurt. I wanted the teachers dead who did nothing to stop it – some made a joke out of it. I wanted my friends dead because, even though they were experiencing the same thing I was at school, they had relatively normal families – or so I thought. And most of all I wanted my mom dead because she stood by it all, put her head down and pretended it was not happening under her nose. I would tell her about it, beg her for help and she would brush me off, not understanding and not knowing how to deal with any of it.
I was not only homicidal. I was suicidal as well. In elementary school I would hurt myself by biting myself or slamming my hands or legs in the door in order to forget about the pain around me and focus on the pain at hand. As I got older, I cut myself. The cuts got deeper and deeper so that I could again focus and also the rush of the blade slicing through my young flesh was indescribable. In high school the drug use became worse than some Columbian drug lords’ best customers. I would seek out self-harming activities from drinking contests to Russian roulette where I saw two friends blow their brains out (it left a scar, but I never noticed the wound).
It came to a head when I learned to be assertive and stopped caring what others thought. I turned the tails and used the abusive phrases and actions to torment my tormentors. It seemed like the right thing to do. They laughed at first, but eventually they avoided me and then went so far as to run when I was around. Was it the right thing to do? Absolutely not.
An eye for an eye never brings peace.
This was my experience. Is it unique? Yes. Every situation is unique and so every situation needs individual special care.
Have you had an experience with bullying or do you think you have?
- Always actively listen.
- Always show that you care.
- Always genuinely care.
- Do something about it.
- Do not result to any form of violence (verbal, physical or otherwise).
- Remain calm.
- Comfort, comfort, comfort.
- Understand or seek to understand the individual’s individual needs.
- Share the experience so that others can benefit from it.
- Always think of the individual and not yourself.
- Be open, honest and always firm but pleasant.
Above all love. Show love. Be loved. Spread love. Love will reign. Love is all.
- Jack Reese, 17, Bully-Related Suicide in Northern Utah (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- Bully and Understanding Suicide (thoughtsunthinkable.wordpress.com)
- Grandparents: 5 Ways to Deal With a Bully (or Bullied) Grandchild (aarp.org)
- Why The Bully At Your Child’s/Teen’s School Is A Bully! (familycouplescounselchino.wordpress.com)