Saddened by your post, TheDuckster. I know that's not why you wrote it, but it takes the breath away to hear about what happened to your son. Glad
to hear he's made it through (and you too).
Read Chissler's post and again, found it hard to believe.
While I was sitting here, it occurred to me that we seldom hear about mega-rich and influential people being bullied. What does that say about us or
rather about the bullies?
I'm predicting someone may well post after this to point out that *plenty* of mega-rich are subjected to bullying. They may claim that Bill Gates
is bullied via criticism, or this or that nonentity-celebrity is 'bullied' by the paparazzi. As far as I'm concerned, that comes with the
territory. The mega-rich and powerful are able to hire others to contend with the flak: rarely do the mega-rich find themselves confronted face to
face with the sort of bullies under discussion here.
In another thread in the forums about bullying, virtually all contributors detailed the bullying to which they have been subjected, so I won't go
into detail about my life, other than to say I've had such wide and prolonged personal experience of verbal, physical, emotional and gang bullying
that for a long while it was one of the few 'norms' in my life.
As consequence, I can spot them a mile away.
To begin with, when I was young, bullies rendered me speechless, literally. I'd go numb with pain and disbelief. Often, I'd feel as if I were
hovering outside and above myself. Being 'inside' was obviously too painful to handle. At other times I'd be ablaze, mortified, way past tears --
at others beaten, sore and utterly alone. It's cumulative, as those who've been through it will confirm. It's like carrying a load of lead in
your gut, on your shoulders, on your face.
I'm quite sure it contributes to youth suicide. Not ONLY youth suicide either. People in their mid-20's and 30's quite often are still struggling
to throw that lead-weight off. An incident that becomes the final straw can quite often cause them to finally say: 'Enough. Good bye.' Those who
work with or live with them claim -- honestly enough -- that they 'can't understand' or explain why someone seemingly
adjusted/successful/outwardly happy would just kill themselves out of the blue. But there are always reasons and bullying in all forms, past and
present, is a large contributing factor.
Yes, it's a good thing to put bullying and bullies in the spotlight. Anything that can reduce the pain inflicted on victims is to be sought.
The thing is though, bullying has *always* been here. Bullying has as many forms and faces as there are grains of sand on a beach.
Most of us will be prey to it at some point in our lives, even though we may not always realise it. 'Fashion', for example, is a form of
bullying. My son was picked on by a gang including his best friends for turning up to gym class without the obligatory 'Nike' sneakers. Children
are bullied for having red hair, or freckles, or a speech impediment, or the 'wrong' type of school-case, 'wrong' accent, 'wrong' address,
'wrong' height or weight, 'wrong' academic pr sporting abilities, etc.
With the greatest will in the world, we still will not be able to eradicate bullying (although hopefully we'll be able to reduce it substantially
through concerted effort and education).
So what can we do?
Perhaps the focus on bullying needs to be two-pronged: educate our children (and ourselves, our families) how to COPE with bullies at the same time we
attempt to appeal to bullies' better natures ?
The fact that so many who've contributed to 'bully' threads in these forums alone have been bullied, indicates they're survivors: they made it
through and they're still standing.
As humans that's what we do best: survive.
I'm sure we welcome all and every suggestion from those who've survived bullying --- regarding their coping-strategies, their success stories, their
Because THESE are what we need to hear and learn from.
The fact they're 'survivors' tips' indicates they work !
We're not going to be able to protect our children or even ourselves from bullying experiences. Humans are natural bullies. Bullying has remained
an inherent part of humankind since it first climbed down from the trees. But we CAN learn and teach re: how to cope, survive and emerge with least
Marines are bullied during training and often throughout their service, as are sailors, pilots, police-recruits, clerks and juniors working part-time
at McDonald's. Depending upon their personality and character, such bullying can tip them over the edge or turn them into world-beaters.
So we need to know those coping-strategies, because bullying -- like death and taxes -- is probably here to stay.
So how did YOU survive the bullying you endured?
Did you fight through with your tongue, your mind or your fists? Or was it imagination, reading, drawing, golf, cooking which saved you for another
How do you cope with Cyber-bulling? What tips do you offer your children, re: Cyber and other bullying ?
Whatever survivors are able to contribute will almost certainly help someone, somewhere. This thread could be the lifeline that saves a stranger