Monday, February 18, 2013


I am going to start this blog out by saying... this is not a happy topic.  For those of you who would have a tendency to overlook or pooh pooh the negative situations in life, read no further.

I had been pondering for a while if I had any topics to blog about.  It wasn't until now, the time that I should be heading to bed (or rather should be sleeping already) that the title of this blog came to mind.  My current studies have jogged my memory of a few incidences in life that are not pleasant, and have had life long effects.  With that being said, I also want my reader to know, I have overcome what I am to write about, or so at least I think I have, in majority.

Now for the history of the topic- I am currently studying Forensic Psychology and just completed a paper regarding a particular type of assaults and their effects on the victims, and I contemplated the fact that for this type of assault in the majority of cases the assailant is known to the victim.  From here, I started to think about other types of assaults and was reminded of one such assault on myself.  An assault of bullying.

Yes, bullying is in the news, and in the news a lot.  Is there an issue with it?  In my opinion, yes!  I have been bullied and at some level still experience bullying into my adult life.  Some may call it "gentle ribbing" or "teasing" but it isn't that when it is intended to make a person feel bad for who they are or for what they are.  In all of the years that I expereinced bullying, I can, as an adult say, I was targeted.  I was a target for bullying.  Case in point...

I don't specifically recall if I was in the 6th or 7th grade at the time, but I do remember this... I was told by a "friend" or someone I thought of as a friend, that she was going to beat me up over the recess period the next day.  In all my naiveness  I didn't believe her.  Why would someone you help with their homework and someone you engage in normal conversation on a daily basis just 'beat you up'?  The next day, true to her word, I was approached by another student saying, "X is coming to beat you up."  The fear and anxiety started immediately.  Not only that, I was confused.  Most likely within a minute, I was being pulled down by my hair and hit multiple time.  It didn't last long.  I suppose one could be thankful for that.  We were both brought into the principal's office.  I don't recall the specifics of our punishment, yes, I was punished for this... but I do recall the very next day, my "friend" brought me a bag of valentine candies in efforts to apologize.  (Actually now I remember the punishment- I had to stay in at recess the next day... not that I minded- I was safe inside the library).

I could additionally record the numerous names I was called by children who supposedly were "good Christian children", or write about the number of snowballs thrown at me without actually being engaged in a friendly snowball fight, or the jeers and taunts thrown my way.  The fear and intimidation that was imposed on me by those who targeted me lasted many years.  The effects of the bullying took many different forms, from being depressed, anxiety ridden, lonely, and most all of acedemic achievement decreased, and decreased significantly.  For example, on the state exams in fourth grade I received 100%.  Yes, you read that correctly, 100%.  Although, I almost didn't graduate from high-school.  How does that happen??

Parents often say, "kids will be kids", but I am going to argue back.  NO! Kids are not just kids.  They learn this behavior from their environment.  Whether you as parents want to accept this or acknowledge this or not- kids learn this behavior.  Whether it is seen at home, heard within the media, or seen within environments they participate it, they learn it- it isn't just "kids being kids"  and "kids being mean".   So, I challenge each and everyone of you as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and so forth to start being kinder to all who are around you.  Talk about differences if you might, but don't judge or imply that one is better than another because of their differences.

Speaking of differences... I am NO different than anyone else.  I have no specific taboo difference that one may think of.  I am confident and most see an externally unbreakable person.  Inside... now that's another story.

I am no longer depressed, I occasionally experience anxiety, and academically well let's just say that most people aren't working on a second Master's degree or even have an interest in studying longer than what is required.  And parents, quit using the excuse "kids will be kids"- teach them to love and be kind.  I am not your target.


maaretp said...

You wrote exactly what is in my heart. Thank you. Perfect timing.

Anonymous said...

As you stated 'kids will be kids' and yes this is very much a learned behavior. I think the phrase should be..'kids will be like taught'. Silent parents on this issue are teaching their children that this is acceptable behavior. Parents need to take an active role and give tools to their kids to avoid this behavior rather than simply wait for it to happen then try to apply punishment.

Anonymous said...

If a child lives with ridicule he learns to be timid; if he lives with criticism he learns to condemn; if he lives with distrust he learns to be deceitful; if he lives with antagonism he learns to be hostile; if he lives with affection he learns to love; if he lives with happiness he will find love and beauty..
-Author Unknown-