Thursday, September 4, 2008

Revenge on bullies!

I have read a few blogs lately that really made me think. Oh Oh, there goes the smoke coming from my ears. Great job everyone. No, seriously, I have read more than I've posted. Well, I saw a few that I really liked and will probably steal the general format for a future post. I hope if you recognize that format that you will feel honored and flattered as opposed to enraged and plagiarized.

So what these posts brought to mind was my growing up years. Don't worry I know I have not really grown up yet. (hope I never do actually) Children in general from as young as 6 and 7 can be very cruel. Several people can recall specific instances where they changed from fun kids to kids who worried about too much, such as bullies and what those bullies were going to do to them. Now, I want to define bullies.
I Think for this post a bully would be anyone who would say or do anything to make someone else feel inferior or to put themselves above that individual. Sometimes bullies intimidate and use physical force. Sometimes they use the sectarian form of bullying. I think this would be where the "In" crowd would pick others out of the class or group to harass, pick on, make fun of or just plain make life miserable for.

So I find myself thinking about this dynamic. I believe that there are several personalities involved. There is the real bully. The one who instigates the intimidation/harassment. There are those who go along with it and consider themselves friends of the bully and put their own 2 cents in. Then there are the victims. Usually the ones who bear the scars for a long time. Who usually overcome and succeed far beyond the bully. And then there are the others who are just glad they were not picked as the victim and tend to try and avoid the bully and the victim.

So now I look back at my life and want to figure out where I sat. I definitely was at various times the victim and the one avoiding attention. But then lucky for me I gained some confidence and went to different high school than everyone I grew up with. I was social. I was involved. I will not go into what I was involved with as I try and stay as anonymous as possible. Anyway I found myself in a totally new group I have not previously listed. I was not comfortable just going along with anyone. I sought friendships with everyone and struck the best friendships with those who had intellect and rational thought capability. But I found also that I had a voice. I could speak out against the bully. I could never just sit by if someone was ever being made fun of or picked on. Well, towards the end of my high school experience I actually had a few encounters with previous bullies of mine. I will not go into too many details, but I knew their game and knew I had all the power now. Anyway, it was a great feeling.

SO, (I tend to start a lot of sentences with so. So, I must not be a very good writer) What the Question of the day is....................................... What group were you a part of? Were you a victim? If you were, did you ever get a chance to confront a past bully? (or maybe the satisfaction of seeing them suffer a little) Were you the bully? If you were, did you ever feel bad enough to apologize to a victim? Did a victim ever confront you? Were you the friends of the bully? The ones who maybe didn't feel totally comfortable but did go along because you did not want to be the victim. Or maybe you were the ones who just floated under the radar and really got your wings after high school. Maybe you were something I didn't mention. Did the experience of your school years influence you as an adult. (by adult I mean as legally defined. Many of us probably still have a hard time calling themselves adults.)


So tell us all where you fit in to this dynamic and where you are today. Do you have good memories of school? Or do you try and block those years out?

I for one wish I would have done a lot of things differently. But overall am glad for the experiences I did have.

40 comments:

RhondaLue said...

I might have been a friend of a bully in elementary school, bullied in jr high some,and then avoided BOTH bullies and victims in High school. Though if I did ever happen upon a bully doing something I HAD to say something. So not cool.

I mean, there comes a time when kid being kids is done and kids being evil, cruel little monsters begins...usually upper grade school years.

I know someone that used to, in high school, make fun of the deaf kids at school. Like, what kind of person DOES that? Someone that'll never (and didn't!) outgrow it. One of those bad, evil cruel girls. ICKKKKKK.

EREBUS said...

2nd grade, I was using the bathroom when one kid I didn't know tried to get me to give up my lunch money by using threats. I kicked him...kicked...lets say where us boys feel the most pain. He never bothered me again.

I don't recall many encounters with bullies in later school years. The encounters I do recall, I intervened in. I had enough respect in school to be deferred to like that.

Bullies are nothing more than the human species last remnants of vetting out the alpha male role. Telling a bully that will get a wrinkled eyebrow look:)

Did you read my latest post? I'm officially flattered if you did.

Ronda's Rants said...

This is a great question!
When I was in 6th grade, I was bullied but I didn't recognize it at the time...which maybe is even sadder. My Dad was in the Navy...which means you move every two years in November, at this point in my life...I was still trying to fit it, later as I got older I didn't care as much. But, in 6th grade I still did. I was very small for my age (ah those were the days) Looking back, I can see I was the brunt of this girl's jokes but at the time I thought she liked me...anyway, we were in the girls restroom and the amazon girl who I thought up until that moment was my friend picked me up and put me in the trash can...that came up to my chest! There were about 4 or 5 girls watching...they all laughed and left and turned the lights out on me!
I stood in that trash can for a moment in the dark and suddenly it all got very clear to me what was happening! DUH? We were NOT friends! I had to tip the trash can over and roll out...I stood up, brushed myself off and like Norma Rae marched back into class...I walked right up to her desk and when they saw me the liitle motley crue started to snicker but I kept walking towards her. I got right up to her desk...and spoke really low so only she could hear...and with my best Dirty Harry voice..."You try that again and you are dead!" Interestingly enough, she was afraid of me!
Up until that point...I may have watched her bully other people and not understood it as bullying! But it was...I have never watched a person be bullied again...I am known as someone who stops it! It all goes to back to my time spent in a trash can. This is long but...when I casually told my mother what happened to me...she started to cry and I ended up comforting her and telling her not to worry...it wouldn't happen again.

Heather said...

I think I fit into all of these over my life. I have to think about this further...

Dawn said...

I was a victim of bullying in elementary school and then bullied others, I think to try to keep the attention off of myself. I didn't bully many people, but there were a few girls who were more timid than me and I picked on them and feel awful today. If I were to see them, I would apologize for making them feel bad. I am a school counselor today and I work with kids often who are bullied or are bullying kids and I feel good that I can help kids understand why they are being treated that way and help others recognize why they may be bullying others. I have always worried that my kids would be bullied since I was mean to those girls, but fortunately, that didn't happen!!

EmBee said...

I wonder if the people who 'bully' actually see themselves as a bully? I guess because I've always sensed that a person who becomes a bully is more than likely to have been bullied themselves (by an older sibling or an angry parent?) I'd be interested to know for sure.

I myself was, I guess, what you'd call a 'Glad-Hander'... The type of gal who tried to ingratiate myself to everyone... I didn't want to be on the out's with anybody. I wanted everyone to like me (I know, annoying right?) but I knew not to cross certain lines. If a SUPER popular kid and I were friends in class, I knew better than to walk up to him/her in his/her social group and continue a discussion. I was also a teacher suck-up... It served to aide in my lackluster academic abilities.

btw: Thanks for stalking... Uh, I guess? :-)

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Thanks for stalking my blog - I have an answer but I kind want to save it for a future blog.. but suffice it to say for now that I was both.

Rhonda said...

In grade 8 I was definitely the victim. The grade 7 victim moved away, which left me next in line. I could talk to my "friends" on the phone at night and the next day go to school and they all hated me. I never knew from one day to the next when I was going to have friends. I had a group that would let me fall back on them during these times, but, as terrible as it is, I would just run back to the "others" as soon as they would let me be their friend again. They tried this the first day of grade 9, but, thankfully, I had enough real friends by then that they stood by me. The "others" saw this wasn't going to work this time, and it never happened again.
It was truly awful. But, you know, I have planned a couple of Junior High reunions in the past 20 years, and continue to stay in touch with them, and none of them remember doing any of this. I wanted them to remember and feel awful. But, no such luck.

Jenni said...

I usually was none. I just did my thing. But if I saw someone being bullied I would stick up for them. I remember in maybe fourth grade, a boy was picking on another boy on the bus and I turned and told him to pick on someone his own size, so he turned and said something dirty to me. My older brother got up from his seat an punched the kid! It was great, particularly because my older brother was the last person I expected to stick up for me. And the bus driver thanked him on the way off. It was great!

Jenni said...

Oh, and thanks for stalking my blog.

Tulsi said...

I know my reactions to situations with my kids, to what was going on with them, how I paid/pay attention, and what action I took (have taken, or will take with one more) are a direct result of life before marriage. (I was 19 so I go by before and after marriage.) Your question was what type of person were you. In many cases, I think it was how you were treated in younger school and at home.

My dad tore down and rebuilt oil refineries. We moved about every 1 1/2 - 2 years. When I was made fun of, it was usually about being the new kid, my name (It's pronounced Tulsa - not like it is spelled) and my size. People don't get stuck on my name so much now - I'm 5' 3' and can eat what I want. That bugs a lot of people, still. Unless they know me, they don't know that I can't keep weight on. To me, it is the same as a person not being able to loose it. For me, it's not a choice. (yes - doctors' after doctor's after doctor's. One finally said throw away the scale and be who your are, just a few years ago) In 3rd grade, we moved from Cottonwood, AZ to Brush, CO for the last 2 months of school, where one girl - they were always larger than I - would threaten to beat me up daily. I was seriously scared. I wouldn't eat pickled pigs feet that was part of school lunch. My mom had to come to the school and tell them I was not to be forced to eat all of my lunch. So that was her reason. We stayed in one place from 6th grade until I left for college. We were in the town I was born in and where my mom mostly grew up. She married at 16 - not a shotgun wedding - they met in AZ where my mom knew a former principal of mine - and I went to school with her classmates children. Those former now adult classmate's formed opinions of my parents that they shared with my classmate's when we moved back. That was fun until we had been there a while and something or someone took it's place. As much as I love my parents, I didn't grow up as my kids did. I learned to blend. I was mostly under the radar in school. (Small town, 7th-12th in one school- my graduating class was 48 ) I was involved in everything, I actually did like school, but I made sure I didn't really stand out to much. 7th - 9th grade I was voted most shy. In 10th grade up I was probably in the upper crowd (if you count some things I was involved in and who I dated)- but not the one where you could only have "certain" friends. They were catty. I didn't have time to keep up with who we were friends with today, and I didn't much care for them consistently. I could come and go in that group, but I knew the minute I turned around, a fault was found. True friends. (None of them are still friends today. My best friend and I have been so since age 13 when she moved to town) I thought everyone needed a friend. And still do. A result of being the new kid all the time, I'm sure. I think most bullying was mental bullying, not physical. Even the boys. I have always been called anorexic. Not just gangly, skinny, etc. That was probably the most bullying I got. And I do consider it bullying. It is intended to make one feel better about their self image by tearing down another in order to do so. But, because of my experience, all I wanted for my kids were to be a size, an "off the rack at the store" size. They are. Boys are kind of different. But girls try to knock my girls down because they can wear anything, after eating anything. My oldest doesn't have body issues - but it took a long while. My youngest has her to look up to. She is still young, but realizes already that if someone uses her size, it is because they aren't happy. She wants people to be happy, but will stick up for herself fully if size is the issue. It is a school offense to call some one fat. The schools my kids have gone to got to know that it is just as offensive to be called anorexic. It's not even a joke, in either case.

Sorry to have blogged in your comments. Believe it or not, it was longer. This got me to thinking about kids I know. I think I'll post.

Ronnica said...

I fortunately was rarely on the "victim" side of bullying. Unfortunately, I was sometimes on the "bully" side though, particularly in middle school. I regret that I wasn't willing to stand up for those who were bullied and occasionally joined in the teasing and the taunting. I just thought that status and what others thought of you was way more important than it really is.

Blog Stalker said...

Great posts People!

Rhondalue - The nerve of someone making fun of the deaf kids. Pure evil indeed. And good for you sticking up for the bullied.

Erebus - All it takes is standing up for yourself, and being confident. Not easy to do for many. Good job being the "intervener"

Ronda - I got sidetracked once you wrote motley crue. LOL seriously, I am picturing you marching in and confronting her. The only thing better would have been to take in the trash can and well....lets not go there....sorry

Heather - Waiting patiently for your further thinking

Dawn - The fact that you recognize when you may have been a bully translates to you are a good person. A lot of us can end up 'running with the crowd'. It is not always easy to not be a part of it or try and stop it. Glad your kids were never bullied. I bet you taught them not to bully too. Good job

Embee - hey little brown noser. Just kidding, I know several people who want everyone to like them. Sometimes they get all walked over and say nothing. I do not consider myself a suck up but I almost always was a teachers pet. I also tend to get the best service from places because I "suck up" (but its not really sucking up) And you're welcome. I think.

Lizzy - Let me know when you write that future blog. I wrote this thinking a lot of people may have been both.

Rhonda - What is it with Rhonda's? (Ronda, Rhondalue) They must be some cool people. glad you only had to deal with it for 8th grade. Hooray for real friends!

Jenni - Your brother rocks, and I like your bus driver for saying thanks. Hard to be an adult and want to punch a kid. lol And your welcome

Tulsi - (Tulsa) I will remember that. You never dissapoint with great comments. It has to be hard moving a lot. We did that as well. By third grade I had lived in two countries and 7 different houses. I always feel cheated but it is probably the reason I can relate to many different people on a variety of levels. And I AM jealous of your size. I love good food and would love to be able to eat as much as I wanted. But not making light of your situation at all. Just making a comment. lol

Ronnica - (kind of like Rhonda, lol) I am glad you say unfortunately. Not all of us think about how someone else is feeling. I remember a movie called "Powder" that was very moving on this issue. The main charachter could feel the pain, joy, hurt etc in everything around him. Anyway, I hope you have become a defender today!

I always love your peoples comments. Thanks and keep them coming!

Pezlady said...

Hey thanks for stalking my blog. You rock!

I do not remember elementary or jr high in good ways. I was bullied. A lot. Then I tried to just be ignored. A lot. Finally, I got a backbone and decided to just be me and not give a crap what others thought and I made friends with the weirdos and the jocks and the nerds and the special kids and whether I continued to get bullied or not, I don't really remember. I became a better person and more accepting of people's differences. High School I have very good memories of and I think it's cuz I was happier and more secure in me.

Now that I am a mom and I have kids, I try try try to instill in them the concept of accepting others and being strong in your own skin so that even if you are bullied, it won't matter. It's hard. I just wish that some parents wouldn't teach by example to their kids and that the bullying gene would stop getting passed on, you know?!

Nic said...

Always, ALWAYS the victim. Which is bizarre, because I am very confident, outspoken and to all intents and appearances totally happy and breezy. But (now who is using bad writing techniques!) I, like women who keep going for alcholics or men who beat them, am OFTEN the target of bullies. The soft centre is obviously easy to see if you're that type, and they hone in on it. Screw with my head with silences, moodiness, exclusion...

As a kid I can't really say I noticed it, did my own thing, I think was thought of as a quiet (which made my mum laugh) geek. But to have it continuing as an adult...even ONLINE...yes...cyberbullying!! whooooo. That's something.

Goood post. You're now on my list, dear stalker xx

Hot Air said...

I'll let you go look and draw your own conclusions.

My parents were much the reason for my mentality in social situations, and propagated my unhealthy feelings with misguided advice. As I've mentioned a few times, it is only recently that I've realized I'm not what they said I was.

I am most determined to give my children a more assertive, compassionate, and empowered launchpad.

Mike said...

Under the radar. Don't like attention. Given or gotten. That said sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do to protect yourself or friends.

Jen said...

I am glad that you stalked me. I like it over here. Very cool.
Anyway about the bully question. In school, I was the one who confronted the bully especially when the one being picked on was my little sister. Then in high school, I got smart and ran and hid.

Valarie said...

Floating under the Radar, that was me. I did not and still don't like confrontation. I am in a totally different place though in life than I was as a teenager, so I can "bow up" on someone if I need to. I just try not to need to. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is quite a different thing you have going here. :)

Rhea said...

I went to a very small high school, and we didn't have many bullies. Everyone's differences were accepted. I think. It was a unique school.

Nice to meet you!

jennifer said...

OK, first of all, the concept of your blog is fabulous. Really.

And I use OK, SO, NOW, and ANYWAY quite often to start sentences and I can write. The "well" part of writing is debatable for me though.

I was an odd one. I was a victim but mostly because of choices that I made. When those choices got attention, then I felt the bullying. I was a band person, a cheerleader, and considered attractive. But I tended to tune a lot of people out because I felt that "everybody is looking at me and talking about me" angst that teen girls often feel. So I was quite aloof at times but not because I thought I was better. It was because I thought I wasn't quite good enough. My Senior year I allowed myself to bloom and say to heck with the bullies. I was more at home in my skin and SO DARN GLAD TO GET OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL! I will probably never go to a reunion because that relief is still so palpable.

And blogging makes me feel "in". When I have people stop by and comment and make these wonderful friendships with other bloggers, it is a cool place to be.

Thanks for the visit!

Jen

Blog Stalker said...

Ilove the comments guys, your are really starting to come around. Although by the look of my poll, a few of you still think I am a little creepy or emotionaly unstable. Maybe I am.......Nah

Pezlady - Backbones RAWK! Who says you can't teach self esteem? You go mom!

Nic - Want to find out more about cyberbullying. What is that?
Honored to be on your list. Would you like me to add you to mine?

Hot Air - I commend your assertive, compassionate and empowered launchpad! All kids should have one. :-)

Mike - There is a line in the sand, so to speak! (is that right?)

Jen - Confronting the bully , great! Why run and hide in H.S?

Valarie - A lot of you under the radar. I do not care for confrontation either. Sometimes it is good to 'blow up', but its better if we find a better way to let off the steam.

Rhea - I am jealous. How lucky to go to a school like that. It should be a model for others, unless it was because you guys were in some kind of prison. lol

Jennifer - Thanks for the nice words. I think all victims choose to be, but not neccessarily on purpose. They choose NOT to stand up for themselves, for whatever reason. Then the vultures see a weakness and pounce. (maybe vultures and pouncing don't go together.....what do I know?)

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Funny, am listening to "Summer Nights" of Grease as I'm reading. Kind of sums your post; the yin and yang of life ; the good/evil; the dark/light; the prejudices. I think there's no avoiding it. There'll always be the bully and the victims, sadly. I think it's from living in fear. Agree with you, blogstalker, the feeling of empowerment when you can stand up for yourself. It's happened often enough in life to realize, "live and let live." You don't bother me, I don't bother you. Fair enough? Fair enough. p.s. Am intrigued by your new blog. Good luck! "Man in Black" by Johnny Cash. Great way to end!

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

Great Post about bullies!!!

I was the victim.... I was an over weight teen, which was cause for many tortures days by the "mean girls" in high school. The funny thing is Karma sure is a Bitch... Now I have lost the weight have great career, and these same girls who tortured me in H.S. I now coach their daughters in soccer, lets just say they are still are pretty and snobbish ... but now I don't have to put up with their CRAP, I laugh at their ORANGE TANS

KARMA it is a Bitch!!!!

Melissa said...

When I was young, elementary school, I was fearless. I would confront kids bigger and stronger than I was. I had no fear. And, since bullies are USUALLY full of hot air, I didn't get into much trouble. But as I got older and learned just what these bigger kids COULD do, I wasn't so brave. By the time I hit high school, I'm ashamed to say, I was fairly apathetic. It doesn't affect me personally... I wasn't friends with bullies, but I wasn't friends to the vicitims either. Sigh... hind sight is always 20/20, eh? And now I'm in a new bully situation - my oldest is getting bullied at school. :S
Thanks for stalking my blog!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

QUEENSRYCHE!!!!

The very first concert I ever went to was Queensryche when I was 16. I still love them!

ktmay said...

i was a victim, which is actually kind of embarrassing because why didn't i stand up for myself?
i won;t go into all the details, but there were some CRUEL kids in my graduating class that i went to school with from K-12th grades....it hurt my self esteem. i became very withdrawn and depressed. but you know what? i'm glad i went through that because it made me more sensitive to others. i hate to admit this but i have run into a few of those mean butt bullies as an adult. i just smiled and said "hello" and vice versa. no point in holding a grudge. i figure they've probably grown up by now (hopefully)

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

Hey I think you need to get paid for blogging >... just saying

Nic said...

Threats, nasty emails, mind games...over the internet, just not in person.

Yes, you can get away from it, obviously....but what if it's someone in a whole circle you used to mix in?

Nic said...

Oh and yes please! lol

georgie said...

I was somewhere in the middle...not popular but not geeky enough to get bullied...

Caroline said...

Thanks for stopping by Pocket Change today. Or maybe I should say "stalking" Pocket Change. You've given me a great idea for a post about a bus bully from elementary school.

And...your profile pic makes me laugh hard because it reminds me of Blair Witch Project. I only watched it once, and that was enough. Gives me chills thinking about the ending.

The Rule Maker said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I like to think that I have always defended the underdog!

Jennifer P. said...

I was never a bully, nor bullied. Worst thing---watching a girl get the snot beat out of her by the bully and just standing there petrified--worrying that if I intervened, I'd be next. I'm glad someone else had the courage to get in and protect the poor girl. Still----wish it had been me. I'm still a little too self-protective, especially if I have my kids around, but I WILL pick up the phone and dial the police when I see a fight occuring.

Glad you found your voice. That's a powerful thing.

Blog Stalker said...

Glad you're all checking in. You can add new comments or react to others.

Petra Michelle - Nothing more freeing than that feeling of empowerment. Especially if you are new to it. And I am glad you are intrigued. I aim for fun but serious discusion.

Confessions - I think I read one of your posts about this, I totally love that you coach their girls now.

Melissa - I am sorry about the bully at school. :-( good luck, its never easy. let us know how it goes, will ya?

Elasticwaistbandlady - Wow, thats a long name, lol. I take it you liked the music......rawk on!

Ktmay - It's great to be sensitive to others. I have developed that too(I hope) You are a rock for not holding a grudge.

Confessions - I wish! Sign me up, lol.

Nic - You were already on my stalked list, haha. You could probably blast someone with a large group of people who would come to your aide if someone was cyberbullying someone else. Say the word and we will mobilize. (I think I'm serious)

Georgie - Glad you were not picked on, but I don't think it was just geeky kids who got picked on. Anyone perceived as weak who did not fit in to some pre-determined category could be seperated from the herd and isolated for bullying. :-(

Caroline - The ending is what made that movie creepy. Everything else was just a long lead up. Not as creepy the second time around. The more you watched it the less scary it became. (kind of like me)

Rule maker - Need more underdog defenders. Sign up today!

Jennifer - I will be the first to admit it is hard to interfere. That is where a bully gains his confidense. He interprets that as support for his actions. Finding your voice and your fists if necessary are crucial. See, the police cannot prevent anything, not really. They 'respond' and 'react' to what has happened. It takes good people to stand up and demand better from others.

What say you people? Any further thoughts?

BTW(not even gonna bother trying to fix spelling, grammar, etc...so tired)

Veggie Mom said...

I'm a high school teacher, and trust me, I have NO tolerance for bullies. It turns out, BTW, that bullies grow up to be the "losers" of life. So do many of the "cool" kids. Oh, and I saw your note at the top of the blog. I'd love to have you add me as a "stalked blog"! Blog's name=Eat Your Veggies! URL=http://poprs.blogspot.com Thanks!

Melissa B. said...

Bullies Bite. But I can also say from experience that if one ignores them, they often go away. Of course, that's not much to say to some poor kid who's being taunted by a group of kids, but it generally is true in one-on-one situations. Like Veggie, I'm a teacher, and I see it all the time. If you have some time tomorrow, drop on by my place. We're playing the Silly Sunday Sweepstakes, and Sharing All That Caption Love!

Debateur said...

I could have been a victim in high school but a really tough loner guy took a liking to me and he made it pretty clear that anyone who messed with me would have to deal with him. I was very fortunate. Great blog.

EmmaP said...

I was always a fairly confident kid (har to believe, I know). And I was one of those kids that was friends with EVERYONE. I could be sarcastic and fun and fun-loving. I loved to socialize, but I also LOVED sticking up for the underdog. On the other hand, I HATE confrontation. So, (i also start many a sentence w/ that word), I guess you might say I tried to avoid the bullies, but would lend a hand of support to the "victims" out there. Luckily we didn't have too many issues with bullies in school.

I think the worst kind of bully is the one that manipulates and emotionally/verbally abuses. Unfortunately I have had my share of that...I was married to that bully for 14 1/2 years. But, now I am free, and my confidence has resurfaced. And I blog! and I love who I am again - Me! I no longer tolerate bullies or being manipulated ever again!

Mike said...

Right.

Somebodies going to have to do quite a bit of reading to make sense out this comment.

My Fun Stalkers Who Rock