Bully Free Zone

*This post comes with a warning:  It may or may not be P.C.  It is meant to be an honest conversation; if you fear honesty, please do not read!
The Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) came into my life shortly after my brother was murdered.  They counseled us and held our hands through every step of the justice system.  I do not know what I would have done without them.
When NOVA invited me to sit on their board of directors; I was deeply humbled.  More than anything I wanted to help others who had been faced with the horror my family faced. I also wanted to be an example to my kids; to show them bad things happen to good people and kindness begets kindness.
NOVA not only supports and empowers victims of all crimes they also educate.  The education department holds seminars for police officers and hospital staff on empathy for victims of crime.  They also visit every school in Bucks County, Pa. equipped with programs to counsel students in need, teach anger resolution skills, of course the famous good touch bad touch and my personal favorite The Bully Free School Zone.
Bullying is not new.  It has been around since the beginning of time.  Cyber bullying is however new and the jury is still out on whether bullying of any kind is just a right of passage while growing up.
Personally I think it is cruel and unjust and should never be tolerated.  I am a Pisces after all which makes me a dreamer.  I just want everyone to play nice.
Children MUST be taught to be kind.  The best way to teach kids to be kind is by example. My kids will be the the first to tell you that I would give my last dollar to a stranger in need.
This brings me to my confession.   I have been the victim of bullies my entire life.  It started in kindergarten.  The bullies I encountered only taught me who I did not want to be.  That was pretty heavy for a 6yr. old but it is the truth.   Was I afraid to go to school at times?  Absolutely, I was terrified.
As I got older I was steadfast in my convictions.   I would never be mean to anyone; ever.
When I turned 13 the worst kind of bully entered my life.  I was sexually assaulted by a trusted adult complete with threats of terror if I told anyone.  I told.
I grew up and was bullied in my career by supervisors.  This was prior to sexual harassment in the work place being invented, Yes I am that old,so to me they were just big bullies.
I also chose bullies for romantic partners.  The scary thing was I actually believed I could help them; change them.  What an idiot I was.
When 7 bullies chose to beat my brother to death with bats and hammers my kindness soul was cracked.  For the first time in my life I felt gut wrenching, heart burning anger and hatred.  My own thoughts scared me to death.
Through the grace of God, with the help of NOVA and 7 years of intense therapy, I slowly began emptying the bag I had stuffed with every hurt feeling, bad touch or evil word I ever heard.  It was one heavy bag.
My conversation now turns to adult bullies.  Little bullies unchecked grow up to be adult bullies.  They come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, colors and nationalities.  Can you recognize an adult bully?  If one was harassing you would you be too ashamed, embarrassed or scared to tell someone?
I have had an adult bully for a very long time!  I told everyone right away.  I of course got the feeling no one believed me and was actually told that this person was practically a saint.  I was deeply hurt.  I  let it go.  Every now and again it would happen again.  I started to stuff again but not for long.  The difference now is I am a big girl and I have been armed with Mad Skills to out bullies.  Actually all it took was putting my phone on speaker and having the non-believers hear the vile venom spewed my way.  I will not tolerate that behavior from anyone ever again! (and just in case you were wondering I have no clue what I did or supposedly did to this person to cause the behavior).
So can you recognize an adult bully?  They can be very crafty.  They have a Jekyll & Hyde nature-they are vile and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses.  No one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature-only the current target of the serial bully sees both sides.
Adult bullies use excessive charm and are always plausible and convincing with family, peers, superiors and others.  The charm is used to cover up a deep lack of empathy.
These bullies will always outsmart most people in verbal interaction, especially in times of conflict.
They can be so kind, helpful and loving….verbally…but there can be a lack of physical love (hugging, snuggling, cuddling of children or spouse) due to severe emotional damage suffered early in life.
I feel deeply sorry for my personal bully.  She is deeply unhappy and has never felt quite “good enough”.  I include her and her family in my prayers everyday.  She however; must never take my forgiveness and kindness for grantedI will not be her victim again; ever!
*If you are being bullied by an adult-tell someone.  Tell everyone, until someone listens.  Of course today’s technology can be quite useful in catching these bullies in the act!

My favorite quote this week: Four things that can never be recovered: the stone after it has been thrown, the word after it has been spoken, the occasion after it has been missed and the time after it has gone.

If you have time; you can scroll way down until you see the pretty gazebo.  It is a link to NOVA and all kinds of useful information for victims and/or their friends or family.  Peace!

13 Responses to “Bully Free Zone”

  • Unknown Mami:

    I linked to you today.

  • Carmie of the Single Nester:

    It is sad what is happening with bullies. They have always been around but with the technology of today, it is much easier to bully and be anonymous about it.

  • The Paper Princess:

    Dear Doreen,

    First, I wanted to thank you for joining me at Create With Joy. I'm so looking forward to the chance to get to know you! 🙂

    Second, I wanted you to know how sorry I am for your loss, and how moved I was by your post. I couldn't help but feel proud for you by the end of your post – through the grace of God, and through your own personal courage and strength, you have not only survived several devastating situations, but have come through them empowered to serve others. I would say that makes you a walking miracle! 🙂

    Have a wonderful week!


  • Shawn Becker:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I came to visit and decided to stay as one of your followers. my heart is heavy after reading about your brother. I was bullied as a young child and again as an adult at work. The incident at work was just a few years ago and despite going to my supervisor the abuse lasted for two years. You see, I am a nurse in a surgical center and the bullies worked with one of the Doc's, heaven forbid they would risk losing his business. Long story short, one of the nurse bullies was suspended, she then resigned, because she left her patient and went outside to talk to the other bully. Six months after that the other bully was fired for falsifying her narcotic book. Now I can work in peace!

  • jewelknits:

    I wish that someone had been around four years ago when my own brother was murdered by a gang of 4 bullies. Apparently, he inadvertently cut someone off in traffic, and as he was stopped at a light, they pulled up beside him, pulled him out of the car, and beat and stabbed him. The loss was so sudden and so devastating and the depression is something I feel that I'm just pulling out of. I also recently lost my job because I told on a sort-of-bully, the kind whose sexual innuendos, glances, talk and constant repeating of "I WILL get you to go out with me, even if it takes me a year. I ALWAYS get what I want" made me so anxious that my stomach clenched at the thought of going in to work with him. I complained to a mid-level manager … twice … I didn't want the other employee to lose their job; I just wanted him to leave me alone. I eventually had to tell my real boss, and he was justifiably upset that the mid-level manager hadn't told him about the complaints. SO … when my boss was transferred, the mid-level manager was put in his position, and it took all of three days for him to figure out how to restructure to eliminate my position.
    So .. I told and still lost my job .. but I just hold on to the fact that I have my integrity and he doesn't. Oh…and the guy that I complained about was a serial menacer and is currently in jail, charged with 7 counts of menacing by stalking and telecommunications harassment .
    I just think that this opens another door for me; and I'll see it soon enough!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  • Unknown Mami:

    This was a great post. You made me think of a situation that I went through at work with a bully. I never thought of him as a bully before, just a jerk, but he was most definitely bullying me. I put up with it for awhile then I spoke up at a meeting and other people did too. When the people in charge tried to dismiss our claims, I kept speaking up. He was eventually fired. The odd thing is that the reason I spoke up was that I didn't realize he was being so awful to other people as well. This was at a restaurant and he was belittling people that couldn't express themselves well in English. When they spoke up, I had to translate for them and it made me so angry that after having the courage to speak out they would be dismissed. I just wasn't having it.

  • Mrs4444:

    I can honestly say that there are no bullies in my life. I'm sure they know better than to even think of coming near me or anyone I love. I'm sorry you went through so much, and I'm glad you have assertiveness skills today 🙂

  • Kim, USA:

    Hi Doreen, I agree with you bullying doesn't choose what race or skin color you have. I remember my father once told us if somebody bullied us fight back hehehe!! But if we can let ourselves take a great distance to this person who should do it first. Anyway, I was bullied twice when I was in high school, one in first year HS and once in senior HS. Well I am an Aries who can't stand with this kind of people I fight back right there and then. They never do it again, and the thing is they became my friend.
    But not all bullying end a happy ending. I saw on tv the result of bullying and it makes me paranoid most specially that cyber bullying seems like what is the "in" now.
    Thanks for the space and happy weekend!
    Friday 40 and over


  • momentsofwhimsy:

    Great post. Your description of how adult bullies are so deceptive though is right on the nail. My daughter spoke out after being bullied for quite some time by her gym coach. Unfortunately this coach is still out there and has instead discredited my girl as much as she can, in order to cover her tracks. It is infuriating!

  • Doreen McGettigan:

    @VM-Yes it would not be smart to get physical. I am amazed at how many adults are actually in situations now where they are being bullied. I heard a story today where a child was being bullied by the teacher. At the insistence of the parents the principle finally used a Nanny cam and caught the bully red handed.
    @Ciss- I am especially disgusted with the ones who are so fake. They smile in public but look out in private situations. I am appalled at the stories I am hearing today. I may have to write another book. (It actually is the subject of my 3rd book; almost finished).

  • Doreen McGettigan:

    I hate when I see a typo after reading and spell checking…

  • Ciss B:

    The worst thing that comes from all the harm that adult bullies do, is what they teach their children, and all those they come in contact with on a daily basis.

    They misguidedly can even be considered great leaders for children because of that "niceness."

    Thanks for the reminder, for all of us.

  • VM Sehy Photography:

    Congratulations on your apointment to the Board of Directors of Nova.

    I am impressed with your ability to stand up for yourself. I was bullied when I was in elementary school. All I learned from that was to push back twice was hard. Problem is, you can't solve adult conflict with physical blows. Well, you can, but I wouldn't recommend it. Also, it didn't much prepare me for high school where the bullying turned into peer pressure. That was tough, but at least I learned to say no and mean it.

    Well, at least it sounds like you were able to outsmart this latest bully. That must be frustrating to not have anyone believe you. Drives me nuts when people are really good at playing innocent all the while doing mean things behind everyone else's back.

    Thank you for standing up for those who are hurting.

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