Tag Archives: bully

My Name is Chris, and I was a Victim of High School Bullies

I had a tough childhood.

I’d wager that many of us adults went through something that would be considered “a challenge” at one point in our respective younger days. Tribulations on the home front were largely relegated to the occasional familial disagreement (nothing that would be considered out of the ordinary, I assure you). My consternation stemmed from unwarranted, school-centric battles.

In short? I faced bullies in high school. I’ve talked about it long before now.

For some reason or another, a group of “tough kids” decided that I was persona non grata (a Latin phrase that roughly translates as “someone we don’t like.”). It made no sense to me in any logical capacity, although discussing any emotional shortcomings with this loosely-knit cabal would seem an exercise in futility. I can laugh about it now, though.

No, I can’t – it’s still not funny.

I remember being wracked with stresses of threats. Intimidation was a powerful mechanism, but falling victim to it would only make me… a victim. Instead, I chose to largely ignore it on the surface – while, in secret, crapping my Green Lantern Underoos during Study Hall. Nah, I had outgrown them years ago. At least, physically.

Those troglodytes made my earlier high school years a living hell. Who knows where they are now? Maybe they’re belittling their own kids (oh, god – I pray they haven’t reproduced). As much as it pains me to say it, I’m grateful we didn’t have the Internet back then. My problems would’ve been 100x worse:

Cyberbullying is no less of a crime in my mind. And, yes, I consider adolescent bullying a crime – and were I the one drawing up laws, the wildly immature would be taken to task beyond simple school suspensions or detentions. The anguish one undergoes when they’re square in the crosshairs of a bully’s sights is tantamount to torture. I’m referring to the systematic, calculated, constant physical and mental onslaught that certain individuals impose on wholly-innocent parties.

I cringe when I read the drivel that spills out of certain keyboards out there – largely on YouTube (or any other bastion of namelessness). There’s a time for anonymity, but targeting and diminishing the value of a life that has brought no harm to others is absolutely not the place.

Why do I often respond with an equal amount of vitriol to those who would “hate?” Because I remained silent years ago when I felt I didn’t have a voice. You can hear me now, though. Loud and clear.

If you bully, you’ll get what’s coming to you – eventually.

Is Cyber-Bullying Linked to Depression?

We’ve long held the belief that people who are bullies – whether online or in a physical space – suffer from some sort of depression, mental imbalance or other brain block. However, new studies show that it is usually the victims – not the bullies – who end up suffering from depression. Bullying, which traditionally involved physical violence, verbal harassment or social exclusion, now often includes “cyber” bullying, a form of electronic aggression. Cyber bullying allows bullies to engage in aggressive behaviors via computers or cell phones. Their victims are the most likely ones to suffer mental consequences later on.

The study authors state that “unlike traditional bullying, which usually involves a face-to-face confrontation, cyber victims may not see or identify their harasser; as such, cyber victims may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack.” The new study worked with American students in grades 6 through 10. The kids completed a questionnaire designed to measure their levels of depression, and were asked whether they were either perpetrators or victims of bullying.

Being bullied has been linked to lower academic achievement standards, self-respect and social development. It can – and often does, sadly – affect the future. “There is a lot of evidence that psychological problems in adolescence can persist into adulthood,” says chief researcher Ronald J. Iannotti. “Involvement of schools and parents is really important,” he said. “It’s really got to be a community effort – working with teachers, administrators, parents, and working with kids to improve their social skills so these kinds of things don’t happen.”

Being a victim of a cyber-bully is definitely not a good situation. I urge you to talk to a parent, teacher or other trusted adult. You may feel as though no-one will listen or can help, but you are wrong. People DO care, and they’re willing to help in any way they can. If someone doesn’t take you seriously, talk to another person. Don’t give up.

How Do You Deal With Bullies?

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Over on Lockergnome, Pretty Pink asked a question about dealing with school bullies. Apparently, this is a hot topic, as it has received more answers and discussion from the community than most other questions on the site. It’s sad to see that so many of you have to deal with some type of bully, be it in a school setting or online. In my opinion, people who bully others do so because something is seriously lacking in their own lives. No matter their reason for acting out this way, we still all have to find ways to deal with them when the situation arises.

I know I’ve talked before about this very subject. I am certainly not some kind of professional advisor or counselor. I can, however, tell you that when I went through school, I was bullied… all the way through college. It stopped bothering me at some point during high school.

I can only tell you how I handled it from my own perspective. As long as we have been walking the Earth, there have been bullies – and there will continue to be. It does end at some point. Know that you actually have the upper hand if you’re the victim, believe it or not.

Something I’ll never forget is confronting a bully back in high school. A scary and large individual had made it known that he didn’t like me and thought he could frighten me. I decided not to pay attention to him and pretended that it didn’t bother me. I made it comical, and refused to let him get to me.

One day in gym class, he came in with a group of his friends. We were running laps and he decided to push me from behind. Something in me kind of snapped. I realized that if I didn’t take a stand he would do it again. I made a split-second decision and turned around. He was much larger than me, and stocky as heck. Without thinking, I pushed him back. He whipped around and was shocked that I had actually stood up to him. I threw up my fists, even though I had no idea what I would do at that point. I didn’t throw a punch – but neither did he. I just let him know that I was no longer going to back down or take the crap that he kept dishing out.

At that point, the teacher intervened and we went our separate ways. I was afraid for my life at that point, not knowing what would happen. From that day forward, though, he never touched me again. He gave me dirty looks over the years, but never directly messed with me again.

I’m not saying this would work in every situation. However, it’s important to let them know in some way or another that they cannot get to you and cannot control your life. You have to stand up for yourself, even if it’s just to walk away from them and pretending that they don’t bother you in the least.

You have to do what’s right for you in your situation. If someone is harming you (or threatening to), then you need to talk to an adult in the school or at home. You may think that labels you as a tattle-tale, but it’s far better than being hurt or killed.

I don’t really care what someone thinks of me. If they don’t like me because I’m short, or Italian or a Geek – that’s THEIR problem, not mine. Once you reach that mind-set, your life will be much easier.

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Are You a Bully or a Victim?

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A bully is a bully, no matter who or where they are. It doesn’t matter if they are online, or out there in the “real” world. I’ve suffered at the mouths and hands of a bully in my life. As soon as I accepted myself for who I am and not who they thought or said I am, it no longer bothered me. They were the ones with the problem, not me. You’ve probably been the victim of a cyber-bully at some point. They are everywhere, since the anonymity of the Internet makes it easy for them to attack people. If you’re someone who attacks people and makes them ashamed of who they are, stop it! There’s no easier way to lose my respect, than to disrespect someone else.

Kyle sent me the following email, and his list of top five tips to deal with bullies.

I recently was told by someone on Facebook that I was a loser and had no friends, along with many other hurtful comments. I decided to create this list in an attempt to help others deal with bullies.

  1. Be Mature How bad would it sound if you responded: “OMG ur da real luzer, I h8 you”. Instead, you may want to respond “I’m sorry you feel that way about me, I guess you don’t really know me”, or something along those lines.
  2. Don’t Even Respond If you respond, it will just give the bully another thing to find a way to make fun of.
  3. Block Communications There is a way on all forms of cyber communication to block a person or persons, so why keep talking to them?
  4. Don’t let it get you down You should never let them win by letting them put you down, understand that they don’t mean what they’re saying, and that they are just trying to make themselves feel better.
  5. In some circumstances, confront them If they’re not known to be the kind of person who would physically beat you up, you may want to ask them why they have a problem with you in real life, because it is so much harder to say mean things about people in real life than it is when they are not directly talking to you.

Kyle has made many excellent point. Remember that the problem lies with the bully, not with you. Don’t let someone beat you up mentally, and force you to feel awful about yourself. It’s not about you… it’s about them. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that maybe they’re right. Accept and like yourself who you are. Don’t listen to people who don’t know you, yet try to bring you down with negativity.

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Bully Victim Resorts to Spam

This has to be the best piece of junk email I’ve ever received:

“I am writing to you, as someone who cares about solving the problem of bullying, to ask you to consider putting a link in the resources or links page of your website to our website, Bullies2Buddies. I believe you will find our site is a unique source of help for victims of bullying. It teaches victims how to solve their problems without anyone’s help and without getting anyone in trouble. If I am a victim and I have to wait for the school to get rid of bullies for me, I may wait a very long time to stop being bullied. If you are my schoolmate and I tell the teacher or principal that you bullied me, is that going to make you like me and respect me? Of course not! It will make you hate me and want to get back at me. Thats why my method is to stop the victims from feeling like victims. If there were no victims in this world there would be no bullies. Bullies bully because they have fun watching others getting mas [sic] or feeling sad. If one is not affected by a bullies actions then its not fun for the bully, causing the bully to stop bullying the person. No victims no bullies.”

The spam continues – and his site’s content seems to be “protected by Copyscape.” Let’s just see if he’s copyscaping his email, too. I didn’t ask for the information, and I’m not someone who cares about “solving the problem of bullying.” At least, not anymore. Sounds to me like this guy got punched in the head a few too many times as a kid.