I wonder how many of us can come up with at least one name of a person who bullied us when we were growing up. I honestly don’t really remember, but I know that’s not the case for some, and you may be regretting reading this post because it’s bring up some bad memories for you. Please trust me on this, and keep reading.
I think that one of my biggest problems in dealing with my student loan situation is that I feel like the banks are just huge bullies that I cannot defeat on my own. Based upon some things that I went through in life, nothing irritates me more than the sense I get when someone else is trying to control or pressure me into doing something that I don’t want to do. Or maybe I need to do it, but he or she wants to dictate all of the details as to how I go about it.
You may say that I have a rebellious nature, but I disagree. Once you’ve had your control taken from you, I guarantee that you’ll do almost anything to ensure that it never happens again. Anyway, the reason I bring this topic up is because I recently learned that one of my friend’s kids is being bullied, and I cannot express how emotional I am over it.
It amazes me that so many people are still dealing with a bully, and how big the problem is. I wrote about bullying in my novel, Rage. I wrote about it from two perspectives: one doing the bullying, and the other suffering from it. Often times, like in the book, people tend to bully because they’re not secure in who they are. I used to not believe it, but now I do. Why else would someone feel the need to belittle, control, mock, abuse, or pressure another human being?
For those who are bullied, like in my life and in the book, I found myself almost duped by the other person. You just don’t expect the people you know to do horrible things. That’s almost a direct quote out of my second novel, Resolve. We want to believe that most people will do the right thing most of the time, and that their motives are good. It’s hard to believe in that sometimes, especially when we see and deal with the opposite.
Some of the biggest bullies of all time are the ones involved in organized crime, like the notorious Mafia. I have always been fascinated by the Mafia and I even took an organized crime course in college. For someone who prefers to stand up to bullies, why would I be interested in learning about very powerful ones? After researching and writing about organized crime, I think my fascination is caused by the fact that these families maintained such incredible power for long periods of time. Organized crime still happens today, whether you want to believe it or not. How does that happen? No one stands up to them. Of course, most of the bullies that we deal with won’t hunt us down and kill us for not following through on some demand, but sometimes we do. Why do we wait so long to do the right thing? Do we believe that the person will change? Or are we so used to being mistreated that we don’t notice the difference?
I’m not comfortable with these questions, and I’ve often asked them myself. I used to ask them over and over after I got away from the guy who raped me. How did I let it happen? Why didn’t I do this or that? But, those just lead to answers that sound like I’m defending myself. It’s not our fault that other people are so starved of love and self-esteem that they have to take it out on others. Those who bully are often dealing with many of the issues that you and I face, but something happens to them that’s different. There are those who suffer but get help to learn about what happened, to heal, and move on. Then there are those who suffer but instead of going down the healthy route, they select the selfish one . . . the one that encourages them to treat others poorly because that’s how they were treated. I’m not sure where or when that route shows up, but I do know that we are responsible for how we treat others no matter how badly we’ve been treated.
If you’ve been a victim of bullying, whether it was from a violent trauma or relationship or from someone on the school bus or a boss or coworker, I pray that you are able to find healing and know that you’re not alone. Find the courage to believe in and love yourself, accept that you deserve to be treated better, and be patient with the healing process. It takes time to heal from and forgive such personal offenses, but I promise you that it’s worth it. You can be set free from either the cycle of abuse, bullying, or the hurt that others caused you, and I can proclaim it because I’ve experienced that freedom. If you are the one who has done the bullying, it’s not too late! You can read more about my journey and how I overcame my bully in my novel, Rage. (You can get your copy just by clicking on one of the links on the right side of the page.)