Thursday, November 11, 2010
Bullies - Words Do Hurt
I haven't been honest enough regarding bullying. I wrote "A Kind Place to Sit" as a way to pay tribute to the people who didn't bully. But the reverberations of being bullied can continue on through your life. I am a 50 year old wife and mother. I have a very satisfying home life with a great husband and typical teenage boys. We have a lovely home, and I have very close friendships. And yet, to this day, when I walk into a room full of women, I am scared. Now intellectually I know that if they dislike me or disapprove, they will resort to the slightly more civilized method of cold politeness, and simply not include me in their gatherings. But it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that they will not like me because I am too weird or anxious in their presence. Why am I that way? Because I was conditioned from a young age that I would be excluded, made fun of, even circled and teased. So like Pavlov's dog, I expect little and receive less. Being bullied is not something you easily recover from, and as one friend who was also bullied put it - even though I appreciate the adult I became, I can't help but feel that they took something from me. Did you experience bullying? Who terrorizes you? Has it impacted your life? Has it impacted your children's lives? And how do we stop the bullying and exclusion of others? Why do we find it so hard to accept each other as unique and wonderful in our own way?