*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 granted. I 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!
They say every face in a crowd has a story to tell, this is my story..
The news shows and newspapers all called it 'Road Rage'. To me that sounded like a disease, an affliction that can make you kill. A sorry excuse to take the claw end of a hammer and slam it repeatedly into the skull of a human being. In April of 1999 my little brother passed away. Doesn't passed away sound so gentle, even normal? David's death was neither. It was murder. He was found lying in a strangers driveway in a pool of blood. He had been punched, stomped and beaten over his entire body. I still have so many questions. I wrote this book at first for therapy and then for answers. I have found a few. I mainly realized l lost a brother tragically and senselessly. Like every other face in the crowd I have a story..and I want to share my story with you! PUBLICATION DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL :)