There is more than one aspect to the bullying problem. This is important to understand. Of course, there is the physical side, which is obvious. However, the emotional aspect is even more punishing.
This part lingers in the mind and hides in the cracks of our memory. The emotional influence is the ongoing conversation that doesn’t always go away, reminding us of things “We wished,” we said or did. Bullying hides in the crevices of our subconscious programming, which roots deeply and sprouts our biases. Put simply, bullying is a weed that steals the nutrients meant to feed our soul. This silences laughter and creates internal blame. This shatters identity and damages hope, which, is above all an actual theft of time and services.
This is what bullying does. Bullying actually steals a moment from a person; takes it away, burglarizes the heart and soul, leaving behind the outlines of what was or what could have been.
Imagine the outline of a body at a crime scene. There lay the outline of the victim in their last position. There is who the victim was before and then there is the empty space, which is just a shell of an outline, which is who the victim becomes after the crime has been committed.
Ever watch a smile vanish from someone? Have you ever seen someone literally deflate in the presence of other people; as if their soul had completely lost life right in front of your eyes?
Ever see a kid facing out the window with eyes so intense it was enough to make you swear there was something wrong—only, you were never sure just what?
Ever wonder why kids contemplate suicide?
Bullying is habitual and contagious by the way. Trust me on this one. Bullying is like a torch handed down from one to another. One could say bullying is another social virus that we have to deal with.
And there are different bullies. There is the bully on a power trip. There is the bully that enjoys physically punishing others. There is the boardroom bully at work. There is the educational bully and the social snob. There are the beauty queen bullies and the prince charming bullies.
There are cyber bullies, which has taken bullying to an all new level because after the click of a button, literally millions of people can see their work on social media.
Worse than the actual imposition are the thought that lingers. Worse is the devastation and the aftermath. Worse than the initial sting of being bullied is the guilt and shame that stir around in our thinking. Worse is when the bullied blame themselves,
Truth is everyone has been bullied at some point in their life. Truth is everyone can relate on some level.
If not to one aspect, maybe another, but still, bullying is very real and more so, it is important that we understand bullying does not just exist during the childhood years or in the sandbox on the playground.
No, bullying goes far beyond the high school locker rooms and the schoolyard bullies.
Bullying is a two sided virus—and there is no cure for a virus. Once a virus is in our system, there is no antibiotic or anything we can take to be rid of this. All we do is try and mask the symptoms and ride this out.
Bullying has been handed down from generation to generation. This isn’t new. Like many viruses, this virus has mutated and transformed, only to become worse and more of a threat. To assume that bullying is limited to anything specific is a mistake. I am an adult. I am certainly far from the playground or a schoolyard.
I watched a man try to bully and intimidate a woman on the bus at 5:30 in the morning. I stood up to ask them to stop shouting, just to quiet this because it was way too early.
The bully turned his attention to me after this. I did not shy away or fluff myself to return the threat. Instead, I calmly waiting until we reached our destination, where, as expected, this man waited for me to walk off the bus.
No, there was no fight and while he sneered and tried to intimidate me, I did not budge and others that passed the incident and others that saw what happened previously, smiled to support me because whether I was physically able to compete with this man in an altercation or not; I did not walk away the victim.
That being said, there was a piece of me; albeit an old piece that lingers from childhood memory that cried from the inside about my pride and my ego.
There was a part of me that wanted him to feel the same discomfort. There was a part of me the rehearsed a future conversation, just in case this should happen again. Although I handled this properly, the remnants of an old me remembered what it felt like to be put down or owned by someone else.
I assume this is what his goal was. I assume this is what bullies do. They steal emotional property. One could say why this happens. One could argue that bullies are bullied people and that happy people don’t bully others. And all of this might be true—but still, theft is theft, and these “Best foot forward,” and therapeutic, positive affirmation answers are not what the bullied wants to hear. No, the bullied only wants resolution. This is their answer. They want this more than an explanation.
They just want their happiness back. The bullied just wants their pride back. They want their dignity back. Not all want revenge; however, the saying every dog gets their day or what goes around comes around does com to mind. The idea of being there to see this when it happens comes around as well.
The bullied just wants what they lost. They don’t want an explanation as much as they want their smile back. They want to feel as if they are “Enough” as if who they are is perfectly acceptable.
The bullied want to feel wanted and welcomed. Explaining to them about why people bully, while still important, is not the only answer. The answer to help the bullied is to help them see their identity and how this is still perfectly intact.
Teaching separation to the bullied to understand an insult is not fact and strengthening personal value and boosting self-confidence is essential.
I am not a small man by any means. I am not that small boy that was kicked around and picked on. I am not the passing of the torch anymore, handing down the same kind of treatment that was pushed upon me at one point.
I do not have to feel physically threatened. I am capable of defending myself; however, I am also grateful and proud to know that I am not threatened by violence because I learned how to emotionally protect myself.
Although yesterday was a quick altercation that was truly laughable; I still had to find my outlet to rid my thinking because although small, this wasted my time; therefore this stole my time, and therefore a theft is still a theft.
To end bullying is to end a robbery. There is no difference.
We need to help find an outlet. We need to find ways to cancel out this virus because look what this does to our kids.
Look at teenage suicide.
Look at the adults we become. I met one of these so-called adults yesterday, and while yes, others laughed at him—he still leaned in on me.
I just wanted him to know I wasn’t sacred.
“Wanna take this outside?”
“I’m right here,” I said.
“There’s no reason to go outside”
I do not regret what I did not do I believe he walked away without replaying this instance, over and over, repeatedly in his head.
He stole though.
I just don’t like bullies same as I don’t like thieves.
Now you know why