Bullying

The very first post I ever wrote here was about Bullies & Nemesis’. I want to talk about bullies some more…

I’ve seen two cases of bullying that stand out in my mind:

I was working as a LPN in a nursing home. The latest gossip the nurses were getting a buzz from was that a CNA had caught her boyfriend smooching one of her co-workers. I felt so sad for her, by the way she’d talked about her man she really liked him . . . had even invited him in to live with her and her two boys.

Mid-morning, I was completing a procedure on one of the residents in the shower room, behind a curtain, when I heard her enter, pulling a resident in a wheelchair with her. She didn’t know I was behind the curtain. Before I could make my presence known she started talking to the resident.

This resident was one of the sweetest ladies on earth, but was so far lost to dementia she couldn’t tell her brother from her son. I heard the CNA drawing the bath water, and then I heard clothes rustling as she peeled them off the elderly lady and threw them on the ground. She was speaking to her,

“Move your arm–no, the other way. You’re so useless . . . God, you’re ugly . . . I hate looking at you. Everyone hates looking at you, that’s why your family never visits you . . . you’re so useless.” Her voice was low and harsh, full of anger and loathing.

I yanked back the curtain, her eyes widened in surprise. “Uh-oh,” she said. I stalked out and reported her to our supervisor.

Second story happened about three months ago.

I was watching my kids playing in our apartment’s sandbox. And yes, the sandbox is just as disgusting as you would imagine any apartment sandbox to be . . .

A cute red-haired boy with freckles and a frown just lost at hide and seek and marched back to base. He was all out of breath, and when the rest of the kids came running to base he flopped to the ground . . . unfortunately just as a girl fell. She landed on him so that his arm bent backwards, it looked like it hurt. He cried out, and pushed her. His face contorted in rage, he flung her to the ground, and kicked her. Still holding his hurt arm, he ran away behind a building.

The girl was crying, all the kids disturbed. “He does nasty things like that all the time,” they said. “He’s such a bully.

The only note about those two stories is: both people were hurting when they decided to take their hurt out on someone else . . . they were hurting when they decided to become a bully.

Bullying is a real problem. In our little town (pop 110,000) there were FOUR teen suicides last semester. Now suicide is too complicated to blame it on one problem, but each of those four teens had something in common: they were bullied.

It happens around us everyday.

What are we going to do about it?

From the wife who bullies her husband, to the husband that abuses his wife, to the kid at the playground that stomps on sandcastles, to the teen who slams band geeks into the wall, to the girl called “fatass” every time she takes a bite of something . . . what do you do when you see bullying happen? What do you do if you are bullied?

A wise man, Mike Ferris, says, “hurt people hurt people.” Do you think that’s true? If it is true, it means we need to relieve the cycle of hurt.

The theme of bullying is explored in the book, Shotgun Gravy, by Chuck Wendig.

The story is about Atlanta Burns, a teen who stands between the bullies and the bullied . . . holding a shotgun. What I liked about the book was that it showed how complicated dealing with bullying is . . . there’s no simple answer, except to do something. Oh, and when Atlanta Burns deals with things with violence and drugs . . . it doesn’t solve anything, it makes things worse. But I give the book 5 stars because it made me think deeply about bullying.

My book review of Shotgun Gravy by Chuck Wendig

So, I guess one lesson is to do something, just don’t deal with bullying by using shotguns and drugs or things will get worse.

One of the ways I like to “deal” with bullying is listening. Because when I start listening to stories of bullying, then I start to care. And when I start to care then I can actually work for change. But if I don’t care then I won’t change anything. And if I don’t listen I won’t care. So I keep a sharp ear out for anyone who might need an ear. Warning: some of the stories you’ll hear will break.your.heart.

One voice I’ve been listening to lately is my friend Anthony Sebastian Abrahamsen. He’s fun . . . and when I say fun I mean REALLY FUN. He has an incredible happy light around him that shines through even on bad days, he makes me smile. He’s a gamer, a geek, a writer, a reader, an artist, a student . . . he’s a super talented individual. And he has a thing or two to say about being bullied. Because basically, when you pull out your checklist of people who get bullied, he fits in almost every category:

-gay

-Middle Easterner from Iran

-geek

-had severe acne when he was young

And he’s here at my site today and has a few words to say about being bullied, what to do about it, and even a comment for the bullies out there. So please give a hearty welcome to Anthony.

1.) How were you bullied as a teen?

I was bullied in a vast methods: Outing, which resulted in not having any friends growing up. Changing schools and even living-areas didn’t stop as new people picked up the habit as well. It was quite difficult to grow up not being able to trust anyone, and your family having their own problems and living in their own world. That made me want to close up, becoming a huge nerd that also made the bullying worse, although I always reminded myself that I would be successful one day, while they’ll be washing my car, haha :-P

I closed up, became severely depressed and not showing any joy for life or living, telling myself that I had to keep pushing forward. My mother was the one that was always on my side. We fought the schools, the teachers, the students, the system, anything. Some of it helped, but it always ended up going back to the ugly side.

Other ways of bullying were hurtful words, racial slurs, gay slurs and gender slurs.

One way I dealt with bullying was through creating my own world and bubble, with gayming, reading books and traveling. I had to create my own joy.

2.) How does being bullied change your perspective on life?

Oh, in a huge way. I don’t trust people, as I learned quite early in life.
I also noticed that it was like a black aura sitting in my chest, draining me for life, joy and wanting to wake up in the mornings, and I noticed how much my life resembled a garbage-can. I ate to keep myself occupied, yet with my high metabolism and walking to school every day, didn’t make me gain weight.

After Uni, I noticed how much this is a problem in the world. And being gay and Iranian, I had the idea that I could be a stepping-stone in raising the voice of those oppressed by bullying and other problems. Being a normal person not being bullied and talking about it, doesn’t really make people turn their heads, but when you are in the situation yourself, having first-degree info and experience on the matter, people might want to turn around and listen.

So I did. And I have gotten amazing comments on my bio-page and life-story.

My perspective on life has over the years changed greatly. I feel as though my body is 24, my mind and mentality being far older.
I live for a better day each day, and I keep fighting for my own rights for being alive. You get born with your human-rights. As soon as you come out, you need to fight again for your rights. The very same ones.

Because of the massive amounts of outing and bullying that I’ve gotten in my life, I tell myself each day that when I’ve done a majority of my life-goals, I want to settle down and have kids, teaching them to be kind human-beings: the most important thing ever in all of history. I also want to screen them just in case they end up in my situation as well, and put them through private-school, if possible.

The cycle of hate needs to stop. Bully-victim end up becoming the very people who bully the next generation. And when people complain that the world is getting effed up, I tell them that it all starts with ourselves. The cycle needs to stop and the circle needs to start running backwards, fixing it, restoring it, ending it.

3.) What do you do when being bullied?

Surprisingly enough, I still get bullied and recently got outed by friends, family, the straights (they don’t really understand how two people can love each-other that way) and even the LGBT-community itself, as a survey came out a few years stating that 70% couldn’t engage in a relationship with someone Middle-Eastern. I’m not sure if this number is fully accurate, but reading through the article, it seems very much legit. It’s horrifying.
I’ve even been bullied by past boyfriends, as what makes me me, isn’t approved by them. If you search up “Jante Law” on Google, you’ll see it for yourself. I myself feel that the law is even worse, maybe even 10x worse in the LGBT-community.
If you read the stuff I write on my blog, how my mind works and what I do on Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, YouTube and even Twitter, you can see I break at least each rule about a dozen times.

Religious hypocrites tend to go after me, even though asking what their religion says about me and me life, they have no idea. Typical “Whatever my superiors say, is the only right thing. I’m not going to read it, as I’ve been told it”-attitude.

How I cope with it all?

Keep being myself. Pushing myself to accomplish all my goals, and getting everything ready to leave this country, to a country where my voice is heard, I’m given a bigger platform and I can do something. I love giving back, but from where I am in the world presently, there isn’t really a lot that I can do. I need to head outwards.

I talk back when I’m insulted or bullied. I get told that I’m a huge drama-queen for doing so, but when someone runs their mouth at me, I allow myself to do the very same thing back. Some people you just need to ignore, some people really need to get told to muzzle their mouths and some need to verbally get the message that it’s not cool and give them the shock that the innocent look I give is present as always, but if they continue to bother me, I will as they say (cut them), haha :-P

4.) What do you do when you see someone being bullied?

One of my jobs is working at a youth-club with kids. I see these kids sometimes going at each-other where I jump in, tell them to quit it and ending their fight for whatever reason arose. I talk with them to figure out what happened, fix whatever I can, then later let them go.
Kids can start off my a simple shove that will result in a much greater shove, and all pandemonium starts up. You gotta nib it in the bud, as the say, right before it starts flaming up uncontrollably.

Bullying doesn’t stop or just fade away like the Summer Collection of Chanel 2011. It needs to be taken by the steer, controlled and fix. The longer it’s allowed to boil up and fester, the worse the consequences are for that individual. I talk back, defend, break up and fix it.
Having been bullied for 17 years, now going on to 18 and maybe even 19 years, of bullying, I have absolutely no tolerance to bullying. Be it anyone.

5.) Say I’m a big mean bully . . . what do you have to say to me?

Please stop. Do you really want to hurt people? Do you want to carry the thought that you ruined peoples lives? That you ruined a perfectly well-working human-being and and derived them the chance to live a normal life? Come to think of it, have you asked yourself what the hell they have done to YOU?

If this is your funny sense of humor, your hobby or a favorite past-time, I suggest you getting a new one. You are hurting people. You are killing the very essence of their being and making them feel sad and making them hate themselves because of who they are, what they are and their place in this world.

Stop it.

Anthony’s It Gets Better video
 –
What do we do about bullying?
About these ads
Leave a comment

9 Comments

  1. Emotionally evocative and well-written. I like how you creatively weave in your arguments and . . . sigh . . . I got a little teary-eyed too.
    In some ways, bullying is terribly complicated. Just like evil, it eludes comprehension. Remember Bruce Springsteen’s song Nebraska? The killer is asked, right before he is executed, why he did the things he did, and after admitting how much joy it brought him, he added, “There’s just evil in the world.” With bullies, sometimes it is that simple; sometimes, not so much so.
    When I think of (and have dealt with bullies), I long ago stopped trying to figure out why they acted like they did. Instead, I worried about my own reaction, and the most important thing for me was to fight back, hard. It helped me to preserve my pride. Great piece hun.

    Reply
  2. EllieAnn

     /  January 14, 2012

    You’re right, bullying is complicated. And you fought back–and “fighting back” can mean so many different things to different people, in different circumstances.
    I don’t know if most bullies (teen ones, at least) view themselves as “evil in the world.” They just have no other expression for all that anger and hurt inside themselves. Most wouldn’t know how to answer “WHY are you doing that?” It takes quite a lot of self-actualization to know why you do things.
    Thanks for your comment, I love your words.

    Reply
  3. I am an independent voter originally from Madison, WI. I watched the debates last Sunday and turned them off after seeing that there is not one person running who believes in gay marriage. It is only the term that pisses them off. So ridiculous and another slap in the face of the LGBT community. I have such a hard time with any religion that teaches its people that there are those that should be shunned. Prejudice is a learned behavior. The leaders in our community need to stand up! Until that happens, I have no respect for them!
    I am glad to see that you survived all of it and are being heard!
    Great post and interview Ellie!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  January 14, 2012

      I’m not surprised religion teaches rules and regulations–it’s the only way to control people.
      What sets people free? I think it has something to do with relationship with God and men, and with the teachings and acts of Jesus.

      Reply
  4. LOVE your point here: “…both people were hurting when they decided to take their hurt out on someone else . . . they were hurting when they decided to become a bully.”

    Too often overlooked and vital to ending the horrific problem.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  January 14, 2012

      Yes! I know when I’m hurting I’m the most inclined to hurt others.
      The other side to this is if we hurt bullies–we become one.

      Reply
  5. Like I always say, social pressures were intense enough BEFORE the internet and social media which is basically 24 hour surveillance. Kids who use to be able to at least go home for the night and reset are continually bombarded in the privacy of their rooms. It matters. A lot.

    Reply
  6. This is a really important post, Ellie. Thank you.

    Reply

Your thoughts on the matter...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 380 other followers

%d bloggers like this: