That Which Doesn’t Kill You

Posted: July 18, 2012 in Editorial

Bullies come in many shapes and sizes. They are grandmothers, wives, husbands, your neighbor, my neighbor, friends, lovers, adults, teenagers, children. They come from all walks of life. Day care workers, office assistants, state workers, government employees, secretaries, fast food employees, among many others. They are married, divorced, single. They are in relationships. They have families.

My first experiences with being bullied, probably occurred as a child in school. I was fairly shy. A bit introverted. I later came out of my shell. My experiences in school, were not really a problem until high school. My best friend, became the first real bully in my life. She was a sweet girl, or so I thought. The boys mostly liked her. She got along well with most people. We had been best friends for quite some time. We suffered terrible losses in our young lives. We should have been closer, as a result. The result however was the exact opposite. She somehow became my enemy. We both wanted the same job on my high school paper. A boy that she liked, liked me. I didn’t return his affection. But, I did get the job. In a short matter of time, she started to say bad things about me to other students in school. She joined a club that I too, wanted to join. She proceeded to campaign against me quite heavily. She alienated the other girls in the club to such a degree that they would not allow me to join. She looked at me with disdain every time we passed in the hall. I was truly saddened by it all.

The second bully in my life, was my husband. He verbally and physically abused me. It’s a tough thing to handle when you love someone. You are never quite good enough, or so you start to think, in their eyes. You never do anything right. Here you are, a mostly confident and intelligent, grown woman. You have grown up with mother and father intact. Wonderful grandparents. A normal life. And all of a sudden, this man starts to treat you badly. Your world turns upside down. You start to doubt yourself. To wonder what you did to deserve the ill treatment. You are reduced to bruises and tears.

My latest experience with bullies came via the internet. A handful of hateful, spiteful, self-righteous women. Women who had a similar interest. Because I didn’t agree with them, and because of my association with someone they too were interested in, they began a concerted campaign of stalking and bullying via forums, gossip sites, blogs and message boards. They emailed each other with lies about me. A person they did not know personally. A person that they wouldn’t know if they seen me. These women have husbands, children and grandchildren. They go to church on Sunday. They work in different professions. But the one thing that motivates them is hate.

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