Permanent Damage (A Personal Story)

When I read Kristy’s story below I just thought it all too familiar against the others as well. It begs the question, why do the same people get bullied no matter where they move to and what they do to try to prevent it? What is it that attracts a bully, or in the cast of Kristy, many bullies to us? Why are some of us targets? Certainly studies show a correlation between certain traits and being bullied. It doesn’t make it fair or easier to read stories like Kristy’s below, but we still have to figure out how to break the cycle that bullying can become before further permanent damage is done to us. ~Alan Eisenberg


I honestly can’t remember a time of when I WASN’T bullied. I can remember going to daycare at the age of 5 and being teased by the other kids for my overbite. And when I went to the care taker and told her what the other kids were doing she told me that those things were true and so she saw no issue with what the others were doing. This was only to be the beginning of my life and sadly still my life in the business world.

In elementary school I was teased, shoved, and bullied tremendously. I didn’t have a single friend, but how could I when I didn’t trust anyone. I had sand thrown in my face during recess, my lunch would get drinks poured over it which would result in me getting in trouble with the teachers because I refused to eat my food. I would get balls thrown at my face and knock off my glasses and make my nose bleed. Time and time again I would go to teacher, principles, and counselors and no one would help me. I can remember one day my mom came to my school to record some of the things that were happening to me and even still the school staff didn’t see any wrong doings. They continued to blame me for the incidents.

Sadly I quickly began to believe them.

Then in fifth grade my family moved to Kentucky. I thought it as a great chance to start fresh since no one would know who I was or my past. That dream faded nearly as quickly as it started.

Not only were the students teasing me but I had to deal with my teacher as well. She wouldn’t give me my assignments, so I struggled to pass. And because my grades were slipping I was in trouble at home as well. And my parents never did want to believe me that a teacher would withhold assignments from a student.

I dreaded every year valentines would come along. Those little cards for class were horrible. My parents always made me get a box and write nice stuff to my classmates because it was a requirement that every student give one to every student in the class. When I got my bag it would only have a handful and the ones that were in there were anything but nice. They would have ugly pictures drawn of me to match harming words. Then when students saw that they got a card from me they would say across the room horrible things and act completely disgusted. All the while the teacher sitting and not doing a thing to stop it.

Then came middle school. This is when things started becoming more physical for me. These three years are a complete blur. I have tried to block most of it out. But I do remember on graduation day having to be escorted by security guards because of threats that I had received. I do remember though that I would have to run home after getting off the bus for fear of getting caught and getting beaten. I remember one time even I wasn’t as fast as I had hoped and got taken down by 5 other kids in my neighborhood and having a whole cans worth of silly string shoved and held in my mouth. They wanted me to swallow it but I refused and took the beating instead.

High school was without a doubt my most frightening time. By this time I couldn’t go to my parents and family for support because even they had stopped believing to the fact that my teasing was this bad let alone still continuing.

I am probably the only person who has nearly failed PE, not by choice. I can remember one day in particular very clearly. It was a requirement for us to change into our gym clothes before class started. I had gotten teased while dressing with the other girls so I started going into a bathroom stall that was in the changing room. I couldn’t even get relief for this. One particular girl that I was terrified of came very loudly stomping up to the stall I was in. I quickly locked the door but I could sense the evil look on her face just on the other side. She ordered for me to come out or I would suffer the consequences. I was petrified. What could I do, if I came out I knew I would surely get it. But if I stayed where I was I stood somewhat of a chance. So I stayed where I was. I was shaking I was trapped. Then the next thing I knew she had kicked the locked door open. It slammed against my face with a hard thud. Then she left me there laying on the floor with my head up against the toilet. I went out to tell the PE teacher what had just happened with blood gushing out of my nose and my face cut up and he only told me that what is done is done nothing he can do about it now and that he saw no issue. I shouldn’t have been in the stall in the first place but changing out with all the other girls. Needless to say I never went that changing room again.

I have permanent hearing damage because on a daily basis for four straight years I had trumpets blasted in my ears.

And on my very last day of school, at my very last class. My band teacher who I had all through high school came up and told me, exact words, “I’m happy to see you go because you were my least favorite student of all.”

I figured that when I left school and into the business world that the bullying would get better. But I’m still waiting for that moment. I’m still harassed on a daily basis. Even as far as being sexually molested at one of my jobs.

Now the way I cope with it is by emotionally shutting down when it happens. It is all I can do.

~Kristy

aeisenbe:

Here is quick access to a guest blog I wrote called “A Pacifist’s Anger” at the “Bully at Ambush Corner” website.

Originally posted on BULLY AT AMBUSH CORNER:

Today, I’m pleased to host my guest Alan Eisenberg, well-known founder and author of the blog, Bullying Stories: Dealing with Bullying from an Adult Perspective (www.bullyinglte.wordpress.com). Alan also does presentations on bullying and is working on a documentary called Bullying: Long Term Effects.

Just as research shows that the effects of divorce on the children involved are serious and linger long into adulthood, it is also revealing that the effects of being bullied also linger and cause difficulties. Bullying Stories has been instrumental in providing a safe place for adults to share their stories of being bullied and, hopefully, to help vanquish the pain.

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A Pacifist’s Anger by Alan Eisenberg

“Why are you acting so angry?” is a common question my wife asks. While I consider myself a pacifist, I find that I can also be angry. Inside, I feel the anger and rage and want to understand…

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Bully Documentary In Theaters March 30th

A new documentary movie called “Bully” is being released. The movie is set to premiere on March 30th in theaters around the country. This powerful film takes an in-depth look at the bullying crisis taking place in this country. This movie looks to be a no holds barred view of the problem taking place in our schools and communities and looks to be  a must viewing for our schools and kids.

The only issue looks to be that the MPAA wants to give the film an “R” rating, basically making it a movie that will be unavailable to be viewed by those under 17. This would effectively ban the movie from being viewed in schools. Currently, the filmmaker, which is the The Weinstein Company, is trying to have that changed. You can learn more about the petition to change the rating at the Care2 site.

Again, the movie will be released to theaters on March 30th. Here’s the preview of the movie:

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

Jasmine at Onlinecolleges.net shared a blog article they posted on 15 famous and successful people who have shared their stories of being bullied. This helps us all by sharing our stories and hearing from “famous” people that they also went through some tough times.

Bullying can make a student want to stay home and never go back, opting instead for online college courses. While these may be valid for many fields of study, being bullied is not a valid reason to do one. Bullying can leave long-lasting scars that taking classes from home can’t fix.

A few examples from the article include:

Michael Phelps (Olympic Swimmer)
In 2008, Michael Phelps earned respect worldwide for his performance at the Beijing Olympic Games, as he earned the title of greatest Olympian ever with his all-time record for most individual gold Olympic medals, a total of nine. And although he has been called…

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Bullying Scars For Life (A Personal Story)

A few months ago Mike submitted a story shared here called “Daydreams & Nightmares”. His story was very close to my own and shared both a personal knowledge of being bullied. Mike has submitted a second story to share here called “Bullying Scars for Life”, again sharing a very personal and real perspective to what it is like to live with the long-term pain and effects from bullying. ~Alan Eisenberg


Bullying Scars for Life

Bullying can scar you for life.  After graduating from high school my life followed a hypersensitive crumbling path. The next eight years are a medicated blur, and yet, simultaneously, a calculated demonstration of survival tactics. Most of the names are forgotten but not the pummeling pain of existence. Just thinking about those days causes me to be physically debilitated as I try to transmit the daily trauma across these computer keys.

I was living in an apartment with one of many different roommates I would have as I scraped towards a college degree. I awoke on this Tuesday in October of the fall of 1980. My first class was at 8:00 and as usual my intention to be prepared had not come to fruition. I showered and consumed my usual two bowls of Captain Crunch. I chewed on the right because two teeth on the left were hurting bad. I hadn’t made it through a dentist appointment in over four years. Fulfilling the minimum hygienic expectations, I then initiated the survival techniques for the day. The pistachio supply was adequate and positioned in all the key locations; a handful in the two front pockets of my jeans, half a bag in my coat inside pocket, and another bag for backup placed under my passenger seat. This was going to be a distinctly tougher day as I had not been able to get my hands on the yellow pills for quite a few days.

Driving towards school, the radio was set on a golden oldies station as I drifted into my safe world of daydreams. I found some peace while I drove since I was in control and it was a place where I could be the person I always wanted to be. Today, I found solace as an amazing tennis player wowing the world with win after win at Wimbledon. Pulling into the school lot, I longed for that John Denver song to just go on and on so that the crowds would keep cheering. As I headed pass the baseball field towards the campus, I transformed myself and was now invisible. This was the absolute key to surviving for the day. I had given up on directing every neuron and fiber towards the cause of looking cool. I wasn’t anything but a piece of dirt that wandered through each day wondering why was I of such little significance in this world.

I took the usual path working my way through the halls passing hundreds of students. They were not peers since there was no relationship or connection. I glanced at the pretty girls, envied the guys they were talking to, and wished so deeply that I could just be a part of all this. As I passed my class room I glanced in, considered entering for a second and then proceeded on by.  Like a ghost, shy of any typical frightening intentions of a ghoul, I slipped quietly into the school library.  The girl behind the desk was gorgeous. For days I had worked on fooling my internal guards so that I could say hello to this beauty.

As I approached the desk, it started. The symptoms were always centered on my left side. The muscles around my mouth started quivering as I began to bite down hard on my lips. The corner of my mouth started to twitch. The tongue began pushing against the bottom part of my mouth and then slashed across the inside of my teeth. The elbow flickered and the fingers moved almost uncontrollably. Popping a pistachio I chewed feverishly as I got the next nut under my upper lip. It was too late. I was in overdrive and was escalating out of control. As my mind maneuvered feverishly to control my anatomy, the physiological elements finished me off. Breathing rapidly increased, the left leg was gripped by a vise, and the foot felt heavy. The throat muscles tightened as all parts of my mouth moved incessantly. The panic set in as I emptied my last sources of energy to avoid collapsing. I was now a moment away from dry heaving. At this point, I knew there was no way I was going to move forward. Now my only chance of avoiding total embarrassment was to get out. So I did.

I walked around the perimeter of the campus to avoid as many people as possible. As I hit a quiet stretch, I could feel myself slowly settling down. No one was around which meant there was no one to impress… which meant I could return to my safe point of invisibility. Another day at school had been attempted with a recurring result. No classes were attended, no schoolwork was completed and I headed home elevated in stress and depleted in self-worth.

In order to reset my vitals to a functioning level, I had to separate my mind from reality. I got back to the apartment, slouched onto the sofa and turned on the TV. Cable had not yet come to pass so I had to settle for the soaps on one of the three network stations. After an hour, I was feeling better, but was quite aware that phase-two of surviving the day was soon to arrive.

I worked about five days a week at Sears in the paint and sporting goods department. It was time to now get prepared. The problem with this job was that I had to talk with many people during each shift. The bigger problem was that I was paralyzed with fear that I would dry heave while interacting with co-workers and customers. Over time certain foods seemed to be more effective to help me keep cool. Lately, I found that popsicles had become short-term tranquilizers. It just happened that we had a refrigerator just behind the warehouse doors in my department. So before clocking in I went next door and picked up a box of assorted flavored popsicles.  Quickly, I noticed that my body and mind was still ultra-tense. As customers asked questions my symptoms were returning. The throat tightened, the mouth muscles went spastic and my left side stiffened. I was good for about four minute intervals before I had to get to that freezer and take a bite of my popsicle.  Think about the level of tension that existed over the four hour shift.

After two hours I was drained. The department manager called me over to discuss inventory paperwork. When I was in this state, I felt like I was choking if I couldn’t get to my relief valve. As Tom spoke to me, I couldn’t decipher a thing that he was saying. My mind was totally zoomed in on avoiding a dry heave. Both legs grew heavier and more painful by the second. My mouth was hyper as I tried to survive and acknowledge Tom’s directions. Finally, exhausted I collapsed to my knees placing my head in my arms. Tom was bewildered and asked what was wrong. Holding back tears, I mumbled that I was fighting a flu. The strangest thing was that whenever I gave up, the pressures would cease and I always felt a few moments of serenity. Tom sympathetically released me and I slowly weaved through the stock room to the punch clock. By the time I got to my car, I was numb in a similar way as the night before and the night before that. When I arrived home, I turned on the TV. Two hours later I began to drift off, sadly aware that I would go through all of this again when the sun rose tomorrow.

 ~Mike S. (Author of Bullied)

A New Video on Cyberbullying is Worth Watching

I just saw this excellent video posted on you tube called “Cyberbullying PSA by Christina and Maeryl”. Not only does it have good cyberbullying information, but also includes a very well thought out video. I hope you find it as worthwhile as I did and share with others that need this message as well.

The Hood (A Personal Story)

Sometimes people send me stories and have a lot to say in them. Sometimes, I get a very simple story with few words. Many times, the few words can say more than the longer stories. There is something in this one I felt that way with. I like how “A” was plain and simple and to the point, particularly the last paragraph. ~Alan Eisenberg


In 1964 I was in the 7th grade and was bullied and beaten by three classmates in a Catholic School in Brooklyn NY. At 5’10” and skinny -I stood out from the other girls. Note, I was not friends with any of the girls and had no words with them.

Two of the girls set up the third to challenge me by hitting me. The two stood and watched as the third Girl (a doctor’s daughter proceeded to beat me up) . When the two girls saw I was thrashing her they proceeded to stomp on my feet.

Quite frankly, I defended myself rather well, as the Doctor’s daughter never returned to the school . The two girls were hoods and the doctors daughter was taken out of the school because of her association with them.

I returned to school the next day holding my head up high. The nuns said nothing. By the way one of the hoods smacked me in the face in front of the Church later on in the term. I did not defend myself that day. She was a hood.

Thank you.

~A