Bully Incident: The Long and Winding Road

aeisenbe:

This particular story is one that always sticks in my mind. Someone said to me the other day not to look at this story about how I lost eight days of my life, but how I spent two years avoiding bullies. I’m not sure I agree that life time loss is equal to the time lost trying to avoid bullying. I do try to avoid being sad about this particular story now and see it as a sign of my creative brain trying to work out solutions as a child to complex situations. That does offer me some comfort. ~Alan Eisenberg

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

Dirt PathSome of my past bully stories are right on the top of my head. Many others are buried deep deep down and pop out at interesting times, mainly when some smell or sight triggers them. I was walking down a dirt path in my neighborhood when this one came back to the surface of my mind. This story is less about a bully, but more about the sacrifices I made in my life to cope with the bullies.

Fear is a terrible thing. It grips you and makes you do things that are out of your character or beliefs. We see it all the time in the modern world. I recall how fear made me lose one of the most valuable things in my childhood and in life in general, TIME! We all have to live knowing that each minute of our lives is one minute closer to our deaths…

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The Decision to Leave

I am proud to have guest blogger and author K.P. Gazelle share here writing here on the Bullying Stories site. It is always wonderful to have young adult authors share both their knowledge and wisdom through their words on this site. K.P Gazelle is the author of The Color of Happiness, a contemporary young adult novel. Gazelle has been connected with young adults in some way for as long as she can remember. She’s obsessed with coffee, books, and big dreams. Visit her online at www.kpgazelle.com. ~ Alan Eisenberg


The Decision to Leave
K.P Gazelle

Her puffy eyes and wrinkles stood out even more under the fluorescent lighting. She had to be older than my mom. How could I yell back? And what was she doing in the middle of my classroom shouting at me in front of my students, anyway?

At this workplace, not too long ago, life crept into an unbearable state of unhealthiness. Moments like these were not too uncommon, and I soon found it increasingly harder to get out of bed each morning. I would try motivating myself with pep talks and reminders of how I was touching the lives of young children. But even that can only take me so far.

Adult bullies are trained in their strategies and tactics because they most often have been bullies their entire lives. It’s a lot harder to pin point what an adult is saying or doing to qualify them as a bully, but they’re bullies just the same. And being targeted hurts.

The thing about being bullied, whether as a child or an adult, is that it makes you doubt your self-worth, plummets your self-esteem, and makes you question the reason for your existence. Sometimes, it breaks your soul.

But what’s important to remember is that the bully is the one with the problem, not you. And that your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.

I suffered for two long years, during which I exhausted every resource I had to improve matters. My complaints fell on the deaf ears of our human resource department; my director turned a blind eye.

I was alone.

I knew I had to leave, but how could I just walk away? How could I leave after giving so much of myself to the students and school over the years? How would I continue to support my family? And my identity as a teacher—what would I do with my life?

It took months and months of intense contemplation, consultation, and prayer until I finally found the strength and courage to send in my resignation letter at the end of the school year. A decision for which I can never thank myself enough.

Sometimes, removing yourself from a toxic situation is the greatest service you can do. Because, let’s face it, you are worth much more than any paycheck and above anyone’s abuse.

Honest Cartoons on Tough Subjects

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are involved in the struggle to end bullying. While I feel it can never truly end as I see it as a human nature problem, how we discuss and view it does need to change. I was recently contacted by a few artists that are working on cartoon drawings to sell on tough subjects, to include bullying, divorce, and death.

We all deal with struggles and sometimes it is hard to keep a perspective on what we are going through. The cartoons that these two women are creating help us to understand and deal with the long-term effects that these issues have.

Stephanie Piro and Kelly Kamowski have been cartoonists and mothers for over 25 years. They create compassionate cartoons about difficult subjects such as bullying, divorce, and death from child and adult perspectives. The intent is to show people they are not alone in what they are dealing with.

They sell the cartoons for a minimal amount for use on blogs, websites, and in publications. Please contact Kelly if you are interested in purchasing a cartoon — kellykamow95@gmail.com Below is a sample of one of their bullying cartoons. To view their divorce and death cartoons go to www.kamowski.com/divorce and www.kamowski.com/death

Bullying Cartoon

Bully Incident – The Rocket Ship

aeisenbe:

As I think back and revisit these stories, I can see how I would be labelled the “Strong Sensitive Boy”. Sensitivity is not a trait that men are “supposed” to have. It doesn’t justify the bullying, but makes me understand further how I was targeted, due to this personality type ~Alan Eisenberg

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

There were many more minor incidents with Bob after the last story I told. You probably have a good idea of how the story goes. Not all of the incidents were big, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt. I would get pushed or they would just call me “iceberg” on the playground. I was mostly in avoiding mode and trying not to get in their way. Remember, Mom told me, “don’t fight back” and I didn’t.

It was hard to avoid the kids at recess. There were too many places to hide or corners to go around and I really loved playing with friends. But, I remember one day I was with my friend Jonathan on a metal climbing piece of equipment that was shaped like a rocket ship. It was cool looking and at age 9, we could come up with all sorts of adventures we could have…

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Bully Incident: The Wooden Deck (1976)

aeisenbe:

It’s interesting to me to retell this story about my early run-in with Bob, who I would contact over 30 years later to discuss this and other incidents from my memories of being bullied. The most interesting part to me is that, as I talked more to Bob, he could not recall these stories or bullying me. While my memory is vivid, just the other day, he told me that, not only does he not recall this, his friends tell him he was always the one who would stick up for the bullying victim and didn’t like bullying. I thought that so interesting as I believe he may have both blocked my stories and maybe some of his early youth from his own life. I don’t doubt his belief as we all see things differently and quite possibly, Bob in later years, was the guy who stuck up for those being bullied. It may have just been a case of him changing his ways. ~Alan Eisenberg

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

The long road of constant bullying for me started in Spring of 1976 at Franklin Elementary School in Lexington, MA when I was about 8 years old.  I wasn’t a big kid and enjoyed being a bit of a dramatist and performer. I don’t recall not having friends, and always had someone to play with at the playground.

Our playground at Franklin was quite large for an elementary school and covered 3 sides of the school grounds. I recall there being adult teachers outside with us, but they were always chatting together on the steps.

Toward the back of the school yard, there was a very large wooden deck structure with multiple platforms to play on and a pole you could repel down. My friends and I loved to play on that and run around on it. It was in the back of the play yard in a wooded are.

One day…

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My Mother’s Bullying Story (A Personal Story)

Writing an autobiography is very difficult, because not only do you need to know about yourself, but it forces you to confront the people in your life that know you best. A few months ago, I shared my father’s story, which was difficult. This week, I share my mother’s story, which is equally as difficult to read for me, but important about home abuse and early childhood trauma. My mother is a strong woman with great confidence. Asking her to recall her own situation was one of the harder things I had to do for my autobiography. The book, “A Ladder In The Dark: My Journey from Bullying to Self-acceptance”, should be released in the summer and I am looking for help. If you can help, even a little, go to my link at my new business website at: http://bullyingrecovery.org/fundraising/. I am in need of any help you can offer and I hope you get some lessons from my mother’s story below. I love you, Mom. ~Alan Eisenberg


Carol Eisenberg

My mother as a young girl in days long gone by

Lately I have been thinking about bullying.  It does not have to come from other peers.  I was bullied by my mother.  Don’t get me wrong I loved my mother, but I had the feeling that she didn’t love me.  Nothing I ever did was good enough for her.  I will give you the following example:

First some background, when I was 7 years old my father died at the young age of 35 from cancer.  This was very traumatic for both my mother and for me.  She had to go to work to support my brother (who was 3 at the time) and me.  I was forced to grow up quicker than the peers around me.  I developed a shield of confidence and carefreeness while inside I was insecure and angry.  OK, now the story.  I decided to help my mother by dusting the house for her so she would be able to enjoy her weekend.  I worked as hard as I knew how to clean and polish the tables that we had.  When she came home from work I proudly announced that I had dusted the house so that she wouldn’t have to.  She looked around and pointed to a “cobweb” in the upper corner of the room and said “You missed that”.

I never dusted for her again.

It hurt badly.

I swore that I would never do that to my children and worked hard not to.

I was also bullied by my father’s mother (my paternal grandmother).  She would wait for me after school and whisper to me (at age 7) that my mother killed my father by giving him cancer.  I, of course, would go home and accuse my mother.  This resulted in my having to go to a child psychiatrist for a time.  We eventually moved away and the problem resolved itself.

I guess I have been carrying this baggage around with me for quite some time and have just recently come to terms with it thanks to my son asking me to write some of my thoughts down.

A quick story about ESP and Alan or that family psyche connection we all have.

When I went back to work in Lexington, Alan and Robyn would call me when they got home so I knew that they were safe.  One day I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to go home, something was wrong!  I told my boss that I had to leave.  When I got home I found Alan outside the house crying.  He had lost his key.  No one called me, I just knew. (Yes, this really did happen and to this day I believe that we have a much greater energy connection due to these stories. For example, have you ever picked up the phone before it rang to call someone and they are on the other end, because they called you at the exact same moment. I’m sure statistically, that is very unlikely, but it happens all the time. ~Alan).

~Carol Eisenberg

The Kitchen Sink (A Personal Story)

When I am sent a story from someone and it does not include a title, I try to give it one with the appropriate feel for what is written. As I read Sophie’s bullying story below, I saw that she has had to deal with the “Whole Kitchen Sink” of types of bullying and issues that the long-term effects of bullying can bring. I am sorry, Sophie, for your suffering and you are brave and strong to not only tell you story, but offer your email if others need to contact you. I have found that true communication is one of the best methods of therapy to release the effects that bullying has on you. ~Alan Eisenberg


Girls bullyingMy names Sophie and here’s my story.

It all started about 2 years ago whenI began to be called names, nothing that seemed to bother me.  I used to get called all sorts of names, even in my own street someone would shout out at me, it was horrible..

To girls called Chloe and Tiffany both started to create a massive gang of people who would come and annoy me, some even pined me up against lockers or put my head down toilets, and the school never did anything…

One time i got home from school and logged on to my Facebook and i got invited to this page that was all about me, but not in a good way, every comment on there was bad/negative and there was pictures of me which was horrible.  I shut my Facebook down after that and kept of it, till i went on a site were you could help each other with these sort of situations and this boy took a fancy into me, like someone actually cared, which at that point meant a lot.

I met him and he raped me, i was 14.

After that i never told anyone for about a year and then i took an overdose and tried to kill myself. Then it all came out about what had happened and police got involved. By then, i was covered in scars and cuts from self harm and i came out as being a lesbian. My bullying still continues but its better than it was.

Just know your all not alone and if you ever need someone to talk to then my email is sophierichardson978@yahoo.com

~Sophie