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.

Bullying Recovery – Support a Book and a Company

Bully-RecoveryRecently, I have embarked on an adventure to turn my passion into a reality to help others that suffer with the long-term effects of bullying and C-PTSD to recover and thrive. I have mentioned one of my initiatives, which is to write a book. I am happy to announce that the writing of the book currently titled “A Ladder In The Dark: A Journey from Bullying to Self-acceptance” has been completed being written and should be edited and released by this summer.

I am also happy to announce that I have formed a company around my feelings on the issues of the long-term effects of bullying called Bullying Recovery, LLC. It is with great hope that I plan to try to devote my full-time to the issue of bullying and working toward the recovery of those that suffer from its long-term effects.

It has been eight years that I have devoted much of my free time at no cost to this issue. As the issue and the demand of my time continue to increase, I would like to be able to make this side work of mine, my full work. In order to do so, I have decided that you and people you know can help me through crowdfunding the startup costs and continued rising costs of publishing the book, that I believe will help many people who are currently suffering.

I have set up a site at:

http://www.gofundme.com/bullyrecovery 

You can go there and donate as little or as much as you can to help me continue to do this very important work on the issue of bullying. Through your dollars, I will be able to publish the book and get it distributed, set up more speaking engagements, and start a company with the main focus being the psychological recovery of people who suffer with C-PTSD. I would also like to work with the schools/universities to set up better research and support for school administrators and social workers to learn how to detect and work with bullying victims and bullies.

Please consider making a donation and following me at: http://www.gofundme.com/bullyrecovery

I truly believe that, with you help, I can continue to make a difference and even bigger impact on the issue of bullying than I have over the last eight years of work that I have done pro bono. Thank you for considering to help me with the cost of book publishing and starting up my company. I will continue to keep people updated through the Bullying Recovery Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bullying-Recovery-LLC/1567410660204123 and through my twitter page @bullyinglte

Please consider liking both to receive more updates and thank you for supporting me and this cause for all these years.

Bully Incident: – The Sewer (1974)

This is the second in my repeats of stories past as I have been writing my novel. I think many kids feared sewers, particularly after Stephen King released “IT”, certainly a book that tied to the fear of sewers. Since writing this story many years ago, I realize that things like feeling trapped or claustrophobic are common place feelings for people with C-PTSD damage from bullying or abuse. It is the idea of not being able to escape. To help confront this, I would force myself to sit in the middle at movie theaters, go to the barber and try not to panic in the barber chair and go to crowded places. Even though I wanted to run away at the height of my anxiety, I forced myself to stay through the panic attack and eventually, I stopped having them. There is only one way to go with anxiety, and that is confront it head on and go through it. Just as the kids who become adults do in Stephen King’s novel, IT. ~Alan Eisenberg


I have mentioned before how our brains have a tendency to put certain memories in the far backs of our heads. They are forgotten there, until sometimes a trigger can bring them forward.

Pretty much all of my stories I have told on this blog are from my days in Lexington, MA. But, something triggered me to remember the earliest incident I can recall the other day. I’ll call this the Sewer Incident. It’s more of a minor story, but still was an early bullying in my life. I don’t know why I had forgotten it, because when I recalled it, I realized how scary it was when I was only 6 years old in 1974.

We were living in Bowie, MD at the time. I was in 1st grade and took a long bus ride to school. I recall only fleeting memories of what happened, but my older sister was with me to help me recall more.

ITThe bus stop was at a sewer. I was a pretty small kid and, of course, there were kindergarten to 6th grade kids at the bus. One of the older kids had taken the sewer cap off the sewer. Of course these were very heavy metal things.

For some reason they chose me that day. They put me down in the sewer. I can’t recall if it was a bet or just a forced concept, but they made me climb down there. Then they put the lid back on it.

It was dark. I yelled for them to let me up. Instead they sat on it and taunted me from below. I recall just crying and being quite scared. Years later, the author Stephen King made me realize I was not alone in my fears of the dark sewer in his book “IT”.

My sister was yelling for them to stop and let me up. When they didn’t, she started running home and told them she was going to get my parents to come down. Once they heard that, they changed their minds and let me out.

OK, not the worst story and probably more of a joke to them than true bullying, but still something that scared a small 6 year old. I recall years later being offered the chance to go down the sewers at my college for what was billed as a fun night of sewer running by my college friends. I respectfully declined the invitation.

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The Elite Cyber-bullies (A Personal Story)

Sometimes, when I read a story, it is hard for me to connect with the writer, because their world of bullying is so much different from my experiences. Such is the case with this story and the world of elite hackers cyberbullying that is going on. It is hard to distinguish the pain that comes with what people post on the computer screens of the world, as is the case here. ~Alan


CyberbullyingCyber bullying for me started a few years ago when I was a member of a forum called elitehackers.info which now no longer exists. Yeah, this saga has lasted a while and these cyber bullies that are after me refuse to leave me alone. Back then I wanted to learn about computer security, infosec,…but I was not doing any thing bad on-line and had no bad intentions but some one got a different idea when I changed my nick to, “cy83r7r0n.”

At that point I was contacted by this low life called, “Nacky.” I guess it appeared like I was too hungry and really eager to get into black hat sort of stuff but she was wrong so when requested to crack into some ICQ e-mails I refused eventually out right and instead posted the entire conversation that took place on that forum to my site (that was hosted on a free account and removed by just one e-mail to the admin by Nacky) and later on my blog (was removed just as well with all the comments that the victim of the ICQ e-mail made) and that is where the abuse started because I refused to be silenced and continued posting that conversation and later on even the e-mails she sent to me on myspace and other bloging platforms.

Now I refer to her as a non-entity. Not just because I am pissed at her but that is how she referred to her self in one of the e-mails that she sent me over the years trying to confuse me and get me to believe that she was some outside observer and here is a typical e-mail from her,

“You may remember me, you had me confused with someone named Naky. I had contacted you some time ago trying to warn you about a Shawn person. I had gotten to the bottom of some things but not all re: elitehackers. Something about this Shawn guy and the admin there. I could resend the info I came into if you wish.”
I believe that she has mental issues as all e-mails that I have received from her show that she has an enormous problem writing any thing with a head and a tail and no clear idea is expressed and it always comes in rambling sentences with grammatical errors. Besides that I believe she is an individual who has been coerced into the abusive world of these cyber bullies who are using her as a proxy to as they are involved in various cyber crimes such as cracking into peoples e-mail accounts, harassment and they even put peoples personal information on the doxbin site that is hosted on the tor network and once there it can not be taken down (last year three Finish teens were arrested in relation to that:
http://occupypeace.blogspot.com/2013/10/scoop-doxbin-arrested.html),…

So when the initial phase was over two hate blogs were on line and are still on line to date:
http://lyecdevf-is-lame.blogspot.com/, (I would like to ask for help to get these two blogs removed), http://failtrolls.blogspot.com/2014/02/gregor-aka-lyecdevf-aka-cyber-cunt.html, (For now they can only attack my on line personality but they are determined to figure out who I am in real life), two abuse reports were made to Google, and I received a whole bunch of e-mails full of confusion and statements that angered me. So if any one is wondering why I am writing this it has in part to do with Nacky as well who writes to me in a way that equates me with some low life and I can not accept this type of attitude.

She was trying to shut me up her self for a while but she could not get Google to delete my account but then others steeped in. Who ever was behind all this wanted to shut me up. These cyber bullies do not want to see me post on line the conversation where I was asked over and over again to crack into an account by Nakcy because that is illegal as it is a solicitation to commit a hacker crime but it goes beyond that. They do not want to hear any one talk about there techniques, e-mails,…in fact they try to censor all posts including this one. So I would ask the admin already at this point in time to take note of that as this page is going to experience a lot of heat and I do not blame any admin who feels the need to remove this post.

Nevertheless as I am going to continue my campaign to shed light on these cyber bullies in spite of being aware that they are going to try and censor me and fill my e-mail in box with abrasive messages. I believe that some one needs to do some thing as they keep a very low profile so to try and keep undetected while they are just going go around hurting people unhampered. They are an organized group who may use proxies to log in to there stolen e-mails and stay in general clear of social media sites. Such behavior is not typical of cyber bullies and they may leave me alone on twitter but Shawn would e-mail me there comments about what I wrote on line in his poisoned demeanor.

Shawn is another non-entity who after Nakcy tried to shut me up and to intimidate me even further by threatening me in an e-mail where a picture of a dead snake and a picture of who he believes is me were included. His e-mail account he was using ended in “ucide.” It was all so clear to me and in my abuse report to google regarding the threatening e-mail I wrote that he may want me to commit suicide. Google seemed to respond quickly but after he received the message directly from the abuse department he wrote from the same e-mail account again to me the following, “I am cheering for you to commit suicide.” Apparently what ever google abuse department had to say to him did stop him from continuing sending the abusive e-mails to me. That is why in part I need to take things into my own hands as this non-entity has proven beyond doubt that he is the lowest scum who has anger management issues and the only thing out of his mouth is disdain and rage.
Many times I have received e-mails from these non-entities who seem to believe that they can trick me some how to stop exposing them down to outright threatening me. All this time they acted like I was the bad party and called me every thing from spamer, trol, creep,…They even forwarded to me an e-mail with a generic answer from the police abuse department when they made a general type complaint about an abusive person because they are trying to turn the tables and make it appear that I am the offensive party when it is the exact opposite.
The attitude is really some thing from some middle schoolers and that is one of the many things that angers me. They invest enormous amount of time and energy to silence me and for the last few years I let them get away with it but now I have had it. After I received another e-mail from Nacky after half a year of complete silence I decided to take this to a new step. I want to spread the word all over the net because for one I know they are going to try and censor this stuff from all the blogs but also because I would like to get advice on how to effectively deal with this issue appart from just sitting there quiet and never mentioning any thing. I do not believe that silence helps.

P.S: I have written this to post on blogs to inform people of what has been taking place during various intervals during the past several years. I would be willing to edit this if you were willing to post this on your site.


“The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it’s only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse. If you go to Bosnia or Somalia or Peru or much of the third-world then it appears that the apocalypse has already arrived.”

~Terence

A Look Toward The Future of Battling the Bully Problem

What new technologies are coming in the future? Well it’s certainly unpredictable. But guest blogger Paul Rothbein has some ideas and I believe he might be on to something. Below are a few of his thoughts as well as a new perspective to the age old problem of bullying. ~Alan Eisenberg


Karen Klein CheckIn 2012, 32,251 people donated over $700,000 worth of money to a charitable project within 30 days. All these individuals donated $700,000 for Karen Klein to go on vacation. Who is Karen Klein and why would anyone donate money for someone to go on vacation? Karen Klein was a 68 year old woman who was videotaped being bullied on a bus by middle-school children.

Her daughter Amanda created a crowdfunding campaign to raise $5,000 for her to experience relief after this traumatic experience. The video went viral and she received the support from as over 32,000+ donors and 14,000% more money than the original funding goal. This is the direct opposite of cyber-bullying.

Unfortunately, most of the donors if not all the donors were not middle school children but adults. Children are normally not sensitive towards bullying like adults are. Soon, there might be apps in 2016 that encourage cyber bullying. Right now Facebook and other major social networks don’t have any policies to ban cyber bullying. With obesity on the rise among young children there will probably be more students being bullied for being overweight.

What we learned from the Karen Klein story is that the internet has as great ability to counter bullying as it can to inspire bullying. The story of Karen Klein also represents the power of video. How could a low budget movie like Gasland could prevent the world’s largest industry (oil and gas) the ability to drill for natural gas in New York, in France, in South Africa, and across the world? The low budget film Blackfish has significantly hurt SeaWorld’s stock after raising concerns about how Orcas are bullied by being raised in captivity.

Will there be a movie or video released somewhere in 2015 – 2020 that will inspire the same change on the issue of bullying? It is possible. However, adults must be the ones to step up. We need something in the near future about something that does not only raise awareness on the issue of bullying. We need something that creates a sense of urgency to tackle the issue of bullying. ~Paul Rothbein


Paul Rothbein is a future enthusiast and the founder of The Perspective 2020 Directory to Everything, and the Perspective 2020 Almanac To Everything: A Decade In Review. Both are due to be released in early 2015, with a Kickstarter campaign set for December 1. More details can be found on perspectivethemag.com.

How Did You Recover from Bullying?

“How did you recover from the bullying you experienced as a youth?” she asked me.

What a great and difficult question this is for me to answer. I am 46 years old now. Bullying, for me, ended when I was 14. It is now 32 years later and I still am in recovery. When will I get better? That is a question that I can’t answer at this time, because the truth is, I don’t know. To understand what I mean, you have to understand that what is done cannot be undone. In fact there is a great teaching method to teach children about bullying called ‘The Crumpled Piece of Paper’ that makes this point very clear.

Bullying CloudI was bullied daily from age 7 to 13 and then just a little more when I was 14. I was lucky, because we moved when I was 13 and, for the most part, I left the bullies behind me. I could start anew. But the damage of what we call our growing years, from 5-18, was done. It would still take me a while to learn this though. By the time I was 13, bullying had made me angry, depressed, and my self-esteem was nearly gone. I hung out with the wrong crowd and am not proud of many of the things I did during this time so that this group of people would be ‘my friends’. But it wasn’t all bad in that I had a good family life and teachers that cared and mentored me.

When I finally moved away, I made a conscious decision at 14 to stay low and not make any waves at school or to ‘be myself’ with people. I was hardened by my experience. But luckily for me, I found a new teacher/mentor and group of friends in the High School Drama Department. By the time I graduated from High School, I thought that I had put those bullying years behind me. I had a great time in High School and then in College. These were great years and I had great friends and learned to be myself again.

But being myself had a price. Much like the crumpled piece of paper I mentioned earlier, there were repressed scars that were still there. The first time it manifested itself was at the end of college during one of my final exams. As I started to take it, I grew sweaty, my heart started racing, and my eyes wouldn’t focus. I was having a panic attack and I knew the feeling. It was the same feeling I had when the bullies would surround me. The fight or flight feeling that comes with feeling threatened. I didn’t know it at the time, but I ran from the room to the bathroom. It finally went away and the professor let me finish the test.

For the next several years I suffered from unexpected and unexplained panic attacks and anxiety at times of stress. I didn’t know at the time the major correlation between youth bullying and adult anxiety and depression issues like these. But I would soon learn more than I wanted to. I must admit that there was a string of very good years where my self-esteem was high and I had a wife and children to care for. During this time, I suffered little from anxiety and panic. But I did have some strange habits, like not liking crowded places, needing to sit on the aisle in theaters, and just some discomfort. I didn’t realize the claustrophobia that was closing in with depression as well. Then, seven years ago, I realized as a web writer that I wanted to make a difference and share my youth bullying stories with others on the web to try to help people realize they weren’t alone. I created a website called ‘Bullying Stories: Dealing with the Long-Term Effects of Bullying’.

I shared my stories and had other people share theirs as well. I did research and became an anti-bullying activist. I certainly don’t want to say this triggered something in me to start to relive my bullying years, but at a point in time a few years after I started the website, my panic attacks came back and my anxiety was through the roof. This put me in a tailspin that ended with me in a depression and I didn’t understand why. At the time, I didn’t understand ‘the crumpled piece of paper’ or the C-PTSD that I would soon learn can happen from childhood trauma. I was lucky, though, that I knew medical professionals from working as an anti-bullying activist. They helped me help myself. I read tons of books, articles, and learned all I could about my situation. I learned that, for me, there will be good periods of time and bad periods of time and that I could learn how to deal with the bad periods of time. I learned to change my life for the better by:

  • Eating a healthier diet that would feed both my body and brain better
  • Working out at a gym to de-stress and release energy that was building up in me
  • Journaling about my feelings and the way I was thinking to learn to turn negatives into positives
  • Talking to people about what I went through as a child and what I was going through now
  • Doing Yoga and Meditation to learn to be mindful and relax my brain
  • Reading positive affirmations to help my mind think more positively

I could go on, but we are all different and what works for one doesn’t always work for others. Some people choose medication and therapy. Some do not. It takes all my strength to motivate myself some days to keep doing the work I know helps me feel better. My new motto is to ‘never quit’ and that it does and will get better. But there will be peaks and valleys in my life and I always need to be conscious of the valleys and know I can climb back up.

I keep a reminder at my desk now to try to remember what I have learned. It is a framed saying attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.” I always like to add at the end that is why today is called the Present. Because it is a present given to me. You can’t change the past and can’t predict the future, so why not just live for today.

So, she asked me, “How did you recover from the bullying you experienced as a youth?”

My answer is, I’ll let you know when I figure it out myself. But for now I know that life is what you make it and I am trying to make mine the best it can be. Every day is a new day and a good day to be alive…and that is how I have learned to cope, not necessarily recover from bullying.

~Alan Eisenberg

The Rise of the Verbal Villian

The Rise of the Verbal VillanThere are so many talented people who are doing so much to help fight bullying and try to change perceptions of what bullying is. Lee has written a very special and moving book on the subject of bullying the scars that bullying leaves to the victims.

As lee describes his book:

Lee is sixteen and life is tough. A broken home and a hard time at high school with tears, jeers and fears seeming relentless and leaving him defenseless. Lee needs to stop this and fight back, but how? Is the answer in his ability to manipulate words? Can he battle back using rap? Is there a verbal villain waiting to be unleashed from its cage? Start reading about a timid and troubled teenager and end up supporting a word-slinging warrior of rhyme for our time.

Lee’s angle on his book is one that is a unique look at how the outlet of rap can comfort and help work through the troubles of bullies. You can read the first fifteen pages of Lee’s book at his website.

His book is also available at most bookstores and through AMAZON.

It is a unique and interesting perspective from an 18-year-old writer that still thinks about his years of bullying and how he came through the other side to help him work through the long-term effects.

As lee also explains, it is his own personal tale of how he battled back against his bullies using words as his weapons to be greater than his haters after being reborn from scorn. He wants to be an anti hero with his alter ego to the masses of teenagers and young adults who are getting troubled and tormented and disrespected and dejected.