Bullies are Satanists (A Personal Story)

The fear of death from bullying is very real when you are young. As hard as it is to believe when you are older, when a young bully threatens to kill their victim, in many cases, including my own, we believe they will. I always then think about what actions can a victim take. They could ignore the threat and not believe it. They could see it as credible and then a few actions can take place. If they have a strong school system, community, and/or family, they might talk to them. But in several cases, this can lead to either bullycide (the victim committing suicide to avoid any further torture) or worse, taking a weapon to school out of fear and possibly using it. It is a very thin line for the bully victim in these cases. Rob’s story below shows how this problem can and does escalate. ~Alan Eisenberg


Boy with fists upI have had many good and bad experiences in this life, but  (never thought I’d make it this far), but the absolute worst day of my life came in my freshman year in high school.

It was 1981, spring I think, and after school I was yet again waiting for the bus when my own custom designed personal tormentor decided to amuse himself with me.

But my elementary school friend decided to intervene. He told B to stop messing with me and as M was part of a very strong gang, B quickly agreed.

“Yes sir, I won’t touch R anymore.” I was amazed and thankful. I was also foolish. When a bully is committed to acts of terror, rage and hate, a warning won’t stop them. And my own stupidity also just about killed me … buoyed by my success at getting B to stop assaulting me, on the way home, behind B, I started gently calling him names (I thought he was listening to his Walkman).

I felt uplifted, strong … powerful as I quietly called B every curse word I could call to mind. Halfway through this, B turned in his seat and slugged my arm, promising that he heard me and he would deal with me when we got off the bus.

In front of our elementary school, we came off the bus and B waited until the bus pulled away and then, another old classmate – excuse me, asshole – came over and started assaulting me. At this time, I rolled into a very tight ball on the ground and was totally terrified.

Fortunately, not much happened. Except for the emotional abuse, the 2nd bully stepped away and as I was going home in tears again, B started joking and laughing loudly at the way I was walking.

I continued going home, but after I crossed the soccer field, I was jumping up and down , crying and cursing in rage … when I got home I remembered that my dad had a rifle or something and I tried to find it. If I had, even though I didn’t really understand the concept of bullets yet, I was going to race down to B’s house, and threaten him with the rifle.

Thank God none of that happened, but, after my experience with B, I transferred out of that school into a smaller setting, where bullies were not as tolerated.

And, since that day, I have been bullied many times, but never again did I fear that I was going to die.

And, God also moved in my life – now I have hope.

~Rob

Bully Incident: You Killed Jesus (1976)

This story was the first story about the bullying that happened to me as I recalled it. It certainly set the tone for the stories that were to come when I started this site in 2007. As I look back on these stories with a fresh eye, I realize that, for many stories, there was little to nothing I could do to prevent the bullying or, in the case of this story, the hurtful words of some young children. Life has that happen and certainly plenty of African-Americans, Hispanics, and many other groups also have mean and debase things said about them. Part of my learning is to be less sensitive to these comments and look at them more holistically as a bigger problem. For example, it is interesting to me that now, in the US, we have an African-American sitting President, but more racial divide between the police and African-Americans than I can recall in a long time. We can’t change these things easily, so sometimes it’s best to handle them with less emotion and more discussion. ~Alan Eisenberg


As part of my understanding the bullying that happened to me, I’ve decided to chronologically tell the incidents of my being bullied starting from my earliest memories. As an adult, I often wonder if these stories are exaggerated from the mind of the child I was. I don’t believe so, but I’m sure the perspective is different. But that’s part of the problem!

As adults, of course we can rationalize what happened when we were children and see incidents as much less impactful. But it’s not happening to us as adults, it’s happening to us as children. And wherever we are emotionally and mentally when the incident happens, that’s what sticks with us. So, the incident I’ll describe below may not be that big, but it sticks with me. I don’t know why, but as a child, it was my first real brush with hate.

For the first 7 years of my life, I don’t recall any bullying. I don’t think that is unique. I feel like bullying really starts around mid to late elementary school. We moved in 1975 from Maryland to Lexington, Massachusetts. In Maryland I had lots of friends. Lexington was different. Somewhere in the first year there, I was walking down the street in my neighborhood when two twin neighbor girls who were maybe 6 approached me. They looked me straight in the face and said “you killed Jesus” and spit on me, then ran away.

I should say now that I am Jewish, but don’t wear it on my sleeve. It seems obvious to me that they found out I was Jewish and heard that Jews killed Jesus (not that uncommon back in the mid-70s belief). I’m not even sure I had talked to these two kids before and I just remember being embarrassed about being Jewish. What did I do? Why the hatred? To this day, I still don’t know if I can answer those questions. But I know that I’m not the only one who has heard that.

That’s the first incident of bullying I recall. You may say to me that was not bullying. But to me, it is. I didn’t do anything to provoke it.

Or did I?

It’s a question I do ask myself. What do you think? I will continue to add the stories of the bullying in my young life here. This is just the beginning. The ending, unfortunately leads me to this point, 28 years later, to want to tell the story and hear your stories, so we can all learn, and hopefully help others. Thanks for reading.

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The Workplace Punching Bag (A Personal Story)

I have learned through my website that bullying is not something that just ends at school age, but that bullies can grow up to be workplace bullies and victimization from bullying happens to adults as well. If that wasn’t clear before, it has become abundantly clear to me through stories like the one below. As with school administration, I wish all HR departments at companies would have a “no bullying” policy and follow it when needed. ~Alan Eisenberg


Stop Workplace BullyingI want my story to be heard as I know many others that have suffered through similar and bullying and victimization is not limited to the school grounds and early years, but is sadly alive and well in the workplace.

Last year I felt like a punch bag… it was like a vendetta was being launched and the HR Department were powerless from stopping it from happening.  It is not what you know, but who you know.

This is how it all began…

I was appointed the Head of Marketing. I embraced the challenge and was extremely upbeat and enthusiastic to begin with. I started to make various positive changes… rebranded, created a corporate brand guideline and developed social media.

I received praise from the ‘outside world’ and from most of the board members, however there was one department and one Director in particular that I was required to work with in order to succeed in the marketing in its entirety and this particular department and Director made my life a living hell for approximately 12-18 months. By the end of it, I was nothing more than a nervous, insomniac wreck of person. 60% of what I had been tasked with meant I had no choice, but to work with this particular department. I am a proactive individual so made bi-monthly standing meetings that were often cancelled and yet I soon discovered that ‘secret meetings’ pertaining to the marketing and various events had been held. I was once accused in a meeting in front of many individuals of making some terrible mistakes that had caused some embarrassment… it had to do with the proofing, the print and the delivery. They didn’t like it when I was able to back up all my documentation to show that:

  1. Deadlines had been missed by this department for final changes so late submissions caused the additional pressure on the print suppliers to deliver within an unreasonable time frame.
  2. Some of the supposed requested changes to be made could never be backed up/supported and all requested changes received were made by me.
  3. Due to the missed deadline the booklets would have to be delivered directly to the venue.

The printers were instructed accordingly, but at the last-minute a rather odd request was made to have these delivered directly to the hotel. I queried this at the time, but as the request came from someone far more important I let it be. However it was brought up in the meeting and I was accused of making a silly decision to deliver to the hotel which caused additional work and the cost of a taxi to ferry these booklets in several trips to the event. However I had the supporting emails to prove that the decision had not been made by me which I produced and this caused embarrassment to the important person concerned. I was not about to be humiliated again for a mistake I had not made! This is where I fear that the real vendetta against me and my team began.

It was indeed a very sad year as I was desperately trying to justify everything I did. The ‘bullies’ were however allowed to continue with the harsh tones, failure to respond to emails, stonewalling, secret meetings, missed deadlines and worst of all were the fabricated stories and lies and the stalking on my own personal social media sites that followed for at least 6 months. There was little I could do except do other than the best that I could and to persevere. Thankfully others supported me, but the damage of the stress had taken its toll and eventually something had to give… the marketing was yanked from under my feet through no fault of my own and the person appointed to take over the role was none other than the Directors sister-in-law and the daughter of the big boss.

I am hardworking, diligent and dedicated and usually achieve my goals. I have never cheated, lied or stolen in my life… I am as honest as they come. I am direct and truthful and I have strong morals and integrity, but what I saw and went through gave me a cruel insight to the harsh reality of the business world. I was advised that if I decided to take the matter further I would almost certainly lose as the company had endless financial and legal resources and even though this particular Director has a file a ‘mile long’ (slight exaggeration!) of complaints of bullying and various other charges against her she was untouchable and no one who came up against her ever won! If I pursued the matter I might just not have a job right now so how would I then pay my bills and mortgage? My very kind, caring and wonderful colleague who was working with me resigned out of principle to what was happening and also because with the loss of the marketing she was forced into a menial job that she did not wish to do. I felt cowardly for staying, but at that point I had lost all confidence in myself and the system that was supposed to protect the bullied victim.

I speak Afrikaans as part of my home language and I am proud to be bilingual. Hearing others speak foreign languages in and around me is refreshing… it shows we are a proud multi-cultural society. It shows I am not racist. The definition for ethnicity is: the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition which to me equates to an Afrikaans speaking South African and for this I was forced into writing a letter of apology for speaking a language which apparently caused a colleague some offence. This colleague never brought it to my attention, he never even politely asked that I refrain from speaking another language in front of him… he went straight to the very top with exaggerated claims, false accusations and goodness knows what else so the HR department were therefore instructed to deal with myself and another colleague and we were told under no uncertain terms that should we choose not to write an apology letter for speaking Afrikaans our jobs were under threat. Other languages openly spoken in the office have never ever been brought into question… a different rule applied to us. We were not being treated fairly. This gang of colleagues at work had rallied around to ‘get me‘ and they were to succeed. The worst was a twitter claim that could never be supported (nothing was ever captured or photographed) and it was exaggerated to all on the board. I was beyond mortified. Even my own boss never believed me. Unbeknown to me HR and the CEO had already trawled through a 1000 twitter messages on my feed and found the retweet (yes a retweet from UberFacts!) that had upset this particular Director who was out to get me to the point that I lost my marketing position, but the build-up to this had continued for months and perhaps because I did not break sooner this just had to be manipulated and twisted into something it never was. Once the truth was revealed that it was a retweet, I never received an apology for the embarrassment that I had endured and suffered from the false tweet accusation and I felt that my honour and integrity was forever ruined. I cried and vomited for most of the night and when I eventually was so shattered I fell asleep I dreamt I never woke up and for the first time in a long time I felt free.

I realized then that I needed help. So I wrote the following message on Facebook to my bullies and I have subsequently received huge support from around the world and now realise just how many others suffer daily at the hands of bullies. I am sadly not alone.

“You and your gang of friends made my life so unbearable last year with the exaggerations and lies that it made me physically ill. I lost the marketing position, I lost my colleague, I was stalked on social network sites and I suffered from an ulcer and the physical and emotional stress caused elevated Cortisol levels and as a direct result of this I have gained weight. This is bullying… IT IS victimization, but sadly you won the last round and you are likely to win again. It was never ever a fair fight to begin with. Your ties and connections protect you and your loved ones… I am not afforded the same. Karma will prevail.”

My advice to those going through a similar experience is to please not suffer in silence as I want to let you know that you are not alone. Surround yourself with family and genuine friends that care and with their help you can get through it all. The advice I received today was to ‘forgive, but never forget.’ Perhaps it is time to heed this very good advice.

 ~Anonymous

I Remember Now (A Personal Story)

I believe I have emphasized how important having strong parents and a strong sense of family helps both the victims of bullying and the bullies as well. I was lucky to have two loving parents that helped me through many tough and dark times. In many cases, strong parents come from the strength they derive from their own tough times. Resiliency is something that comes from surviving and learning from those moments when life is the toughest, not the easiest. As I currently work on my book, I shared some of it with my father for feedback, but triggered in him a memory that he then shared with me so eloquently. After he read it to me, I thought it important enough to share here. I doubt that I could be any prouder than right now as I introduce you to my father, Roy Eisenberg. He also went through many dark days in his childhood and that made him the resilient and, dare I say, hero to me that he is. How many of us suffer in silence, when there is support always around you? Ladies and gentlemen, it is truly my privilege to introduce you to my father and his story of dealing with his own demons of the past. ~Alan Eisenberg


When I was six years old I was stricken with post-measles encephalitis, a life-threatening condition which burned out the right side of my motor nervous system and left my left side disabled, as if I’d had a massive stroke. I was the lucky one.

…or so I thought

Of the other two children in the hospital with me, one died and the other ended up a vegetable for the rest of his life. Within three months, I had learned to walk again, but I walked with an ever decreasing limp until I was sixteen and I was not good at sports, which also frustrated me, since my father had been a two-letter athlete in college. Eventually, I got over the emotional trauma this caused me and lived a normal everyday life with little memory of the details of what I had been through.

…or so I thought

Alan and Roy Eisenberg

A rare photo of my dad and me from many years ago.

I got married to a wonderful woman who had had trauma in her childhood as well – the loss of her father to cancer when she was seven years old. We raised two wonderful children, including our son, Alan.  When Alan was eighteen he worked one summer as counselor at a camp for disabled and terminally ill children, and we visited him there, little knowing the impact this visit would have on me later.

At the age of 69, three years ago, I was stricken with a chronic form of leukemia. I was in remission after four months of chemotherapy, and the oncology nurses nicknamed me “Superman” because they had never seen anyone who  had tolerated the chemo as well as I had. Unfortunately, Superman got hit with a dose of “Kryptonite”, a delayed life-threatening auto-immune reaction to one of the chemo drugs that occurred four months after I had completed my treatment for cancer. I was started on massive doses of steroids among other treatments, to try to suppress my immune system.  The steroids induced a bipolar condition, which caused me to alternate between Superman and the angry and frustrated little boy that I was at the age of six.  My anger issues continued even after I had weaned from the steroids over a seven month period. Then Alan started his new book, and I asked if I could read it as he wrote for accuracy, and he gladly agreed.

In Alan’s book that he is writing, he talks about a child who had a severe brain injury as the result of an auto accident, and how he took his first steps while at the camp where Alan counseled. This description brought back memories of my own childhood. I don’t remember when I took my first steps, but this passage brought back memories of my father carrying me up and down the stairs, and these memories started me crying (We lived in a second story walk-up apartment.). It was the summer (measles season), and on nice days, my father would bring me down to our backyard under the shade of a large locust tree that I climbed later on, and then he would walk to the trolley car to go to work. I would sit in a chair in the back yard all day. My mother would bring me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and my father would carry me back up the stairs for dinner when he got home from work. My first memories of recovery were being able to drag myself up the stairs with my right arm and right leg, with my left arm dangling and my left leg dragging behind me.  I couldn’t stand up to go down the stairs for fear of falling, but sat on the stairs and dragged my butt down one step at a time.  It took me three months to walk and climb stairs normally again, which is a very long time in the mind of a six-year-old. Your concept of time is related to how long you’ve lived and three months to a six-year old is like three years to a 72-year-old.

I remember now

Later on, I would often climb up as high as I could into my beloved, twisted locust tree and sit there for hours, while the other kids played below. The tree was my haven away from reality and when my mother and father would call me to come down for dinner I would stubbornly refuse. When it started to get dark, I would climb down the tree and go upstairs for dinner. My mother would reheat dinner for me, and I would eat alone.  Obviously, they realized what I was going through emotionally, and tolerated my bad behavior.  I did this often, from second through fifth grade, when we moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, away from my beloved locust tree. I had a whole new set of friends, who never knew what I’d been through, and my life was changed forever.

 …or so I thought, but I remember now

Alan and Roy Eisenberg

Dad and me in a recent Selfie

Alan – I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you for bringing back these memories. I have never shared them with anyone before. My anger issues are gone and I now know what caused them. When I was bipolar on steroids, I vacillated between feeling like Superman and that angry and frustrated little six-year-old boy again.  I retained much of that anger and frustration after my recovery, and I guess I was not fully recovered and still may not be even now. (The doctor told me that the after-effects of heavy doses of steroids can last for over a year, and I guess my anger was one of them – and I still have edema in my ankles, caused by the steroids.) I never realized that both the physical and emotional effects of the steroids can last for more than a year, and I now realize that I have been suffering from C-PTSD for many years as well.

I now feel healed

~Roy Eisenberg

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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Bullying Incident: The Dunes (1973)

aeisenbe:

As I work on my book and given that it has been seven+ years, since these were originally published here, I am going to republish my personal bullying stories, this time in the chronological order they happened. I hope for new readers, this will give you a glimpse of why I started this site and shared my stories. Here is my first story in 1973, when I was five years old and the first time I recall bullying intimidation. I also want to add a lesson that I have now learned. One of the important aspects that I have learned since originally sharing my stories years ago is the importance of letting go of the past and learning from it to move on.

What I learned from this incident is that, in your life, you will meet wonderful people who are the majority of us and that do care about us. But you will also meet people who will use intimidation and just plain cruelty as well. The important lesson is this:

Always keep the wonderful people as close to you in your life and learn to let go and walk away from those that don’t make you feel good. You don’t need them in your life and they will only bring you down. ~ Alan Eisenberg

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

There was really a point where I thought that I was done telling the personal bullying stories from my youth. Memory is a very funny thing and how memories return to you that are stuck in the recesses of the brain still fascinates me.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if memories get lost over time, only to be found at a trigger moment. The other thing it makes me wonder is if these lost memories are always true memories at all. This one came back to me recently. I think it stayed back in the lost area of my mind, because it wasn’t as dramatic or have the full affect on me as the kids bullying me in school did. This was quite a different situation, where an adult was the one bullying and I was a very young child, no more than five.

The Dunes

I was living in Bowie, Maryland…

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Message to a Bully (A Personal Poem)

I remember the days when I enjoyed
my work,

Confident, with my experience,

figured yes I was earning my pay
Sometimes arriving to work early
Keen, to start my working day.
I’d think about and plan ahead
How I would accomplish important
tasks,

Certain I’d be able to address the
needs

Of people whose lives seemed in the
dark.

But then for some unknown reason
You felt you needed to take control,

Over time you made it difficult for
me

To achieve my working goals.

You stood over, and you yelled

And critised me too,

Your complaints, sabotage,
manipulation, jealousy and exclusion

Made me think what could I possibly
have done to you?

Nightmares and sleepless nights
Afraid to go to work,

I believed I was no longer capable

To do the job

I once loved to do.

No longer confident

Left with feelings of hopelessness,
despair,

You continued with your whispered
lies and bad behaviour

For a while my work life governed by
fear.

But today I want to tell you
I’m no longer a bumbling mental
mess,

Resilient, stronger, my confidence
restored

I’m now back to working at my best.
So now I’m asking you stop your
subtle behaviour,

Your malicious gossip, with
destructive intent,

And leave my workmates and me
alone

To do what we know best

~ Lilee