Most of us, at least once in our lives, have been an unfortunate victim of a hateful bully. And I don't just mean your typical playground bully who pushes you down because you won't give them your Fruit Roll-Up. I'm talking about being completely and utterly humiliated and criticized, over the way you walk or talk, what you wear, who you hang out with, your faith, your gender, your weight, or even your sexual orientation. Bullying can happen just about anywhere : school, work, church, and even home. I, myself, was a victim of bullying for over ten years - from my own father.
Bullying by definition is : an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
In other words - A bully wants control. They want to be the one in charge.
*** the following story is true ***
~*~ The bullying was always there, as far back as I can remember. We weren't allowed to go outside without permission. Check the mail without permission. Take a shower or bath without permission - and when we did the time was limited. Practically breathe without asking to do so. I've been called every vile name in the book that you could think of ranging from A - Z, with fat, whore, b****, slut, just being the ones used most frequently. And, mind you, this was a daily occurrence. It got worse when he drank, which, as the years passed, turned from weekend to weeknight, evening to afternoon, and eventually all day. I think one of the worst things a parent can do to their children is to tell them that they don't love them. But I was told that frequently.
The verbal abuse, slowly changed into physical, as well as mental. I couldn't go to sleep, there were many occasions when I was forced to sit up with him all night long and just talk, or play music for him while he drank. A typical nights sleep for me was maybe 3 hours at best. And this was just middle school. I went through a serious bought, of what I thought was depression during my 8th grade year - where I actually contemplated killing myself on more than one occasion. I absorbed myself into books and quickly started to surround my miserable existence, with any fictional one.
The physical abuse became worse when I entered high school. Too many times was I forced to hide bruises, just to get through the day. I was choked, beat, kicked and even told to go take a life insurance policy out and kill myself. I was living in total hell. School became my sanctuary and I never wanted to go home. No one knew what was going on at my house and I was really to afraid to let anyone know, for fear of what he might do. I finally had enough my senior year in high school, and did what someone should have done all those years ago. I called the cops the night he went too far and beat me with a metal flashlight. He was arrested and had to do anger management for the next 6 months.
It slowly got better, he drank less and stopped being physically abusive. He continued the verbal, but I knew better, and just ignored him. It escalated the year after I graduated high school and he kicked me out, when I started going to church. Today my relationship with my father is a very minimal one. My father is someone who is not only strong physically, but strong mentally. He is not someone who you would want to challenge. Yet my entire life, that is all I did. I challenged his behavior because I knew it was wrong. As much as he refuses to believe that he was the cause of many of my problems while I was growing up, I still can't help but love him. I forgive him because I know deep down, he is the one who truly needs help and who has the issues. I can forgive but I can't forget, and I don't think I ever will. ~*~
For those of you out there, who are being bullied or who ever have been, I implore you, please don't ever think it is your fault. It isn't. I spent too many nights crying myself to sleep wondering what I did wrong for him to hate me and not love me. Only now, after being out of that situation for 5 years, have I realized, I never did anything wrong. It wasn't my fault, I was a victim. Don't ever let anyone tell lies about you. To your face, to anyone else. You have to know in your heart who you are, no matter what someone says. And please don't hesitate to talk to someone, I know it may be difficult, you may be scared, alone, afraid of what people might say if you tell them whats going on, but you have to say something.
Today I'm married to the most wonderful man in the entire world who is my best friend and who has been there during the night terrors and the horrible dreams. The crying fits and the anger. I would not be here had he not rescued me.