Many of you are still emailing me over my first blog that I had entitled “Public Service Announcement.” I was a bit surprised over how much response there was – both positive and negative (smile) – and I was touched by how many of you shared your own personal histories on the subject of abusive relationships. Obviously, I don’t share your own confidences on here, as I respect your privacy and FULLY understand that it is sometimes easier to share your secrets with a perfect stranger. I don’t experience any of you with any preconceived ideas, or judgments, or other expectations – so you all know you have a safe space in this bizarrely intimate and anonymous forum.
In talking to many of you, I have picked up an underlying theme in so many of the relationships you discuss, and that theme has led to today’s Public Service Announcement: BULLYING.
What is a bully? If you use google to look it up, one definition you will find is “A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.” For a brief moment of levity here — if you are talking about size factoring in to bullying, I am going to be losing that battle to the bullies for the rest of my life. 🙂 Overbearing? Interesting. As a parent, I think overbearing isn’t so much a character flaw as it is a necessity at times. Okay, break for humor is over…
There is a lot of overlap between a bully and an abuser, as it usually seems necessary for a person to be a bully in order to be an abuser: the insults, the profanity, the small slices that are taken out of YOU (as the victim, sorry – I know we all hate that word) by your own personal bully.
But there is hope as you deal with your bully. Remember, in the last announcement I said to just do whatever you had to do to get out of your abusive situation? Well, when dealing with your bully you have two parts in facing that person down.
First, you must face whatever it is in yourself that tells you that you deserve to be a victim: it may be something as simple as not being a forceful personality, or it may be something deeper. I am not going to tell you that therapy is an absolute MUST, as we are all entirely different human beings, but in my experience it is immensely helpful.
Second, let go. We are all human — we all have that once in a while impulse to “get even.” Your bully is his or her own worst enemy. Really, there is nothing you can do to this person that will be worse than what they will do to themselves. Step back, deep breathe, live your life joyfully and graciously. LET GO. As hard as it can be, a revenge mission will only give that person power over you still (even if that person is such a blasted idiot it would be almost like taking candy from a baby).
Many people who know me personally, in real life, tell me that I am “too nice,” or I take the high road too much. From where someone else sits, I probably do (although I am immensely thankful for friends and loved ones who would like to slay any and every dragon for me). From where I sit, I must follow the old adage: “To thine own self be true.” I don’t believe in grudges, or hatred. I believe in forgiveness and redemption.
Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is to just walk away.
Now, if your children are being bullied you don’t even want to get me going! I am a maniac when it comes to people who attempt to upset my children. 🙂 Every mature philosophy goes right out the window and the Tigress comes out instead. Such is the nature of motherhood, haha.
Soapbox over. I hope this was in some way enriching for those of you who have been talking with me about it.
Blessings and love to you all…xoxo