Have you ever been bullied? Sadly I have. I was bullied in School, I have been bullied in the workplace and I have even been bullied in my own family.
The bullying started in fourth grade. That seemed to be the year of the "great divide". All the "cool kids" decided who they would and would not include in their elite group. I was told if I continue to hang out with a specific girl I would never make it into the elite group. I like the girl, we actually were close friends. They probably knew I wouldn't turn my back on someone I was close to. So I chose her over "them". (I'm still friends with her by the way.)
Then in sixth grade a girl named "Jennifer" choked me on the playground at recess. She told me not to tell and she would stop if I would just be her friend. So I befriended my bully. We played a few times outside of school. After that year she seemed to disappear. I haven't seen her since sixth grade. Looking back, I bet her family moved a lot and she probably had trouble making friends. I was a small child, so she probably thought the only way to make a friend was to bully them into it. I hope for her sake she has learned to be nice to people, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
In high school I was stalked by a girl who says she wanted me dead. I dated a guy my freshman year, we mutually agreed to end our 5 month relationship to be friends. After that happened, the threats came. She chased me for three entire school years, until she graduated. Funny though, he and I went to prom together my junior year, as friends. We have stayed friends all these years.
I was bullied in the work place about ten years ago. It wasn't fun going to work every day when you knew the snide comments were going to be made in your direction. It was more than just a few snide comments now and then. It was a total attack on my personal character. It always happened when "the boss" was not there. It was high school all over again.
In the fall of 2009 two people from my extended family decided that my feelings were not valid and told me that I should not be angry for the way they forced their views and judgments onto me. Being cornered and told I should not be angry is a form of bullying. Sadly that day changed our relationship forever; I saw exactly "how it is". I learned a few things and I "grew up".
Setting healthy boundaries would have helped in this situation. It's hard to set boundaries with people who think you should respect your elders at all costs. I lost a lot of respect for both of those ladies that day.
"People don’t always take kindly to one setting boundaries. Angry reactions are common, when someone gets mad at you because you will not give them what they want, you need to keep in mind they are the ones with the problem. Maintaining the boundary that you set with the angry party is good for them it will teach them something that their parents did not, which is , respect for other people." - Taken from Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of You... by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.
I am in this situation right now. Without breaking confidence and speaking about someone "behind their back", there is someone who is angry with me because I will not give into a boundary I set. Maintaining this boundary is important to me, it is important so I do not get into a situation where I could get taken advantage of. So, they will stay angry, and I will stay where I am at as well. We are at an impasse.
I can totally relate with the kids I see on the news today who are bullied. It's sad that as a society we continue to allow people to treat each other this way. Standing up for yourself is difficult, especially when you are young. As I have gotten older I have gained more confidence and am able to stand up for myself. Plus, I finally found a man who will stand up for me when I cannot. It's nice to know that I finally have someone who "has my back".
Originally posted at We Three Crabs