Marie Talks: Bullying; Do We Know Enough?

 

So I’ve shared my story about Smith in my The use of LGBTQ2IA terms as an insult blog, my high school bully that tried to use being a lesbian as an insult (among other things). Now however I am going to share a few snippets of my experience with bullying throughout my descriptions of the types of bullying. Growing up I had this friend, let’s call her Janice, I had known her since we were four and she was great when she wanted to be which is why I do recognize her as a friend. However I also recognize her as my childhood bully. A lot of my stories will probably involve her to some degree. Any I have no experience with I will not share a story on, however if anyone has any stories they’d like to share feel free to leave it in the comments.

What are some things that can make someone a bully:

1) Physical violence:
– eg. pushing, spitting, shoving, hitting,  grabbing, stealing, damaging property, hair pulling, etc.. for the younger kids (and everyone else as well, it’s just more common in the younger years) biting
– Any act that invades another persons personal bubble with ill intent, intentionally threatens a person’s physical safety or well being.

At the age of eight me and Janice had class together, some days were fine and we’d laugh and talk, or not interact at all. Others however were not so great. Sometimes it would be arguing, others I would be shoved or tripped. Sometimes when she pushed or tripped me I would end up covered in mud other days I would just have a face full of whatever the floor was made of. One day I don’t remember what it was over, or how it started.  At lunch I was running for all I had from Janice. I ran and ran and she was yelling threats out at me as she followed. I remember losing her and spending a good fifteen minutes under a table in our classroom hiding from her, afraid of being seriously injured if not worse. Lucky for me that day the teacher came into the room before Janice did and so I felt safer.

However That is not the only cases of physical bullying I have experienced so I will share two more. 

  • Age eight: I made the mistake of bringing my diary to school as I hadn’t spent the night at home. At lunchtime I had a group of boys steal it, they tried to get into it to read it and when that did not work they tried to destroy it. All fun and games right? Not in my eyes, the stuff inside of it was pretty embarrassing.. trust me I’ve read what my eight year old self decided to write in it. Right there that’s theft and damaging property.
  • Age eleven: Janice and me were helping take some photos off the wall. We were given butter knives to take the staples out, we weren’t talking but she decided I have pissed her off and tried to stab me with it. No major harm was done, but I learnt butter knives hurt. Later that year at our after school center she decided she didn’t want to help clean up the mess she had help create and hit me over the head with a folding metal chair. I don’t remember the next few moments but I do remember the throbbing pain and bump that was left from that incident.

2) Verbal Bullying:
– eg. Name-calling, mocking, insults, slurs, threatening, humiliating, sexual harassment, telling them to “kill themself” etc.
– Anything said to make another person uncomfortable. Or anything said with the intent (or possibility of) to hurt, humiliate, or shame another.

All through out elementary school I was made fun of, one common thing we all go through is making fun of our names with rhymes or mispronouncing them to make them sound funny or teasing. That happened a lot. I was a heavier kid and that never ceased to be one of the many things I was teased about. Whether it was to call me thunder, tell me that I’d break something if I put my weight on it, told I wouldn’t fit places, or questioned if I was capable of doing something due to my weight.  Along with Smith, who I talked about in my other blog who bullied me through high school, was pretty nifty with his large vocabulary of insults.. please note the sarcasm.

3) Electronic bullying (or Cyberbullying)
– eg. threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude, or damage reputation/friendships with the use of texting, email, the dirty, Facebook, etc.
– Using electronics and any social platform, whether it be to blast something around to multiple people, or a private message to another or about another, to hurt another person.

I was seventeen and I had dated this guy for awhile, after we broke up he started seeing this other woman, lets call her Leila. Now maybe a month or two into their relationship I started getting these Facebook messages from his new girlfriend without even having any contact with them. Originally they were nothing special the ‘so your his ex’ type of stuff, however they soon progressed into much worse without me even replying or opening the chat. Leila then started calling me some pretty nasty things and using a lot of profanity. Okay so she has a stick up her bottom, I could handle that I thought. I hadn’t thought much of it until she started threatening me, and sending me photos she took of places I frequented such as my house and my school. Now that freaked me out, then out of the blue one day she texted me, after probably getting my number out of my exes phone, trying to blackmail me. At this point I was pretty sketched out, what was this woman’s end game and how much longer do I have to deal with her for was one of the things constantly running through my mind. Skip forward a month or two after this all started and we run into each other, Leila starts yelling at me and ye get into a huge argument.  Luckily for me everything was resolved that night and we realized someone was trying to pin us on each other for their own personal entertainment.

There you have it, the three most recognized forms of bullying, at least from what I have seen.

Don’t forget to hit like and/or drop a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic, did I miss something? Is there another form of bullying you think is more prevalent? Or is there a form of bullying you think is always overlooked?

Stay Proud. Stay Loud. Stay Strong Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

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Madison Talks About Victim Blaming

I couldn’t find the definition on dictionary.com so I got the definition off of Wikipedia:
‘’Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible’’

When it comes to victim blaming, it happens a lot in rape cases or bullying situations. Where the woman/man who had just been raped gets accused of asking for it. Or that boy who is getting bullied on the playground deserved it because he cried in class last week. Things like that don’t really make sense to me, why would someone ask for something bad to happen to them. On that note it reminds me of a quote I love, It’s sadly another unknown author, but if anyone one can find the author let me know because I’d love to give credit for it.

“The boy you punched in the hall today. Committed suicide a few minutes ago.
The boy you called lame for not going to the party. He has to work every night to support his family.
That girl you push down the stairs. She’s already abused at home.
The girl you called fat. She’s already starving herself.
The old man you made fun of because of his ugly scar. He fought for our country.
The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying.
You may think you know them. Guess what? You don’t!”
~unknown

It’s not really a quote on victim blaming but it does give a good message. When you are accusing someone of something, no one ever really understands what someone else has gone through. So victim blaming is really unfair especially if something that is out of their control.

Marie Talks: Domestic Abuse

Disclaimer: None of what I say is definite it varies case to case. I can only speak of my personal experiences.

Domestic Violencealso known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, battering or family violence,  is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Domestic Abuse can come in many forms,  the five types are: physical,  emotional,  sexual,  psychological and economic (financial).  It can also include spiritual abuse which is belittling a person’s beliefs.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone: female, male, young, or old.

Domestic abuse is a scary thought, and it can be down right terrifying to the person living it. It can be draining, traumatizing and seemingly endless.  Many times you are constantly making excuses for your abuser whether to yourself or to others.  Or you believe that they’re just struggling and you can help them,  that you are the only one who can fix them. It can be hard to imagine that you can’t: help this person, get back the person you fell for before the abuse started, make things better and have a healthy and happy relationship.

You try to justify that the abuse only happens when they had a bad day or only once in a while, it’s not that bad – it could be worse. Your partner had a rough day at work, they just failed a test, they got laid off, or it only happens when they’re drunk. It’s a vicious circle of being abused and justifying your partners actions, whether with your reasoning or the reasons they feed you. The excuses, the countless reasons, they all add up until you could probably write a novel with all the justification given for their actions. For every action there’s a reason and whether consciously or subconsciously you give or accept the reason for the action.

You justify their actions believing you deserved it, you brought it upon yourself. They hit you and yell demeaning, hurtful things at you; but that’s ok you didn’t do what they asked of you. You’re forbidden from seeing your friends or family because you don’t tell them everything you do (how can they trust you if you don’t give them a minute by minute run through) or you stay out too long. You hug a friend of an opposite sex, or look or talk to anyone of the opposite sex, that’s punishable, how can you be trusted to be faithful. You dress or act not exactly as they want you to, they don’t like it, you did wrong by them and you deserve what happened. You buy things they see as petty and unnecessary, how can you be trusted to manage your own money.

The first time your partner abused you they apologize and promise they will not do so again, you believe them. You tell your partner that you forgive them, and for a while it may not happen again. But one day they hit you or demean you (use any form of abuse really) again, and you wonder why you believed them the first time that they were truly sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again. Your partner apologizes again, giving another reason for why it happened and maybe they promise again that it was the last time, they care for you and it hurts them just as much as you if not more. Or they tell you that you deserved it for something you did and tell you that they were really angry and you crossed a line. Maybe you forgive them again, holding on to the belief that what they are saying is true. However they don’t stay true to their words it happens again and again. Maybe the abuse is widely spread out a year between the first two, a couple months, a month, weeks or days; but it starts becoming more frequent with even more excuses. The abuse gets worse, you start looking over your shoulder, start isolating yourself and living in fear of your partner. You are probably still holding on to the happy memories, how great they can be, how they used to be; they are still that person just troubled. Maybe you keep forgiving them, maybe you want out. Your partner may threaten you with what they will do if you tell someone, if you try to leave them, if someone finds out.. and that just adds to your fear.

I think it’s important for the victim of domestic abuse to remember the excuses made for their partners actions, the justification either of you give does not make your partners actions alright. That you do not and never did deserve how you were treated, and that it’s not your job to ‘fix’ them. That the abuse you are/were put through is not your fault and there is no reason for you to have been treated like that. That all the apologies and jestures can not make up for your partners actions. Whether you decide to stay or not should not be up to your partner. That you should not put or keep yourself in a situation that is harmful to yourself. That there is always a way out, and there is help. Remember that there is no reason to be ashamed of being abused, that you can reach out to get help to recover.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Stay Safe.
Marie Olsson xx

RESOURCES:

International Resources
http://www.hotpeachpages.net/a/countries.html
Helpline 24/7 (VictimLink) (BC, Canada)
http://www.domesticviolencebc.ca/dvbc/index.page?
1-800-563-0808
Surrey Woman’s Center: http://www.surreywomenscentre.ca/
(Surrey, BC, Canada)

Sources: http://www.woodbridgedvrt.org/pages/fiveforms.html