Friday, October 12, 2012

What does bullying look like?

Oct is Bully Prevention Month. There has been a lot of talk about bullying amongst our kids. It's usually pretty blatant. Name calling, harassing, often escalating into physical altercations. We see it, even expect it in kids. But, what people don't often acknowledge is that it sometimes continues into adulthood.

Adults are supposed to be more mature than that. They are supposed to have learned their lessons as children and grown out of the bully stage. However, some people never grown out of this. And the more the Internet age grows, the more people will lash out behind that allure of a screen name. Sometimes the lines are blurred so much that people don't even know what bullying looks like.

I want to share a recent experience where I was bullied...still being bullied actually. And yes, I bit back and in turn bullied. I was no better than the one who bullied me.

So, what does bulling look like in adults? It looks like statements like this....

you seem to be gaining weight rather than losing… again, a former customer brought this up. This has come up a couple of times and I honestly have not known how to reply because it is a sensitive subject for me to address with the customers or with you. When a customer says; “as much as she says she runs she should be invisible”… we do need to address it and as I am typing I believe it was my place and I should have. Sorry I found it an uncomfortable subject
I do think you have reservations about your acceptance among others
And this...
And the reaction to someone who didn't like the use of the word "retarded"....
Just like you I too have a big mouth, and unlike you I am not new to the area and I am very well connected so I hope that I dont ever have to run my big mouth...

Make yourself scarse as you are not welcome in anything [REDACTED] related
As a very educated individual and business owner and someone with a well versed vocabulary I find your ranting completely unnecessary. Those that are our patrons of our estalishment are aware of everything we stand for and your need to judge your poor understanding of the definition of the word retarded shows that you spend your time insulting and running your big mouth rather than looking for truth, the good in people and mostly the facts. Let me educate you... Definition of retarded as per Websters Dictionary: underdeveloped: not fully developed. To clarify, although you dont deserve clarification... we showcased 4 new songs last night - 2 which were not fully developed/completed/in sync therefore RETARDED. Not only do I find your judging and your big mouth offensive but without any merit.
And this, which was sent out a MONTH after I was no longer involved with the person who sent it

Normally I will not put negativity out there as it has no place in my life; however, there are times when negativity and jealousy just cant seem to stay away no matter how much you try. During my trip to Spain my husband who is an Internet security executive discovered a blog page after receiving a message from a woman in Seattle stating that she was a part of this blog and that our studio and our staff and customers were being bashed and ridiculed in this page. After months of research he was able to be accepted into the blog page and to say that the attrocities posted were sad and pathetic is an understatement. During his research it came to light that the administrator and creator of this page was [ME] - YES, the [ME] that used to teach at our studio. Needless to say because I was out of the country and trying to relax both [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] decided not to make me aware of what was happening and dismissed [ME] immediately from her duties at our studio. Til this day I have no idea what was posted on that blog - - although [REDACTED, REDACTED, and REDACTED] all read some of the posts and state they were not only horrible things about us - but of a disgruntle nature. This page was created before our opening in Nov 2011. :(Description: frownI have refused to read them as I will not damage my soul with other's craziness.

Obviously I have no say in who you choose to befriend on your personal FB's, but I felt the need to share this with you because I care and I want you to be surrounded by light and for you to be safe

And yes, even my reply to the above was of the bullying nature...

OK, wasn't a blog. It was a PRIVATE parenting message board that I've been a part of for 12yrs. We've watched people get married, have babies, go through divorce, and worse. These are my friends who happen to be spread out across the country. How [REDACTED] got access to the board is suspect. "Someone from Seattle"? whatever. I'm not sure I buy it, but regardless, yes, he did end up in the group. He LIED to get in. But whatever....did I talk shit about here there? Sometimes. Sometimes I just posted her psychotic emails and other people commented. Whatever the case, there no one in that group that even lives in [REDACTED STATE], let alone in our client base. I ALWAYS put on a professional face when talking to clients, potential clients. Can SHE say the same? Nope, and I have the emails she sent to CLIENTS to prove it.
I absolutely own that I vented to my friends. I can't sit around sipping coffee with the girls and vent about stuff, we do it in this group. It was created WAY before [REDACTED]. It wasn't created to bash [REDACTED]. In fact, it really had very very little to do WITH [REDACTED]. AND....the posting about her and the studio were very positive right up until April when se sent me that vile email that I showed you before. That's when things went downhill. Was I disgruntled? You damn right I was. Nothing I posted was a lie. could I have been less negative...probably. I wanted to leave there for a while, since that email where she called me fat, unapproachable, and unprofessional. i should have left then. I hate that things ended the way they did, but I have never been happier. It was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I'm sure glad she isn't damaging her soul with any of this, lol 
Because the truth is...I was a bully when I vented about what was going on. I was angry. I needed to fight back and didn't know how, so I went to a place where I felt "safe' and felt like people would be on my side, and I vented. And I said very mean things. Things like "shoving your tits up under your chin doesn't change the gut that hangs out below your shirt". And that was NO BETTER than the things that were said to me and others. I am guilty of being a bully as well. Only I did it behind the person's back. How is that any better? Because I never thought she'd find out?  Because I did it under the guise of venting? Some will say I was justified in what I said. I can understand the sentiment. People like to see the bad guy getting theirs. But the only person I've hurt in the process is myself. This other party will never see what they did as wrong, or bullying. They will always be the victim. I don't think there are victims here. We BOTH bullied each other in different ways.

I want to move on. I want to become a better person. I want to let go of the resentment I have for this person.  I want to recognoze where I was wrong and prevent it from happening again. Becasue how can I be an example to my kids, if this is how I interact with people?

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