Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Can Being Bullied Be A Good Thing?

Over the last few years, especially with my 2011 school board campaign, I had many conversations about bullying in schools.  I have been an advocate for bully prevention forever.  In today’s schools and neighborhoods, I do not believe any level of bullying can be tolerated or treated as a “phase all kids go through.”

Bullying in school is frequently referred to in my daughters’ karate class by their instructor.  He does not teach them to attack bullies, but rather get help or defend.  But if a child must defend themselves, then by all means the child will.  But it was a conversation with a couple of parents that spurred this post.  I was talking to one parent about her son being bullied and how the school district is doing nothing to prevent it.  According to the parent, the child is in an alternative placement along with another student who is frequently physically assaulting her child.  I will not get into specifics of the case because I have only been told one side.  But I will say this.  No child should have their civil rights violated by being physically abused by another student.  If what the parent says is true, that this behavior is repeated, and the school has been notified, and so has the school district that placed both students, then the school is condoning the acts and the district is ignoring the acts, both by simply ignoring the complaints.  This is going to sound harsh, but if no one from the school or the district will control this situation, then the parent should involve the local authorities with formal charges against the bully for assault.

Just then, another parent joins in the conversation and begins to discuss bullying issues that his children have had.  But the father went further by explaining why he would not tolerate behavior like that at all against his children.  He revealed at that moment that he had been frequently abused in school by bullies.  He did not goin into reasons, but the point that he stressed, was the impact that it has had on him as an adult.  Honestly, I have never seen him bust a gut with a laughing fit,  but he has expressed a sense of humor, albeit a dry one.  But he got my attention with what he told me that he did not consider funny.  I will not go into those boundaries, because the point I want to make is how his being bullied as a child has made him the way he is today.

And that got me to thinking.  How did my being bullied in school affect me as an adult?  Quite simply, I do not choose my battles.  I will not back down from anyone for anything.  If I really do not believe in something,  that I am being urged to do or support, I will not, no matter the cost.  It is almost as if, all the crap I took from everyone back in school, I would never put up with any in my adult life, ever.   Having no one stand up for me, I will fight for everyone and everything.  This kind of thinking has not been good for me.  I have lost friends.  Family alienates me.  And there are frequent quarrels with Wendy. 

The majority of my co-workers despise me because I choose to do my job ethically, while they would rather cut corners, work unsafely, just to have hang-around time and socialize or surf the net.  But they are also good at slandering me and making false claims against me.  I do not let them get the upper hand, even if I happen to get in trouble.  I rely on my reputation for my work to speak for me.

Salesman have no chance against me.  Insurance reps, do not even think about ringing my door bell.  You might get away with mixing up my food order.

But my toughness from being bullied I thnk conributed to how I deal with my health.  For starters, I took on my battle with Hodgkin’s Disease never thinking the possibility it would take me.  Recovery from all the side effects was taken on the same way.  I would over come.  My heart surgery, bouts with pneumonia, all recovered under my direction, my determination.  But I get through them because I am so physically tough, a high tolerance for pain.  But that is what is keeping me alive.

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