January 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
This week I’ve been thinking of strong personalities/ bullying and why some of us become victim/survivors and why we allow ourselves to be in situations that cause us stress. Why do some people’s emotions stifle their physical/verbal capacity?
One day, in a former work situation, I had to seek advice from another co-worker on how to get along with a superior (that had never happened to me-ever!). Taking the advice allowed things to go smoothly; however, I didn’t like the facade I wore to work. It was a very hostile work environment and I considered leaving, but I needed and wanted that job. I really couldn’t understand why I was being treated like I was, and still believe it was uncalled for. The guy is an asshole, plain and simple, and I don’t know why upper management puts up with it. Why do we go along to get along? Unfortunately, some other person became the ‘whipping boy’ when I left. I am a survivor of those days and documentation of his behavior is neatly tucked away for another time. I have no respect for this person and find it interesting that he was bullied as a kid, so now he is the bully and can exert the power he so desperately wanted back then. That’s too bad. Maybe we have the personality type that he had in school and he doesn’t want to face it? Funny, that there are those who worked in the same place that agree with me, and another man who was also treated badly, but has (for some reason) forgotten it. Ladder climbers are interesting people.
I am good at writing. Lashing out verbally is effective and healthy, to a point, but I’m not skilled at it and think I just sound ridiculous and ineffective when I try (but, I will try). Being a Cancer, I tend to do the crab thing and retreat into my shell. I will come out and talk to you on MY terms; you can suck up all you want. I promise to make it uncomfortable for you with my inability to look at you, the silence and the short answers. I will take your apology cookies, but that doesn’t mean “we’re good”. I AM skilled in THIS-I’m a professional.
Mean girls (and boy) exist in every life and every generation. My first bully I encountered at the swimming pool the summer I was five. I didn’t know her and didn’t know how she knew my name. She was shorter than me, blonde and blunt. She seemed to enjoy taunting me and the sing-song way she said my name made it so ugly. For a very long time, I hated my name- this was probably the reason I wanted to be named ‘Samantha’. She would pick at me for the next couple of years whenever the occasion arose. She was a year older than me. Then, Joni and Amber joined Stacy when we were stuck together in a mixed 3rd-4th grade. Another girl, DeeAnn, may or may not have been in my class, but was still there and fed off the other three. They found other things to do when they entered middle-school, much to my relief!
Time may have erased some of the anger, but I will never forget! Typically, reports in the media of bullied kids and emotional issues bring up my own memories of how mean young people can be. I am seriously grateful that social media wasn’t invented back in those days. Who knows what they would have done to me then, and could it have had a seriously different outcome for me? I was not equipped for hostile peers at that age who seemed to thrive on being cruel- there was no ‘live and let live’. Not only did they rob an 8-year-old of her ‘self’ (and a dollar), they created years of self-esteem issues that were resolved in my 20’s, but I still help the underdog and loathe you to this day. I have never wished ill on you, just Karma.
To that, I ask: Were YOUR children were ever bullied?
Did you ever tell YOUR children YOU were a bully?
Do you even recall that YOU were responsible for someone’s pain or tormented thoughts Or were you ‘just being a kid’?
To you I say, Kindness matters and Karma is a bitch.
My sisters have run into Joni and Amber over the years. I understand they have had some challenges in their lives. Not sure about Stacy, other than she looked uncomfortable in the heat when I saw her last. My sister asked if I felt some smug satisfaction when I saw that she was no longer the obnoxious tiny top-of-the-pyramid cheerleader that she was, and stood there as wide as she was tall. Oh, yes I did! I considered walking by and in that same voice you used to give me, “Hi, Sta-cy!” I don’t like hurting people’s feelings and wouldn’t actually do that. Anyway, it would be lost on you.
Oh, was that a little angry sounding?
January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment
This week I went to an instructor school to learn skills to help women fight back against rape and aggression. It’s humbling to bring this back to help other women in my county. I hope women will want to take our classes and practice what we teach them. Just one positive outcome would be reward enough. While I was there, I couldn’t help but think of the risks I’ve taken and the less than safe situations I’ve put myself in during my life-mostly before I was married. I’m very grateful that I’ve not had negative consequences, but hindsight is 20/20 and a bit unsettling. Back then, it seemed all so innocent; the world was a different place 30 years ago. So glad I’m not a teenager in this day and age. “God looks out for fools” is not a phrase that will ever be lost on me. Thanks, I appreciate the watchful eye.
January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment
Since I was a child, I have loved the wind. The memory of the lonesome sound and awesome force behind the creaking tv antenna on the roof of my childhood home is one of my favorite comfort sounds. In Fillmore, the summer wind through the bricks on the retaining wall of our yard was beautifully haunting. My old home in Kanosh…The wind would blow and sometimes I prayed the roof would come off, so I could have a new house. The shingles would fly around the yard, but the trailer was tight. Grrrr, just my luck. In my new house, the wind sounds like a train. Different, and not as pretty, but I love it just the same!
My friends say the wind makes them tired, angry and mean. To me, the wind is relaxing, a beautiful and graceful motion that has the ability to cut to the quick if forced. After I woke up, I went to the patio room. Laying on the couch listening to the wind and the water in the fountain took me beyond my ‘happy place’. I was recharged!