Keep Calm and Stop The Nonsense

stopBullying has become a hot topic among youth. Everyone’s talking about it, every child has experienced it in one form or another. If they haven’t bullied or been bullied, they’ve certainly witnessed it. As adults we jump to protect our children. We are all over the schools about dealing with any bullying problem our children may experience. But what about Adult Bullying? Why haven’t we talked about that? How come we have yet to open that can of worms? Haven’t we all experienced it in one form or another? I, myself, have experienced the wrath of another; manipulating, lying to be hurtful, the ridiculous rumors. The only thing harder than going through it myself is watching someone I love being treated that way.  I have witnessed marital bullying, workplace bullying, even parental bullying. It’s an issue worthy of discussion.

I’m not a fan of conflict, I run at the first sign of confrontation or aggression. I can’t stand people not getting along. One day, I will share my whole story however, I’m not going to get into my personal experience at this time out of respect for HER privacy – go figure! What I will share is what I’ve learned along this long and bumpy road in the hopes that those of you out there who find yourselves in a similar situation may find some shred of peace or understanding.

How it started and why it started are answers I am all too familiar with. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to walk away and never look back. Unfortunately, I’m too stubborn to give up that easily. Walking away to escape her wrath would have meant walking out on 2 people in my life I love dearly and that wasn’t going to happen. I am as determined as I am stubborn and I was determined to find resolution.

In the beginning I was patient. I honestly believed it would eventually just die off. It didn’t. Throughout the years, it only went briefly into remission every now and again, it never stopped completely. If it wasn’t me being put through the ringer, someone I loved usually was. I sought answers in books, with counselors, through prayer, and in spirituality. I even traveled to study with spiritual leaders hoping someone, somewhere would have an answer. Somebody, somewhere would teach me whatever I needed to know or provide me with whatever healing I needed to take back control over my world. Somebody, somewhere would know the secret to living a peaceful life where madness didn’t exist.  I just needed to find that someone.

What I learned was that the healing had to come from me. I first learned to love myself exactly as I am, all my faults, failures, qualities, and shortcomings. I learned to find the gift in difficult situations and find the light in those who projected darkness. I learned to forgive – turns out there is a ton of helpful information out there about forgiving people in your past, but not so much on forgiving people in your present – that one I had to figure out for myself. What I learned about forgiveness is that forgiveness doesn’t mean to forget. It means to learn from the experience to better be prepared for the future. I learned of the importance of setting and sticking to boundaries. I learned to accept what is. I learned not to waste energy trying to figure out how to change things/people you can’t change. I even learned to send loving thoughts her way (which I do every day), some days are harder than others. I’m not going to lie. Some days sending that love is simply saying “Thanks for experience. I’m a better person for it.”

It’s taken me almost 2 decades to learn the lessons I have, 2 decades of hard core seeking. I was so determined to make that destructive relationship work that I put more time and attention into it than I did any other relationship in my life. Including my relationships with my husband and my children. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do the same.

I was fortunate enough to learn and grow through the experience, some people don’t. What about children who are repeatedly told by one parent they are not loved and cared for by their other parent? How hurtful is that? How is that hurt undone? Is that hurt ever truly reversible? What about the significant other who habitually tells their partner they are unworthy of respect? Is that ever truly reversible? How about the adult siblings who consistently go out of their way to make another sibling feel like they don’t count for anything? Reversible? Adult children who make their parents feel that no one cares? Reversible?  How often do people need to be told they are unworthy of love and respect before they start to believe it themselves? Newsflash! As human beings we are hard enough on ourselves. We don’t need any help from anybody else to feel crappy every now and then.

One of the things I learned that usually helps to ground me when things get particularly bad is the knowledge that how people treat others is a direct reflection of how they feel inside. It is not possible for someone to continually make others feel bad unless they feel horrible inside themselves. If someone is repeatedly trying to make you feel worthless, they surely feel truly worthless themselves.

Bullying doesn’t only come pint sized. This is a subject that needs to be addressed, discussed, and squashed.

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2 Comments

  1. wonkywonderingsofthemoderndaydisabled

     /  September 30, 2013

    Sandy, this post spoke to me on a deep level. I have always experienced bullying in some form, but as an adult it has been easier to shake off. Except for one person, whose negative attitude towards me has often left me in tears of frustration and self-doubt. Although I have tried to many times to count to change her view, within no time she reverts back. It has taken a long time for me to accept that she will not change and that I would do best to just avoid prolonged time with her – I can never completely avoid this person as we are related in a way, but I can avoid allowing myself to be degraded by her again! It’s a learning process and I am still trying!

  2. A thought-provoking post Sandy, and sadly one that I too have experience of. Luckily I have learnt to accept people who are determined to be mean to me and send them Love & Light as I feel a real sadness for them. H x

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Pamela Tourigny

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