My good buddy Timmy joins me today with his third installment on bullying. Today he talks about bullying from within the family unit and what one might do about it. Take it away, Timmy!
All too often when one thinks of bullies, it conjures up images of children picking on other children at school. Or, perhaps, it makes one think of those people who just feel the need to put down anyone who shows any sign of being different. I’ll wager that the idea of “bully” usually conjures up ideas of the majority putting down minorities: people not from one’s group of friends or family.
Although we don’t often think about it, there are a lot of instances where bullying comes from within the family or inner circle of friends; and for a variety of reasons. Being within a group comes with certain benefits but it also comes with a set of rules or expectations. If all your family belongs to the same church, votes for the same person come election time, and have nearly the same values they hold dear, but you don’t agree with their religion and you sort of agree with “the other guy” and would vote for him, things can get pretty tricky. Showing individuality isn’t as likely to cost the group anything but your parents still wring their hands and wonder where they went wrong, and do nothing when your brother delights in throwing insults your way. Being different is a threat to the group cohesiveness and the outcome can be bullying and coercion, trying to do anything to make you fall into line. Maybe they think it’s “for your own good,” but it’s bullying.
There is no line between bullying and abuse and, sadly, there is little a child can do to stop a parent from bullying them. Calling them stupid, worthless, useless, ugly, waste of air, or any other name, is not illegal. So, as bullied people we deal, survive, and carry on with our lives, dragging our wounded self-esteem along behind us. When your sibling goes over and beyond the line of normal sibling teasing—hitting, kicking, constant name calling, and torture—what can you do? Parents sometimes won’t or don’t help.
Bullying can come from anywhere, within or without a group, family, or affiliation. There are a variety of reasons why some might feel the need to pressure you in order to get you to fall into line. Some of the bullies in your life might be very difficult for you to remove from your life because of other members of your family. The trick is to identify the bullies for what they are. Try to talk to them about why they feel the need to bully you. Make sure that they know you feel like they are bullying you. Perhaps they don’t see their actions as bullying, but maybe after you tell them how you feel, they will change their behavior because it really isn’t their wish to be a bully.
In the end you have to decide how much you are willing to take from the bullies in your life. Some relationships really are too toxic to your peace of mind for you to continue and those relationships are more easily severed, and should be severed if the bully doesn’t change their ways. You deserve better than to be bullied and I know that because EVERYONE deserves better than to be bullied. Sometimes you can’t extract yourself from the bully because maybe you live with them and you’re not old enough to move out on your own. Seek help from teachers, friends, and anyone you trust who will listen to you. Perhaps they will be able to make your family member see that their behavior is inappropriate. And, if not…remember that this too shall pass. One day you’ll be old enough or the situation will change and you can free yourself from your bully. Just make sure that when that opportunity arises, you take it.
Great article, Timmy! Thanks for being my guest here on Love Bytes and we hope to see you back again soon!
Bullying is a form of psychological abuse and when bullying begins in the home, a child is predisposed to being bullied in school, and later, at work, in social settings, in life. Victims of abuse often can’t defend themselves. They have poor self-esteem, a very low sense of worth, and feel, among other things, shame, humiliation, guilt, isolation, loss, anger, betrayal, but most of all, fear. They are afraid to defend themselves for fear of reprisal and that they’ll be further abused. If you know of or see someone being bullied within the home or by relatives, step up, make your listening all about them, speak out, and help a friend. YOU may be the one person who will make the difference between survival and not for your friend. See you next month on Thursday, July 17th!
Available from: Harmony Ink Press
Όμορφη. Ómorphi. Greek. Meaning pretty
Pretty. adj. /pritē/ Pleasing by delicacy or grace
High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together. Read an excerpt of Omorphi
Available from: Harmony Ink Press
Caleb had one mission in life.
To keep his boyfriend safe.
They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen. Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally. One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe. Read an excerpt of Safe.