Bullies Among Us
I’m plowing toward the end of the next Glory book and she’s been bullied by someone. Lucky for her, she’s got great friends who help her out. Plus, Glory’s never anyone’s victim if she can help it. But this is fiction. And the whole situation got me thinking. That and the news lately. It breaks my heart to hear about young people giving up on life because bullies have gotten to them. Doesn’t mean I don’t understand their despair. But how sad that no one in that person’s life saw what was going on and stepped in.
But, you know, bullies are everywhere. Sometimes they can be parents, who tell us what we should do, who we should be, even what to study in school. And kids don’t always have resources to resist that kind of bullying. The worst part is, it’s done with that phrase “Because we love you.” Hmm. Yes, they truly believe that. But conditional love isn’t what I want and none of us should settle for it.
Which brings me to the bullies we might date or even marry. Yes, we do. You know it. The boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife who knows what’s good for us. Who sets the rules in the household, what time dinner should be ready, how clean the house should be, how much money we can spend. Bullying.
I watched a movie on cable last night, “The Hangover”. The dentist in that was in a relationship with a female bully. The man had to check in by phone, lie about where he was and, in general, become someone he wasn’t, just to please her. He’d been bullied into submission. Yay, he broke free at the end, but it took a lot for him to do it. Funny, his buds knew she wasn’t right for him from the get-go, but he couldn’t see it. Even had the ring ready to propose. It took a traumatic event to get him to shake loose. Why? Why do we have to hit bottom before we get the nerve to see the truth about situations and do something about them?
That’s easy to answer. Because rocking the boat with a bully means big repercussions. Nasty ones. If you have no best buds to anchor you, someone to have your back, you can be overwhelmed and sucked right back in. Because bullies love their victims. And they don’t want to lose them. What’s a bully without a target? A pathetic, insecure person who has to pick on someone else to make him or herself feel powerful. Our parents? Different agenda. It’s control. Because if they let you loose and you fail? It’s all on them. And they don’t want to look like losers who can’t produce good kids. Hmm. Back to the insecurity issue, aren’t we?
I hope no one reading this is the victim of a bully right now. If you are, whether in a family situation or with a strong-willed person in school or a relationship, I hope you look around and find people who can help you. There are all sorts of resources if you don’t have your own posse of friends who love you. And if you do? Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel powerless. That’s what friends are for. We can’t all be like my fictional character, Glory, who I can write to be fearless when she needs to be and clever. Trust me, I get to plan and think about how she will react to things for a long time before a scene ends up in a book. In life, sometimes a split second decision makes all the difference. Give in? Or walk away? Your choice. Never let the bullies get you down.