Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bullying Personified....

Personally, I was bullied my entire childhood by the very people who were supposed to love & nurture me, my own family. The Brown Recluse never allowed me to choose anything for myself; not shoes or clothes, high school courses or activities, nor friends. Nothing. Since what I went through never had a "name" back then, I always believed what they told me. I was told I was fat, ugly, stupid, and had better learn how to cook & clean & take care of babies, because that was all I'd ever do. However, I've happily spent 37 of my 55 years proving them wrong. I'm a successful businesswoman, a devoted wife, and a loving, nurturing mother. I'm also a jack-of-all-trades and have learned to wear many hats in my time and my life is full to the point that I won't allow bullies to penetrate my space. Ever. Again.

It also took me a long time to recognize bullying in my friends because that's how I had grown up. I grew up with a family of bullies, so I was secretly well versed at being surrounded by them. Once I figured out that those friends wanted nothing good for me, I extricated myself from them even though they continue to ridicule me to this day. In other words, I was finally able to see what I'd been allowing to happen to me all of my life. Once the beast has a label it is much easier to deal with that beast. I could care less what those people think and when they say unkind things about me & try spreading rumors about me, I am honestly sorry for them that their lives are so incomplete that they must mess with mine to make themselves feel better. I have better things to do with my time.

The way I see it, you can blame your parents for the terrible mistreatment you received growing up. Because, well, you're just a kid. Fortunately, once you are away from their clutches, you are the only person to blame if things don't go in the right direction. Being mistreated as a child leaves scars that are there for life. Those scars never go away. That said, I was still able to ascend into adulthood and take responsibility for my own life, in spite of their all-out efforts to sabotage everything I said and did. I've also found that the world is full of people who want nothing more than to bully other people and unfortunately, great numbers of these beasts exist in the working world. That's probably why I've enjoyed having an online business working for myself. I urge anyone stuck in a job where they are being bullied to flee as quickly as they can. There is always another job, another career, another corner to turn. Don't ever allow yourself to feel trapped or that there is no other option. Life is full of options.

I completely cut my family out of my life nearly 23 years ago and I can assure you that I've never been happier. Yes, it would be nice to have close family & relatives, but not if they are nothing but thorns in your side. I've been happily married for 30 years and raised two wonderful & loving children to adulthood. I was lucky enough to marry a man who is from a wonderful family. Not everyone is that lucky. If my mother & brother had been allowed to have their way, they would have ripped my family apart over & over again. Once I came to that realization, I was able to cut my puppet strings & free myself of the ugliness & hate I had suffered under for so long.

Basically, I decided that "the buck stops here" and I would never inflict any kind of pain on my children for anything in this world. It still eludes me that those who are supposed to love you could do such a thing. I just don't get it. Never have & never will. It was my own independent decision to not pass on the kind treatment I had received. I love my own children so much I simply am not able to understand why or how anyone would want to hurt their own child, physically or emotionally. Frankly, I felt cutting my family out of my life was the only recourse I had and I was right. I know that it has not been that easy for so many others. Some families can literally paralyze you, rendering you incapable of ever getting out. It turns out, I discovered early in life that I actually had a little steel in my spine. Sure, I still have the scars, but I've used them to my advantage by being who I am and accomplishing the many things I was always told I could never accomplish. That is my revenge and as the old saying goes, "Revenge is best served cold".


scargosun said...

No matter the age for some reason the bad stuff is always easier to believe. Why is that? Does it start with bullying by others or is/was it always there?

I really wonder sometimes.

It's not just families that paralyze you. it can be anyone that has power. For me it was the nuns at my grade school. My Mom was great but the mental torture I rec'd at the hands of those still makes me angry.

Daryl said...

I loved reading: "The way I see it, you can blame your parents for the terrible mistreatment you received growing up. Because, well, you're just a kid. Fortunately, once you are away from their clutches, you are the only person to blame if things don't go in the right direction"

Because I truly that. And I say it all the time when confronted with the claim "I can't, I had a terrible (fill in the blank)".

Yes you damn well can.



Anonymous said...

I have a hard time reading about these topics sometimes. Because as you say, the scars are for a lifetime. For a people pleaser such as myself, it takes a long time to say, "yeah, I can't do this anymore."

However, your very accurate in your assessment that we're ultimately accountable as adults... No matter how many times we're dropped on our heads as kids, we're obligated to become the best adult we can be. My brother opted out and has become one the of the biggest slease bags on the planet. He has the usual litany of excuses and things that were said to him, but the truth is, he's just pertetuating the misery. I cut off contact with him 15 years ago and only spoke with him briefly when Mom died.

These are still tough decisions, not to connect, not to have a bond with someone who shares your history. But sometimes you just have to do it... cuz some relationships just aren't healthy.

Anonymous said...

See, blogs are therapy!

You are so right in your descriptions and I know many people who cannot get away from the clutches of screwed up parents. It's hard to imagine treating your children that way, it's senseless.

You are a strong woman and I've learned so much from you.

Snooty Primadona said...

Lately, I wake up blissfully happy in the mornings for many reasons. However, it's lately been the fact that it's Summer and the other is getting to come to my blog & read everyone's smiling words. Then, I suddenly remember all the things I should be doing instead. I'm getting really good at blowing these things off, lol. I'd show you a picture as proof, but I still can't figure out what to do about my pictures since the Trojan Horse ate them. Mr. Snooty has this insane idea that if I actually purchase the ACDSee program (what? we didn't buy it??) that all of my pictures will magically reappear. *Sigh* Somehow, I don't think it's going to be that easy.

Mental P Mama said...

Always take the high road. And who is it that said "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger."? I think that may be one of the most profound isms out there. Good for you, Snooty. Good for you.

Mamahut said...

Hey Snooty, There are so many people who won't be held accountable for their own lives and children, it could make you crazy. As you know I have one major blase person who has never said she's sorry in her entire life. Now her whole life is one hudge sorry mess. Neither one of her daughters will speak to her. But! She has done nothing wrong.

Meg said...

YOU go Snooty!

krysta said...

Oh Snooty, thank you for talking about this with such clarity.

Treasia Stepp said...

Kudo's to you for leaving them behind many years ago. Having the wisdom to know "they" aren't good for you.

Lunachance said...

Brilliant words and control in your life. I always winder when people tell me that I need to be the "bigger person" and forgive and forget. Sorry, not my job. When a family member treats you poorly and has the audacity to say something along the lines of "I need to be nice to my friends, but family will always be there for me," well, I have taken to educating them and telling them that I am not a doormat and if they cannot be kind and supportive, they can spew their venom elsewhere. I am much happier adn cannot be forced to care for people who do not care for themselves.



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