Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Bullying

I was bullied a lot when I was young . I remember being in JK and SK, and some kids were calling me fat. In grade two, a few girls teased me by putting grapes down my back when I was not looking. In elementary school, no one picked me to be on their team for sports or in gym class. In grade seven and eight, my teachers told me that I was going to fail gym because I could not perform as well as the other atheletes. In grade eight, a boy who I had a crush on told me that he could never like me because I had 'too big thighs'.

I hate bullying. Why do people (and kids included) have to be so mean? Honestly, why can't we just mind our own business and let people live their lives, without making fun of others? I cannot stand seeing others get bullied. When I volunteer, I try my best to help kids accept one another and to avoid any teasing. Words really do hurt. Sometimes, all it takes is for a mean person to say one thing - one simple word or phrase - and already, someone is hurt inside. And who knows what this can lead to? Stress, eating disorders, pain, poor academic performance, poor relationships, sadness, depression, anxiety, and even suicide. What is even more concerning is that some people are completely unaware that what they are doing or saying is hurting others.

We need to speak out against bullying. Not only is it wrong, but it is also dangerous and simply unacceptable. This is for kids, but also adults. Adults can be bullies, too. They can bully children - for example, teachers who discourage their students or do not stop bullying in the classroom. Adults can even bully their own children by putting too much expectations on them and not rewarding their kids for being good or special. Adults can also bully other adults. I see this all the time, but it is often not recognized as bullying. Why? Because for some reason, we think that adults are too 'old' or mature to bully. But, let's pretend that you are at work and a co-worker is going for a smoke. You decline because you do not drink or smoke. What happens next? This person teases you and goes around telling others how they cannot believe that you are so 'old-fashioned' or 'cautious'. This is bullying. Or what about being left out of an office conversation because your coworkers think that you are too 'religious' or 'innocent'. That is bullying. And as such, it needs to be recognized and addressed.

I wish I had the ultimate solution to bullying. But I don't. No one does. Sure, we can try educating others, including kids and adults, about why bullying is wrong and why we should not engage in this behaviour. But we also need to target other things. We need to look at WHY bullying happens in the first place. Is the bully insecure in some way? Sometimes people bully because they are unhappy with something in themselves, so they take it out on others who may be better than them in this particulat thing. At other times, people bully because they want to feel strong and powerful, or because they want atttention from others. And lastly, someone might not even know that they are being a bully until someone speaks out! So, if you see bullying, try to step out and say something, it is safe to do so. If not, try to find ways to stop the bullying. And lastly, help the victim. People who are bullied can have a lot of emotions going on - anger, hatred, sadness, stress, frustartion, etc. And they need someone.

When I was bullied, I was thrilled when I found someone there to listen. A friend who came by my side and said, 'don't worry about them. You are fine the way you are and they are being bullies'. That made my day. It might not have stopped the bullies, but it made me feel like I was not alone. It made me realize that not everyone is a mean bully. It made me see that when others are being bullied, I should do the same for them. I have felt the pain of bullying - physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally. And it is not a good feeling. So, please, be that one person who helps others deal with bullying. Let this victim know that they are not alone, and that the problem is NOT in them - it is a problem of others, of society, and of the wrold.

Maybe we cannot stop bullying. Maybe we do not have control over the entire world. But we can help to heal the pain that victims feel. We can control the way WE respond to bullies and to others. Because sometimes, all it takes is one stone in the ocean to create a ripple. And that ripple can create other ripples that eventually make waves. And before you know it, that wave has expanded into the entire ocean. Please, be that stone. Start the chain of waves that can change the world. You will be glad you did. And others will too.

33 comments:

  1. Bullying hurt and is against all the ethics and religions and should be dealt with as an offense by law .I am so sorry Marina that this happened to you. I happened to me also but I forgot it and overcome it.

    Jack

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    1. Good, Jack. Bullying does hurt a lot. But forgetting is amazing, that shows you are strong and have realized how silly bullies are. I appreciate your comments and support!

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  2. I think kids or adults who bully are unaware how much it hurt or what consequences it has. They just making fun .I think also they may suffer low self esteem themselves and by making fun of others through bullying ,may help them feel better at least, this is what they may think.
    Hopefully families set an example at their homes and teach children that mean words can hurt and it is not polite to call names and it is bad to bully.
    I believe if families start now ,over few years We will get rid of bullying in our society. My sister was terribly bullied and I remember she would come from school crying most days.

    Kirk

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    1. I agree Kirk. Unforuantely these bullies do not realize that their words and actions are hurtful. I am sorry your sister was bullied. She is lucky to have you. I do hope that we can make bullying on the radar so as to spare victims from all their distress.

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  3. You are right about several kinds of adult bullying happen every day without being recognized as bullying as some people see this as funny. What a shame to see fun in what hurt others. I was bullied by my first partner and only way made me feel better is to

    Kadisha

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    1. I am sorry for your pain Kadisha. Bullies, regardless of who they are, can hurt us a lot. I am glad that you are feeling better! And Welcome!

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  4. Marina
    Let me make a comment about bullying also.
    You know I was bullied not only from other kids in my neibourhood,schools but also by my family.I still feel ashammed from those who bullied me .I grow up encough now and I am not blamming myself for others's bulligerant behaviour ,harsh attitude and inconsideration to others.
    I wish all those people learnt a lesson that their mistakes were not so simple.I was an assault and they need to make up for their mistakes by advocating for fighting bullying at schools and university and community.
    Thanks Marina for letting me vent using your blog..


    Anne

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    1. Anne, I know that you have fought a long way. You have come so far and you know how proud I am of you! I do hope that bullies learn a lesson, not for punishment, but that they may see how much harm they are causing to others.

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  5. Let me send a message to those who bullied some one.Please show some courage and self respect and phone the person that you bullied and apologize.
    Please admit that you commited an action that is wrong and against all ethics and laws.
    Please ask your victim for forgivness and If your victim does not forgive you that means still hurt and if does that means it is divine.

    Thanks Marina

    Blanchette

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    1. Blanchette, I love how you worded this! I hope bullies have enough self-respect to apologize for their actions as well. Victims deserve to have their pains healed.

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  6. Marina
    You really touched my heart and soul when you tackling this issue. Let me tell you my kids and husband and myself suffered too much from bullying. We are lucky as all my kids were able to move on and no consequences but I know others may suffer significant consequence from bullying as you mentioned.
    Thanks again


    Sheila Kitson

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    1. Sheila, I am so sorry that your kids were bullied. Unfortunately, this is too common in our world today. But what is amazing is the love and stregnth your family has to cope with this. God bless you

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  7. It is sad that innocent people have to suffer from bullying


    Vuk

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  8. Schools need to do better job.

    Sebastien

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  9. My grand daughter has had no choice other than living with me since was 8 and now is 14.Recently I know she has been bullied at her high school and this got worse to the extent that girls told principle that she left a note saying she likes to die. This never happened but principle sent her home and not to return without a note from her family doctor. The next week there was a plan for a trip to Ottawa that she had been waiting for it for long time .Of course she did miss this one and she and my self feeling the hurt.
    Any body can hear when We say enough is enough.

    Shishgeri

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    1. Shiskgeri, enough IS enough. But, sadly, some people do not know hen to stop. I am sorry your granddaughter suffered so much. It is truly painful, I know. But she is lucky to have support frm her family, like you. Keep helping her, pelase, and let her know that she is not alone!

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  10. Bullying is a familial disease and runs in families and if We raise the awareness ,we may be able to make a difference.
    I pray for and support all those who were bullied including my self and my sister and everybody. Thanks Marina for posting this

    Nanraj

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  11. Marina
    Thanks for this post.
    You were very supportive and understanding when I told you I was bullied by my high school friends telling me you are growing breast.
    Thanks To you I am over this and does not bother me at all.
    I can live normal healthy productive life and like my body for who I am I .


    Thanks Marina


    Kapoor

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    1. Awesome Kapoor! You too have come so far - from being sad and frustrated to now so strong and coping! I am so proud of you! You are awesome!

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  12. I'm a part of a group of ladies with a rare and dangerous eating disorder - called diabulimia. We are type one diabetics (our pancreases don't make insulin for our bodies to use) - who somewhere along the line, got trapped in a downward spiral of manipulating insulin to control weight. Because, you see, when your body doesn't have enough insulin to meet it's needs, it starts burning it's own body fat to create energy to keep going. It's a form of "purging", if you will. It sounds stupid and dangerous and to be completely honest, it is. But it's never that simple or easy - because along with burning it's own body fat, your body starts slowly killing itself off. Your kidneys, heart, nerves, and countless other organs slowly accumulate fatal damage.

    Somehow, a lot of us found each other online, admist a world of health professionals that don't know how to help us, and don't want to try and understand. We created a group on Facebook of those of us who have been held hostage by this eating disorder - all in various stages of recovery. It's a beautiful thing. We support each other in working towards recovery and a more beautiful life, and advocate for a legitimate diagnosis within the DSM in order to easier get treatment.

    I had spent my entire life in a thick swamp of self hate. I destroyed my body with diet pills, bingeing, purging, starving, self harm, abusing my diabetes. Everyday. I never saw a way out. Until I met a very special woman named Sian. She dedicated her entire life towards helping women like her. She was in recovery from this hell, and spent countless nights awake talking to those of us who were in crisis. She was always a text, facebook message, or a Skype call away. She saved my life more than once. Unfortunately, diabetes and the countless complications from uncontrolled diabetes claimed another victim in September of 2011 and our beautiful angel passed away

    Chelsea

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    1. Hi Chelsea, welcone. I'm so sorry for your fight, as I know that diabulmia (like other EDs) is VERY serious. I also know that is is difficult to find help or treatment for this condition because many people are unaware of it, or they do not understand it correctly. Unfortunately, we are often left in the world trying to fend for ourselves when it comes to ED. I am glad that you found someone/others to help you along your fight, but I am very sorry that she has passed away. This goes to show us how deadly ED is. I recetnly wrote a post on diabulimia, perhaps you will find it helpful. In the meantime, I would like to say some things to you...
      1) While getting support from others with ED can be helpful, I would like to caution you. Ensure that these people are in fact recovering and are not still sympomatic, simply because this can be triggering if they are. Also, it is possible for you to get help at all? If not in treatment at an ED centre, maybe therapy or crisis intervention? Diabetes needs to be controlled, as I am sure you know. This can be hard and challening, but your safety is #1
      2) I understand how it feels to hate yourself because of ED. I too have moments when I am utterly disgusted of myself, and quite often, I found no point in living life. But then I began slowly recovering, and now, I am found some strength. It is painful and ever so hard, but you can start to see the benefits of recovery as you work your way through. Where are you now in recovery or ED? Do you have any support?
      3) I am glad that you have support of others on FB, it can be great to have others with you. But sometimes, online support is not enough. Neither is a text. Often we need to find the stregnth within us to move on. Part of this, for me, was to leave behind people who were in treatment with me. Not because they were bad or harmful, but because sometimes it was triggering. At other times, ED got competitive. Please try to use this as a piece of advice and not as a command. Perhaps this FB group is amazing. Just be careful with who you associate or seek help from, just to be sure that you are safe...
      Agaim, welcome. And I am so sorry for all your pain, hardships, and struggles. ED really is a beast. We are here to help. God bless you.

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  13. im 17 years old and im 5'1 and weigh 120. i couldnt control my eating.i was hungry all the time. i recently started making myself throw up and i lost 10 pounds. i hate my body. i hate being bulimic. it sucks. im starving and i just wanna eat some food... im so hungry.. but im scared I will gain weight again.



    i hate being bulimic. i cry before i throw up cuz i hate it and i fight myself over it but i really dont wanna gain weight and i feel so guilty after i eat...

    meera

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    1. Hi Meera, welcome. It sounds to me as though you felt that you were eating too much, and thus, decided to start purging. I am so sorry for your sruggles. While I am not a doctor or your provider, I can tell you that you are not overweight as per the stats above. Nonetheless, ED does not discriminate, so numbers do not really help. WHat I can say is that purging is very addictive. Once you start, you may lose weight and see this as beneficial, hence beginning a tough cycle that is difficult to break. Why are you starving? Are you worried that you will overeat? I once felt that once I started eating again, I would eat SO much and get fat, and this made me scared of purging as well. What helped me is to work with a team, and then take charge of my own recovery. I do not overeat because I take measures to ensure that I am eating enough, but not too much. For example, can you measure your itnake (ex. food servings - a dietitian can help) and then put away any extra food? Can you set a time limit for your meals, like 30 minutes, and then leave the kitchen so that you do not eat more? Can someone stay with you after meals so that you do not purge? You need to eat. I know it sounds harsh and miserable, but that is the truth. I tried to convicne myself that I could survive and I nearly lost my life. While I understand your fear of gaining weight, I can imagaine that dying is much more scarey. Guilt after eating is a terrible feeling, I know. But if you follow a plan and only eat what you need (ex. not binging), then there will be no need for purging. Your body is smart, and it works like a machine. It needs fuel (food) to work, and that means you need to eat. However, eating and purging does not beenefit your body, and it has serious consequences. Try to find help, if possible. I encourage you to read through this blog and draw support when possible. We are all here to help. God bless you.

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  14. Meera ,you need support and help by a professional and a family member.You can stop this vicious cycle and you will do once you put your mind to it but you can not be alone as the ED is stronger till you take over the control from ED.
    Marina helped me before through this blog.

    Nanaraj

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    1. I could not have said it better, Nanaraj! I am so glad that you are feeling better now. You first came to this blog and you were very sad and tired. Look at you now - advising people are so strong! Awesome! I am so proud of you!

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    2. Thank you Marina for the positive feedback.
      I came to this stage only thanks to you .
      You are a great friend of mine who I can count on .
      Have a good long WE

      Nanaraj

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  15. Dear Marina
    As you may recall,I am recovered from alcohol and its consequences and I am a friend of your blog.
    I admit up until recenly I had been mean to others,abusive and harsh.
    I bullied many before.
    I did not know how much this hurt and harm.I thought it was fun.
    Let me send my sincere apology to any body got hurt from bullying.
    Please accept my apology on behalf of those who did bully others .
    Let me send a message to all of us why do not respect each other and be nice to each other


    Carlos

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    1. Let me great you Marina and Carlos.
      Marina for raising the awareness and Carlos for admitting and apologizing.
      Let me also apologoze on behalf of my self as a previous bullier and my behalf of others who bullied some innocent person before.
      I am so sorry and as Carlos said I thought I was fuuny guy but in fact I was mischief one

      Santiago
      Oakville

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    2. I am amazed with your reply to your reader and you you are encouraging them and happy and proud you are with their success.
      This making me myself going to make chnages in my attitude .I have been hateful to all immigrant and I thought they are here in Canada to compete for our jobs and money.
      I am wrong
      You are an example that helping me to change .
      From now on I will not bully any one immigrant or not.
      Thanks Marina

      Jeff

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    3. Hello, Jeff! Thank you very much. I am not doing anything more than what God intends me to do - to live through this terrible illness and help others as well!
      You are not wrong to have bullied; we all have moments like this. But it is abolsutely amazing that you are able to realize this and apologize - that takes strength, courage, and honsety. I am impressed! God bless you!

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    4. Carlos, you too have come SO far. I remember when you said that you struggled with alcohol - and look at you now! I am amazed at your honesty and your apology; that is so sincere and kind. WOW. God bless you!

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  16. Hi Santiago, and welcome! I appreciate your honesty here - a lot of us have bullied unintenntionally or not, but that is irrelevant. What is amazing that you are able to realize this and you then apolgoize. That is couargeous and noble. God bless you!

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  17. I have had long history suffering from bullying as child and now asa wife .My husband calling me names,yells at me and I take all of this and blamming myself.
    Not any more ,I start to feel better about myself and have confidence in ME and look at all good stuff I do .
    No one can put me down any more.
    Your blog gave me confidence in my abilty .
    Thank you

    Lolymar

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