Don’t be a Bully!!

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior. In which someone purposefully and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can be physically contact, words or more subtle actions. Bullying is very common among children but it still happens between adults too. Over the years bullying has become a huge problem between children and teens. Kids who have been bullied and those who bully may have long lasting serious problems.
 
To be considered bullying their behavior must be aggressive and include:
 
  • An imbalance of power. Those who bully use their power such as strength, and access to information to embarrass someone.
  • Reputation: if bullying behavior happens more than once they will most likely happen again.
 
There are three types of bullying:
 
  1. Verbal bullying- writing or saying mean things. This will include name calling, teasing, threatening, taunting, and inappropriate sexual comments.
  2. Social bullying- known as relational bullying. This involves hurting someone’s reputation or their relationship. This includes: embarrassing someone in public. Leaving someone out on purpose.Telling other kids to not be friends with someone. Spreading rumors about others.
  3. Physical bullying- hurting a person’s body or their possession. This would include: hitting someone. Spitting on someone. Trippin someone. Kicking someone to cause them pain. Pushing others. Making rude hand gestures. Taking and breaking someon’es stuff.
 
Warning signs-
 
There are many warning signs that could suggest someone is being bullied or even bullying someone. The most important thing you can do is talk to your child to see if they will open up to you. Not all children will show warning signs but some of the signs that point to a bullying problem are:
 
  1. Unexplained injuries
  2. Lost stuff, destroyed items
  3. Feeling sick or faking illnesses
  4. Changes in eating habits child may come home hungry because they skipped lunch.
  5. Nightmares
  6. Declining grades, not wanting to go to school
  7. Loss of friends
  8. Decreased self-esteem
  9. Becomes self-destructive (running away, self-harm, and talk of suicide)
 
Warning signs a child is bullying others
 
  1. Getting into verbal or physical fights
  2. Your child has friends who are known bullies
  3. Becomes aggressive
  4. Receives detention frequently or being sent to the principal’s office
  5. Suddenly has unexplained money and belongings
  6. Blaming others for their problems
  7. Doesn’t want to accept responsibility for their actions
  8. Worry about their reputation or popularity
 
Who is at risk?
Bullying can happen anywhere so there is no single factor that puts a child at risk. If they find a reason they will bully. But statistically children who are bullied usually have one or more of the following:
 
  1. If they “look different” such as being over or underweight, have glasses, braces, or not wearing the most “up-to-date clothes.
  2. If they seem weak or unable to defend themselves
  3. Have few friends
  4. Have low self esteem
  5. Don’t get along with others, is seen as annoying or an attention seeker.
There are two types of children who are likely to bully others:
 
  • Have social power, like to be in charge and well connected to their peers.
  • Feel isolated, depressed, have low self-esteem, easily pressured by their peers.
Bullies don’t need to be stronger or bigger than the ones they bully. Those with these factors are more likely to bully others:
  • Aggressive
  • Having issues at home
  • Think badly of others
  • Difficulty following rules
  • Views violence positively
  • Have friends who bully
Bullying affects everyone and linked to negative outcomes and will impact your mental health, substance abuse and has been linked to some committing suicide.
 
Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:
 
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sadness and loneliness
  • Loss in interest in activities
  • Health complaints
  • Decrease in grades and achievements
 
Kids who bully are likely to:
  • Have increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Mental health problems
  • Get into fights
  • Engage in sexual activity at an early age
  • Criminal convictions as adults
  • Abusive relationships as adults
Children don’t tend to ask for help for many reasons:
 
  1. The child feels helpless. They may seem weak for telling one someone.
  2. They fear backlash from their bully.
  3. It’s humiliating and they don’t want adults to know what is being said whether it’s true or false.
  4. They feel like no one cares.
  5. They fear losing support of their friends.
 
We teach our children growing up to treat everyone with respect, even if we don’t like them but where do you think they learn it from? They watch us adults bullying each other and of course they are going to repeat our actions. If we hold our children responsible for their actions shouldn’t the adults be held responsible for their actions when bullying? PEOPLE ARE COMMITING SUICIDE BECAUSE OF BULLYING! THIS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW!
 
There are several kinds of adult bullies:
 
  1. Narcissist Adult Bully. Have no empathy, are self-centered, puts others down. They do tend to have a minimal amount of anxiety when it comes to consequences.
  2. Impulsive Adult Bully. They are spontaneous when it comes to bullying. It may be unintentional and later has a lot of stress due to their behavior.
  3. Secondary Adult Bully. This person doesn’t initiate but joins in because they don’t want to be a victim down the road. They are hurting others to protect themselves.
  4. Workplace Bull. Someone who can make your life pretty miserable working with someone 40 plus hours a week with. It can create a very hostile work environment. It can open the company up to a lawsuit if the company doesnt take care of the situation.
  5. Sexual Bullying- sexual name calling, crude comments.
  6. Being called a “whore” or “slut”. Having an ex threaten to send inappropriate pictures to others or put on social media.
  7. Cyberbullying. This has become a very common thing over the past 10-12 years and it’s starting at a younger age. Using technology to threaten, harass and embarass another person online. It’s very invasive and once it’s on the internet it’s impossible for it to be completely erased.
 
I have been bullied a lot over the years, it started in 1997 when I moved and became “the new girl”.  I had a few friends but even all the way through high school I was the one who was the butt of all the jokes in our “group of friends”. Needless to say I don’t speak to any of them anymore. Since becoming an adult I have a couple distinct situations that stick out in my head of being bullied. I remember when President Obama was elected I had posted something online about his election. This girl who I thought was a friend decided to comment and started trashing me in every way she could, especially as a person and a mom. My sister even came to my defense because none of it was true and that it was on Facebook for anyone to see. I was unbelievable angry and hurt that someone felt the need to attack me online because of a post that I had made.
 
Another situation that was more recent was when Dalton and I were broken up a girl I knew decided to comment on a friend’s Facebook post about me. She was calling me a whore and a slut, talking about me because of my medical conditions and making fun of my physical flaws as a person. A week later I ran into this girl at the grocery store. She saw me turned around and basically ran the other way. I do believe in KARMA because shortly after her post bullying me she was let go from her good paying job because they have to sign a contract about cyberbullying.
 
Statistics-
 
According to the CDC:
 
28% of U.S. student’s 6th-12th grade experience bullying
 
20% of U.S. student’s 9th-12th grade experience bullying
 
30% of young adults admit to bullying
 
9% of student’s 6th-12th grade experience cyberbullying
 
15% of High school students were cyberbullied last year
 
55% of the LGBTQ experienced cyberbullying
 
Bullying and Suicide connected?
 
Those who are frequently bullied are at a higher risk for suicidal behavior. Youth who report both bullying and bullied have the highest risk for suicide behavior.
 
There are currently no federal anti-bullying laws. 49 states having anti-bullying legislation but bullying is not illegal.
 
If you are being bullied there are a few things you can try to do:
 
  • Ignore you bully
  • Stand up to your bully or even someone else who is being bullied
  • Don’t bully back
  • Don’t show your feelings to your bully
  • Tell an adult
 
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional, if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This post is for informational purposes only. If you believe you have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

Divorce: Expectation vs Reality

This is a very personal post for me because I never imagined that at 30 years old I’d be divorced with 2 kids. When I was a little girl I envisioned my wedding day as most little girls do . What they don’t tell you about in those fairy tales is what happens if life happens and things don’t work out. While getting a divorce is what we needed, it’s not what we wanted or hoped for our family. The only plus side on my end of the situation was being able to find myself again. I figured out how to love myself for me and not for anyone else. I found some new hobbies and things that I enjoyed besides taking care of my boys.
 
There were so many factors that led to making the decision to leave my husband. In the 5 years that we were together we had many ups and downs but when it came down to what we had more of, we had more bad than good. We had both been emotionally unfaithful at one point or another during our relationship. But it was still infidelity. We would argue a lot. Sometimes over stupid things and sometimes over serious things like money. My mental health issues got brought up a lot because like I have mentioned in “My Journey” post I was bad about taking my medications. I will be the first to admit I was/am terrible at communication. I tend to hold everything in until someone pushes me over the edge then I explode.  A lot of our issues could have been fixed if we both could have sat down, stayed calm and talked but we couldn’t do that.
 
Divorce can become very difficult and take a very long time depending on what all is involved. When there are children involved and the parents don’t get along it can be a very drawn out process and even more painful process.
 
According to the CDC the marriage rate is 6.9 to 1,000 of the total population. The divorce rate is 3.2 to 1,000 of the total population. (www.cdc.gov) some of the main reasons people file for divorce are:
 
  • Infidelity
  • Money
  • Communication
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Abuse
  • Weight gain
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Not being prepared for marriage
I expected that my divorce would be extremely difficult and drawn out because of our 2 year old son. The fact that we both wanted custody and we weren’t getting along at the time, but for the sake of our son we were able to sit down together and set up a parenting plan that worked for both of us. We worked with both of our schedules and worked for what was best for our son. We only had to go to court twice. We also had to go to a family in transitions class which is required by the courts.  The Judge actually praised us for how we were able to go through this process without bringing all our drama into the courtroom.
 
I still struggle at times because I look at divorce as failing my marriage. I have to remind myself we are all human and as humans we are not perfect. I admit that I failed to keep my commitment to my vows and to my husband but at some point we all do fail at something.
 
When you are healing from a divorce it’s very important to be patient with yourself and give yourself time to heal. We all heal differently so take all the time you need. Replaying the past won’t help you change the outcome so don’t look backwards. Look forward because we can only change going forward. Forgiving someone is hard when moving on, but forgiving someone who hurt you is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I read somewhere that if you look in the mirror and say “[name] I forgive you” then say “I forgive myself”. It can be very helpful.
 
Mental health during a separation and divorce
 
Divorce can be very hard on anyone. When adding someone with mental health condition it can get even worse. There are some things you can do to help with this process. Here are some things you can do to help.
 
  • Keep moving! Don’t lay around the house unless you are going to sleep. Stay busy will help keep your mind from going to those bad places.
  • Don’t self-medicate. Iif you are depressed and it’s not getting any better contact your local medical provider to get some help. There is no shame in needing some help especially during a hard period in your life.
  • Pamper yourself. Watch a funny movie, take a bubble bath, have a night out with friends, do a craft or something you enjoy.
  • Write down all your thoughts, it’s something for you so get it all out of your head and onto paper.
  • Have a support system!
 
After 10 months of being a part Dalton and I have been working on our relationship and are doing amazing. Our kids are happy and healthy and excited to see us together and have their family back together.  We couldn’t ask for anything more right now.
 

 

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional, if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This post is for informational purposes only. If you believe you have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.