Protected: Rant on Bullying-Take Back Your Power-I am
UPDATE: I originally wrote this blog post on October 7th, 2010. It is one of my most read blog posts from people who get here through google search. I have about 5000 to 10,000 blog views a month depending on how much I blog that month. While I wish it was something I did not have personal experience in, I feel the need to share it, since bullying is such a big issue these days. I feel it is important and may save lives. It is long, but please read it. And share it I have decided to stop being silent and share some of my experiences about being bullied. The real kicker is that I not only have experience of being bullied from when I was in school, as a teenager-and survived being depressed and having suicidal thoughts over it....But since I had originally wrote this post, I have become the target of a neighbor bully for the last 3 years. Bullying Doesn't just Happen in School [caption id=attachment_4 align=alignleft width=300] Me and the kids in 2009[/caption] I am a 39 year old mother and wife. As my blog says, I am the mother of two special needs children. I live in a small rural hamlet in Eastern Ontario, Canada. In a County well know for it's wine and food and vacation splendor. My bully is my neighbour across the street in the small village I live in. A bully who happens to be a grown man in his late 50's and in fact a Retired Toronto City Police Officer. We moved to this village almost 4 years ago, but he has been here much longer than we have, having retired to here from Toronto. It is clear that I live outside the box too much for the rules my bully feels society should live by, and he feels it is his job to make me adhere to the rules, and if I won't, to make everyone here dislike me. The bullying and harassment started three years ago. We own our home, so I am sure that burns his ass, since we are not renters just able to be pushed away by his harassment. He just doesn't like the fact that I homeschool, or have a physically disabled husband, and therefore we are low income, and financially poor. He considers us people to be what's wrong with the world he lives in. We are a young disabled family living on a small street of empty nested retired couples who have time to clip the grass with hand sheers, and cut their grass twice a week. I don't. I have toys in my yard, and bikes, and swings, and wood on my driveway. So...I am ruining their ideal vision of a postcard perfect village. We apparently make the village look bad by cutting wood in our driveway to heat our home. We are not the only people who heat with wood,living rural. But, my bully has to walk by my driveway everyday to go to the post office, so I guess I am his pet project of who he needs to reform. To him, my disabled husband is lazy, and me.... having ADHD means I'm crazy, as I have had shouted at me by an even older neighbour, who he has been talking to about me...she was yelling at me to go back where I came from on one occasion when I confronted all three neighbours on my street about the anonymous hate mail I was mailed by dropping it in the post office for me without a stamp, calling me Miss Piggy and telling me to clean up my yard. This happened when i was featured in a local paper for making a twig pig for my front yard to celebrate the Month of the Pig, and pork farming here in our county. [caption id=attachment_497661909 align=alignright width=300] cutting and splitting wood on the driveway[/caption] It seems my bully gets more heated up by the wood that I gather,saw,split and stack in my driveway to burn in the winter to keep us warm, than I do actually burning it. Believe me, I'd rather NOT do it, since it is physically hard on my body with spinal stenosis I am developing, but it is free, and that is what is important since we cannot afford an oil or propane furnace or the hydro bill it would take to heat the house all winter. But regardless, last time I checked, my name is on the deed of this house and I own the driveway, which means I can do whatever I want on my driveway that is within the law, and sadly, for my bully, that includes having a boat and a twig fence and stacked wood I'm cutting to heat my house for the winter. All of which he has reported me to the by law office for many times over the course of the last two years. At first, he just gossiped about me to the neighbours and anyone who would listen at the post office, or the town hall. He thinks it doesn't get back to me, but it does.Everyine knows your business in a smalltown. I tolerated the's just a part of living in a small place,which I have been used to all my life. After all, the saying goes....If you don't know what you're doing in a small town, don't worry, someone else does. Right? All claims to the by law office, I was found to NOT be in violation of. You see, once the griping about me to the neighbours was not enough for him, he decided to put me in my place and essentially started bullying me through government agencies. I'm sure the fact that we do car repairs and oil changes on our driveway to keep our 1998 minivan running drives him crazy. I'm sure he relishes the fact that he got to me for a time. But when you are being treated like a piece of shit by an asshole just for breathing, it WILL affect you, it is ABUSE. To say the least...It has been a stressful few years, because when the complaints to the by law ofice went away, he contacted Children's Aid and made false claims that we were neglectful parents.He's gone around telling people outright lies and carefully worded partial truths to have me investigated. I reported him to the police each time he did these things, to have a record of the events. I was always being told by the OPP that I cannot charge him with criminal harassment, since he is reporting me to agencies who harass me for him by investigating his false allegations. So technically, since he can say he is just a concerned citizen, and that's how the system works, he is untouchable. My children have lost sleep and had nightmares because of his harassment,and they have been afraid to go outside of the house when he is outside. In the last two years, it has caused conflict between my husband and I when I've been upset about the crap my bully has been pulling, and my husband getting upset with me for letting him upset me. It is true, for a time I changed the way I lived and I let him get to me because I wanted to avoid a run in with him and more verbal bashing and berating outside on the street ( always when no other neighbours are around to see or hear it) I'm sure he relishes the fact that he got to me for a time. But when you are being treated like a piece of shit by an asshole, just for breathing it WILL affect you, it is ABUSE. My Bully no longer really says anything to me directly,it's been a while. ( I'm not complaining) But, he tried to stress us out and harass me and my family through reporting us to the police and the Children's Aid Society for the last two years, and i've essentially held my breathe since waiting for the next thing to happen. the verbal altercations in the last two years that he has not told anyone else about, have left me wondering what the next thing he'll pull is. He has verbally assaulted me and my husband, and also made sexually derogatory remarks to me outside our home as he walked past with his little dog as I was going out to clear the backyard of the toys. An altercation my 6 and 11 year old's were the only witnesses of, that left me having to explain what whacking off and fucking meant to my 6 year old son. They were spouted at me by him, in a come back comment from him due to me telling him to kiss my ass and drop dead when he walked past me that evening and told me out of the blue to go fuck myself. I admit... he did it to get a reaction from me, and it worked....but he caught me off guard, and I am not one to back down, and when you live in a warzone and you get fired at, you tend to fire back in defence while you duck. I am being Bullied for Homeschooling my children and being disabeled and poor According to my bully, we are leeches on society and useless excuses for human beings by simply existing and being disabled next door to him and his perfectly manicured lawn. He simply hates us because we are not able to support ourselves entirely on our own financially, and we should get a job like everyone else has to. Basically, it seems , he's bitter about his life and taking it out on me because I represent everything in his world that is wrong with society.He doesn't like that we are homeschooling our special needs kids, and they are home all day long failing to get an education, as he told the Children's Aid Society who I had to allow to come and do a home visit to prove his allegations were lies. I assume he dislikes that since we homeschool, we do not have a strict bedtime. He has commented to more than one person in the community that we go out at weird hours and our kids are outside (helping me empty the van from our day trips to the city) as late as 11 o clock at night. he reported us to CAS with carefully worded half truths to make it seem like I let my kids run around outside late at night unsupervised. I had to justify the trips we take to doctors for our disabilities and our SensoryBoy's and AspieGirl's medical appointments, and grocery shopping trips that take sometimes 12 hours to do, because we try to save gas costs by doing everything in one day, since we live rural. it's pretty sad when the police tell you if you don't want to be bullied to just shut up and go away The 3 year long situation thus far is far too long to get into an already long post, but let's just say after the first false report, he tried to make my life miserable through numerous false reports to the Children's Aid Society, the local Police force for my e-bike scooter I ride with the kids on the back which is completely legal to do. we purchased them online at a substantial discount before they got popular, in order to be able to afford to go to town for errands and not spend $5 in gas per trip. Since then, thought he has quieted down, he has been essentially stalking me through this website almost daily since at least July of this year. But, the police don't call it stalking since this is a public website, and if I don't want him reading it, I should just take it down, since he is part of the public. It's pretty sad when the Ontario Provincial Police tell you if you don't want to be bullied to just shut up so as not to provoke him.The same as they told me that I should just move away when I inquired about harassment from a neighbour. They told ME to move away because HE was being an asshole... assuming of course...that since I am poor, I must be renting my home and not a homeowner, and it would be easy to just up my disabled family and move away. ( police profiling? don't get me started on the fact that we need NEW and CLEAR laws for criminal harassment and bullying causing emotional distress as ABUSE ) In the end it all sort of have worked out, because the CAS understood the issue with this neighbour and we were found to be good parents in bad circumstances, with a jerk for a neighbour, and they gave me $200 in grocery gift cards for Christmas the year he falsely reported me. I'm sure that will burn his ass when he reads this. It as an assholish way to do it, but you gave my kids a better christmas, so thanks, Bully. Why is he bullying me? I have done nothing to this man but live across the road from him, be disabled and poor, and try to make the best of our crappy life circumstances. Aside from him, we love living is a great place to raise a family. Sadly, he is just a prejudiced sad old man who once had control of other people with his badge and now doesn't. Since I now see how pathetic his life is, his direct bullying is not as bothersome to me, and I don't let his crap get to me anymore. In fact I now shake my head and laugh at his pathetic ways. But he tries to get to me still, thinking he intimidates me. by staring as he drives by slowly when I am outside, etc. Given my husband's illness, he is bed bound very often, and therefore, I am outside more often on a daily basis than my husband is. I have noticed a correlation of my bully's attempts to intimidate me and the lack of them when my husband is outside with me. My bully seems to read my blog at least twice a day to see what I'm up to, and he has even downloaded pictures of me from the fall fair off my blog. ( statistic programs for your blog hits are detailed, very telling and very important, I know he is my only local reader.) He has gone as far as to print out posts from this blog where I talked about my ovarian cysts and my period and perimenopausal symptoms, and shared it with older neighbours who are a grandparent like couple who love my kids dearly and have become good friends. He did this in the hopes of making me look like a terrible person because I cursed in the blog post. I believe he hopes he can isolate me from anyone who speaks to me here in our hamlet, so I'll get fed up and move away because he convinced everyone to disown or hate me. He physically stopped this couple on the street this summer to warn (read harass) them about me and MY behaviour on my website,wanting them to know what kind of person they are associating themselves with. Thankfully, the couple shared with me what happened and had refused to read the blog post he gave them a copy of. They only read the title of the post, and told me about it. So, since I am who I am and have nothing to hide, I read them my blog post he tried to use against me, from my cell phone right off my blog,in their kitchen... cuss words and all. My bully's efforts were futile. I hope it burns his ass to know his attempt was a failure, and to know that we spent thanksgiving together with our friends. I realize that sharing this here, since he reads this site, could very well make him start harassing me ( or possibly them) again. But, at this point I think enough people around here know what has been going on that any further attempts will just make him look like a pathetic old man losing his mind, or a jerk. And ,since his reputation is so very important to him, he'll just continue to shut up and not address me, or the older couple, or harass me through government agencies anymore, because if he does, I'll be printing out copies of my blog stats showing his daily visits and downloading logs of my pictures and writing a letter detailing the harassment and stalking I've been subjected to by him for the last 2 years, and dropping it in everyone's door, and the local newspaper. You can't be charged for slander for the truth. The cops already told me that when I inquired about his behaviour. So, I'll share the WHOLE truth if he doesn't leave me alone. Get a new hobby, bully. Why AM I Sharing this Here and Now? I'm telling you all this and re-sharing this post because of the importance of the topic right now in society, and to tell every kid being bullied right now that suicide is not the answer. If you are depressed from being constantly bullied by others, that is normal! Go see your doctor, tell them you are depressed and feeling this way. It is OK to feel this way when you are constantly being bombarded by the negative forces of a bully. You don't have to always feel this way, and you don't have to end your your way through it I'm telling you this now, because I am DONE with my bully harassing me for the last two years, and making me feel like I need to apologize for living, or for being ADHD, or poor, or the mother of two special needs kids and the wife and caregiver to my physically disabled husband. I am taking back my life. If you are being bullied, GET HELP. Don't suffer in silence. Call a kids help line, talk to an adult, a parent, a teacher. TELL ANYBODY and TELL EVERY BODY and keep talking to them until you are heard and taken seriously. YOUR bully is NOT WORTH your life. Don't give them that power. Does It Get better? YES! It does, but not because bullies go away. It gets better when YOU get better. When you TAKE BACK YOUR POWER and YOUR VOICE. I live next door to my bully, and I will continue to do so. He is not going away. I have to see him everyday. Just like you do in school with your bully. But I have learned in my 38 years that the best defence is to BE HAPPY ANYWAY. And I am. [caption id=attachment_497661807 align=aligncenter width=225] Ril and the kids participate in the Fair parade every year with fun and silly costumes.Last Year she was Miss Piggy[/caption] When I was called Miss Piggy and fat and sent hate mail by one of my neighbours, I dressed up as Miss Piggy in the village fall fair parade, and I walked right past them with my head held high. I dressed my kids up and had a good day anyway, even though my bully was there too. We even won first place as a family entry to the parade. I stay involved anyway, and enjoy my life anyway, even though I have an bully who is trying to make me feel isolated and alone and scared of him. Even though my heart speeds up when I see heis outside, because I am preparing for another barrage of vile words from him. It doesnot make me weak to have a physical reaction like a pounding heart when I see my bully that is called POST TRAMA STRESS RESPONSE. I know I am going to have to go through it for some time still. IT IS NORMAL to react that way. There will ALWAYS BE BULLIES! Yeah, it's true, there will be, and that sucks. Bullies are assholes, and assholes don't stop being in your life. You will ALWAYS come across people in your life who do not like you, and who will go out of their way to hurt you, bully you, make you feel inferior so they can feel better about themselves, or get the promotion at work, or MVP on the team, by throwing you off your game...etc. you have to design a life without assholes. surround yourself with good and positive people, so the assholes don't hold so much energy in your heart and mind. IF we let those people keep a hold over us, you are giving them YOUR power. The trick to being happy in life if you encounter a bully, is to not give them power over your emotional well being, and to go on, and live your life anyway, to SPITE them. STOP GIVING THEM YOUR POWER Look at all the good things you have in your life. I know sometimes it is not easy to see the good wen you feel this way, or are going through this, that is why it is important to have a support team. Family and friends and people who remind you why life is good, EVEN THOUGH you have a bully. I know it is easy to feel lost in the world, especially in the years you are still trying to figure out who you are, and what you want to do with the rest of your life. I have been there. Hell, I even let my neighbour change the way I lived recently. I hid blog posts about my children's births so he could not read them, and sometimes I even do not post a blog about things I want to, because I know he is reading my blog everyday. I've been down, felt depressed over the last 2 years, felt defeated with his relentless attempts.Which is kind of a backfiring on his part, because by causing me to feel hopeless and depressed, I got worse at keeping up the weeds and grass cutting due to it negatively impacting my day to day ability to function, which is what he disliked so much in the first place. Now, I could not care less if my yard has pretty flowers in the spring. There are more important things in life. Like being there for my children and husband. [caption id=attachment_497661915 align=aligncenter width=300] my side flower bed beside the post office[/caption] It is a battle! And, it is not easy to stay the course. It got easier and easier as I shared with people how my bully was behaving, and knew there were people who did not believe his words and smear campaign. NOw I am strong enough again to say BACK OFF. I'm not letting him dictate who I am, or what I do anymore. It might not be easy, I know it is scary... you'll have to fight to get out of the depression and not let the bully take/keep your power...but DO IT. Do it like I am doing. I stopped being silent, and shared with my family and friends and my doctor the stress I was under due to my bully. I found strength in sharing my story, and finding people who understood and cared about ME.Even if the police refused to do anything about him because he can work the grey areas of our current laws. So, PLEASE do not give up... focus on your hobbies and talents, your friends and family, and live your life. Find ways to laugh. There are far more people IN your corner, than there are facing you bullying you. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, lean on others for strength. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Do what you need to do to be vocal and tell others, but remain safe from your bully. It may take changing your daily routine or school, or online activity to be safe and not being able to be caught alone with them,if you fear physical abuse. If you have to do that for a while, DO IT. But, do not let them live in your head, to the point of depression, or changing who YOU are in a negative way. Take a self defence class. Make new friends in safe environments, move on with your life. They will not stop being an asshole if you are silent, and intimidated by them. But if you stand up for yourself they will stop being an asshole to YOU. And, learning NOW to stand up for yourself is important in life, because I PROMISE.... they are not the last asshole you will ever have to deal with in your life, and they are not worth so much of your happiness. FIND YOUR VOICE STAND UP for yourself, be LOUD. You have something I did not have when I was in school. SOCIAL MEDIA. If they can bully you through it, you can out them through it. SCREEN SAVE EVERYTHING, and post it online to your family and friends. it is not shameful to say your bully is scaring you. Do not engage them personally, but have a voice, don't go away in silence. Speak up and tell EVERYONE you are being bullied. If need be, say by WHOM you are being bullied. Publicly tell them to stop, and do not engage anymore than that. NOW is the best time to get your voice back, because the world is watching now ( finally, and sadly because of the suicides of bullied kids) and WE ARE ALL standing up with you to bullies. It is in the news EVERYDAY of new school and schoolbus policies for zero tolerance. Changes are happening. If you make yourself an uneasy target by being loud and giving them negative attention BY MANY who will hold them accountable for their abuse, they'll soon move on, and think twice before they do it again. That is a direct conflict of what we have always been told, but silence does NOT WORK. SILENCE KILLS and the bully thinks silence from others means what they are dong is OK. I know this was a really long post....but below here is my post from back in 2010 for you to read if you want...and while you are at it, pop over to twitter and let me know you read this. Share this post far and wide. Let's take a stand against Bullying. it starts with ME, right here and now telling you about my bully, and then with YOU. Take back your voice. Oh, and be sure to say hi to my neighbour in the comments who is stalking me like a creepy old man. I won't share his name. I have no need to. I'm sure after this post he'll soon find a new hobby and leave me and my family and friends alone for good. He appreciates the klout he has locally among the people of this community, who think he is a nice guy and an upstanding citizen as a retired police officer. Since one google search for Corrupt Toronto Police would allow you to find out he was the superior officer who was in charge of all those cops a few years back who were charged with being corrupt and doing a lot of dirty stuff, if you knew his name...well... I'm sure he would rather I keep that to myself locally. Good thing I know he's the only local reader I have. I sure hope he didn't give any other neighbours my blog address when he tried to use my blog posts against ME. For an ex cop who claims to be a private investigator now and thinks he is so smart bullying me ad abusing my family emotionally within the grey areas of the law, he sure underestimated that, while I may have ADHD and be poor, and over use comas in my posts, and have poor sentence structure due to my learning disabilities like dyslexia...I am not stupid and I too, know how to work the google when I enter my neighbours name in a search. Ril Giles is @superADDmom on twitter and is taking back her voice. ***************************************************************************************************** RANT ON BULLYING- Original post It is good that bullying is getting attention, so maybe someday we can stop the social pressures and bullying of kids that are different, but GAY kids are NOT the only ones bullied in is very big in the media right now due to the suicide of a young gay student, harassed and bullied by other students over being gay. Yes, this is not a light issue at all, and it does need attention, as it is becoming a bigger issue as homosexuals “come out” earlier in life due to overall social “acceptance” but ALL children need to be educated on bullying of ALL types. Children with learning disabilities are bullied every day, autistic kids are bullied every day, ADHD kids are bullied everyday, FAT kids are being bullied and pressured with the negative pressure from society on obesity everyday. Poor kids, “ugly kids”.. the list goes on there will always be a bully issue, because there will always be a issue with prejudice and discrimination in our world. BULLYING PERIOD needs to be dealt with. This is a LARGE reason why I homeschool, because the sheeple mentality in a group/gang settings like school playground/hallways creates negative social interaction for children who are already struggling enough in life trying to learn, and grow up, and figure out who they are! I was bullied in school, for being overweight. I was oinked at in the halls for eating anything. To the point I stopped eating in school, I went to a school an hour away by bus in my rural hometown in Cape Breton, and I refused to take a lunch and eat in front of people. I was called a cow, laughed at, had my gym shorts pulled down so often I either skipped gym and failed the class, or started wearing a bathing suit under my clothes to protect myself from be declothed completely so assholes could look at my “fat ass” and point and laugh. Then because I found friendship in other girls who were overweight as well, we were then teased and called fat cow lesbians, for no other reason then we were girls who danced at the school dances together ( fast songs) because being a “fat cow” we could not get dates or have boyfriends from our own school, and because when the slow songs played we’d go to the bathroom to avoid the young teen girl misery of being the select few without a boy to slow dance with. Schools have not changed. Society has not changed. Bullying won’t change. But how we react to the bullying can change, and that is where we need to look at this. You can’t teach a asshole to not be an asshole, regardless of if they are 14, 18, 25, or 40. A kid who is a bully is usually getting mental reinforcements of their underlying attitude in their homes, by their parents. Bullying does not stop out of school. It is part of our world. As long as we have a society that places higher value on one set of people over another there well be mental,physical and philological bullying, always. Just look fat vs thin, poor vs financially secure, good grades/good jobs vs people who struggle to get through school due to learning issues, and those who cannot attend secondary schools and get well paying socially prestigious jobs. Christians VS Mulsim, Anti Gay Vs the homosexual population of our world. Wars have been started over the bullying mentality, the “I’m better than you” mentality. IT WILL NEVER END We need to teach people to stand up for themselves, and not let some ass hat decide their worth for them in our world. Bullied people need to be taught to NOT BE A VICTIM. Because the bullies are never going to go away. We as parents need to teach our children that their self esteem and value is not calculated by the amount of friends they have, or how many parties they are invited to, or what they look like or how much they weigh, or what clothes they can afford to buy or if they are attracted to the same sex, or what secondary schools they can afford to attend. Their value is in being a good person to everyone and to teach acceptance and understanding and kindness and compassion, and not being prejudiced of others, and not bullying others themselves, and by the good they do in this world. As a bullied kid, who is now a 36 year old mother of two who has struggled her entire life with self esteem from the bullies in school who I LET have power over my happiness, I say…Take back your power, as the bullied…because in this world there will ALWAYS be a bully in your life. Learn to walk away. You cannot be bullied, if you don’t let it hurt you. they can try, but their words and actions fall at your feet and don’t penetrate your heart and mind if you don’t let it. I told my mother about the bullying. She spoke to the Principal, the kids were spoken to by the principal in school with their parents. It didn’t stop it, they just then picked on me for being a cry baby. I retreated inward, became a loner, dressed in black because it was sliming and not noticeable as colours on a fat ass. IT didn't help to tell people...I was still miserable until those older kids graduated and left the school, it lifted a bit, to the point of it not being to my face that they laughed at me. Some days I wonder if it mattered to tell anyone, but we tried, and my mother's words to me of “don’t let them have that hold over you. Don’t let it get to you”, might not have been 100 percent effective in not having bullies damage my esteem and self worth, but it was good to have the reminder and someone in my corner. I spent a large part of my life worrying about what others thought of me, trying to fit in, not being too noticed in order to be picked out and picked ON. In part i think the reason my ADHD and dyslexia was not Dxed in school, was because I hid any and all issues that would make me stand out. It took me a long time to get here, where I am now. I’ve had to deal with a lot of emotional baggage, and discover myself through all of that crap, but now as an adult, I don’t have people in my life who make me feel inferior for any reason. You are either contributing to my happiness, or you are contaminating it, if you are contaminating it, you are not in my life for very long. I wish I had had the strength in my heart to have known this then, or had had people to teach this to me then, it would have made a HUGE difference in my life, and the years I’ve wasted letting those bullies from school still follow me through the years in my mind and in my heart would have been less. I hate that I let them have a say in my life for so long, even after the school years, when they no longer even thought of me. Don’t let that happen to you…Take back your power!