Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bullies and Bullying

I participate in a twitter chat every Tuesday night at 9 pm. It is about mental health and social media (#mhsm). Every week they have an interesting topic such as getting enough sleep, caring for your loved ones with mental illness and bullying. This week was bullying.

When I read the first question: "Have you or your child been the target of bullies? Bullied others?" I thought that  I wouldn't have anything to relate to. I was thinking about high school and elementary school and I wasn't really bullied. Teased, sure, but not bullied. And neither has Ryder. So, I just read on.

Then people started discussing being bullied outside of school. For instance, apparently there is a lot of bullying in nursing. Then I started thinking about outside of school, which I had not before. My ex-husband was very verbally abusive. I asked "Do you think verbal abuse is bullying?" I got a bunch of affirmatives. @AspieSide said "yes I think verbal abuse is bullying. Words hurt and lower a person's self worth."  This blew my mind a little bit.

I never thought I could relate to being bullied when I lived years and years with a bully. He used to call me names, tell me I am worthless and lazy, make me feel like I deserved everything he did. He was, thankfully, never physically abusive, so I really did not think that I was being abused. Now I see that I was. It took years, but I can see that now.

Honestly, and we are being honest here, I sometimes wished he was physically abusive. Then I would have had a good reason to leave. I felt like the verbal abuse was not a good enough reason. Physical abuse is something tangible. Something that leaves marks and scars. Something that I can point to and say "That is wrong."

After this small revelation, staying involved in the chat was difficult. It made me very sad. I was sad for all the people being bullied, all the bullies, and me. Why can't we just treat everyone else with respect?


  1. I have read a ton of bullying posts lately...especially since the movie "Bully" has been released. It is awful and so unfair.

  2. I used to get bullied because I was so short.

  3. hugs to you!! Verbal abuse is just as painful and I'm sorry you had to go through that! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I do think the physical abuse is worse, because you can always ignore someone's words, and the ones giving those words, just reveal themselves as the big jerks.

  5. I know two women who have been verbally/emotionally/mentally abused. One ended up getting divorced and the other was able to save her marriage through counselling.

    Having seen what those two women went through - verbal abuse is damaging in so many ways.

  6. Also, just wanted to add that it's completely irresponsible to say that any type of abuse is worse or better. That's the kind of attitude that makes women feel like they deserve to be verbally abused.

  7. The sad truth is that it's not only our children who are bullies and being bullied. Adults today seem to have no qualms about making others feel small...and you're right, sometimes the 'invisible' bullying is the hardest to take.

  8. Any abuse is bullying IMO. And verbal/mental abuse is just as bad as the physical sneaks up on you...makes you doubt your own sanity and thoughts....with nothing tangible to lay hold to to say "THIS! THIS right here is WRONG and has to STOP!

    hugs from someone who def understands where you're coming from


Whatcha think?