Did You Know…Bullying

Did you know that October is National Bully Prevention Month (among other things)? I did not know that until the other day when I was on facebook. A group that I am in tends to do “Today is….”

In particular, according to STOMP Out Bullying,:

  • October 5th-Blue Shirt Day
  • Week of October 12th-Make friends with someone you don’t know
  • Week of October 19th- Stand up for others
  • Week of October 26th- information on how students can participate.

Although I think it’s very important to discuss bullying (being a victim myself)-I also think it’s important that awareness occurs EVERY day of EVERY month. I also think it’s important to extend this to not just students or youth.

Every day, someone-somewhere is a victim of bullying. Either by verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Targeted for any reasons…you’re black, you’re white, you’re skinny, you’re fat-honestly there is no bounds for not being bullied. It is also targeted to any age, gender, or personality. I mean look at facebook and twitter. People randomly want to spewout hatful things to people that they do not know. Recently.. the basketball player Odom. I was on twitter the other night and people on gossip, even Kardashian and the like-random people would make jokes, poke fun, and ridicule someone. Someone that they do not really know. Either be it directly or indirectly say hurtful things. I read someone post “Well, that should make people realize that you shouldn’t make connections with the Kardashian.”

Ummm-what? Now I’m no fan of the Kardashian. I really only see their likeness on news clips but this is implying that the Kardashian helped Odom spiral. Don’t you think that’s hurtful to the Kardashian family?

Here you have someone who is fighting for their life because of the actions of THEMSELVES and their ADDICTIONS and placing blame on the person and/or any and all connections that they had in their lifetime. As a nurse, I know addictions are a very serious ordeal. It’s a disease, like cancer. Some people still do not get this and even some do and still get their kicks from essentially bullying Odom, Kardashians, the Brothel, basketball, his family.

I just think “if this was you, how would you like to read this about yourself? about your loved ones?”

And does them being “celebrities”-does that make them open season to target? No, I don’t think so. This goes to the woman who sued “her nephew”. The mentally handicapped person who is being laughed at on a youtube video. The list can go on.

I was bullied in my day an age. It is NOT okay. There have been a few times where it was significant…the time when I was physically assaulted on the bus-I went to class that day and eventually was suspended based on my behavior later in the day. I’m not sure I would have had the behavior/attitude if I wasn’t assaulted on the bus.

Or the time I was physically abused in 7th period English class WHILE the teacher was in the room-she did nothing, then proceeded to make an excuse for him.

This brings me to a problem that we have in society. We excuse or ignore the behavior of the bully. The other day, on the local radio, a wife wanted the husband to bring the girls to school because there are issues on the bus. The wife wants this because she doesn’t want her kids to endure senseless words. The husband thinks they should ride the bus and just deal with it.

Neither of this address the root of the problem…the bully. Let’s just ignore. Let’s just work around it. How does this solve the problem? of bullying? There is no consequences put down to the bully. The girls shouldn’t stop riding the bus…the bully should be suspended or expelled from the bus. The bully should be held accountable.

The situation in the 7th period English class-after the physical abuse endured by my bully. I eventually stopped crying, got up, flipped my desk over, stormed out, and before slamming the door-I looked at everyone (including the teacher) and said “Fuck you all”. I didn’t bother going to the office because like the parents mentioned above-nothing would have happened to the bully. Instead I went and sat at the end of the hall. The teacher followed me out, sat next to me and said “David has had a rough life…”

I stopped listening. I understand she was trying to put his behavior in prospective but it is essentially not only excusing his behavior but excusing her neglect to. What about his rough life? What about MY rough life? My mother was self medicated alcoholic, who moved us around a lot, who eventually married my step father. Who was also a self medicated alcohol who choked my mother which lead us to stay at the local Woman’s & Children’s shelter for a few months. Just to be woken up at 2:30 am, pack a bag and run to catch a greyhound to my step-father’s reservation in the next state. My step-father had 4 boys. One was inappropriate with my sister. Another son sexually assaulted me when I was 7 (he was about 17/18). All this happened before my 7th grade English class. So yes…tell me again how much of a rough life David has had?!?

So because of my rough life-that should give me a ticket to treat others like crap? NO. Stop excusing and giving them a free ride to do what they want. Not only does it hurt the victim, but it hurts them!

I eventually dropped out of high school, eventually got my GED, eventually moved 1300 miles without a job and perm place to live, eventually went to college and graduated as a nurse. I’m not sure where David went after middle school. I know at one point he was in jail/prison. Am I, was I happy about that? NOPE, not at all. Seeing other people happy about that? NO. Seeing other people suffer is not my goal in life-even if it’s my bully. I want them to get HELP. I want them to make themselves a better person.

Bottom line-STOMP out the bullying by not excusing the behavior!

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One Thing Most People Are Surprised To Learn About Me

I am currently a nurse. I carry myself in an educated manor (though I act younger than my age). People are taken back to learn that I am a high school drop out.

There were many things that factor into why I dropped out of high school. First, and foremost, I was not a part of the “in crowd” growing up. I was physically different until I was about 14. I had a speech impediment. I was an easy target for stares, teasing, even physical abuse from peers. I was bullied. That always leads a distaste in someone’s thought process.

My mother was also a self-described gypsy. She moved a lot. She could not stay in one place. That lead to 4 different elementary schools from K-part of 3rd. In 3rd grade we stayed in one place but then moved between home and my step-fathers reservation. I was held back in the 3rd grade, twice (as in the SAME year). We moved back and forth about 4-5 times in one school year. The school at home said that I was missing too much, though I wasn’t-I went on my step-father reservation. And the teacher on the reservation said that she could not understand me. I stayed in the same elementary school for the 2nd year of 3rd grade until 5th grade.

Sixth grade, I went onto Middle School and stayed there all three years. Though in the 6th and 7th grade, I was barely there. I often skipped school because I did not want to deal with the teasing. I mean, I was physically assaulted in class, while the teacher was in the room. This is why I didn’t and don’t have too much faith in school, teachers, authorities within schools. They did nothing to protect me.

In the city that I grew up in, we have about 7 public high schools. I went to one for a week, then transferred to another and remained for the year. This is where I interacted with my English teacher. He was the first one to suggest to me that I should write about my life.

Tenth grade..eh, I just was not feeling it. We ended up moving to the burbs. Then we moved to the country. Then we moved back to the burbs (all within a couple of months). Coming back to the burbs, I just was not feeling it. I felt that I would do better than public school life. So I literally stopped going.

Eventually, a school counselor came knocking on the door and we chatted. Of course, I had to “remain” in school until I was ?16? So I was “forced” to go back. But in reality, I did not. I mean, I missed more than I was there.

When it was official, I dropped out. Soon after I took the GED.

I knew I wanted to go to college when I dropped out. At that time, I wasn’t sure for what but I wanted college.

I eventually moved away from my home state. Eventually I entered college and though it took me awhile, I finally graduated Nursing School.
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For anyone that cares to donate to help fund me- I am going on a two month medical mission trip to Africa with Mercy Ships. I will serve as an Adult Ward Nurse. It is completely volunteer and will cost me about $1400 for room/board/3 meals a day, plus about $2000 for the round trip flight. Anything that you’re able to part with will be greatly appreciated. You can send it directly to Mercy Ships. My direct link is :http://mercyships-us.donorpages.com/crewmates/PaulaAdams/

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