What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

I'm Now An Adult Who Was!

by "Scott"
(Wisconsin)

I'm 45 years old now, but was mercilessly bullied when I was ages 9-12, when my parent moved me into a different school. I tried to hang myself when I was 11, but it failed because I wasn't good at tying knots. I have post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety attacks, sleepwalking and think about suicide everyday, despite medications I take. My life has spiraled out of control, and all because of those four years.

I was beaten on, stomped on in the snow, pelted with snowballs, had my boots ripped off and thrown over the fence into the wet street. I was urinated on and given "swirlees", if you know what those are, in excrement filled toilets. I was pelted with rubberbands and paperclips launched with rubberbands, stabbed with the sharp point of a geometric compass and received concussions from getting pushed down the stairs. I was ostracized by everyone, no one wanted to be associated with me for fear of receiving the same treatment.

I was threatened that if I ever told, I'd get it worse. I didn't know what that could be, but didn't want to find out, either. But things did get worse. If my parents did know anything, they never let on, nor did anything about it. This has all led to a life of failure. I don't believe I'm worthy of success, and don't even know what success is. I came within a half hour of shooting myself about two years ago. Now, I don't know from one day to the next if I will be alive tomorrow. I can't live with this torment much longer. I may have had my will broken more than 30 years ago, but am actually sad that I've lived this long. I hate to think this happens to any child anymore, in this day and age. If anything comes from my story, it is that I hope parents or anyone will get a child help before they either end up ending their lives or living the hell on earth life that I have suffered.

Comments for I'm Now An Adult Who Was!

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You are safe now
by: Trinity

I am so glad that you are still alive. Bullying is hideous and the scars last a lifetime. I am getting therapy for PTSD from being bullied repeatedly as an adult and the hardest thing of all was to write about it, writing it all down with all my feelings, thoughts, smells, sights, sounds. Writing it in my own handwriting, not typed. Then reading it aloud every day. I'm at the point where I am only narrating that story because I am emotionally numb except for anger and anxiety(I am protecting myself by avoiding the feelings)but the day when I cry is the beginning of my healing, and I don't know when that will happen. This world is not just or fair, you are not to blame for being a target of depraved behaviour. They are responsible for their own behaviour. I'll tell you what the doctors do for me, they give me very strong drugs to knock me out at night so I don't have nightmares, because the dreams are re-traumatising me. I would suggest that you ask your doctor for a medication review because your anti-depressants are not working and there are lots of different types, and they can mix and match to help you feel more comfortable while you tackle those 'just world' thoughts that cause you to blame yourself. Hang in there mate, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I think that you are absolutely so wonderful for staying alive because I know that is not the easiest way to go when we are clinically depressed. But there is hope. If your doctor doesn't do something about your med's then change your doctor, I did and I got results. After a three year major depressive episode I have a chronic moderate depressive episode with anxiety/PTSD and incapacitated to work but I am so much happier because I am away from the bullies, and so are you. You are safe now.

Please Don't Give Up
by: Anonymous

What a tragic story. And yes, those four years can ruin your life forever. I hope you can find a way to get help, even at this stage in life. Or if you can find a listserve where targets can write and support one another, that would help, too. Once we know we are not alone, it can help us endure and erase the bad memories.

I have endured bullying by leadership involved in corruption because I "threatened" them with truthfulness. It has gone on for four decades. Just this past week they seized all of our funds from our nonprofit organization, leaving us penniless. What they don't realize, they have left me penniless most of my life so I am used to it.

More people are waking up to the damage caused by bullying. I hope you can find one or two support friends--it makes all the difference. Bullies rule the world--so they think. But trust me, good will prevail. Please just never give up.

Re; I'm now an adult who was...
by: Sarah

I am so sorry to hear of your dreadful ordeal as a young person.
I too suffered as a child, but my tormentors, being girls, generally engaged in psychological abuse. Having said that, I have suffered violence on occassion at school, but nowhere near as bad as you have.
I assume that your tormentors were boys, as boys seem more apt to use physical violence than girls. However, girls can and do sometimes use violence against a target.
As I am not a councillor I cannot give you expert advice, but it might be worth talking to someone like that. I wouldn't recommend suicide, as that would mean 'victory' for the bullies who tormented you.
This is an excellent forum to come to for help: I am sure someone can and will offer help if you ask.
There is nothing wrong with you as a person. That is important to know, because bullies so often destroy a person's sense of self esteem and self worth and you need to recover that from within you. Believe me, it is still there somewhere within you and has not been destroyed at all.
I'll tell you a secret, although it's not such a secret on this forum.
I have suffered from bullying for most of my life. I turned fifty this year and am still going strong. I am a survivor, and although some people in my community do not seem to accept me or want me around, I can ignore them now and just get on with my life.
I would only complain or do something if I was threatened or harrassed in some way. Now at the moment they are just walking away or ignoring me if they see me around.
I was hoping that my later years would be free of such things, but it seems not to be the case. So I try to put the past behind me and get on with my life as best I can and to count my blessings every day, because life is short.
I ignore the bullies as best I can. If they don't like me around, they can just walk away if they want.
If I am threatened or harrassed, that is another matter.
It might help if you can talk to a councillor. I wish you luck in your search for peace of mind and hope that you can find happiness, despite the bad things in the past.
All the best, 'Sarah.'

lets address the real problem
by: m.njaga

Lets address the real Problem: why we are missing the mark on bullying.

By Mucheru Njaga
Author of Patch: Assumption is a crime.

I was a bully.

I didn't plan on being one. In fact, before then, I was a victim of bullying. As a freshman in a all boys boarding school, I along with all of the junior students served at the behest of the "Prefects", a small group of senior students. They ruled our school with a heavy hand and had more powers than the teachers. They bullied us physically and mentally , once we had to jump on our knees, other times they banned us from wearing pants and limited us to shorts to serve as a constant reminder to who we are. Verbal humiliation was an everyday occurrence as well.

Four years later, I became a "prefect", a bully and part of a system I once despised. We would raid the freshman area in the middle of the night and make them follow whatever we ordered them to do at 2am or face severe punishment. We called them names in front of the dinning halls and used them as practice dummies during rugby games.

All of this was acceptable ? condoned by the school faculty at the time because the "Prefects" were seen as the guardians and mentors of the young students.

So where's the disconnect? Why are we letting this happen?

Here's link to an article i did on bullying
www.mnjaga.com

www.patchthebook.com

response to the above- Scott
by: John Elliott

Scott: It sounds from reading your story that you experienced some horrific bullying, that noone should endure. It is such a pity that nobody in authority was made aware of this at the time. Obviously this has had a negative effect in later years. I would suggest that some counselling or psychotherapy would be very beneficial, although I don't want to sound dictatorial. This would help in distinguishing bad past feelings from the present, where the threat is no longer there. I think that writing out the events can be useful, also.

Scott: bullying as youngster.
by: John.

Scott; it may help to read a variety of accounts about bullying, and read other people's case studies. This can help to put your bad experiences into context, so that you don't feel so isolated and alone. You must recognise that what you experienced was not your fault, but a violation of your rights as a human being with dignity. The bullies tried to destroy this, but don't let them. The human psyche does have a remarkable capacity for healing, with the right approach, so all is not lost.
As bad as your ordeal was, there could possibly have been worse endured by some folk somewhere in the world, try to see it like that. Please don't do daft things like self-harm, you owe it to yourself and your own eventual recovery.

Bullies are so cruel!
by: Anonymous

Scott, I'm so sorry that you were bullied and I wish someone had put a stop to it. When I was 11 I was mercilessly attacked by 6 fifteen year old boys afterschool one day. I was walking through the halls after studying in the library when the six of them grabbed me and dragged me into the boys locker room. They took my shirt off and used my belt to tie my hands behind my back, then they removed my shoes, my socks, and even my pants! They picked me up and stood me on my knees in a "trough" style urinal, and I could tell that they had pre-planned whatever they were going to do to me, because while two boys held me, three others plugged the drain with toilet paper. The ringleader took my glasses off (leaving me virtually blind) and told me if I didn't open my mouth and keep it open he would pull my underwear off. I was EXTREMELY modest about my body, so I opened my mouth even though I was afraid of what he would do next. To this day, I STILL remember the sounds of him unfastening his belt and unzipping his pants! I instinctively closed my mouth once he started urinating on my face, so he immediately barked at me "OPEN YOUR MOUTH NOW! OR I'LL TAKE YOUR UNDERWEAR OFF AND FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOILET!" I was terrified he would actually follow through on his threat and leave me naked in front of all of them, so I opened my mouth again as he leaned forward, enabling him to pee directly into my mouth. After he was done, 2 more boys took a turn urinating on me while the ringleader asked "Does this piss you off?" Then my worst nightmare came true as one of them yanked my underwear off, allowing them all to stare at my uncircumcised, hairless prepubescent penis. They all laughed hysterically and made cruel jokes about my size, then they lied me down on my back and ordered me to open my mouth again. I refused at first, until they told me they would take pictures of me and put them in the girl's bathroom. I knew they were mean enough to do it, so I had no choice but to open my mouth again. The last 3 boys kept stopping and starting their flow to prolong my degradation as long as possible, and by the time they were done the urinal was full to the point where only my mouth, nose and part of my face were the only parts of me NOT submerged. Afterwards, they put my glasses back on, took a close up picture of my penis and one of my rear, then took a final one of me from my face to my knees so that everyone would know who the other pictures "featured". They told me if I ever told on them that they would make copies of the pictures and put them in the girls AND boys bathrooms. I believed them and so I never told. To this day, if I walk into a bathroom and see a "trough" style urinal, I immediately turn around and walk out.

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