The Circle

I have been reading a number of posts on abuse and bullying. There has been some coverage on TV about the same. The impact of child abuse or bullying on the child and the later adult may never be fully understood. One such post I read had a huge impact on me. The author speaks of her own experiences as a survivor. http://nae50.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/might-have-could-have-was-abuse/  And links to a video and song ‘Committing Slow Suicide’ by Scott Stapp from the group Creed. The video is harrowing to watch. It may even have been taken down by now.

The levels of abuse and types suffered by children enrage me. I cannot thole bullying in any form. My reactions are visceral when I read or hear of it. I was bullied by someone as a child. I stopped it. No one else. I took control. But. It left its imprint. I will not and cannot tolerate any sort of control of myself. And view others who seek to exert control as similar to monsters. My experience, however, was as nothing compared to the suffering of others. If people suffer more, they hurt more, it takes longer to heal. And their methods may be quite different and not always effective. The struggles of survivors to heal and find understanding and reasons for the actions of others leave a lifelong mark. And it may break them or make them stronger. Those I have been reading are among some of the strongest people I have ever encountered.

I’m drawn to hurt like moth to flame,

Others’ pain fills me with shame

That angsts I feel, though deep and wounding,

Hold no candle to some depths of hurting.

 

Mind sets, altered in early days,

Fight with nature’s inherent ways.

A struggle then, a lifelong one,

To come to terms with what was done.

 

Comprehension and forgiveness

Demand some reasons, any answers.

Dependence on an earthly crutch

May transfer or hide so much.

 

Seeking some oblivion

From hurts performed by some or one.

That child of then exists right now,

Trapped in time, until somehow

 

Someone, you, maybe another

Comforts, absolves, helps uncover

What was hidden or openly done,

Unobserved or viewed by some.

 

Abuse of child in any form

Is not so rare but is not the norm.

Many kinds or types there be

Killing, suffocating, we

 

Who know the hurt a bully causes,

Inflicting pain, causing losses

Of memories of childhood pleasure,

A time when all should build as treasure.

 

But stolen by the hands of one,

Abandoned then to struggle on

In adult life with child inside

Who seeks still love, approval, pride

 

In being who they ought to be

Not discredited and forced to flee

From inner mind where sanctuary

Sublimates or sets them free.

 

Acknowledgement of all who hurt

From childhood trauma. Not your fault!

Beating, words or actions done

By other must be owned by one

 

Who perpetrated such a crime,

Robbed innocence, God’s divine

Gift to child and all the world

To view with wonder when beheld.

 

Those who steal such gift away

Will answer, surely, come the day

When asked, ‘How did you fill your life?’

To answer, ‘I killed a child, as if with knife,

 

By stabbing at the hearts of pure.’

No one escapes! But some endure

An endless query. Why me? Why then?

To ask those words again, again.

 

No answers here, I cannot claim,

But trust that love always reclaims

The heart of child for loving much

Is what they do so well, with such

 

Belief in trust. May, then,

Trust and love, regrow again.

And pain depart or recognise

That no guilt attaches in your eyes.

46 thoughts on “The Circle”

  1. Nice poem, my friend. So many youths cannot stand up to thousands and thousands when the abuse is viral on-line and more. We are fighting for legislation…our head office went to Ottawa last week for a second session…we need laws to protect youths and adults from cyberbullying the new poison that leaves a lasting mark forever.

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      1. What breaks my heart is speaking to the close friends of youths who’d taken their lives…so sad. some were texted minutes before…the guilt and grief they suffer at such a young age, I cannot even fathom.

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      2. It affects so many. Better understanding is also needed. We teach anti-bullying in school. But the children don’t always perceive their actions as bullying. They also witness actions and words in other places that make it seem the norm. A lot of education still required.x

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      3. I do believe it is a system problem now…parents need to be involved, teach children to be safe on line, teachers could incorporate on-line etiquette as part as language arts…like the old days we learned how to compose a proper letter; students need to be aware, bus drivers need training, lunch monitors and day care workers need to be on the same page as ALL staff to help students. Okay, I’lll stop now…lol

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  2. Well, now that I read it…
    No, really, the whole piece is very touching, with words well prepared. The part in which you refer to what will ‘they’ be asked, and how ‘they’ respond: I killed a child, as if with a knife. So, got my eyes, wait, can’t type…all watering, fluid coming out of them, then my nose…oh well, let’s not go there.

    Seriously, I am really touched. I re-blogged it on to mine. I do hope the vid stays up, I don’t know why it would be taken down. Eminem has worse than that on any given day. If it does get taken down, he has the lyric one already up, and it is really well done, not just words on a picture. So, I will keep on top of that link, and perhaps sticky that post for a wee bit. I just know there are a lot of people, especially younger than me, who not only can handle the more graphic images of life, but sometimes actually relate to them better as well. In counseling courses, we often found it simply easier to show a picture or refer to a common horror movie to get the point across, than to use plain conversational style counseling. I think it has something to do with the shorter attention spans (which is a whole academic discussion for later) and the modern culture. We just needed too many pictures for our books.

    I am very appreciative of this poem, and am actually going to download right now, so I don’t lose it. I might also go all old school and print a hard copy out for my old school journal as well.

    Peace & Love (muchly)

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    1. Rene, as soon as I read your piece yesterday that poem was written without so much as a moment’s hesitation. Your words struck me so hard. Then seeing that video today. Horrific. I was meaning that you might take it down. You said in your comment to me that you would maybe replace it with the lyrics only version. If you can bear to, I would leave it up for a while. It has a really powerful impact.
      You are an amazing woman with power at your fingertips. I know you don’t want to labour the experience. But it is far-reaching. The circle can be broken. You are proof of that. What was done to you does not have to be repeated. Let your mum and your sister find their way. You have found yours. In your words. And actions.
      I am touched that you want to download and print off the poem.
      Peace and love to you my friend.x

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    1. And education. At the moment the circle is not broken by all. What children experience they often put into practise. I see it in school too often. Home lives are often far from ideal and children reflect this often in their behaviours with others.
      A many pronged attack I think. But you are right. The hearts and souls of young ones are to be treasured and protected at all costs. Any who violate their trust are in danger of losing their own souls. If they have not done so already.
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It is an issue which needs to be resolved in many ways. Dialogue is one. Many thanks.x

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  3. Powerful read today Scottie – a subject that touches so many in so many different forms – so completely bloody unnecessary – just as you say monsters wanting to take control, as you say more education is required on the parents, the teachers, the bullies themselves. It is sad to see the world change from when I was younger – when you would have a spat and it would be over with, now the torment is ongoing until the victim crumbles. Thank you for posting this – kudos to you lovely. xx

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    1. I think there have always been bullies. And those who abuse children. Perhaps nowadays it is spoken of more. Or perhaps people have more avenues to speak about it. The idea of children being hurt in ways that they cannot voice until later is heartbreaking. And they often will not speak of it. Only after something major occurs do they break down. I had a child in school not long ago ‘go off the deep end’. There was much to be uncovered. His distress was shown in acting out violently. He is receiving help now but it will be a long arduous process by all accounts.
      My sister worked with young people who were in care because of various forms of abuse in their lives at the hands of adults.
      The circle almost seems self-perpetuating. Even if only in the mind set of the survivors and how altered they are in being.
      The whys have to be addressed. Some understanding of why there are those who feel the need to victimise others. As well as helping those who are being victimised. A horrible subject. I hate it. But it is a present evil.x

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      1. yes – I think if those that are abused if they cannot speak out and hide their feelings, it does affect them later in life. My daughter now 26 – 3 years ago tried out for the Navy – she was sexually abused by an Officer… she didn’t want to press charges as he was a dad..she reported it to the Police – but took it no further… she hasn’t sought counselling – and suffering from anxiety and mild depression – I have noticed her behaviour and personality change. She admitted to her B/F that it has affected her more than she would have thought… I can’t push her as much as I want to – to see someone… I hope he is rotting in hell. x

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      2. Isn’t it awful? It’s the idea of people using power to exert their control. And then getting away with it. I think that’s probably why I also get riled at politics. Taking advantage of people is just never acceptable. Never. I wish your daughter had reported him too. Who knows who else he will do this with? It seems that some will just continue unless thwarted. But I get why she didn’t either.
        Maybe if she could be persuaded to talk to someone who could help. I think part of the problem is that those hurt in this way feel somehow as if it were their fault. Like they did or said or looked in a particular way that ‘encouraged’ the actions. So wrong. But almost understandable. Feeling that somehow you must have done something to warrant it. I hope she works through this and realises that the problem is his. Not hers. Never the one who has been hurt in this way.
        Is this the same daughter who has been giving you some worries? Maybe there’s something in that. Trying to process what happened.x

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      3. Yes it is the same… her issues did become more pronounced after this event, so I have no doubts that is a contributing factor. This Officer has done this once before – we believe he was kicked out of the Defence Force – but cannot be sure. The Navy likes to keep things hush… I am trying to get her to speak to someone..she was a little naive unfortunately with how this happened…but she should not have had to go through what she did, he bruised all her throat- till she almost passed out – saying he likes it when girls ‘experience’ this….. as her mum – as you would know – I am rope-able. x

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      4. Oh my god, Jen. I would want to kill him too. How dare he? What a bastard! ‘He likes it when…’ Oh, you have to make sure he can’t do this again. Then again, if the Navy likes to keep things hushed what chance have you got? How angry you must be. She’ll need lots of space to work through this. And hugs. I’m so sorry this happened. This is what I mean. It’s absolutely wild making that anyone thinks these things are ok.x

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      5. Our Defence Force covers or tries too many of these incidences – there is always something in the News about it. They wouldn’t tell me anything – if they kicked him out or not – privacy laws etc and K does not want to go back there or speak to anyone about it. Thank you darling – yes this has changed her life in such a bad way and I can only be there as her mum to get her through it…I have tears now… xxx

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      6. If anyone can help, Jen, you can. Maybe if she can’t bring herself to speak to anyone she could check out some online reading or books that would give her support and understanding of how she is feeling. From the mouths of others who know.
        Privacy laws. I’m all for them. Up to the point where laws are broken. Some restitution for what he did they could have given you, even if only to say he had been dealt with.Covering their arses more like.x

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      7. Yes it would have been nice to have received a follow-up – this has happened- this is the action we took – but nothing… I shall try and broach the subject again with her – though she is determined not to discuss… xx

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  4. This is from my heart and shows jyst how bulling can wreak a life and future.
    Today, I avoid, people as much as I can, I have 3 real friends and my best friend who is my wife, she doesnt know the extent of the bullying I suffered over the years.
    My earliest memory of being bullied was from around 7 when I started a new junior school, it was relentless, almost every day, still to this day I dont know why, beatings, sweets taken off me, tripped in the playground, in the corridor, I didnt report it, nothing would have been done but The bullying continued. High school was no different, I would hide away a break time, leave the school at lunch time, start a spell of bed wetting, went under a psychologist, I dare not say I was being bullied. Joined the RAF, it was great got on with my career, until I was posted to Stanmore Park a small camp, it was hard to fit in, over the time I was there it started again, a small group of staff took it on themselves to make my life a misery.
    Every month we would have room inspection while at my duties, I get charged for having an untidy room. Someone had gone in and made my room a mess, just wrappers, coke cans on the floor, I can not deny as it was my responsibility and there was no evidence. So I left in my 3rd year.
    Civvie street was no difference, why me I would ask myself, I dont look for trouble, never been in trouble with the police, never been in a fight, I just keep mysrlf to myself and get on with what ever task given to me.
    Worst was in a food factory, stuff wriien on my locker, lock superglued shut, dog shit in my coat pocket. Again I cannot prove nothing.
    Then I trained and worked with children in social work, loved it, trained in IT in my spare time got my qualifications and went srlf employed, meant didnt have to work with any one.
    qualified as a photographer and worked all three jobs, loved doing it all, I understand bullying and it came in handy.
    Today I stay away from groups of people, never ho out at night, won’t go to the pub (don’t drink anyway)
    I like my own company, will do a job, be nice and friendly and honest and polite. I dont know what it is about me, why I bevome a target, before I met my wife I tried suicide, but was found, went under mental health band they said some people are prone for bullying, they dont know what it is that causes people to be singled out but he said they do.
    My life is better with me and just my wife, she doesn’t like mixing either, so we have each others company and still together after 32 years. If you have questions please ask. If I come across bullies online I can block them, shame I couldn’t do it in real life.

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    1. Aw, Pete. I’m so sorry to hear that. Once is bad enough. But to have endured that at so many points in your life is heart rending. I don’t know either why some people are targeted rather than another.
      I was a quiet child, lived in my own thoughts a lot, maybe seemed a bit of a dreamer, fairly shy, I don’t know. But maybe that made me seem more vulnerable. As if I wouldn’t defend myself. I let it happen, almost. Till I said to myself, ‘enough.’ And it was like a magic wand being waved over me. I gained in confidence and became more outspoken. Maybe it changed my personality. Or maybe I had to find my way to become a survivor. I do know that it impacted on the way I feel about anyone being victimised by anyone for any reason.
      As I said in my post. Mine is nothing in comparison to what others have experienced and have to deal with all through their lives. I do know that if my experience affected me then, for sure, those who have suffered more must be in more pain.
      There has to be a way to stop it. Not only children on children. But adults on adults. And, most of all, adults on children.
      I’m glad you and your wife have each other and for so long. And true friends are worth their weight in gold.
      Those who caused you hurt, Pete, will answer one day.x

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      1. Thank you, I am 50 year old man wjo should not be scared of people, think that is one of the reasons I work with children, I know what its like to be a friendless hurt child, I can look into their eyes a truthfully tell them ‘I know’ The amount of times I have sat with a crying child as the told the same story. Is it getting worse, or is it that more cases are being reported. The school I was working at the amount of parents that have withdrawn from the school because of the amount of bullying and the school is not doing anything about, but I know the school, I know the parents and quite a few of the parents don’t give a damn as long as their children are not around their feet. I ran craft classes for 16 P1’s and I had to speak to 3 parents about the behaviour of their children and two said they would deal with it, the third came away with the war cry ‘ He is maybe getting diagnosed with ADHD’ Now I spent along time being trained to spot certain traits and it was just bad parenting, ADHD is not an excuse for allowing your child to behave like a little thug and I really wanted to tell her to get off her arse and deal with your childs behavioural problems not feed them pills that turns them into a zombie so they can get some peace. Parents should be taken to task for the behavioural problems of their children.
        But since I was not able to do the work now due to my illness, I worry who will have the childrens backs now as the pressure on the teachers increase. I do worry what this world is coming to and what the future holds for the children who are victims.

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      2. I think part of what upsets me is the fact that we will never know who the real child was, who they could have been, were intended to be. If negative experiences have such a profound impact on a child and alter their thoughts and actions then do they ever grow ‘properly’? How much of them has been altered to accommodate the hurt? I daresay that’s why psychologists speak of the child trapped at a certain age within the growing adult. How do people move on from their experiences without it changing entirely who they are? And so many people embracing drugs or alcohol or self-harm in vague attempts to obviate the pain and memories.
        A news item recently talked about child on child sexual abuse. Are our children no longer children? What indeed is happening when children turn to this?
        Children do have the capacity to be tortuous with others and, worse, often know no boundaries. They can be relentless in their hurt of others. They need to understand that it is wrong. Principally it has to be from the parents. They are the care-givers and nurturers.
        Too much responsibility is being abrogated by parents with regard to the raising of children. There is an ever-increasing dependence on schools to fill the gap. There is only so much schools can do while still trying to teach the children ‘normal’ lessons. But it is all becoming required. Every area of responsibility once viewed as parental is being shifted to the schools. Not because they want it. But because someone has to do it.
        Politicians know this. They would rather load more responsibility onto schools rather than annexe failing parents. And then they still question league tables!
        As for ADHD. It does not excuse thuggery. Or bad manners. Or rudeness. So many try that one on. As if a label excuses everything.
        I don’t know if it is worse now than previously. I would guess yes. Or, perhaps we speak of these things more openly now. I’m sorry that you had to experience such cruelty at the hands of children and then adults.x

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      3. Again I thank you for your words, I do hope our conversation helps others. I dont know what adult I would have become, maybe some one alien to me, maybe I woild have become a tormentor. I do like me, I like that I am compassionate, kind and gentle, it takes a lot for me to get angry but then only for an important reason. My father was a bully, he beat my mother on a regular basis and once made me watch telling me that this is how to keep a woman inline, I was 8 years old, I thank him for that lesson, I have never touched a woman, if its between actors on tv I feel sick and look away, I don’t understand why anyone would want to hit someone you are suppose to love!
        I dream occasionally about the bullying and in my dreams I can turn them into mice who scurry away then hunted down by gangs of cats then eaten.
        The internet has been a God send, I have been online since 1995 and have met wonderful people who couldn’t see me, couldn’t judge me and spoke to me like a human being, but since yhe explosion of computers and the net, the net have its own bullying problems. I bought my first hard drive driven computer in 95 at a cost of £2000 so the only people online were people and I am mot being a snob here lol well behaved people, but now every man, woman and child, dog, cat and fridge are now online and the dregs of society have brought their bad behaviour and whats made it worse its anonymous this gives them free range to torment without the fear of getting caught.
        I stay away from chatrooms, forums or any place that leaves me open to attack, before 2000 it was a great place to be, now its a free for all, technology has given these people who find bullying a fun pastime unlimited victims and the means to torment without getting caught.
        Life can be a very cruel place to be, but I have designed my way of living now to stop me being tormented. I have brought up my son to learn to protect him and his family, he was bullied at school but the school had a zero tolerance on bullying and it was stopped, he is married with two beautiful daughters who I hope that they will not be affected by the bully.
        Thank you for your thoughts and compassion, its so much appreciated 🙂

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      4. You say that when you first when online no one could see you or judge you and spoke to you as one human to another. Do you think that the lack of visual made a difference? I’m interested because I think that our body language does portray certain characteristics. Regardless of what a person looks like we may inadvertently suggest we are vulnerable, an easier target. Not that that would make it right. But I wonder whether there is anything in the theory. Or is it possible that when not being viewed a more confident persona emerges and presents itself thereby ‘challenging’ any impressions that could otherwise be interpreted from a visual depiction?
        Is it shyness in people that makes others look at them as a target? I would really like to get to the bottom of some of these issues. How people perceive themselves, what their body language says and whether that has any bearing on the bullying. It never makes it right but there has to be some understanding of why.
        If not, the chances are that the bullies of today become the abusers of tomorrow while the ‘victims’ risk repeating the same mistakes or live in a cloud of self-doubt.
        It is a great concern that bullying has become an online issue.
        You are more than welcome to my thoughts, Pete, and my compassion. I too hope that dialogue on this matter may begin to change some of what we have talked about. Perhaps new ways of understanding the problem may begin to help address it. Thank you for being so frank in your comments. Only then can others understand the level of hurt caused by this and other forms of abuse.x

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      5. I do certainly believe that body language plays an important part whether you are a victim or not. One of my friend was so badly bullied that she walked with head down when she went to work as a hoyse keeper in a hotel, spoke only when spoken to and went home, she lived with her father up unto a few months ago as he past with cancer. She never left the house except for work everything she needed she ordered online or her father got it on hercway home from work. I met her online in a photography group and we clicked, neither of us knew each others history, but we knew, it was very strange. From our conversatiins and the way she lived and from her behaviour I asked her if she had seen a doctor about maybe being autistic, she did a few different online tests and scored quite high on them all. I helped her with certain things, to do with her appearance and her smile, she had a badly twisted front tooth and it took a bit of convincing to get that sorted which now she has a beautiful smile and it changed her for the better. I had been worried before her dad became ill what would happen if she was left alone. I need not have worried, the changes she had made, the move hack to her native Scotland as her father wanted to die in his city of birth. She has made me proud and I think she surprised herself, she organised her father funeral, including her fathers affairs. Its amazing with some changes to yourself and the love of friends you can grow and flower and I still worry but I know she will either talk to me or work through it……Now have your ho ho ho’s lol

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      6. I think that’s amazing, Pete, that you were able to recognise and be there for her.
        I does just go to show the impact then of bullying on a person. To erode someone’s confidence to that extent is so cruel. And it probably adds to the cycle. I think one of the greatest things you can give kids is confidence. Not so they’re wee brats that think they’re the bee’s knees. But to do everything possible to let them see how special they are as unique beings. To build them up. And to help them understand that that is true for everyone. They need to have that understanding so they don’t grow into people without confidence or into bullies who abuse others.
        I’m glad you were there for her. x

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      7. Thank you, I have been terrified at times in my life, I used to self harm like so many of use, I found putting staples in my thighs did it for me, I have seen people with scars on their wrists and I know the look and they know it right back at me. I wish I could still work with the children, but I get so tired and in so much pain its so difficult, but at the end of the day when its all done and dusted I know that I have made a difference to some because I have a letter or two and I hope that others have listened and learnt and will live a fruitful life. That is all we can do as good adults. Life is hard but life is what you make it. 🙂 Thank you for listening you and your advice has helped me and I hope others also xx

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      8. Oh Pete, there is so much hurt from before. To release that on your own body in such a way is devastating. And to know another’s hurt and recognise each the other is beyond normal understanding. Those hurt crying in a higher pitch that another comprehends. You have been formed by this no doubt of it. And a better man because of your compassion and ability to empathise with others. You have made a difference for sure. Both in your life. And in your sharing here. Thank you. Blessings. And hugs.x

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      9. This is really the first time I have shared it in full to anyone, I have allowed little bits out now and then, the marks on my thighs only show in the summer when I get a tan and I tell people its a sun rash, there is damage to the pigments so it really does look like a rash.
        Its people like you who are amazing, I would have not told my story if you had not wrote your piece. Its amazing how I hid in the pages of the net, yet it was a post on the net that allowed me to tell my story and I hope it has helped others to free themselves of the burden of bullies. Life is such a complex thing and full of surprises and so are people. Thank you. 🙂 xx

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      10. It’s been a privilege, Pete, to witness your honesty and hear your story. I too hope that some of this may help now or in the future. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope there is catharsis from having done so. Hugs.x

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  5. This is a hard issue. No one should have to endure bullying. In my experience, the worst bullies are the ones who feel sorry for themselves: they never have enough, get enough respect, and they are constantly angry as a result. The bullies always end up blaming the victims. Or their own families. Maybe it all come down to a lack of self-awareness. A bully just can’t understand that their own behavior and choices are to blame. If you stand up for yourself, you don’t usually stay a target, because bullies don’t like to be pushed back. On the other hand, sometimes the bully is a psycho who can’t stand being challenged, and then the bullying worsens. No solving a problem that has existed since people first started writing down histories and stories. Great poem, though!

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    1. It is a really difficult subject. Instilling confidence and understanding would go a long way. But, as you say, if the bully’s a psycho, whole other story. Unfortunately, there are people who just seem to get ff on ridiculing and hurting others.
      We’ll just have to keep on with the awareness and doing what we can.
      Glad you liked the poem. :)x

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  6. This one made me cry. Those of us who know either physical or emotional abuse or both can’t help but identify with what you so aptly put into words. May your words bless and heal as they are passed around. Natalie 🙂

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