Overcoming the Lasting Effects of Bullying.

I’ve been doing some research on the long-term effects of bullying. This is a subject the I have obsessed about for years. You see, I was the subject of bullying for years. As long as I can remember, I’ve lived with the fear of being singled out and persecuted for reasons I had no control over. I was an early “bloomer”. I started developing in the fourth grade. Add in blonde hair, blue eyes, and a shy demeanor, you have a girl walking around with a big bullseye on her back. It was toward the end of sixth grade when I started noticing boys “noticing” me. Asking me to dance at the school dance was the extent of it, but that’s when the rumors started. This shy girl who felt like Cinderella at the ball when a popular guy asked her to dance had no idea what was about to happen. That the next three years would be a living nightmare. For whatever reason, I was labeled a slut and a tease. Really? I was extremely immature sexually at that time. Basically had NO idea what was going on with myself let alone anyone else, and to be labeled like that was heartbreaking. I was threatened on a daily basis. Riding the bus was a nightmare. One instance that I can remember, I was sitting in the front of the bus and three or four girls were behind me. The insults ranged from my shaggy hair, my old clothes, to my perfume. I just kept my head down, each word a dagger in my heart when a crumple piece of paper fell into my lap. It was a photo I’d given to a relative. They had drawn and wrote derogatory comments all over it. As they got off the bus laughing one turned and said “Just wait until you get into High School. We’ll be waiting for you.” I would walk down the grocery store aisle, they would follow whispering all the things that they were going to do. I only had one friend this entire time and even she chose to cave into the bullying and betray me. See, it was easier to do that than be bullied herself. By the end of the eighth grade, I was petrified. I made myself sick trying to figure out what to do. I finally convinced my mother to let me change schools. It was the only solution I could come up with. Since the school was just in the next town, I still had to deal with some “stuff” but it was minimal. But the damage was done. I never really had a best friend again. I kept to myself and tried to blend into the crowd as much as I could. I never wanted to speak up in class and became frozen in fear if called on. When  I started hearing about all the focus that bullying was getting, I began to wonder what the long-term effects would be. I found several wonderful articles that help explain the repercussion of BEING bullied.

“Defining Bullying Down” is a NYTimes article written by Emil Bazelon. In it she states “Bullying is a particular form of harmful aggression, linked to real psychological damage, both short and long-term.” She also states in it that adults need to become more educated in the different types of bullying so they can be supportive.

“10 Indications That Your Child is Being Bullied” by Anna Fleet is an eye-opening look at what bullying really looks like. ( I had 5 of the 10)

Bullying Statistics.org has various articles on different types of bullying and the lasting effects. I particularly liked the one on female bullying.

The Huffington Post article “Long-term effects of Bullying Pain Lasts into Adulthood.” by Stephanie Pappas

One of the most informative articles I found was at the American Academy of Traumatic Stress. “Long-term Effects of Bullying.” by Mark Domburg Ph.D. Dr. Domburg states that “Bullying is an attempt to instill fear and self loathing. Being the repetitive target of bullying damages your ability to view yourself as a desirable, capable, effective individual.” He also states that ” Identity is a social process. Other people contribute to it.”

Wow.. I never realized the things that I am experiencing now could have stemmed from hurtful events so long ago. Funny thing is, there are still certain people from my past who still hold grudges. They still say hurtful things if I am mentioned in conversation, even 30+ years later!! Funny, I wonder if they even remember why they started hating me so much? Maybe they can enlighten me since I never knew why in the first place.

A story in keeping cool under pressure…

..i.e. trying to think logically before you pee your pants..Yeah..no kidding. So here’s the thing. I have had the entire day to myself. Beautiful start, right? 😉 Such a rare occurrence that I have been making the most of it. I got several small projects done that have been nagging me for EVER!! I even took pictures to blog about a few later on. Go ME!! Lol..Anyway, the night was winding done and I decided to treat myself to a Sonic diet cherry limeade…YUM So I got home, put the feet up and started watching a campy horror movie (another guilty pleasure) Of course, the pup picks this time to do her potty dance. SIGH.. I get up, lock the back door, go out the front to let her out and as the door is closing I realize C@#P!!! The door is locked. And my phone is sitting next to my empty cup. Double SIGH… So as the pup lays down to watch, I start trying to figure out which doorknob I’m going to break. Of course this is a rental, so I have to be careful. I finally grab a screwdriver and decide to have a closer look at the window frames. Right about this time I realize I have to pee, in a MAJOR way. That 32 oz yummy drink decided to hit the bladder. Surprise, surprise. So the situation has become a little more desperate. I notice 2 tiny screws in the frame and figure “what the hey…can’t hurt” so I take them out. I need to add a little back story here. When we moved in, I found out that every window was stuck, as in, would not budge, as in, I actually separated metal from glass trying to open them. So they stayed closed until this morning…. I got the idea to have the hubs help me figure out why they wouldn’t open before he left. We figured out someone had screwed the frames into the windows. O_o Really????? Anyway, he and I fixed them before he left. Fast forward 12 hours, I am standing in front of the first window, pushing against it, mad cause the hub’s latched it after he fixed it. Then I went to the second one…. bladder throbbing, dog looking at me like I’ve COMPLETELY lost my mind, thinking what a long walk in the dark it would be to my Mother’s house. I took the screws out of this one and pushed..It squeaked!! Ahhhhhh….I pushed harder and praise GOD it opened!!!!! I crawled through the window, hoping the neighbors weren’t watching, and it took everything I had not to kiss the ground! I quickly closed the window and shutters, and let the dog in. *Sigh* Not quite the ending I had in mind. But at least I got the go to the bathroom!! The moral of the story is….Stay cool, think things through, and ALWAYS keep a door key hidden outside!! Lol..

It’s Almost Here!!!!

Sort of, anyway…Lol  I’m talking about the Fall season. DECORATING season, that is 😉 My family and I love decorating for the Fall-Christmas seasons. We are always on the lookout for new decor ideas. This being said, I came across this idea in one of the many wonderful posts I follow. (Sorry I don’t remember which one, but you are all WONDERFUL!) I added a few “me” touches and voila…. Spooky Floating Ghost!

I started off with an old white, gauze bathing suit cover up.

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Then I strategically shredded the bottom and sleeves.

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Upon doing this, I noticed that it was not nearly long enough for what I wanted. So off to Michael’s to find some white material. All I could find was felt :-/ and since I am NOT blessed with tons of patience, I went ahead and used it. I will probably change it out at some time for a lighter fabric but it will do for now.

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I also used a “fright” mask. You know, the creepy blank face mask that gives kids nightmares.. and backed the eyeholes with black felt.

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Next I used a white trash bag, filled the top with smaller plastic bags, and tied off to make a ghost form to place behind the mask. I also shredded the bottom of the garbage bag. Then, I hot glued the bag to the mask.

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I cut a hole in the middle of the felt, and placed it over the head. Then I glued the hood of the bathing suit cover,along with the felt, to the mask and tied it around the neck to accent this area. Then shredded once again.

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I made a small hole in the back of the neck, made a loop and ran fishing line under the fabric on both arms so when hanging, it seems to be reaching out :-).Then attached a line to the loop so it could hang from the ceiling.

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(It looks much scarier at night. Lol) Will be working on the arms to give them a little more definition, but other than that…She’s done!

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

 

Lil\'Luna

AAM (Autism Awareness Month)

The next post I have planned is for color recognition. You can use this technique with any segmented picture. I had this center activity in “D”s basket for free choice. She became very good at it and so it became a calming activity for her. This would also be a great activity for teaching pre-school aged children their colors! There are ALOT of great websites out there that you can glean adaptable activities from. Here are a few.

DLTK-kids  GREAT site!! Lots of adaptive materials.

Kids Activities Neat site. Activities are divided by grade level.

There are so many free sites out there. Don’t pay for downloads. (Unless you realllly want to… 😉 Just be patient and use your imagination!

 

Enjoy!!

Next post for AAM (Autism Awareness Month)

For the next re-post, I am using a center activity that is for slightly more advanced learners. The center activity is for simple word building. The most important thing I want to stress is don’t be intimidated!! If you are in a mainstream classroom, try to adapt the handouts and work the class is using. It really helps the child feel like apart of classroom activities. It also helps the other children in the classroom relate to the autistic child.

Enjoy!!

 

A Final Beginning??

How many beginnings can a person have? When we “find” ourselves is that the end? I know our lives are ever changing, but should we look to do this, or just allow it to unfold? I personally feel like I’m treading water. My legs are going 100 miles an hour, but I’m not getting anywhere. Our girls have finally left the house, so maybe this is “empty nest” syndrome. While I miss them desperately, I find myself at a standstill. I feel that my life was so wrapped up in my children that, through no fault of their own, I am now at a complete loss as to what to do. I know I have many contributions that would benefit the right situation. I know I’d be a good worker,a good friend. I am just at a loss how to achieve this. So, I have decided to pursue to only untried course left. I am looking into re entry courses to go back to school. I figure that this is something that I can control. I can attend school at my own pace and get my degree. It seems very daunting. Wish me luck…