Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Two Cents on Bullying

I have been watching the news regarding all of the bullying and bad behavior going on these days. Sadly, it's not a new phenomenon.
Why does it have to come to someone committing suicide before people Stop????!



When I was a young girl there was an entire family that went to our school and was bullied unmercifully. 
There were 4 sisters. 
Betty was the oldest. She had long straight black hair and a hook-nose. The kids called her a witch.
Next was Ruth. This poor girl had a huge Port-Wine stain all over her face so you could imagine her pain and what was said to her. Daily.
Christine was the next youngest and she had been in a horrible home accident as a very young girl. Her Mom was cooking and Christine reached up, grabbed the hot pan and the scalding hot grease burnt her face, torso, and arms so bad that she looked like her skin had been pulled into knots and the scars were horrific.
Not only was this family poor but their luck was atrocious!
The youngest was Annie who was my age. 
Seeing these girls climb onto the bus each and everyday and be bullied, harassed, and ridiculed was heart wrenching. 
Back then, 1st Grade and up rode the bus with High School kids. 
Not a good recipe.
No one would sit with them. No one ate lunch with them. No one talked to them.
That was the easy part.
The bad part was watching these poor girls go thru hell and back every day of their school lives.
I remember the worst culprit was a Cheerleader named Butch. 
She had it all! 
Gorgeous looks, personality, perfect hair, perfect teeth, Perfect EVERYTHING! 
The football team loved her, the teachers loved her, the student body loved her. 
Sadly, Butch didn't love Butch and she took all of her life frustrations out on these girls and especially Annie. 
She would stack her locker. Load the books to the front so that when Annie opened the locker her books would all fall out and then Butch and her group of Busted-Up Mean Girls would giggle for hours until they thought up some other horror for the next day or the next hour. 
They put dog poop in her purse, tampons in her lunch bag, would steal her underwear during gym class showers,  
call their house all hours of the night, spread rumors that they were whores, and just plain tormented the living crap out of all of them but her main target was always Annie. 
Butch never did anything to warrant the authorities being called but was always on the edge of going way too far.
I know how difficult all of this was on these poor girls. 
You could see it in their faces.
High School is tough if you're not popular. As we got older, we were  able to influence many to just STOP it but not Butch. 
I swear she saw something in this family of very poor girls that SHE wanted to be and that was a Good Person. 
The bullying continued.

We had our High School Reunion a couple of years back.
Karma bit poor Butch right in her butt. 
She married the Football Captain. They divorced after he was caught molesting young boys and was sent to prison. 
Life had not been good to Butch. 
She gained a TON of weight. Her beautiful long hair was no longer beautiful and her skin looked gray, dull, and broken out. Sadly now her ugly exterior matches her even uglier insides. 
Not one person there felt badly for Butch. 
No one talked to her. 
No one sat with her. 
No one wanted to be around her.
Annie, on the other hand, moved to Chicago right after graduation, got a college degree and went on to Law School and is now a very successful attorney.  
The best part is.. She is absolutely Beautiful inside and out. Happy and successful with a Gorgeous family and loving husband. 
I didn't get to see the initial reaction to Butch seeing Annie again after all those years but I did see as we were leaving, Annie hug her and tell her that if she is ever in Chicago to look her up. 
Forgiveness?
No, I just think Annie knows the power of Good Karma vs Bad Karma.


PS. I thought of Annie and her sisters many times as my kids were growing up and tried to instill in them that ALL of us as humans are different. Some are rich, some poor, some  pretty, some thin, some fat, some unattractive,  some wise, some not so wise, etc. 
That's what makes the world go round. Personally, I love being different than anyone else.
What kind of cookie-cutter place would this world be if we were all ALIKE? Ugh. 
Different does not mean we should criticize, belittle, bully, or mock.
Remember... It's a LOT easier to be Nice to others than it is to be MEAN!
Love Yourself & Each Other ~  


42 comments:

  1. Lana, this was a great post. Thank you for sharing that story.

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  2. I loved the read Lana! You're so magical.

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  3. Great post!!! Brought tears to my eyes. I was bullied in jr. high and it bites the big one. I have tried to instill in my kids what you have said.

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  4. Great post!! And it is sad but true, that people get more and more self centered and selfish..and rude....I deal with many many costumers..most of them are long time steady costumers that visit my store since years and are lovely, but there are always some, where you can tell they are just unhappy with themselves and try to treat others bad , maybe to feel better...working in this business for so many years, we don't let it touch us, but i wonder many many times why people just can't be nice to each other and be more respectful....would make life a lot nicer and easier..

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  5. redicilous how self-centered people can be :(

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  6. Lana! Bravo!!! Great post! I honestly don't understand all the hate going around. But I am happy you shared this story with a happy ending. You are a great person inside AND out. You raised a gorgeous family with morals and compassion. I wish you the best and will share this story with anyone and everyone who will listen. :) XOXO Charlotte

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  7. I was bullied in many different ways throughout my childhood and so the small amount of bullying that I've received on Youtube just rolls right off me now. I guess it's all about perspective. Great Post Lana. Maybe you should do an entire video about this subject. If you could get through to even one person about being kind it would be worth it.

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  8. Great read, Lana! I was also bullied for being too tall, too smart, too developed at an early age, you name it.

    I often feel fortunate to have escaped high school during the internet years. I managed to graduate a few years before everyone & their dog was online. It frightens me to think perhaps my children will some day go through this. And how will I handle it? I honestly don't know.

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  9. @MrsTheDoll~
    I'm glad you let it roll off you now. I have always thought that treating others with respect and kindness will give it right back to you but the internet seems to have bashed that idea. My heart just breaks for all of the poor young people that think that suicide will fix their problems. I know about suicide and all it does is leave everyone behind with questions and a gaping hole that constantly demands answers.
    Love You xo

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  10. @Darlin~
    Aww, I just want to hug you.
    Children will pick on other kids for all the reasons you named above. I did everything I could to teach my boys to never bully or mock. Teach them well and perhaps they can set an example for their peers. Kids learn from their parents. Good and bad behavior.
    It's simply called Compassion for others.
    Raise yours right and they can be a shining light to others.
    Love and Hugs~ xo

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  11. I'm glad you blogged about this Lana. There's no excuse and no reason for it. It's pure hatred and stupidity. The effects bullying can have on people vary and there's no telling how that person is really feeling inside.
    I've been on both sides and am not proud of it. Karma certainly is a bitch - I'm not in the best position now. Once I got to the last couple years of high school though, the tables turned and it was my turn to get bullied. I regret everything I ever said and did and apologised to the people I hurt whether they wanted to hear it or not. It doesn't change anything and definitely didn't leave me guilt free but at least I know I tried my hardest.
    xx

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  12. @ChrissyDee,
    Hey, we all do and say things as young people that we regret later.
    Bottom Line: You've grown up!
    Keep your head up and become the person that you are proud of.
    When my oldest son was a Freshman in High School, he was just starting to drive the teachers and his coaches nuts with his bad behavior. He woke up one day and said to himself "I'm going to do everything I can do today to be "Nice" and avoid all conflicts and treat others with kindness... He said it was like a fork in the road.
    He was shocked at how wonderful his "Nice" day went and used that day as his example of how to live the rest of his High School Days and beyond.
    He went on to become Prom King ALL 4 years of High School!
    We all have forks in the road of life.
    Take the high road and it will pay you back a thousand times. Take the low-road and you will be paying for it the rest of your life!
    You are traveling down the High-Road now and I know you will make yourself proud! I for one am very proud of you.
    Love and Hugs~
    Lana

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  13. There needs to be more "Lana's" in this 'ole world. Thank you for posting this! xoxo Olivia

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  14. I'm so glad things turned out well for Annie! I hope life has been good for her sisters too. Thanks for posting! Bullies suck!

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  15. Girl u had me in tears. i absolutely hate bullying. i detest it. good thinks happen to good people and we should "...ever mind the rule of three, what ye do comes back t thee..." whenther good or bad!

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  16. This is the best story I have read in a while. Thank you for posting it. Hopefully It will help someone.

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  17. Lana that was a very touching post! You are such a great inspiration to many people and that is an AMAZING life lesson! Thank you for posting that and sharing your own personal stories it's a horrible situation that these kids don't feel loved and don't fit in so they choose to take their lives. We are all they have so we must treat them with love and respect, we are all different in our each unique ways.

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  18. I'm impressed over and over again.And I still can't believe how nice you are. I love the idea that there are still nice people on this world.

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  19. Lana this was a wonderful story and heart warming! It goes to show you that life can give you a nasty turn if you do that much harm to someone else!! Great post! Thanks

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  21. Thanks so much for you wonderful post. I too was a victim of being bullied in school. I hated school to the point I would do anything to get out of going. I dropped out at 16 just to get away the from the torment. I have gone back to school after my kids were older and I am now finishing up two degrees..thank goodness :) Anyway, I was so skinny in school and so shy, and the kids just loved using my shyness as a weapon against me. I always taught my girls to never bully any kids...hopefully they listened.

    When I first came on YouTube and started watching the makeup tutorials, I just loved them and all you guys who do them. I thought it would be so much fun to do some tutorials myself. It is so completely out my comfort zone, but I am learning to reach outside my comfort zone and try new things. About that same time, I saw where LisaLisaD1 was going through all the bullying from YouTube viewers. It honestly boggles my mind to think adults have not outgrown that stupid behavior. It is no wonder that kids act the way they do with the example that is being set in front of them by stupid immature parents. I was so annoyed at this, and the fact that it brought back horrible memories for me of the hurt this type of behavior causes, I made a video to Lisa and the others that that have suffered ridicule. I was not a good quality video or anything flashy, as I am new at this. However, I just felt I had to say something. I refuse to be that shy, scared little high school girl that won't take a stand.

    So, I am trying to do some videos and so far not done well...but I will not give up and I will continue to keep trying until I am pleased with what I am doing. I'm sure I will face the same mean comments that most of you have had to deal with... but I don't care. I refuse to back down to a challenge anymore!!

    I know this is lengthy, but I just had to tell you how wonderful I think it is of you to take time to speak on this subject because it touches so many people. If it be past or present, it is a pain that is not easily forgotten. But I agree with the saying...being happy and living well is the best revenge!

    Thanks so much for your videos and blog posts. Love you...you're beautiful inside and out!!
    <3 tj

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  22. Oh Lana I was able to relate to so much in this post .. I've had a physical disability and have to say school was the toughest, but I got through it and now, seeing those girls who were horrible to me now, life has not been as kind to them as it has me and its so telling now in later life! Yes I was different but I embraced that and have and still do have a wonderful happy life and I wouldn't change a thing! I bet those girls cant say the same!! Thanks for this post Lana .. your truly a beautiful person! Oh I subscribe to you on YouTube ... IrishCol1only .. and am so glad I found you here too! :) Lots of love from Ireland! xxxx

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  23. Wow that made me cry. I was like those girls and always bullied. It is sad. Very sad, thanks Lana for writing that,

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  24. I am a huge anti bullying campainger having been bulled all my life at school and by my mother. I am a big girl and can take it but when my son (both children are autistic) was getting bullied it broke my heart. My kids love everyone, don't see bad in anoyone and for them to have to endure what I did was not gonna happen while I was around. We went to the school and complained numerous times and they did nothing. The last straw was when my son hid in a bush at hometime to avoid another kicking, he saw a teacher pass by and ran to him shaking and crying asking for help and was told to go away and come back and see him tomorrow and with that he walked back into school and shut the door! My son ran all the way home and arrived so badly shaking and hyerventalationg it took me 20 minutes to calm him and find out what had happened. We refused to return him to school and said we wanted the education dept to provide a tutor and online lessons he could do at home.We got threatened with fines and court for not sending him to school but I stood my ground. Eventually we had a huge meeting with the school the LEA, truancy dept etc and the Headmaster LIED to cover the teachers back, I was dumbstruck, at one point my son got so upset he had to go out to calm down with my husband and a mediator, while they were outside I showed the SENCO pictures of his bruises and she spent the rest of the meeting looking at her feet. I got what I asked for in the end and my soe gained his first GCSE A* with a distinction just turned 12 and an award from the council. My daughter is hime schooled by us and I will push for the same for her when she is older, I would never send another child to school as I have seen what it can do. My son is still too scared to go into the front garden in case the bullies walk by. xxxJoolsxxx

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  25. @Jools~
    Oh, my heart just broke for those sweet kids. I will never understand such vile behavior.
    One of my very best friends is from the Amish Community and when we discuss bullying, She is at a complete loss. It simply does not happen to them. They don't have electricity, cell phones or drive cars. They live a simple life.
    Now, i would hate that life style but the ways of the world these days are just cruel.
    Hug those sweet kids. Thank God they have YOU!
    Bless You All,
    Love You
    Lana

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  26. Lana great read. This is so true about karma. I believe in that. We get back what we put out into the universe!

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  27. You have a blog award!

    http://chrissydee1011.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-first-blog-award.html

    Chrissy xx

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  28. Right, Lana. You reap what you sow!

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  29. I wasn't really bullied and I can imagine how horrible it must be for a bullied kid. However, in first grade I became seriously ill. My immune system was falling apart so I was not allowed to have visitors in the hospital, except for my parents. My teacher, out of kindness, told the kids in school that I cannot get visitors and a rumor that I am contagious got spread out (which wasn't true...). I had miraculously survived my illness and came back to school about a month later and no one wanted to play with me. Their parents wouldn't allow them. It was horrible. It only lasted a few weeks after my teacher understood what happened and took care of it, but while it lasted it was much worse than any of the pain and hurt I had had while being ill.

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  30. @ Avital~
    How horrible for you. The teacher should have done her homework and researched what your illness was before telling your classmates that you were infectious. Thankfully you got past it. I was never bullied but I know how hurtful and destructive it can be.
    Thank You for this great comment.
    Love and Hugs~
    Lana

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  31. Wow Lana. I have to reitterate what the others said...it was a very moving post.

    Where I grew up was a very affuent city. My mother was divorced after my father left for California never to return and my first day of school my Grandmother asked me how it was. I told her that "a boy spitted on me." It was because I had no parents....that ended up turning me into a very shy little girl.

    After moving back in with my mother it continued and also had my mother doing anything she could to make me an ugly child. Dressing me in the most horrible clothes, cutting my hair crooked on purpose etc..etc...

    Then came High School....suddenly I was still shy, but had more attention from the boys than I wanted. They were always nice which incensed the girls who wanted them not to. I had alot of the things you mentioned happen to me. They labeled me a slut..when I didn't have sex until I was married and in my twenties. They even used to applaud each time I would get off of our bus.

    I am not shy anymore. I have a facebook page where the same girls who did these things added me only to try to flirt with my husband! Some people never grow up...Do they? The best revenge is that I don't look that different from high school even at almost 48.

    What I sincerely believe is that any harm we do to anyone or anything....any hurt that we cause..God makes us feel that when we pass over. Aren't you glad you don't have that many things to answer for? I know I am....just innocent mistakes are enough.

    You're a good person sweetie and your last video really made me smile.

    {{hugs}}
    Dawn

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  32. This almost brought tears to my eyes, but this was a really great story, it's true bullying should stop for good, can't we all just get along... hugs and kisses to you and god bless you, and we need more kind hearted people like you in this world!

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  33. I love your blog posts! You have such a great kind spirit about you!


    Random: Maybe you can show us some of your Christmas decoration ideas!?! :)

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  34. I completely, completely agree with every single thing you said. It is a shame it had to come to people committing suicide before the public really noticed what's been going on. I used to go to Rutgers, the school that Tyler Clementi went to, and everytime I spoke to my friends who still went there they all commented on how deeply his passing had affected the entire campus. It is so sad and bullying really does need to be put to a stop.

    That GOOD GOOD Blog

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  35. I thank you for spotlighting an epidemic on a worldwide crisis. Not only does it effect children, teens...but adults as well. I am a victim of workplace bullying that I've endured for almost six years, and still endure in the workplace. What happens when your boss is friends with the bullies and they place her on a pedestal...nothing happens. My boss knows the hatred these women carry for me...for no reason. This has affected my life and I am a single mother with three daughters' who suffer from the aftermath of the mental strain that plagues me. My oldest daughter has been bullied also, I have a zero tolerance for it everywhere. However, I am her advocate so thankfully with the assistance of the schools each time I addressed an incident. I constantly talk to my girls about this, because it's on the news more often too. I am off on medical and dred going back to work, I emptied my whole cubicle of my personal items just in the event a miracle happened to me and I didn't have to go back there. Having never responded to any of the attacks from the perpetrators...because I am a spiritual person who believes God will handle them, he knows all about it. Also, a believer in KARMA too!! It just saddens me to be the target of women who are my elders, I am 38 and they are in their mid to late 60's. As a child I was taught to respect my elders, and I believed with age comes more wisdom. Well, in my case I am the example they should have been. As I hold onto my faith and know one day vindication will come my way. In closing, I want to thank you once again for sharing this heart wrenching story. Blessings to you!!

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  36. It's amazing to come here and can read this great history! Thanks a lot Lana... I love your blog!

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  37. http://allfizzedup.blogspot.com/

    Just thought you may like to know, i've written a post all about you. (And you've inspired me to learn to walk in heels and care for my skin) xx

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  38. That is a great story Lana. It's a learning lesson for sure. We need to be compassionate to those who have less than us whether it be in the looks department, money, ascertiveness whatever. We are God's children. If I were a parent and my child was doing this to someone I would reprimand them. I was also bullied but I could have torn them limb to limb because I was a shy farm girl. Do they pick on me now? Heck no. I feel I've been made stronger through it so that's one way I could thank those that have bullied me. I love your videos because you don't act rich. Your house is beautiful and I feel you count your blessings. Your'e a good woman.We need more videos!

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  39. Hey Lana!!Thank you for putting up that post about bullying.

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  40. FABULOUS POST! Just stumbled upon you Lana and glad I did! You spoke to the bullying issue beautifully, thank you!

    I have a son in his freshman year of high school. We've always talked about bullying. He was bullied in kindergarten by a kid that ended up becoming a friend. He never had to fight back but he did finally tell the kid, "if you touch me again I'm going to slug you". And he was ready, with my backing, to follow through. I'm not saying this is a perfect solution but it worked for my son. He was ecstatic when he came home . . . he is a gentle soul but he realized that he needed to take a stand for himself. He stood up for other kids as well, mostly girls. I always admired him for taking the risk of being ostracized for standing up for someone more vulnerable.

    My husband and I volunteered as assistants and participants at the high school's 'Challenge Day' event a couple weeks ago. What an incredible day it was for everyone involved. This event brings about awareness of bullying like nothing I could have imagined before attending. Anyone in the community can volunteer, check the website: http://www.challengeday.org/challenge-day-program.php

    all the best to you ~

    I read that you are joining CASA ~ you'll be awesome.

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  41. I'm still here, and even though I haven't been able to post every day, know that not a day goes by that I don't pray for you and Henry. It's really important that you know I am always here for you and and the both of you are in my thoughts many times each day. You are an inspiration to anyone who sees how you are handling the weight of the world and doing it with grace, humor, and especially style! :)

    Okay ladies, lets get those candles lit and prayers said:

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=LI

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