Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. Today, I am going to speak to the topic of bullying. As I have shared many times on Second Chance to Live, my brain injury occurred in 1967 when I was 10 years old. Because my external wounds healed, the impact from the injury to my brain went “underground” so to say. Subsequently, the affects of the damage to my brain was invisible. Although the damage was invisible, the impact and effects of my brain injury set me up to be “different”.
In my family I grew up believing that I was the reason for the difficulties that occurred in the family dynamics. My belief, not only left me feeling like a failure at home – not good enough – but also led me to believe that I was not good enough in grade school, junior high school and high school. My belief led me to be picked on, blamed, shamed and ridiculed both at home and in grade school, junior high and high school. My belief led me to believe that I deserved to be bullied, picked on and ridiculed both at home and in grade school, junior high and high school.
My belief system led me to believe that there must be some thing wrong with me – as my Dad would tell me repeatedly – “Why can’t you get along with anyone.” My belief system led me to constantly say, “I am sorry”. Because I lived my life believing that I deserved to be bullied, I felt helpless over being bullied.
In the 9th grade my Mom enrolled both my brother and myself in a Judo school. Although I did not train beyond obtaining my yellow belt in judo, I learned some valuable lessons. I could take care of myself through increasing my skills as a martial artist. During my high school years, I had several occasions where I needed to defend myself against physical bullying. I am not advocating physical retaliation, however when bullies realize that we are not going to lay down, they will move on. That has been my experience. Once I stood up to the bullies, they backed down.
I am not suggesting that everyone enroll in a martial arts school or a boxing academy. What I am suggesting is that you find ways to build your self-confidence. My experience has proven that although I may be different, my confidence conveys — to would be bullies — that I am not an easy “mark”. My experience has also proven that bullies are insecure and afraid themselves. With my understanding, I have learned that I can show compassion to bullies, with out being intimidated by those individuals. With my experience, I have learned that I can walk away.
Please read Part 2 of this article by clicking here.
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