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I left a comment on a post +Chris Pirillo wrote on bullying and the comment I wrote is sticking in my mind - so I wrote about it on my own site. +Chris Brogan also wrote a great article the other day that added to my thoughts on the subject (https://plus.google.com/118320665823821681206/posts/j7MYgtdj1Zx).

Anyhow, I wanted to share the link for anyone that might be interested in seeing how a person who was horribly bullied as a kid turned out 25 years later...
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Thank you for sharing your story. It's both courageous to do so, and helpful for others to hear it and have this important discussion.
 
I wish I could say that this strikes close to home because I was bullied. Unfortunately, it's the opposite. It strikes me because I was the bully. Not a physical one, a verbal one.

I did it for acceptance, to be cooler, because I saw the cool kids make fun of people and be considered cool. The cool kids were the ones that knew how to make fun of people in a way that even the victims found funny, and stop when it got too personal, but I never knew when to stop. The whole reason I started was to hide my social awkwardness, and I just highlighted it by taking things too far and hurting people. I was a complete dick for so much of my life for the sake of acceptance, and now I just kind of hide from people so I don't make them uncomfortable, because I know I can't read people, can't see when to stop.

I can never atone for any of it and I hope that the people I knew back then have forgiven me, because I sure haven't, and I probably never will.
 
Wow thanks for writing that. I know exactly why one particular girl bullied me as a kid - and the reasons are similar. In hindsight, was there anything or anyone you think could have turned you around sooner? I'm genuinely interested in hearing...
 
today’s bully can use the Internet and social channels as a weapon, where I only had to deal with bullies when I physically saw them.

No denying this, although in my experience the internet can also be a place to find support and realize you're not alone in dealing with your problems. It can be difficult, though, for a teen to weed out or ignore the bad stuff and find a place online where you feel "safe", making the net a two edge sword.

It's interesting reading above the comment of one who bullied. Reading the original post, I wondered, "What about the bullies? What happened to them? Did they change or try to find a way to atone?"

(edited for italic fix)
 
+Lynette Young I don't know. A lot of the underlying problems that led to the bullying issues, I'm still dealing with, so I don't have a very balanced platform from which to wisely condemn past me. If I could say anything to him, actually, it would be, "Don't ever hurt anyone on purpose, no matter what. You'll do enough damage by accident."
 
I happen to be able to see a few of the people that bullied me as a kid on the BookFace (through mutual friends/connections and their lack of understanding of security settings) and they are just as idiotic now as back then (being nasty to others and posting tons of mean, vulgar, racist and bigoted content). Karma may not bite them back in the ass, but I sure as heck know I'm not a bad or bitter person, so to me that's what matters.
 
Bullying is so rampant in schools today. This is what traditional educators call "socialization." This along with drugs, gangs, fights, promiscuity, clicks, greed, selfishness, hatred, etc. It is the "socialization" our kids our getting in schools today. It is also one of the primary reasons we homeschool our kids. We want them to be properly socialized. The argument that kids need go to an actual school to learn to deal with this type of behavior just doesn't hold water. They don't learn to "deal" with this behavior. Instead they learn to exhibit this type of behavior. People, particularly impressionable kids, and even more so kids under peer pressure, are most likely to adapt to their surroundings unless they are mentally and emotionally strong. That strength doesn't come from the schools. It comes from the home, the family, responsible parenting, role models, good examples, etc. Teen suicide is through the roof and when you get beat down enough, physically and emotionally, there is no "learning to deal" with this behavior. Kids begin to lose it. Kids often kill themselves or kill others. Or they have the scars for a very long time and never really learn how to adapt to the real world. That is the socialization schools bring today. A tragedy no matter how you look at it.
 
Hi Lynette, this is amazing that you shared this. We cannot ever know what goes on inside someone. I commend you for opening your heart and for sharing your personal story for others to learn from. There's a tremendous amount of focus on addressing bullying of children but I think there needs to be some attention on the effects of bullying on adults as you've pointed out. Perhaps forming a local support group in the area for parents, where you can meet others offline who have experienced similar situations and who would truly understand. Maybe this could eventually lead to the types of friendships you mention. Let me know if I can help with such an initiative or help put out the word to our NJ contingent as a call to action.
 
I am really moved by your post, thank you for writing it. I kind of floated from one group to the next in middleschool and highschool, always uncomfortable, trying to prove myself to whatever crowd. I used humor to get by and never rocked the boat with anyone. I was lucky to never had experienced the hell you did. I have to say though, 18 years later, I still have a hard time letting that inner voice off the leash. It is released with passion and gusto and sometimes a little too snarky which can be a bit hurtful.

When I met you and the other ladies at Podcamp, I was amazed at the aura of knowledge, poise and the confidence which you all seems to wear, so it is all the more surprising that you went through all of that. Keep believing in yourself and your motives, you have much to give and are absolutely worth getting to know.
 
Thanks +Hannah Tighe - Podcamps and anything related to this weird online space is where I feel most comfortable. I sort of know my sh*t so I feel comfortable. ;)
 
Thanks +Lynette Young for talking about your personal and very private history. I#m in touch with this theme at schools and learn a lot from your post. :-)
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