Interesting. Only a few readers responded when I opened the door to share instances of witnessing or experiencing bullying. (My heartfelt thanks for those of you who did.) Sadly, I suspect that a few things may be true, because they are most certainly true for me:
1.) Being a victim of a bully is a humiliation that people don’t want others to know about. (Perhaps that is why stories don’t come out until the suicide notes are left behind.)
2.) Being a victim of a bully makes your smart in this way: bullies like nothing better than to see you in pain. It’s like blood to a vampire, and they just go after you even more. So if you think that your bully is still out there, you are scared to death that they will find out you’ve squealed on them, and that they will find a way to finish you off–whether it’s emotionally, financially, or mortally.
Personally, I think that as a culture, we have totally misunderstood bullying. Instead, we tend to want to isolate and punish the bully. Furthermore, we really don’t have anything helpful to say to the victims or their families. In other words, I think that the general populace has neither a clue nor a care about how to stem the tide of bullying. I sincerely hope that I am wrong. It scares me–quite a lot, actually–to see what I perceive as a kind bully-politics taking over. It’s almost as though the powerful cultures of people who have created so much emotional pain are now marching up to the polls and claiming victories.
So, I don’t know. I think that I’ve hit a wall. At least for today.