A visual of Friendship

Hello y’all! Its fall! Clemson is 6-0. Back with my girls again! Also, been #ridingthegratefultrain. Yes, I am counting my blessings instead of singing the blues so to speak. Negativity is no fun and nor is someone who is chronically negative. Its a toxic thing. However, positivity is what keeps the fun going. Laughter is the best medicine! Aint nuttin stealing my joy! If you sit down, take one thing to be grateful for each day, it makes a huge difference!

Okay Elizabeth, what are you up to now?

I have been reading some books on friendship this fall. Also, collecting blog and article pieces discussing it. So, bit by bit I am a getting my info in a row so to speak. This topic is so important and so underappreciated. Well, except with the tween set. To them, this is their life. As adults, we can learn to value it too. I do not mean House Wives of anything either. Gosh, talk of toxic! NEXT!

One thing we need to remember. In these relationships, not everyone will not be on the same level in your life. We have our BFF’s, our friends, aquaintaces. people we once knew, family friends etc. Then, we have been people we are aware of and who are also aware of us. No, they are not friends. They just know we exist. THEN, we have people we do not even know. I want to give you a visual picture here on how to view these things. As survivors, we missed a lot. We missed learning these healthy boundaries for sure! Stay with me and let me give you a visual on how to see these things. This has been a blessing for me and has helped me keep these things straight.

First off, you have come to the door to a gymnasium. You are not able to open the door yet can see inside. For me, this is people I do not know or never met. These consist of strangers walking down a street, some Twitter and Facebook followers. I see them at a distance at a mall. You get the idea.

school gym doors shut

This is what I am speaking of above. When we see strangers, we see the outside. Their hair, face, eyes etc. The door is locked and that means the person does not know anything about me. Sure, they can see inside my eyes if they look closely. However, cannot get in.

Next, we are opening the door. Once we open it, we are at a small foyer. As you can see, this is before getting on an escalator.  This area is people I have just met, followers on Facebook and Twitter.  Or, people I may be in a class with at some point. Or, ladies from bible study that I may see and say hello to. I know their names but that is it. Or, people with mutual friends. The difference from the above description is I know these people exist. I know their name and little about them. I have spoken to them a handful of times if that.  They are not riding the elevator or even stepping onto it. I do not take my problems to them. They do not know my secrets or my heart for that matter. I really have no opinion of them.

landing before wall

The next illustration is people going up and down the escalator. This consists of about 95% percent of the people I know or have known. These are friends that have not become like family. People who have been in my life whether it be a reason or season. Aquaintances from my past and present. Someone I use to go out with or crush on and are on good terms with. People I went to school, church or worked with. We had lost touch but reconnected whether it be online or offline. People I have helped through the years. Ladies in my bible study. People from church. The Anti-bullying community, colleagues past and present. Other adults who survived this peer abuse. Friends from all over the world. They are on social media with me. Notice the escalator goes up and down. That is because roles in these people can change at some point. Some have changed. Some have reconnected. Whatever the case, this is where they are. Also, my survivor support system is on there. However, they are at the tip off getting off of the escalator. That is because they are support in all of this. They are more than riding up and down the escalator.

landing before getting on escalatorlanding when getting off of escalator

As you see, they are on the escalator without really getting off. Its good to have people like this in your life. They are there when you need help. I may have shared confidences with them at some point. We have had serious discussions. They are aware of happenings in my life. We have worked and played together. Those I have worked on projects with. Or, those who are in my bible study class and we have become friends. People I pray with. They know my family and happenings there.  These are God ordained people. This means new friends. They have my cell number, email address and know where I live.  I have helped them out at some point. You more than get the idea….

Now, I am moving on past the elevator. Do you see in the photo above on the right side? It is the area after getting off of the escalator. Now, these are people who have been in my life for a very long time. I am talking since childhood from school. Or, family friends who have become like family. Also, family itself. These are friends who have been constants for so long that they are FAMILY! Of course, family too. They know my cell number, email address and where I live. They are on speed dial. These are people I can call in the middle of the night in a crisis. Those I call when mom goes to the hospital. Those I would trust to look after my mother. These are lifetime people. They may not live near me but are highly valued. Or, they do live near me. We have spent many holidays together.

After that landing, a cliff will drop off. People are off of the landing yet have not completely fallen. These are people who have been in my life and have been toxic for me. Those who abused or took advantage. Old boyfriends where things ended badly. The peer abusers and their crews. These are people I cannot allow back into my life. My own health comes first and their presence has stressed me or sickened me. Some people can let abusers run in and out all the time. I am not one of them and took a long time to learn this. They are blocked on social media. They do not know where to find me. However, they are forgiven. I hold no ill will or grudge. I love them and am commanded to do so. However, it does not mean I like them. We are not commanded to like everyone. Also, I highly doubt GOD wants us bringing people into our lives that we know are bad for us. Here is the illustration.

dropping off

So, who is next? Well……..there is one (well actually three) who are in all of these places. The only one that has been able to do every bit of this in my life. One dwells within me. One saved me from jumping off any cliffs and took my burdens to the cross. One created me in HIS image. This is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Alpha and Omega. The beginning and end. The one who has full control of my life. The one who picks my friends and colleagues in life. The one who brings me through anything I attempt or do. Nobody else is even getting close to where this person is in my life.  So, do not even try it.

the trinity

Whew! That was a mouthful! Are we done yet?

Yes, I am done! Yippee! I just wanted to help others out there to see how to keep (or as some would say micromanage) people in ones life. For me, this is the safest I can do. It helps me keep others in perspective. We cannot let others just run in and out and keeps us off balance. We need to maintain balance. I hope this helped someone out there. Have a good week! Enjoy the fall! Be YOU!



Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Heads Up!

Hello! I am here briefly as I wanted to leave a bit of information here. Please know that anything posted on here is my work. This means that I own this and if anyone wishes to use it, please credit me accordingly. As you see, I have a couple of posts on here where I used the work of someone else. However, I credited them accordingly. This is their work not mine. I just used it to show how it can help those of us who are adults and coping with childhood peer abuse from our peer group. I see far too much of this happen online. Also, its a pet peeve of mine.  I am normally a nice, pleasant person who is drama free. However, if I catch anyone doing this…..well, I may not be so nice. Soooo…….with that I bid you adeau for now…..enjoy the end of summer. Hallelujiah we are almost done with it! Bring on fall! Most importantly, be you!

Oh there is more…..

Also, I am slooowly learning how to add photos and videos to these posts. Right now, I am in the figuring out stage. So, please be patient with me as I tackle this task. I am just not that technologically sophisticated.



Elizabeth :)


Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The world is not all that!

Wow! How time sure flies when having fun! We are into September now. Since I last wrote, I had a birthday, school started and Clemson football starts this weekend. I am already on the phone about problems cropping up at schools concerning this abuse. Hey, I give my abusers credit. They gave me at least a month before going full throttle on me. Well, maybe three weeks. I wish we could just learn to treat others as we wish they would treat us.

So, let’s move forward shall we?

I found this blog piece on Twitter over the summer. The piece I am referring to is a blog piece by a woman named Glennon Melton. She is the one who is from a website called Momastery.  One day someone tweeted one of her blog pieces. It came down my feed and it was awesome. I had to save it because I knew what was in it would benefit this population. It was refreshing to see words on a website that I have tried to verbalize for a very long time. As a survivor, I have had so many of these thoughts that she shared. From what I can gather, this is someone who is in recovery from addiction. She lived with some demons of her own. These are some survivors have had to live with. Depression and anxiety we have known for a long time. Many of us have known addictions and struggled there. Instead of feeding into these problems, she sees them as superpowers! She uses these to her advantage and to help others. I got to give this girl some props. She wants to make things better out there. My faith teaches that we are in this world but  we are not of this world. We are to be lights in this world. However, should we still do our part to help make the world a better place? Of course we should! We can hide behind our beliefs or we can step out of our comfort zones and do something. In my own work, I get in and have to deal with the world. I want to make it better. Peer abuse (bullying) is a world wide problem. I have helped people on every continent on this planet. There is no escaping it wherever we go. Now, is Glennon an adult who survived childhood peer abuse? That is a question I am not able to answer. I do not know this woman in person and can count the number of tweets on one hand that I have shared with her. I do know she has an understanding of what this world is really about. That part is obvious in what she writes.

How can she help if she may not be a survivor?

I know….we tend to believe that unless you have lived something you really have no clue as to understanding it. Yes, I get that and I follow that when it comes to peer abuse. However, we have common problems. Depression, anxiety and addiction are also demons we struggle with. She has a strong handle on mental illness. How we can become more accepting and learn to coexist without unnecessary struggles.

There are many survivors who are wired to be sensitive individuals. I know because I am one of them! We develop these problems and feel we have to live up to certain beliefs and expectations. Sensitivity is not valued in our culture nor is mental illness. We have to keep quiet and hide this side of ourselves so we do not ruffle feathers. We know from experience that this gets us into trouble. Once it is out we become vulnerable. It annoys others and makes them uncomfortable. Now we must stay quiet so they can remain comfortable. I know, we have learned our ways of coping just to stay afloat. We are always wrong and they are right. We learned this at a very early age.

Why are we always wrong?

Newsflash! We are not always wrong. Listen, we are all created to be individuals. No two people are exactly alike. Not even identical twins. It just is not possible for this to happen. However, according to the world, we must conform and we must be a certain way. Now how can something be right if it is impossible to even achieve? We were always taught by the world we were wrong. However, we are not. In my own healing, I had to learn this. I found myself always trying to people please and make others happy. It never worked and never will. I had to learn to be myself. I was made to be sensitive so I will be sensitive.

The world needs to get a grip. It needs to stop making unreasonable demands on us. It is wrong of the world to set these standards. Stop trying to keep quiet so others can remain comfortable. This world is full of all kinds of people. We all have rights. There are some people who are so thick skinned they cannot see where someone who is sensitive can bring calm to their storm. We need compassion and love. As humans, we try and deny so many of these needs. When we do not have these needs, we hurt inside. I love to hug people. Not only do the endorphins this brings help my depression. I hug because I am a person and I need love from another person. As a sensitive person it is important for me to hug others. Not everyone has this strong need but I do. I am going to do what I can to get my needs met. If I have to bug someone to hug me I will.

How can this tie into friendship? Well, it is possible. Let me see if I can help you here.

Acceptance. When we make a friend, we accept all of them and that is the good and bad. Instead of dwelling on how they annoy us, why not try and see how they bring joy to us? Find something in them that drew you to them in the first place. Love them as they are.

Changing. Stop trying to change them! You are fighting a losing battle. I had a friend at one time try to change everything about me. Anything I did was wrong and needed to be fixed. The reasoning behind it was I would not fit in. Or, nobody would accept me if I did not do this and that. You know what? She was wrong and they were wrong and the world is wrong. I am not about to conform to anything someone thinks I should conform to. You should not have to either. These people are toxic and you deserve and can do better.

Compromise. No two people are alike. No two people will see things the same way. Yes, we have people that have common interests. However, it does not mean harmony will prevail 100% of the time. We need to learn to share. You will not believe how many adults do not know how to do this. Many will manipulate you into giving into them 100% of the time. Try it next time you decide to hang out with someone. If they want to go out to eat, go out to eat. However, they should do something you would like the next time you get together. Friendships are like any other relationship. There is a lot of give and take involved.

Heal. It takes a long time to get to the point of seeing things as I have stated above. The first step is getting out of that comfort zone. Try one of your friends on compromise and see what happens. Look at the good in your friend. Dwell on that. What have they done lately that has made you happy? Have they shared something valuable with you? As you heal, you will start seeing these things in a more realistic manner.

The world is wrong. No, you are not wrong. If you are anxious then you are anxious. I do not mean have full on panic attacks because you can and want to make someone mad. I mean if you have full on panic attacks that is how you are. If you take meds for these then it shows you are doing something about it. Some people have diabetes. Others have cancer or leukemia. Do we tell them to get over it? No! Nobody should tell anyone to get over any pain in their lives. THEY need to get over it. The world caters to these abusers. They try to manipulate, control and live by those standards. To them, you must also live by those standards. Follow the laws (or right ones) given but do not follow the laws the people of the world imposes on you. We grew up with their demands and we failed at meeting them. It got us abused as children by them. As adults, we have rights and have a right to have rights. Be yourself! It’s hard and takes a lot of work to get to this point. However, it can be done. Healing is a long process. I know everyone is at different places in their healing. Or, some have not even began to heal. Despite any of that, put some of these on your goal lists. Or, bucket lists if you wish to do so. A person can heal. I am living proof of it.

Thank you to Momastery for your insightful thoughts that you have shared online. If interested in learning more, visit Glennon Melton’s website. Also, follow @momastery on Twitter.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spot on! Go Annie!

Hello again! Wow, August is almost here and that means many things. One thing is for sure and that is that I cannot wait for Clemson football to hit my radar again!

Recently, I attended a Google Plus Hangout with a colleague Annie Fox. I have been familiar with her work for a while now. She created the Cruel’s Not Cool Campaign. Also,  has delved into the nature of friendships in females. She shared valuable information  concerning how friendships follow us throughout life.

It was an awesome hangout experience! Really!

One thing I believe survivors struggle with is friendships. Now, everyone has a different story and even though some of us did eventually marry, not all of us did. I know many who did not. It had nothing to do with sexual preference. A lot had to do with learning appropriate social skills so we could grow into the next phase of our lives. If you look at relationship development in a person, you see they start out knowing their parents and family first. By the time they enter school, they begin forming friendships that they choose themselves. As they enter the teen years, they notice the opposite sex. Plus, they enter the workforce. At this point, they learn to develop relationships that are romantic in nature. Also, work related relationships they do not have in their personal lives. As young adults they marry, have careers and children. By this point, they should know how to develop different relations in their lives. They are friends, colleagues, parents, spouses, siblings aunts, uncles, cousins and the list goes on. If someone has not learned healthy relational skills during developmental years, makes going to the next level hard.

According to Ms. Fox, friendships in girls are vital. Sure, boys value their relationships just as much. However, for girls, it has an affect on their social development. During these crucial years, girls develop intimate relations with their friends. Subconciously, what girls are doing here is looking for potential mates in their lives. They learns desires and turn offs in a mate. Also, girls learn how to nurture during these years. If this is not learned in a healthy manner, it affects the girl. She could wind up in bad marriages, seek dysfunctional mates, or avoid it altogether. I look back and see a lot of it in my own life.

Praise GOD for healing! It can happen…

Friendships among girls is like walking a tightrope. One slip and the relationships crumble. During the adolescent years, there are physical and mental changes. As everyone is changing, relationships change faster than they started. Two girls will become best friends and form a thick bond. If another girl enters the equation, it upsets the balance. Suddenly, the tightrope shakes. For a girl, this is like holding on to a life preserver. Eventually, it will sink and the relationship goes down with it. If one of best friends starts to change and move towards the interloper, it can be because the other girl and her needs are changing. However, with survivors, they held on to bad friendships (or that life preserver) for dear life. Settling for anything was the way to cope. They feared so much lonliness and exposure.  They will do anything they can to hang on to that friend. These friends usually treat them badly I know, I did this. I never allowed myself to grow and change because my own thought patterns were so dysfunctional. Those I developed were skewed. It took 14 years to relearn them.

Another green eyed monster is popularity. For girls, popularity is a hot commodity. If a girl is considered popular, she carries a lot of social power. She may enjoy this but also deals with a lot of jealousy and backstabbing behavior in her circle. I have dealt with girls who were popular and they felt vulnerable and violated. This circle of friends is very competitive. They tear one another down so they can fight to stay on top. They do not always know if someone is really their friend or not. So, as you see, survivors can come in all packages. Popularity is what everyone wants or thinks they want. At the end of the day, it is just as destructive as any others social dysfunction out there. Girls today will go online, see how many “likes” they have on Facebook. Or, go on Twitter and see how many tweets she has that are favored. If she does not reach so many of these, she may fear going to school the next day. She is scared her popularity is in danger. It is not a healthy way to grow up. We must start taking social abuse seriously!

Listen, popularity is not what it is cracked up to be…….

As survivors missed out on learning what is healthy and not, they bring to their relationships much dysfunction. One thing I see in girls and in women is their need to belong or have someone as a friend. They will do anything they can to get in their circle. If they see that potential friend with another potential friend, it is devastating. I do a lot of observing and see this online as well as offline. Social media feeds into a lot of this as well. I will save that blog piece for another day.

Ms. Fox left suggestions in dealing with this. I am leaving this for both parents and adult survivors. For survivors, this will be much harder to tackle. However, with baby steps, its possible.

  • If you see two people together, look around and see if anyone else is around. Most people will have room in their hearts for several friends. Learn to branch out and get to know others. Just discern what is healthy and not.
  • Empathy: Parents, listen to your children. Survivors, find someone safe if possible to share these feelings with. Someone who does have empathy and has love in their hearts. Survivors heard of a lot of negative reactions growing up. As a result, they will struggle with this. You have to keep searching for that person to help. Jesus became my anchor here. This is one who never lets me fall off that life preserver.
  • If you keep knocking on a door that will not open, stop knocking on it. It took me a very long time to learn this. However, moving on can be the most refreshing thing out of this. Not all adults are socially sensitive.
  • Social skills: Please seek some behavior modification or cognitive therapy here. In some cases, you will have to go back and relearn things. It is essential to get in a contained environment away from external variables. You will be doing a lot of desensitization here. As I have a background in psychology, I was able to tackle this myself and with GOD. I had to get into a completely different environment and use the internet to tackle these things full on. It was hard, it nearly killed me but by the grace of GOD I got through it. If a child is currently experiencing abuse, please do not think twice. Get them into therapy as soon as possible.
  • Get unplugged. We are so dependent on technology now. As we have cell phones, we can get access to all sorts of social outlets. Kindles help us feed into this as well. Sometimes, it is nice to do it the old fashioned way. Take time away and just spend it with others. Go out to dinner, see a movie or whatever is out there to enjoy. I lived without all of these distractions for almost 30 years. I am no worse for wear.

As survivors, our healing is at different places. Our thoughts are skewed. We have developed problems due to the abuse. I know I missed out on a lot. There is hope! We can heal! If children are currently dealing with this, do what you can to ensure they are growing up healthy. As you see, their future is on the line. A fine tight rope line and do not want them clinging to life preservers.

Thank you Annie Fox for your insightful interview and valuable information!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Clique Summer Series

Hello everyone! Welp, summer is almost over and the kids will be headed back to school. Usually, I have more free time in the summer as I do not have many seeking help or needing a speaker. Things calm down some here. Life is a bit slower. I should be happy.

I am so ready for fall! I want my life back! I want to see my sista’s from the same mista! I want my Clemson football! Thanksgiving is my favorite day! HURRRY!!!!!!!!

As I am aware that school is starting in a few weeks, I wanted to share a blog I created in 2010. It was a summer project I did on the tween book series The Clique by Lisi Harrison. These were a series of books written for tween and teen girls in the 00’s. They revolved around a Queen Bee named Massie and her four faithful followers. I did not write about the whole series, just the books that had everyone build Massie up and made her the monster she became. In the last book, I showed how she was dethroned and blamed everyone around her for creating what she became. I still do. If you keep giving someone a lot of social power or even power, they will start believing they are so special and start treating others terribly. Then once they fall, they become just as traumatized as those around that they themselves traumatized. My goal was not to insult Lisi Harrison or her work. Quite the opposite; I wanted people to see that through these books, Ms. Harrison had a clear understanding of these social dynamics in these situations. What is sad though is she got the inspiration for these books from the people she worked with at one point. No, not any children but adults who behaved as badly as children do socially. As adults we should know better but I see it all the time.

Will we ever grow up?

I did this series because I wanted people to see for themselves the things I talk about with friendships in girls. Through these books I was able to share the building up of a queen and how those around her do it whether it be intentional or not on their part. The adults who allowed it to happen by not holding accountability. The peers who feared and acted as they did so they would not be abused. The bystanders who desired to be part of this group of abuse. The dysfunction these relationships bring. The poison everyone experiences. The psychological problems that developed as a result of this. Sometimes, just saying and speaking on it is not enough. People need to actually walk through and see or read for themselves.

I know many adults who survived this childhood peer abuse have horrible memories of situations such as this. Some survivors have come from being part of cliques such as this. Others desired to get in but got abused out. Then there are those who were disgusted by them and stayed away. As a result, they got abused for other reasons. There are some who were kicked out by the queen and experienced abuse. Every story is unique and no two people live identical lives or see things the same way. I just know that as adults, they struggle with these sort of things. I admit for a long time I did. I am learning now healthy social skills and am doing it a step at a time and a day at a time. Finally, I believe off the internet, I am learning to love others and be accepted for me. I have learned healthy social dynamics and situations. It has been a blessing. A lot of prayers and healing but it was done. It was the internet that did help me start healing. It was worth it!

Thank you Jesus!

So, without further adieu, here is a link to The Clique Summer Series! Its long but worth the read. If anything, learn from this. I made suggestions to parents and adults. No, not to tell them how to raise children or run their lives. I did it so it would help them see these things and learn what to do with their own children in these situations. Again, here is the link.

Have a good week! Be well! Be Blessed! Be YOU!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Hey y’all! Happy almost 4th of July! I hope your summer is going good. Are you taking any vacays? What about staycays? Despite that I hope you are living it up! Fall will be here soon! YAY!

So…..I have needed to get started on this blog and am just getting around to it. Things keep me busy and as they say…….busy  is good! Mucho Bueno! Yes, we are going to talk friendship since hardly, if anyone, talks this stuff. There is so much crazy out there now that it can be hard to know who is your friend and who is not.

Sad and a bit disturbing, huh? Well, lets talk it up here on the blog here!

Sometimes, when doing something new, getting icebreakers is a tall order. After all, we are talking to strangers on here. We are also talking depressing things. Overwhelming things.

Let’s change that….

Lets get started. I am going to list 20 questions. They are simple questions and can be used to help in learning about others. I use to get these a lot in email as I am sure you as well. SO………grab your seatbelt and hang on tight, lol.

Lets do this!

What is your name (Feel free to use a moniker. I certainly understand if you wish to): Peer Abuse, Elizabeth Bennett

What is your favorite color( s): Purple, pink and blue.

Favorite food (s): Spaghetti……baked is the best

Favorite TV show (s): I don’t watch TV. Nothing but insanity on there now.

Favorite Movie (s): Girl Interrupted, Ann of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, Grease

Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper

Summer, fall, winter or spring? Fall

Favorite subject(S): Psychology, English

What do you do in your free time? Read, write, play cards, swim, sleep, thrift shopping, biking, anything psychological (type watching people watching).  Vintage shopping.

What are your strengths: Adaptability, sensitivity, accepting, helping others, full of faith , hope and love. Also, diplomatic, strong, can see another persons point of view (empathetic). Trustworthy, loyal. LOVE to help others (lets face facts. I am a helpaholic).

What are your weaknesses: Stubborness, moodiness, loathe cell phones, vulnerability, do not trust easily, not the most sociable person. Tend to avoid talking about things that are needed to be talked about. Tend to be anxious…..tend to keep things bottled up only to have them find their way out at some point.

The beach, lake, desert or mountains? The beach!

Do you come to decisions easily? Nope!

Leader or follower: Both…either role works.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? I wish I could be sociable and not fear getting to know people. I know I am hard to get to know..

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook

If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? To stop all peer abuse, my mama would be well and my friend would be free from prison.

Favorite music genre: Late 60’s to early 70’s, R & B, contemporary Christian, jazz (Michael Buble especially).

Have you ever been in the media? If so, what? Newspaper, TV, movies, social media, radio. All having to do with bullying/peer abuse.

Have you ever googled yourself? Yes

Anything else? I hope this blog blossoms this summer and we can learn things about being good friends or learn to be good friends to others. :)

Thanks for coming over! Feel free to post or just lurk! Have a good day. :)

PS: A lot has happened in the news over the past several months. This has been nationally and even in my home state. Please, unless it pertains to friendship lets try to avoid these topics. I know we have lost many friends based on opinions we have. So, that is painful enough. Feel free to talk about how losing the friend made you feel but please keep the drama/politics of it all off of here, k? Thank you!







Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Now Lets Really Get Started!

Hidy ho! Yes, still on sabbatical and still trying to move into social media and reconnect on here. I want to let you know that I will start allowing comments in the next post and from here on out. I wanted these first few posts to give you an idea of what will be done here. I wanted to give you a new beginning but also share how all of this came into existence. Also, some of what I have learned so I can share with you. Friendship is a relationship yet one that is very underappreciated. We focus so much on family (as we should) and romance. We need to allow friends to count too. As survivors, we struggle with this as adults. We missed so much! So, lets try and see if we can get some healthier ideas on the subject. I will post other stuff that is newsworthy. However, this is something we need to really take a look at.

Thanks for reading…..



Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Now Lets Really Get Started!

Friendship: How Survivors Can Deal

Hello again! I know I am blogging (quite a lot) in 24 hours. This is what happens when on a sabbatical. You discover places you probably have not been in a very long time.

As I mentioned before, this site is for adults who survived this abuse. It is a place for all to be accepted. Despite any differences people should be treated decently. There is far too much nasty out there and I am not adding to it.

Who needs it anyway?

One thing I hear from survivors is that they struggle with friendship and acceptance. Yes, all of our experiences are different. We all came out of this differently. Some of us fear leaving the house it is so bad. Others?? They came out unscathed. Sadly, some became abusive themselves. Psychology is a subjective beast after all.

I know this has been something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. When one goes through this, it can be hard to learn healthy social skills and social awareness for that matter. You miss out on a lot! You find ways to cope that are not always healthy. You develop problems that stay with you for life. However, you can also relearn these things with time and patience.

It’s scary territory! Even in my 40’s it can be scary! Anxiety develops and it can be crippling. The punch in the stomach feeling is the worst. The nervousness around people you desire to know better. However, we need each other. That is something I have heard over the past nine months more than I have in my lifetime.

Here are some things I have learned about friendship. A few do’s and don’ts. Lets list them.

The Do’s

  • Get to know someone that you can learn from that does not insist you are like them. A friend will love you regardless. Sure, it helps to pick those who are similar to us. They are our safety nets. The ones who “get” us. However, do you want to grow? Go outside the box and get to know those who are different.
  • A good compromiser: In all relationships, we give as much as we take. We do not always get our way or what we want from others. If you find someone who does know how to compromise, you are probably going to learn to give as much as you get. Its worth it at the end of the day.  Its healthy to do this in relationships.  You like to call people and your friend does not? Let them call you and you FB or text to them in reply. On the same note, if they call take time to listen. If you text or inbox them, they should do the same for you. There are so many ways to communicate now. We all have our preferences. Not everyone will have the same as you.
  • Encouragers: Friends should not tear one another down. They should be our greatest cheerleaders. They do not try to change you. They accept and love you! At the same time, they call you on the carpet when you screw up…its because they care! I have a friend I made online during my healing. We both have clinical depression. When I screw up, she will call me on it. I need that! We all do!
  • Honesty: A friend should be honest. No, not the brutal stuff that leaves you in tears but someone who will tell you what you need to hear. People need to hear things sometimes. You don’t want someone to drown so to speak. If they ask for your opinion, give it but in a tactful manner. Enough with the brutality….that’s just abusive! Next!
  • Space: We all need our space. Sometimes we need to take time to regroup and recharge. A friend will respect your space and time. You do not need to call them daily or go everywhere with them. We all have our boundaries and friends need to learn that. If someone does not want to share an aspect of their life with you, respect that. People come into our lives for various reasons. Friends will understand and respect them. Also, some of us need contact more than others. Its okay…..just agree to meet halfway in how often you wish to hang out or just chat.
  • Needs: One friend will not meet all of our needs. We should not expect them to do so. This is why having a variety of friends is important. Sure, we have our lifelong friends. I have a handful of those. They have known me in person and for many years. I am talking middle, high and college schools. Developmental years! I knew them in different seasons and to this day have stayed on this journey with me.  However, I have made room in my heart for new people too. We have to do this in order for us to grow ourselves. Don’t shut or limit yourself. At the same time, do not put everything on one person and expect them to carry it for you. Its not fair and no growth happens. Discern those you meet. Do not give your heart to just anyone. Not everyone has your best interests at heart.
  • Communication: Yes, we are all busy. However, find time to stay in touch. This is why I like Facebook so much. It gives me opportunity to keep up with all friends plus family. I know they are as busy as I am and but getting inbox messages, cute pictures or just a quick hello mean a lot .I know they are there regardless.
  • Common Interests: This always helps. What are things you enjoy? Do you have the same faith? Even though this is important, it does not always have to be this way. Allow yourself to know someone who is different. We can learn a lot from each other. At the same time, it is refreshing to find others who read or go to parks as I enjoy doing.
  • Trust: Most importantly, we have to trust our friends. Will they keep our secrets? Will they come through for us? Will they insist that we allow toxic people into our lives? Do we trust them with our lives? A true friend will respect all of this. They will help us when down and celebrate the good times.

The Don’ts

  • Someone who tries to get you to know too quickly. Friendships take time to grow and develop. These days with our face paced schedules, it can take longer for these things to happen. If you meet someone one day and they are calling you bestie within a week, you may want to rethink getting to know them. People who do this are likely to end the relationship as quickly as it began. This makes me very uncomfortable…..someone getting close too fast!
  • Clingy: Yes, we can get needy at times. Its human nature and we are wired for socializing. We need each other. However, you do not want to be clingy or allow others to cling to you. Its a draining feeling. Allow yourself to become aware of your needs and see if others are seeking the same in return. Or, if they can fill those needs. As I mentioned earlier,  we all need space. You cannot save people…..you cannot carry them…..
  • Trigger words: If someone uses these particular words be very careful. Phrases such as “fit in”, “in crowd”, “elitist” or those who shut others out, are not careful words or actions. If you struggle to become part of a group like this, you will just about have to sell your soul to get in. These are people who want you to conform and be like they are. Trust me, you can do better. A healthy person will have enough room for you in their hearts regardless. I have learned this hard lesson several times in my life. Its that need to belong and be accepted. We just need to be careful……..very careful……
  • Isolation: If someone want to isolate you or seems to do this, please get out as fast as possible. They tend to have two things on the mind: Control and power. You do not need this stress in life. When I lived in California, I made a friend who lived in the same building I did. At first it was refreshing to have someone so close. However, she started to get clingy and would call up to five times a day. Then, at least twice a day knock on my door. It was affecting my work and space. She did not understand the concept of compromise or boundaries. I had to move on, it was too much. She was trying to listen through the door while I was on the phone helping people. I came thisclose to getting a restraining order. After a period of time, it started getting abusive. The emails were full of drama and I had to back off. Enough was enough……
  • Conflict: This is normal in any relationship. Nobody agrees 100% of the time. Its unrealistic to think otherwise. There will be tension and drama. Toes may unintentionally get stepped on from time to time. However, once upset, do they come to you and let you know how you made them feel or do you take your frustrations elsewhere? If you go elsewhere, nothing will get resolved. The problem will fester inside and become a sore spot. Please, if in the midst of conflict, please go to the person who upset you. If you don’t, you are going to get maybe 1/8th of what really happened. You will develop misconceptions about the other person. Its not worth it and you could miss out on getting to know a genuinely good person.
  • Trust: This is by far the most important element in any relationship. If you share a part of your heart with others, you expect them to keep it where it belongs: in the vault. I know when we see mutual friends we ask about others and share superficial bits and pieces on how they are. However, you share a secret you expect that other person to keep it. If you cannot trust someone, how can you expect to have a meaningful relationship with them? Do they talk badly about their other friends to you? If so, chances are they are doing the same about you. It gets toxic getting together and just nitpicking on someone. Yes, we will bug each other but do we need to take it elsewhere? What is it proving?
  • Constant Criticism: If a friend is constantly criticizing us, be careful. Constructive criticism is healthy. The stuff that makes you feel horrible inside is not. Trust me I know………

In my own healing, these are things I have learned. We must handle one another carefully. Nobody is perfect and we seek different wants and needs from other people. Please also know there is no right or wrong to any of this. I can list pros and cons but I know one person will not fill all do’s and do nots. We just have to be cautious as to who we accept and let inside. If our spiritual gift is discernment then this is a great time to put it to use. Listen to your instincts! As a survivor myself, I always wanted to be accepted and be part of something. This was because I was rejected so much in life. However, I learned through many trials and errors what to and not to do.  It is different for everyone…..I can only share what I know….

I have a handful of friends who have been in my life for most if not all of my life. Let me talk about them for a few minutes.:

One friend I had made in the 6th grade. It turns out that our mothers grew up together and their families were good friends. We are a third generation of friendship between the two families. My greatest comfort here is my friend has been a constant in my life since I was 11. We had history. We grew up together. I spent late childhood, puberty, adolescence, young and middle adulthood with her as a friend. We went through different storms at different times in life.  We had periods of separation. However, I know I can pick up a phone, inbox a message and its like we can pick up where we left off. I learned history more than anything from this friend. Someone who grew with me. Saw me at my best and worst. I am blessed to call her friend.

Another I made a couple of years after that. She and her sister were a package deal at the time. They were both older than I was. They lived around the street from me at their older brothers house. For a long time we had lost touch. However, we reconnected on Facebook back in 09. Despite time and experiences, I still value this friend. For starters, they accepted me despite being younger than them. When people are in those developmental years, age differences are obviousAs adults, not so much. Most importantly, when I was being abused by my peers she and her sister never believed rumors or added to the problem. I valued it then and value it now. I will always be there for her. I learned from her that not everyone will follow the pack. People will make up their own minds and give people a fair shake. Today, this is something I value in others. I told her the other day that the next time she came to town, we needed to go on a bike ride….we did these as kids back in the 80’s.

Another lifelong friend I made was in high school. This is one friend I have known since I was 17 and have never lost contact with her. The longest I have gone without talking to her all of these years has been three months. She has always been there for me and visa versa. Things I learned from her were loyalty and consistency. To this day, I feel as if she is a sister and would feel lost without her. I remember my final year of high school. We wrote over 50 pages in each others yearbook that year. Everyone was saying how we were ruining these and would regret this as we got older. Ya know what? I loved it then and love it now. So many memories shared in there. I can go back in that yearbook, read these things and remember how we were then and how we are now. We think outside the box and beat to our own drums. Regrets? No way! My favorite yearbook is the one we wrote so much in.

My fourth friendship I value is one I made in college. This friend and I met during my early 20’s and she is older than me. Yes, a baby boomer and knows my thoughts completely on that. We were both psychology majors at school. We were in different places in life. I was growing out of adolescence and into adulthood when we met. (Remember, the brain does not completely develop in full form until a person turns 25.) She was in her 30’s and had a family. After we graduated, we stayed in touch. Through the years we had our share of conflict and troubles. She is highly independent and dares to be herself in our nutty world. These are things I learned from her. Conflict is okay and being yourself is the best way to be. Again, things I have learned to value.

I have had others friends in my life. People have come and gone throughout the seasons and years. However, these are the ones who stuck around despite my own dysfunction and I look back and see how they played important roles in my life. How they helped form my value system during the years of growth. They are also sisters in Christ. So I know I will spend eternity with them. Sadly, I struggled with the many others and made many mistakes. Many I tried to get to know and got rejected. I have rejected only three friends in my life. Several who were abusive in the past I chose not to reconnect with. Its that wisdom to know the difference thing.  I am learning where to find people who are healthy and stay away from toxic. Those I rejected as an adult were toxic. Those who I already knew were toxic I cut out of my life. Who needs it?

Anyhoo, to you ladies above….I am blessed to know you all. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today. You are all pure awesomesauce!

This is long I know. If you read this far I commend you. I wanted other survivors to know there is hope. There are probably people who impacted you as these have me. Not everyone was a beast. Think back to those early years. Any positive there? Also, I hope these suggestions help you. I can only speak through experience here. Shutting up now….




Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Friendship: How Survivors Can Deal

Peer Abuse: How It All Started…

Lets face facts…..there is a beginning for everyone and everything. We all have them and they come in all shapes and sizes. I had one 20 years ago when I found out about peer abuse and the direction my life was to take after completing graduate school. A real revelation here and one that changed the course of my life in a profound way.

My future looked bright and I didn’t have to wear shades! So, sit back and read with me…

A heads up….GOD will be discussed further down in this post. If this is offensive to you please move on…thank you!

Wow! This March was the 20th year I have been working on this peer abuse problem! I will never forget it. Let me start at the beginning though. In 1993, I was a grad student at Clemson University. One evening I went to the library to look up some articles for a class. One paper I happen to stumble across was from Kansas. In the paper, I saw an article saying “What is Peer Abuse?” It was like a force was hitting me in the stomach. I breathed in and out a few times and thought “I have GOT to copy this article! Oh.My.Gosh!” Now I know it was GOD telling me something but at the time my walk with HIM was not nearly as strong as it is now. I did copy the article and saved it. That article moved with me downtown in 1995 across from First Baptist on East Main Street in Spartanburg, S.C. One afternoon I was going through some things and I stumbled across it again. I started churning inside…GOD was telling me….YOU NEED TO DO THIS! So, I took the article, went to library to find the newspaper it was in and got the name and FAX number. This was before internet, cell phones etc. Also, the name of the woman who wrote it. I went down the street to Kinko’s and filled one of the fax forms. I let her know who I was and about the article I had found two years prior. I left my name, land number and land address. Well, it turned out she was still working at that same paper. The fax went through without a glitch. Next, I walked across the street to Baskin Robbins feeling so peaceful inside. I went in and ordered a hot fudge sundae. I sat down and had no idea what would happen. Would the article get lost? Would the lady even remember it? I had no idea what would happen. Well, that Saturday, I got a phone call around noon. This was before caller ID so I figured it was someone I knew. When I answered the phone, I had no idea who the caller was. She said she was SuEllen Fried calling from Kansas. She explained that the author of the article passed along my contact information to her. She was writing a book on this peer abuse problem and asked if I wanted to contribute.

Contribute? Me? Really? For reals?

Well, to a 26 year old grad student who had the self-esteem of a piece of dirt, I was taken back. Who in grad school participates in writing one of the first books in history on a subject? I had gotten the name of a professor in New Hampshire from her that took an interest in the subject. Plus, there were only three others in this nation who had been taking on this problem. I was number five after I spoke to her. I did not participate in the book as the time was not right.  For the next three years, I formulated theories and did some research on my own. I was in the workplace in the time and still very ill mentally and emotionally. In 2000, I had become ill physically. It took me a year to get myself together.

Getting myself together I did!

In 2001, I built my own website with my theories and other things on it.  In 2002, I started writing my book based on those theories. Also, on my own experiences. The information at that time was very slim on the subject. I started a quarterly newsletter showing people where this was happening. By the time I retired the newsletter, in 2009, I had over 500 subscribers. The newsletter was what had me sharing this secret I had kept for so long.  In 2006, my book went live and one of the first Anti-bullying Laws in America was created. Yes, in South Carolina and let me tell you, they do not take kindly to change around here. It took four years to get that passed! Around this time, others had started coming over to the field. I met different people from all over the world. I had moved across country to California where I did a LOT of healing. I came back to South Carolina to care for mom and still work on this in 2009. I saw the field growing and growing. By 2010, it had picked up more people. I was speaking and training around the country on this. I started using social media for this in 2005 when blogs were created. I also started to focus on the adults who survived this. I still do and am still collecting data for us. Yes, we are a population and exist. I have found more love from these folks than anyone else in the field.  I did social media until maybe 2013. The LORD had told me that I had done a great job and that I needed to let HIM take over from then on out. Work on HIS time table. Let go of the Twitter, Facebook etc. Well, after that, I did just that. Until now….and I have to go back. Hey, I am not the boss here…..I just roll……

Lets move along now……..

In 2013 until the present, I still work on this. I help people over the phone. I help people on social media. I have trained all over the nation. I have used Skype and other resources to help. I have spoken to publications as far as the U.K. The LORD has moved me into some new research. It deals with this peer abuse problem but also deals with some things going on in the world by a handful of individuals who happen to be wealthy, famous and dangerous. In time, I will share this info. The timing is not right. In these 20 years, I cannot believe how much I have grown and done in all of this. The people I have met. Those I have helped. From the old lady on the corner to a Emmy Award winning  actress (that confidentiality thing, cannot spill the beans…so don’t ask who!). The places I have been, the things I have seen. The contacts, colleagues and friendships developed. The siblings in Christ I have gotten to know. The growth in Christ I have experienced! WOW! So, the anniversary came and went. I cannot believe the 20 years  in this! I continue to stay on this ride. I have no intention in getting off of the anti-bully bus or whatever.  Over the years, people have been telling me I needed to “own” this Pioneer title. It let folks know where I had staked my claim in the field so to speak. So….I started calling myself Pioneer for this reason. However, it kept making me feel funny using that name. So, I removed it…..I do have it mentioned when I write about this stuff but it’s GOD who gets the glory, not me!

I mean that sincerely!

So, I will now close as I know this is long. These years have been of growth, healing, facing demons, recovering, learning, developing, accepting and finally getting that peace last spring that I had been seeking since I was a small child. A clean bill of mental health. The skewed perceptions, the demons and distorted thinking, dysfunctional coping skills and mechanisms….buh-bye! Now…..if I can get this physical stuff done!  My body goes straight to the hit up spots as it is so conditioned to go to these places in different situations. The ride has been fun. The laughter, tears……everything! Thanks each and all of you for being on this ride with me……the bus will not stop as long as I am on it. Here is to 20 years!!!!! WHOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Peer Abuse: How It All Started…

Spammers: A Polite Request

You know…..its a real drain to go online, check email and find a zillion messages about needing to approve posts on here for publication. A lot of them come from spammers. I get stuff from someone selling shoes to eating broccoli at a low price. Or, someone selling a country where I can set up a nice house, build a pool, live off of the land for ever and ever. All at a reasonable rate! Or, someone is looking for love and needing to hook up. It is endless. It is annoying. It needs to STOP!

If you are someone trying to sell, rent, give or just trying to post to be posting and it is not remotely in response to a post, I will be as diplomatic as I can and ask you nicely to move on.  I don’t want to date a monkey, sail the latest Love Boat cruise or even purchase a bag of broccoli if I sacrifice a kidney. That is NOT the purpose of this site. I am sure you can find takers elsewhere. So please……..no posting, pinging, blinging or anything elseing here okay?

I would greatly appreciate it. Have a blessed day!

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Spammers: A Polite Request