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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blessings,

Elizabeth

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