Icebreakers

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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…..

Blessings,

Elizabeth

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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….

Blessings,

Elizabeth

 

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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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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!

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Starting Over

Hello hello hello! Happy Memorial Day tomorrow! Wow, we owe those in uniform a ton of gratitude for all they have done for us. Some are still fighting for us while others have come home. Sadly, some have passed on and are no longer with us. Tomorrow is their day and we should give it to them! Thanks y’all! We would probably be drowning in a sea of madness beyond the one we are currently in if it were not for you! You rock! For reals!

Well, I am in the midst of a storm now as I type this. This means I am getting some much needed down time right now and letting things kinda level themselves out in my life. This also means regrouping, paying attention to what needs to be done and what is being done. Also, getting breaks from some things and taking on others.  I am in this storm because for the past couple of months, a lot of heavy stuff has happened and my burdens got too heavy. I have this really bad habit of carrying things on my own and keeping them inside. I know its bad to do that but in this insanely busy never ending freak show of a world we are stuck in, it can be hard to find a good ear to hear what we have to say.We are overspent, crazy busy, always on the run and just plain going on adrenaline. Need I say more? On the same note, we are made to be in relationships. We are wired to share our burdens with one another. In other words, we need to find someone to listen and pray with us. We need to stop and just let go. We cannot do this alone……

Enough of me getting personal here, lets move on to the real reason why I posting this….

Anyhoo (I have always liked that word), one of the changes that is going to be made is that I am going to be spending more time blogging again. Yeah, I know…..back in the mid 00’s, I got in the habit of hanging out on social media and making some serious noise.  A lot of noise on every website I could find. Every blog I could post on. I blogged about the problem of peer abuse aka bullying endlessly. I did it for ever and ever. I hit up the hot spots like Facebook, Twitter, Ezine Articles, Linked In and many more! Then…..I stopped.  Cold turkey in my tracks. I listened to my higher power (no, I am not schizophrenic nor do these voices talk to me so don’t go there) in 2013 when I took a bit of a break from social media. Things were more pressing offline and was able to do some work away from all of this media madness. So, I did take a break. A long break…….a nice break…..

Sigh!

Until this weekend. Looks like I gotta get back to basics here. Yes, social media is once again filtering into my awareness.  The season is ripe again. It must be used…..completely. Personally, I was happy just hanging out on Facebook. It makes a nice “I need space from my crazy existence” kind of thing. Talking to family, friends, aquaintances, advocates, and everyone else. I am not one who likes putting photos up but always great to see the kids growing, the dog and cat co-existing, the girls hanging at their favorite haunts and much more! Yet… we must march on….seek more undiscovered territory. Charter through the madness we know as life. Right smack dab on social media. The place where everybody knows your name…..or people want everyone to know their name…..

Oh but wait! I am still doing cool stuff. I am speaking, meeting with lawmakers and trying to help those around me who need it. Peer abuse waits on nobody. Soooo…..I just removed all previous blog posts on here. Its time for new beginnings. Surviving this form of abuse does not end.  Our society is getting meaner and nastier as I type this. People are surviving this and need a place to go. Someone to listen to them. Someone who actually cares. Adults who struggle with this. Folks, these demons do not go away. They fester around and make us sick inside. We cannot allow them to overtake us. We must stop the madness…

That would be me. Yes, I care. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a helpoholoic. My passion for this population never dies. It grows greater by the day. My faith does the same. I hope this blog can be used in a good way. I hope I can decorate it with photos, videos and get all high tech on everyone. I won’t go too crazy! I promise…

So, grab a cup of java, soft drink or whatever it is you prefer and lets hang out on here. I cannot promise perfection but hope to have good discussion from time to time. Yes, I will talk about things like Jesus. Now…..before you go and run off and get all mad at me for being who I am or what I believe…..just know that I will not push, shove or any of that at you. You have free will like I do. We are all different and capable of making our own choices. I cannot make you be Christian anymore than you can make me an atheist. I am not here to judge or condemn you. That is not my job. Part of overcoming this problem is putting these things behind us and learn to stop abusing one another over these differences. Really…..its tiring and not worth the drama. However….it does not mean I am not praying for you. I am sure if you are of another faith you are probably praying for me. I don’t know. What I do know is that a person can heal from these demons and I have to help in the only way I know how at this point. It is what it is.

Thanks for reading and again if you are in the U.S.A. have a great vacay tomorrow! Forgive my spelling errors…..I cannot find the check spelling thingie on here. Oh, the joys of technology…..

Blessings,

Elizabeth Bennett

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Hello Herman the Film

“If we hope to heal the pain, we must first discover the cause” Ancient Proverb

The past week was a busy one in my
world. There was a lot going on off and on the internet.  On Friday, I was privileged to see Michelle Danner’s Hello Herman. This is a movie that leaves quite the impression on a person and something I believe every adult in this nation needs to see.

Hello Herman centers around a 15 year old named   Herman Howards (Garrett Backstrom).  He has suffered great loss in his life. His father walked out on him and his family as a child. A sister is accidently killed and he cannot find his mother as it happens. The mother (Michelle Danner) has to work long hours. If this is not enough, he is abused at school by his peers. He is sad, angry and vulnerable to any human interaction. As he does not have much interaction, he plays video games and has learned from them. If you take all of this and bring it all together, we have someone who is starved for love. This is Herman Howards and he goes to great lengths to be heard.

Lax Morales (Norman Reedus) is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who uncovered white supremacy in the south. His work is online and not in the mainstream media. He does not live up the “standards” of the established journalist. He helps Herman tell his story. Also, deals with his own past.

Herman committed a school shooting with 39 students and three teachers as victims. We see him getting abused by his peers on a regular basis. Two abusers dunk his head in the toilet. Another pretends to be a girl he likes online. This leads to him professing his love for her in a video. It is not the girl behind the screen, but more abusers. The video is shared all over the school. At home, he is lonely as he plays video games all day. He finally snaps and takes a gun to the school. After the
massacre, he is arrested. Eventually, his sentence is death by the electric chair. Lax Morales comes to the prison to get his story for his online show.  Through flashbacks, we learn of what Herman had to deal with in his life. We get to see the apathy in the adults around him. We have a Senator who wants this “crazy kid” to fry in the electric chair. There is an insensitive news anchor (Rob Estes) who talks about what a disturbed kid Herman is. As all of this unfolds around them, people are running around asking why this occurred.  People asked a lot of questions. However, it never registered with them as to why this happened. At the end of the movie, Lax confronts Herman as to why he went to these measures to be heard. Herman says he wanted a few minutes of power. However, the bottom line was he was a human being. A human being nobody would listen to. A human life that was devalued.

This movie was dead on with what I have been saying for years about Peer Abuse.
Adults, you MUST get educated. Adults, you MUST step up. We live in a world of
pleasure and self-centered behavior. No, I am not trying to play judge and jury
here. I am stating what I see on a daily basis. Also, the point this movie was
trying to get across. How can we expect our children to be healthy, well-adjusted individuals if WE cannot even see they are suffering and need help? In the movie, Herman tells Lax that kids do all kinds of things that their parents have no knowledge of. Also, things parents would not even dream their kids would do.  I hear this about kids who are abusive. Their parents will not listen or they deny it. As an expert in peer abuse, I do know that it takes adults to stop this problem. We cannot rely upon kids to stop it on their own.  I will come on Facebook and circulate petitions or other things. Instead of people taking the time to look, they comment on what is for dinner and other insignificant things. Open your eyes adults! Step up! Why must you be so apathetic to what is happening around you? Why won’t you get educated? Why do you not listen? Why are you not listening to the children? Why do you minimize these problems?  Why ? Why? WHY???

Hello Herman is an eye opener. I recommend people to see it. Our kids are killing
themselves and each other. If we want a future, we must deal with the present.

“If we hope to heal the pain, we must first discover the cause” Ancient Proverb

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Adult Survivors Wall of Honor

Adult Survivors of Bullying/Peer Abuse are a very special lot. We lived abuse as children and survived it. As a result, we deserve this honor. Are you an adult who survived childhood Bullying/Peer Abuse? If so, this is the place for you.

Requirements

  • You must have experienced abuse by your peers between the ages of 2-17 years of age.
  • On the wall, only first names will be listed. No last names, stories or anything else. This ensures privacy.
  • This wall is for survivors only. There will be no bullycides, current abuse in school, work or anywhere else done by peers. If a survivor is in the workplace they are allowed but they must have experienced this during childhood. My heart goes out to these others. :(
  • Survivors of child, domestic, sexual, elder, animal or any other form of abuse will not be added. Sorry :(
  • Sibling Abuse survivors are allowed as this was done by peers in the home.
  • School shooters/murderers who are now adults and acted as a result of the abuse will be added. Shooters who committed bullycide will not. If you know of any, please let me know and will add them.

Check out the page:  http://peerabuse.net/adult-survivors-wall-of-honor-3/

If this is you, please email me at adultsurvivorofpeerabuse@gmail.com.

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Brian Kearney guest Q&A with Adult Survivor James McLaughlin

James McLaughlin was bullied throughout Middle and High School, causing him severe anxiety and resulting in low self-esteem and missing hundreds of days of school.

Now, 19 years old and in college majoring in Journalism, James shares his story of courage and forgiveness through his beautiful pieces of writing. He strives to share his story and urges those who are bullied or feel “different” to be themselves, and to remember, it gets better.

James McLaughlin can be followed on Twitter @jimmymac1191. Click here to see his inspiring “It Gets Better” video. Be sure to check out his upcoming features in Out in New Jersey and Smythe Magazine.

Q: What has being a victim of bullying taught you?

A: Well, I do not look at myself as a victim of bullying; I believe that I have been a subject of bullying. With that said, being subjected to much bullying it has not just taught me so many things, but in a way enriched my life. Bullying has taught me to look for where the true problems lay in situations. The true problem was not with me, there is nothing wrong with me. The problem was with those who were offensive to me.  I realized this when I came to terms with the issues with myself, for a long time I was my biggest bully. Once I cleared the air with myself, I realized there is no shame in dealing with other’s harassment. It was a problem they had with themselves, my presence in their lives was simply bringing those issues that they had to the surface. The problem lied with them, I was the normal one, I was the happy one being myself.

Q: What advice would you give those who are being bullied

A: Advice I must give to those who are being bullied would be to not look for acceptance from others. Do not look for acceptance from any clique or any group of friends. The key to stopping bullying from affecting you is to find acceptance with one person… yourself. Once you accept yourself for who you are, the opinions of others become outrageously unimportant. It’s natural to seek the acceptance of your peers, we all want friends, and we all want to be well liked. Yet, when we don’t like ourselves, others will not like us. When I began liking who I was, others began liking me. I didn’t seek out acceptance from others, people began seeking my acceptance and it created a new group of friends, all of whom are each great, accepting individuals.

  Q: Did you do anything that helped you cope with being bullied?

A:  I believe the one thing that helped cope with others’ words would be dreaming. I’d dream of my future and what it would be like. I’d dream of a change that would turn the tables. My dreams never included anyone else’s nightmare, and so when the tables had turned and I had the power, I would forgive those who have done me wrong. I think peerabuse.net is an amazing place for you to visit because you have the opportunity to see into people with similar experiences. See their nightmares, see their dreams, and see their dreams come true and their nightmares die. Seeing this will inspire you to create your own dream for your own future.

Q: If you could have done one thing differently, what would it be?

A: If I could have done something differently, I believe it would not have taken me to the place I am today. Just as I am today thankful for the negative experiences of my past, I am truly content with the choices that I have made. Because LGBT teens have a much higher likelihood of suicide, I am thankful that I am still here. With that, I know there is a large amount of people who wish they could have done something differently. I say this because these are things that cannot be undone. It is like watching a movie that you have seen before and hoping that something you know is going to happen, won’t happen. People cannot be brought back to life, yet there are so many who believe they have nothing left to live for, unlike many; you have life, and this should be reason enough.

 

 

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