Greetings. This is one of those Threads which I have been meaning to start for a very very long time. Adults and "People with Children" are welcome to Post and/or "Vent", equally. Please feel free to write anything... and if you can, end it with some resolution/positve hindsight/result.
This is a bad Topic, which I am fed up of seeing sidelined or not fully discussed. "Being Bullied At School" is/was also actually a part of the "Diagnostic Criteria" for ASCs! Please share here experiences, and how you did or would have dealt with them. The more shared, I honestly believe, the more is learnt, if this is is discussed openly and without reservation, Thank You.
I shall begin with only a few things. Advice for dealing with Bullies includes "Ignoring them" and "Laughing them away". This advice does not work, as they either give chase, or they think that Bullying is being *enjoyed* by ALL concerned!
Thanks for any replies in advance.
I was badly bullied by another employee in one job. I couldn't deal with her at all and after she verbally attacked me in front of other people one afternoon I finished the shift and never went back. I didn't even realise I was being bullied - i happened to read an article about bullying a few weeks later and realised what had been happening. She was so clever at it, I just thought, because of her constant criticism etc, .that I was useless at my job. I'm afraid I don't have anything positive to end with except to say that I think I would recognize what was going on if it happened again and be more able to stand up for myself.
You almost expect to be bullied at school. Anyone perceived as even slightly different is treated like that by other children. If teachers are competent and nip it in the bud right away, it minimises the damage, but of course that rarely happens. When I was going to school, I was bullied by the teachers on more than one occasion as well. Of course, that made it open season for the other kids to bully me and beat me up, and then when I got home I'd be punished again because of the report that got sent home that I was causing trouble at school. Fun times.....
When one grows up, one expects that having to take that kind of behaviour from other adults is in the past. That is not the case. The damage done by adult bullies is worse than being bullied as a kid, even if violence was involved in the latter case. As someone who has experienced both, I know.
However, I think that being bullied as a kid makes one expect it as an adult, and therefore the victim has no defense against it (not to mention a lack of social skills because of being on the spectrum), so the victim just ignores it until it becomes too much. Then, if the victim stands up for him/herself, everyone else criticises the victim instead of the bully. After all, the bully has some social status and the victim is nobody. That's why that person is the victim in the first place. That is the way some neurotypicals are. They don't even realise that someone else's behaviour is unfair to another person. That is why there are many more bullies per capita among neurotypicals than among people on the spectrum.
As for what to do about it, I have no idea what the solution is. Some people in the States come up with the solution to get a gun and to shoot everyone because they just can't take it anymore, but that's not a very good solution, though I can identify with being driven to that level of frustration and soul-destruction. Other than that, I have no idea, unless someone comes up with a law against workplace bullying in this country (there isn't one), and moreover, such a law is enforced (better than discrimination laws are enforced).The first may happen (it has happened in many other countries), but the second just won't happen, ever, because when it comes down to it, nobody really cares. That's for the really obvious bullying.
But what stops bullies in the workplace from causing subtle emotional damage that adds up over time and ends up slowly destroying someone? Peer pressure, perhaps. If there were individuals in the workplace trained to recognise bullying behaviour, or if everyong were given such training, perhaps bullying and bullies would be seen as they are: an antisocial menace, rather than a popular person worthy of admiration for putting that nasty unpopular person in their place (and wasn't that entertaining and funny when they did that - let's all have a laugh at someone else's expense). Of course, people have to actually care and actually pay attention to the training.
I don't think there is an answer. I have tried everything, except shooting up a place, of course. Nothing works. Nobody cares. Unless someone else stands up for a bully victim, they are going to keep getting bullied.
Hi there, sorry to hear about your experience. The answer is not to be in silenced in any way shape or form. I understand where you are coming from the 'just ignore them' phrases etc. It has no effect whatsoever. Whichever way you look at bullying, cyber-bullying it is wrong on so many levels.
I myself have been bullied before in the past, it was not a pleasant experience. Although, I managed to speak out to someone who I trust. There is little point trying to 'retaliate' as this doesn't immediately solve the problem(s). Also, you have to remember you as an individual has high morals as well as dignity, integrity and respect. It is only vanity that will get the better of you or the 'bully' (in most situations).
Know that you don't have to endure in silence or upset. You are your own person; you do not have to abide by them 'bullies'. You are worth more than that to be treated for less than you deserve. Bullies take advantage of an individual's weakness or vulnerability for granted which is not right. If I could suggest something it would be to stand up for what you believe in without leading to anything confrontational. Bullies prey and take pride on doing so. For some, it makes them feel like a 'top dog' or 'status'.
Saying that, I acknowledge this may seem frightening or overwhelming. It might be worth sharing with a few friends or people you are close to. Not so, you have 'backup' but that you aren't on your own or to prove a point in numbers. It is to show you have support and if necessary you will take the next action.
I'm not sure whether I was targetted by bullies for being on the Spectrum since my schooldays were in the 1970's & I was only diagnosed last year. I have always been pretty much a pacifist & regarded bullies as little more than savages. I might not have fought back physically, but I warned them that they would be punished afterward as I would report them & did so on many occasions.
Unfortunately, this escalated the problem dramatically, as the bullies seemed to think that was cheating somehow. The school I attended had no official bullying policy (it was the 1970s!), so whilst the direct physical attacks decreased, I had to endure five years of indirect warfare on a massive scale as my parents would not allow me to change schools either.
Needless to say this experience warped the rest of my life, causing various mental health problems that have always haunted me. For the last few years I have been suffering quite badly from depression & had many sessions with counsellors & therapists. In retrospect, it seems clear that amongst other things the school caused me to develop PTSD, since even after forty years, I still display many of the associated traits.
With regard to bullying of children, this should always be resolved by the adults responsible for their care in the given context, as it is completely wrong to blame the child. As for the idea that being bullied is part of growing up & somehow 'Develops Character' that I heard a politician claim fairly recently, there simply arent enough words in the English language to describe the ignorance of such views.
Hard to think of a 'Silver Lining' from my school experiences, but at least it made me extremely resistant to bullying attempts in the workplace, as these are usually resolved verbally & I can defend myself quite well in that arena.
Me again... :-)
I write a THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all (four) who have written so far, Fuschia, DragonCat16, Otis, and Pirate Santa. I voted all of you up, even though only 3 are allowed to be shown underneath the "Starter" Post.
This Thread was begun as a "Vent", and for "Venting". I am glad of the replies. As I said, share an experience and add hindsight and/or advice, if possible. I began this Thread because I was truly fed up of seeing it Started, yet then the Starter does not continue it... this is a Common thing: E.G. - "I have a child who is being bullied, help!", and then advice is Posted... and then... that starter Posts nothing after that, ever.
Here is more from myself. It seems to be true that "Bullying" is a thing which has little solution. Even as an Adult, I am still harrassed even by Children no taller than my own arm (!), but I am not allowed to avoid/escape/defend against it. (Hence my UserName.) The main thing I learnt to do is to RUN AWAY, for this surprises any of them and by the time they have figured out what to do... I am too far away for them to do it!
There are other ways to deal with Bullies, no matter what their age. I appreciate suggestions, as per purpose of this Thread.
What always works is to "confuse" them.
If they are Children, I use a long/uncommon word: E.G. "You are nothing but supporting AntiDisEstablishmenTarianism!", or "Go Away, or I shall use my Metronome Attack!"
If they are Adults, I still Run, or I fallback upon my own Knowledge: "Do you know the Neutron Total of the Fluoro-Carbonates which you are about to inflict upon me?"... and while they are figuring out what I said... *then* I run away!
For simple people (???), I turn my back, and watch them out of the corner of an eye. I do not know why this works, but it is as if "Eye Contact" is a very very big TRIGGER. In a way, this supports the "Ignoring" business, but it does not always work.
...This last Post seems like "Waffle", but it is more of what I meant by asking for experiences to be Posted here, Please.
Good Fortune to all who may read.
Running away works great for kids at school. I was a fantastic runner at school and won several running races because of the bullies I was always having to run away from so I wouldn't get beaten up. Since I had been advanced ahead of my age group, I was actually younger and smaller than everyone in my level, so being able to run faster than them was significant.
However, it's not possible to run away from a workplace bully without losing your job or giving up your entire career. Whereas school bullies would at least try to avoid doing their stuff in front of a teacher, workplace bullies tend to engage in public humiliation with complete impunity. It's really bad when one of the bullies is one's direct manager.
I should have mentioned that I also became adept at runnung away, but not until year three of my five years of hell. I was the youngest in my year, so when I started secondary school I was still very much a kid & not that tall. By the start of the third year though, my height genes had finally begun to kick in, so I quickly became the tallest in my class & could easily outrun any of the bullies, as well as hurdle obstacles, or quickly descend staircases without touching most of the stairs.
Sadly I can't run & jump like that any more, as my fast metabolism finally slowed down in my 30s. All that beer & chocolate has caused me to slow down proportionately to my waist size ;-)
Sadly, it's more surprising if someone hasn't been bullied at some point in their lives. The truth is, schools simply aren't prepared to act on bullying in fear of damaging the school's reputation and the bully's future school and life prospects. Another case of sweeping an issue under the carpet. It's fair enough if the school is hesitant to react based on a "he-said-she-said" situation, but even in cases where concrete evidence is given, schools would rather keep the issue under lock and key to preserve their public appearance rather than recognise the issues that children at their school are causing.
I started a few primary school, and just got in fights for years, I made my two friends in my 5th primary school which helped me see that I didn't need to lash out needlessly to get attention, those few years were great, Then came high school, lost the friends i had, and had to start again- the change tipped me. People noticed my insecurity and jumped on it, I dealt with it by getting in fights again (which I'm scarily good at, considering i don't like it.) - I got the attention in high school through this, but wanted more, so started the persona i felt i needed, by being the people i hated, I was horrible to other people (I was a bully). I kept it up for a month, it broke me inside. I hated myself, and other's, I stopped, I couldn't keep it up, it was a lot of effort and with the schools pressure on exams, and the school's headmaster and teachers getting swapped around constantly cs' of ofsted. My little sister started at the same highschool, i stopped fighting and being the bully and made "real" friends.Little sister started getting bullied, and I still held true, and didn't revert back to fighting and being horrible. I used my head instead, outplaying my sisters' bullys with intelligence, seemed to do the job better.After my sister left to be homeschooled as bullying wasn't going away for her, the target seemed to shift to me, who wasn't fighting anymore, and getting really high marks, and came off sort of strange.I passed my GCSE's easily, even with Mental health problems (8 years later, is Stress induced psychosis. Likely cs' of my autism -which is now also diagnosed 7 years later) I didn't want to change my life again, i stayed for 6th form, the bullying kept up till' i left- I had to leave eventually, cs' i was being swapped on different anti psychotics, and kept getting very ill.Left 6th form, took a year to get myself together, I tried College instead, bullied the same day i joined- was horrible, trying to hold back from going into the persona, and beating people up. The frustration to fit in, but not being able to do it, without hating myself and doing stuff i didn't like, wasn't all that great. I left (obviously).This was a year or three ago now, I'm doing - I guess, a hell of a lot better than i was then. My mum always said people would appreciate the kindness and compassion i had, and i didn't need to be some person i wasn't just to fit in. I didn't believe her tbh. I've got people now in my life, who love me, no matter what i say or do- I feel i don't need to put on my persona as much anymore. I only really do it in social situations where i feel really stressed, like an instinct reaction to more than 2 people i don't know.