Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Different Story

 This is going to be a different blog than I normally do.  I am taking a Social Issues class for my summer session at Ramapo and for our 3rd blog we have to write about today's societies tolerance for people in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and how it has changed from the past. This is what I wrote.

To start off this blog, I would like to tell a personal story about one of my best friends.  In high school she dated a boy all four years.  They seemed happy, but only her close friends knew the truth that she was not, and there was something missing or wrong. When she got to college, she was finally able to express her true feelings, which were not for boys.  I remember the first time she said something to me she said, “one of my friends feels a certain way about another girl and she doesn’t know what to do,” and so on.  I had a feeling from the beginning that she was talking about herself but was scared of what my reaction would be if she came out and said it was her.  Well, the next day she told me it was in fact her in the story. I grew up in a house that does not judge people and I told her that no matter who she chooses to be attracted to she is still the same person I became friends with.  I told her I would support her until the end.  However, other people in her life were not so supportive.  There were many nights when she would be talking to me and she was so upset she didn’t even want to live anymore.  I assured her that she could get through it and that she was strong and I would be there even if no one else was.  The biggest non-supporter was and still is her mom.  Her mom is very religious and told her that she needed to be straight and would say, “what am I supposed to tell our family and friends?!”  She was slowly breaking my friend down.  Out of everyone, all she wanted was the approval of her mother. Now, it is three years since she has come out and her mother has still not approved of her lifestyle, but she has now gotten to the point where she doesn’t care and she is going to live her life how she wants to live it and no one is going to get in her way. 
      Today’s society strives on how educational people are and how far we have come since the past, yet so many people are not as educated as they think.  For some reason, so many individuals are scared of being around the people that are gay.  They actually fear them.  Why? These people are the same as anyone who is straight.  The only difference is the people they choose to be in relationships with.  The fact that people are still so na├»ve to the realization of being gay is just sick and disturbing and shameful and THEY need to be educated.  This topic and every social issue, I believe goes back to not understanding a certain lifestyle or tradition.  When you don’t understand, you judge.  The people who sit there and say, just go to therapy you will be straight, you are going through a phase, are ignorant and they will be the ones who are unhappy in the end because no one can get through life by being ignorant and uneducated; at least not in today’s society.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm backkk!

So, I am back! I decided to re-launch this blog and share some more stories.  One girl really inspired me and has actually done some YouTube videos and had an article written about her.  She struggled with her weight at an early age and did something about it and she really inspires me and I hope she inspires you too!

Here are the links to the videos!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Story 4: Back-stabbers and Fear.

I know it has been awhile, I apologize for that, but this is the second story to go along with humiliation at a young age and a vulnerable time in life.  This story came from a girl who I know personally and it really broke my heart when I read it.  She was not only made fun of, but she was tormented and became traumatized because of it.  Here is her story,

        "I've been pregnant twice in my life once my fault, and once out of my control. Once at the age of thirteen & once when I was in high school. The first pregnancy is what started my bullying. I had a best friend who lived next door to me, we met when I was 8, her 9 and became inseparable. She entered high school and I was still in 8th grade. She made new friends, girls who were scene/emo/hardcore girls from our town, who introduced her to girls from another town. This girl was my bff, knew my passwords to what was then my Myspace, my email, my aim, my everything. Her & her friends began to torture me about "peeing out a fetus" which never occurred obviously. The girl and her new friends hacked my myspace and email, changing all my passwords so I could never change it back. Made my Myspace page layout about me being a fat pig, and pictures of actual fetuses. They changed my pictures, my "about me" and everything to talk about my fatness, or fetus, or anything else they could think of. They would stand outside my house when they were chillin at my friends next door, they would stand outside screaming for me to "get my fat ass out here". 
      Because of them, I had people from all surrounding towns hounding and harassing me. Months of private phone calls and voice-mails on my phone, nasty mean voicemails. I was afraid to leave my room, let alone my house. I was traumatized, mostly because it was someone who was my best friend for so long and she turned on me so quickly. Those girls spent months torturing me and years talking about it with others, its something that has made me a better person but has left a scar. They would threaten to find me wherever I was, come to my friends houses, or kill me. They ruined my life for those few months, they'll never know or understand the true trauma they caused me, even from the beginning when it was just calling me names over the phone or through texts or myspacecomments/messages."

She then wrote to me saying, " I hope this helps you & other girls, I should have gone to the police like my mother wanted, I was afraid I would get jumped."

This is a horrible thing that happened to her and I just sit here and ask myself why would someone ever turn into such a bully like that.  One reason, peer pressure.  The other girls probably knew how close the girl and the bullied girl were and used that to their advantage.  
But, like she told me, she should have done something about it and if this or something like this is happening to someone you know or yourself, you need to get help.  Do not let something continue that can be stopped by one phone call.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Story 3: Camp Humiliation

The next two stories I will be writing about deal with very serious types of bullying.  I will write about one today and the other one hopefully by next week.  This first one brought tears to my eyes just thinking about the humiliation this girl must have went through.  Here it is.

I was bullied at my sleep away camp when I was 8 years old. A girl in my cabin had a game called Gum-Of-Fortune. She had so much gum, and at camp, gum was a prized possession since it was the only thing we could eat in our cabins. She had tons. So, she told me to win a whole pack of gum I'd have to do the macarena with just my underwear on. And as an 8 year old, I stupidly did it. She and all of the girls in the cabin pushed me to the ground took my underwear off, pushed me out the door and I was completely naked for anyone outside to see. They wouldn't let me back in for about 5 minutes, but it was the most humiliating 5 minutes of my life. I've always had body image issues and so this was a horrifying experience for me.”

She also told me that along with this story she has many more because she had been severely bullied at this particular camp.  If you or someone you know is or has gone through this, you need to tell someone.  If you don't it most likely will never stop. BUT!  Even if you do not tell anyone, most of the time we all know who the “mean girls” are and who the ones who are getting harassed are.  We need to wake up people! Wake up and realize that this kind of bullying especially at such a young age needs to stop! There are ways to recognize when someone is getting picked on or tormented and people need to stop ignoring it because they do not want to get involved or because they do not want to deal with it.  One word, one action is all it takes to stop these kind of people from harassing and humiliating innocent kids.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Story 2: Shaping Who We Are

This next story is not really me telling it but the person who told it to me.  It was so well put that I don’t think I could do that much better of a job describing it and describing what bullying does and how it affects certain people versus others. So, here it is,

“My brother and I were both bullied in elementary school for being nerdy and different. Everybody pitched in: boys, girls, jocks, geeks, even other bully victims. We handled it in different ways. My brother was more submissive and eventually caved in to society's view of how he should be, which I'll get to later. But I was more stubborn and headstrong, and refused to change because I thought that was exactly what the bullies wanted. Eventually that led to a point where I would fight back both verbally and physically, and I had to transfer to a private middle school. This is where it gets interesting, because from this point on I was the main cause for my own bullying. I was so resistant to bullying that I became resistant to any kind of criticism at all, and often caused fights just because somebody didn't like how I viewed a certain issue or what kinds of video games I played. For high school I transferred back to the public system, and my resistant nature continued but was also intensified by rumors about me stemming from my violent defensive tactics in elementary school. In short, I was hated by everyone for a million different reasons, even by people that have never spoken to me.
My brother decided to cave in and change to become more popular. He's still a geek at heart, but has taken on an appearance and level of arrogance similar to the people that used to bully him. As for me, starting fresh at college has helped tremendously but I am still somewhat resistant to criticism. Looking back, I am starting to wonder if I would be more calm and careless if I was never bullied. I guess the moral of my story is that bullying is not just something that's part of growing up. Bullying shapes who we are as adults and even the most innocent happy little kid can be turned into a nervous defensive wreck under what would seem like the least significant conditions.”

Wow, how true is that?  I don’t think many people realize this but bullying truly does shape who we are as people just as anything does in life.  Bullying is just another life experience and whether people want to accept that they are the way they are because of how they acted towards someone, or how someone acted towards them, that is their decision. 

Another thing that this person mentioned was how his/ her innocence was basically taken away.  This is something bullies do not realize and if they do, it is just part of their malicious plans.  If you are a bully, you are taking away a child’s innocence, pride, dignity, everything.  As I mentioned before, we need to start standing up to these bullies and you need to show them that they are no longer in control.  You need to stand up and show them that you are and always will be the one in control of your own life. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Story 1: Cyber- Bullying

Cyber- bullying has made a huge rise within the last couple of years. The first two stories sent to me dealt with this type of bullying and they both really show that even something that could seem so subtle can really leave a scar.  The first person wrote saying, “This one time there were these girls who were pretty much mocking me on facebook by taking my profile picture and putting it as their own as a joke for them to laugh at. it wasn't funny, and it was humiliating.”   The other person wrote saying, “These guys photoshopped my face on a fat ugly chicks body. Not only did they pass it around the school but also put it on this "RateMe" site. I was constantly emailed about the ratings i got.”  Both of these situations really show that some things that people do that may be “funny” or meant to be a “joke” are most of the time not taken as a joke.  Put yourselves in their shoes for a second. Think about if someone did this to you.

These situations can especially leave a mark if a person has a problem with their appearance.  I am not saying these two people had appearance insecurities because I do not know them.  But, if someone does have insecurities about how they look, this kind of bullying can affect them for the rest of their lives.  From my own experience, I was constantly getting told I was fat on the site “formspring.”  I laughed it off a lot, though, because at this point in my life I did not care what other people thought about me.  BUT, I told myself that I was going to prove them wrong and really try losing weight.  So even when laughing at it I was still beating myself up, especially when I wasn’t losing the weight. 

If I were in those specific situations or if you are one now, I would do one thing.  Kill them with kindness.  This is worst thing to bullies.  Being nice and cheery will kill them because their point of doing what they do is to hurt you, make you feel bad about yourself.  If you act like nothing is wrong, that will stand out more than anything and hopefully they will get the point that what they are doing is a waste of time and pointless.

Quote of the day: "Hate the sin, love the sinner" --Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unbelievable Media.

Before I start the stories of other people, I wanted to talk about something that is currently in the news.  Jenelle Evans from the MTV hit show “Teen Mom 2” was recorded as she punched a girl repeatedly and pinned her to the ground.  While watching the video, you can hear all of Jenelle’s friends encouraging her as she beats this girl.  This is a girl that kids watch on TV probably every week on this show, and now this video is all over the internet to see, yet it is okay.

This is so extremely frustrating to me.  How can people expect children not to resort to violence and how can we tell them it is wrong when it is so highlighted within the media.  Not just this video either.  You can go on YouTube or any other video site and see people having a brawl and many times people are standing around and watching. Bullies do not come by themselves.  They will always have a crowd behind them.  All it takes is that crowd to go away, or for one person to jump in and stop what is going on or to get help and all of the power of that bully goes away.  But, so many people are so worried about themselves that they don’t think about that, all they think is that if they try stopping it, then they are the next target.  WAKE UP! If you don’t stop it and you think someone else will, nothing will ever change!  Those people who are beating the hell out of someone will never stop because they know that they have so much power over everyone.

Think about something. These kids or teenagers being beat up could be someone’s child, grandchild, niece/nephew, mother/father, cousin, etc.  Now, think about this, all of you out there who think this is entertainment, if it was your child, or any other family member, how funny would it be then?

Quote: A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That's where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It's having backbone. ---Robert Kiyosaki