Bullies I

Moving Forward Series

by

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

“A territorial person, or one who shifts into that mode, is thinking about power, control, influence, and status” Michael Lee Stallard, President of E Pluribus partners.

For a couple of years I have been dealing with a difficult person.  I have ignored her.  In the last month her plight to demonstrate her dislike for me has escalated by ridiculing me when talking to other people that know me.

Bullies come in many different forms. According to the National Centre Against Bullying, (ncab.org.au) a bully can demonstrate this act physically, verbally, socially and on cyber.

  • Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, pushing or damaging property.
  • Verbal bullying is when one is subject to name-calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic and racist remarks, and disrespect to a disabled person.
  • Verbal abuse is when insults are an attempt to humiliate, but also accuse the target of being overly sensitive or say that it was a joke. The bully will frequently yell and scream.  The target will unexpectedly find them self in an argument and get blamed for starting it.    The accusations are heightened, and unrelated issues will be brought up in hopes to put the target on the defense.  The target will be made to feel guilty while the bully plays victim.  They show hurtful behavior when both are alone. Then, they act completely different when others are around.
  • Social bullying is when it happens behind someone’s back. They want to harm someone’s reputation and/or cause humiliation. This includes lying, spreading rumors, negative facial or physical gestures, menacing looks that pair with contempt.  In addition, playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate, mimicking unkindly, and encouraging others to exclude someone.
  • Cyber bullying is what we have heard of the most lately on the news. And it has been directed towards children and teenagers. However, it can happen just as easily to an adult at a workplace, or within a social group.  The attributes of someone who is ‘cyber bullying’ is abusive, sending hurtful text emails or posts, images or videos, deliberately excluding others online, nasty gossip or rumors, imitating others online or using their log-in.

According to stopbullying.gov there is no single factor to why someone is generally the target of bullying.

However, I will tell you just by living with a disability for the past eighteen years, it is most likely going to happen to someone who appears vulnerable like a gay person, a child, or in my case, a person with a disability.   Bullying happens to both children and adults.

It can also happen inside our own home, which at times might also be paired with domestic abuse by a family member.

In addition, a caregiver and people on a social level can easily bully someone if they feel that person appears to have limited ability in defending him or herself.  Even peers that are alike can bully another friend, most often triggered by jealousy.

Also, different cultures ideals can trigger the way a person treats another person who is disabled.

With all that being said, when I first meet people it is obvious to me that they are impressed. Their initial act is to find out who I am and what happened to me.

They’re also the people that will most likely say, “You don’t look like you should be in a wheelchair. “

Then, as they learn that I am also a mother of young children and I have no family of my own close by, they feel sorry for me.  They don’t have to say it.  Their body language becomes more like a person who has come across a lost child.

Thankfully, many people quickly realize that my extreme independent nature is to be admired.

The rest feel inferior towards my success and very self-sufficient nature.   This type of person typically is already feeling a sense inadequacy that has nothing to do with me.

Some Women of this nature internally question, “How I have accomplished all this?”  Which includes such variables as me having a very caring and attentive husband.

I will go even a step further and say they think, “Why does she have all that and I don’t?’

And, it is that very issue that can make me a target of some form of disrespect.

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