Being Bullied at 43

02 Apr
April 2, 2013

As seen in the April 2, 2013 edition of the Red Bluff Daily News

I am sitting here writing next weeks column on Thursday March 27th. On Tuesday a remarkable thing happened to me. I was bullied. It is not the first time, in fact, the same person has been sending hateful mail, emails and unwarranted hate to not only myself but people I am associated with, my place of business and even my friends, for about three years now. Before the Daily News changed their policies about anonymity on the web, they often posed as multiple people placing negative comments on my columns calling me out and trying to engage in a hate fest. I actually stopped writing for a while out of fear. The monomaniacal message is I am a scam, a pathetic loser who uses my column as a platform to pontificate my brand of crap and if you all only knew how sick I was, you would stone me on the corner of Main and Walnut under the clock tower.
On Tuesday, I received an anonymous three page hate letter spelling out for me in the most sarcastic of ways how fat I am and that I wear spandex, that I can’t spell, that my family is a disgrace, that I am trying to get rich and famous by convincing people I am something I am not and a few other not so fluffy descriptions of my character, my personality and my past. On the same day, I got a thank you text from a community member for a letter of recommendation I had written telling me how positive I am and that I make a difference. I was in a unique position to decide what I was going to believe.
There was a time in my life, maybe not that long ago where I would have died inside at the hate that I got. I know this, because I have been bullied by this person for a long time. It used to consume me in self pity and a sense of why is this happening to me? The fact is that every column I have written, every experience I have had becoming a better me and every letter, email and hello in the grocery store telling me how much my column matters has changed me. I am not insecure, I am not self conscious and I am not willing to allow hate to define me.
Bullying is a real problem, we sometimes think it is only between children who haven’t developed the conscience or social skills sets to realize what they are doing. Well, I am 43 and I am being bullied. I am me, doing what I do, whether you like me or not and I am being harassed, hurt and demeaned by an adult. Someone who goes to work every day and interacts with the community, parents their children and is loved by other people is targeting me at my home, my work and among my friends. Somehow they believe that they have the right to come at me bro’ and I have to take it. All done anonymously to boot. They feel they are entitled to try to get me fired, lose my friends and perhaps make me feel so hopeless I would end my life and never let me know who they are.
So, after I received the letter, I did something I have never done. I responded. Usually, I wouldn’t. Usually I would just keep it between me and my family. I made a video where I expected to say what I had to say and be over it, but apparently I struck a cord. You can see my response if you search Being Bullied at 43 on Youtube.
We will not eradicate bullying, but we can find ways to infuse love and acceptance into others so when the bullying happens, people are impervious to it. It is because I know who I am in God, what I mean to my family and my acceptance of my own wonderful nature and flaws combined that the bully has no power. I am stable at my core and therefor when the attacks come, I can bear the blow.
Love one another wholly and completely and when someone attacks, they will have the inner strength to not believe the lies and hate. Tell your child they are accepted for who they are and they may be resilient enough to not be affected by bullies. Tell your spouse, your sister and your brother to embrace their brand of weirdness so the pain of someone’s hate bounces off of them.
They tell me my video went viral. I never expected that to happen. My purpose was to talk to the anonymous person and that was the only way I could think of. Our town has dealt with a lot of pain this past few months. We can overcome if we all refuse to hate.
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