Father William saved her from the street
She drank the lifeblood at the Saviour’s feet
She’s sister Mary now, eyes as cold as ice
He takes her once a week
On the alter like a sacrifice
Spreading the disease but no one wants to see.
Today’s post is a collaboration with Cherie White, whose book “From Victim to Victor” I reviewed a few weeks back. Cherie and I had similar experiences with bullying and we both overcame and have gone onto lead good lives. Since our bullying experiences were several decades ago, we discussed what might our bullies would say now if they had found out that we were talking about them and their bullying of us. I present now Cherie’s and my thoughts on the subject.
It’s been half a century since I lived in the town where I was so badly bullied for three years. I have no interest in the town nor would I care to see anyone from it, even those who I considered friends. In reality, I don’t think they would remember me and that’s the first point. If they found out that I was talking about them and how much they bullied me, they would complain that I was bringing up something which they had forgotten a long time ago and that I should let it go. On the other hand, some of those would find it amusing that their bullying still burns in my memory. They would take some comfort in the misbelief that their bullying was still tormenting me some fifty years later. Here’s some of the things they would say and my counter to them.
1. Why are you bringing up something that happened 50 years ago?
80smetalman says: It’s easy for a bully to move on but not quite so easy for the target to do the same. The psychological damage caused by bullying can last for many years after the event. If not controlled, it can effect the target’s confidence for a long time. While the memories do eventually fade, they won’t totally go away. In my case, I didn’t drive the final nail into that coffin until I wrote my book, “He Was Weird” nine years ago.
Chateau Cherie says: I agree- it’s much easier for bullies to move on than it is for the target. And the psychological damage can last a lifetime. However, I refuse to let my bullies live in my head rent free. Therefore, I chose to take something bad that happened to me and turn it into good. When I wrote and published my book, “From Victim to Victor: A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying,” I got to say what I really wanted to say all those years ago but couldn’t because I had allowed my classmates to silence me. And, let me tell you, it was a healing power like no other! Because the book was my mouthpiece!
2. We had forgotten about you until you brought this up.
80smetalman says: Again, it’s much easier for the bully to forget than it is for the target, and I believe that most of my bullies would have forgotten about it and probably forgotten about me. However, as the target, I will not forget the bullying I suffered back then. On the positive, I have been able to put it behind me and move on achieving great things in my life.
Chateau Cherie says: Absolutely. Bullying is in the eye of the target, never the bullies. When I wrote and published FVTV, and when a few of my classmates read it, I receive a huge amount of backlash from them, as was already expected. I got threatening emails and messages, they accused me of lying about everything. There were other remarks as well, telling me to “get over it,” and that they “were going to meet me in a back alley somewhere one day.” It’s funny how my bullies really exposed themselves once I spoke out. And in threatening and attacking me like they did, they only proved that everything I’d written in the book was true all along. Don’t you just love it when the masks begin to fall off?
3. You’re still a pussy whining about it.
80smetalman says: Actually, people have said the exact opposite. That I am brave for speaking out about it. Already, I can hear in my mind those bullies trying to be sarcastic about the last statement, but the truth is that I do think I am brave for coming forward. Bullies thrive on the notion that their targets will never speak up about it. Therefore, doing just that gets them all in a twist.
Chateau Cherie says: Yep! I got that reaction too, only slightly different. They told me that I must be crazy for bringing up old stuff. And the classmates who made this statement never denied what they did. But I can tell you that everyone outside of the Oakley HS crowd told me that they admired my strength and bravery for speaking out about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my classmates. Therefore, I don’t let my former bullies’ attacks bother me. I have a huge number of supporters and that, in itself, makes anything my classmates have to say irrelevant. My bullies counted on me to be silent and keep their dirty little secrets and when I finally began speaking out, that’s when the floodgates of hell opened and they unleashed their vitriol once again, 30 years later. It only goes to show that bullies seldom change, they only grow bigger and get worse as they get older. I don’t hate my classmates, but I do pity them. It takes some miserable people leading pretty miserable and boring lives to take pleasure in inflicting such abuse on another human being.
4. I had that effect on you that you still can’t shake it 50 years on, I must be good.
80smetalman says: No, you were just a bully. Bullies wear their bullying as some sort of badge of honour and many of mine would take pride in the thought that their bullying was still getting to me. If they want to think their bullying was something to be proud of, then they are the sad ones. I have shaken it off for good when I wrote my book.
Chateau Cherie says: I couldn’t agree more! Bullies are the worst kind of pathetic. My bullies from Oakley, Tennessee would love to think that they are still living inside my head. But nothing could be further from the truth. And yes, many of them still pat themselves on the back for the evil they did year ago. However, they’re not smart enough to realize that, people like them- bullies- are a pitiful bunch. People bully because they cannot get what they want in life by any other way than by force. When someone has to use force to get their wants and needs satisfied, it speaks volumes about them. It says that this person has no communication skills, no people skills, and no persuasion skills. It also says that this person is only compensating for the qualities they lack and for their own flaws and shortcomings. That’s a pretty sad and miserable person in my book, and they are to be pitied.
5. You’re just using your so-called Asperger’s as an excuse for all the weird things you did and now you want us to feel sorry for you.
80smetalman says: The other excuse the bullies would use was that Asperger’s wasn’t around back then, so they didn’t know better. Now that they do, they can realize that my ‘weird’ behaviour was down to a mental health condition, their bullying wasn’t ever going to cure it. Furthermore, I don’t want their sympathy, I have been without it for 50 years now so their ‘feeling sorry’ for me wouldn’t be any good now.
Chateau Cherie says: I’m neurotypical and don’t have ASD. However, my bullies did accuse me of being mentally imbalanced anytime I stood up to them. And they would probably say something to the effect of, “we have no sympathy for the mentally ill.” And like you, I don’t want their pity. I’d much rather have them hate me than to pity me because there’s dignity in being hated. But there’s no dignity at all in being pitied.
6. We inspired you to write a book, you should thank us.
80smetalman says: No you didn’t. What you inspired me to do was to clean the final skeleton of the many you put there out of the closet inside my brain. If you don’t remember, I had a very fertile imagination and I am getting ideas for stories coming into all the time. So, I should thank you because you making my life a total misery gave me inspiration? No, I shouldn’t have had that sort of ‘inspiration’ to begin with.
Chateau Cherie says: My bullies would say the same. I guess I would say something differently. I’d tell my bullies, “Yes, you did! You also inspired me to advocate for the very people that people like you seek to destroy.
You inspired me to speak out about the evil you did and to call every one of you out for your stupidity. You inspired me to take the lemons you give me and make lemonade. So, thank you. In trying to tear me down, you ended up building me up. And I’d say it with sarcasm and a smirk. And it would really take the wind out of their sails.
The easiest thing to say is that I should forgive, forget and move on, well I have. Those bullies will never realize the harm they did to me during those three years but if they were to find out that I called them out on it, the vast majority of them would react in the ways I’ve have stated here. However, there may be one or two who would actually apologize. To be blunt, bullying wrecks lives and that can have a lasting effect many years down the line. I write this not for me but as a warning to present day bullies and to let targets know that life can get better and that you can rise above the crap and lead a good life.
I have forgiven my bullies but I’ll never forget. Because if we forget, we’re likely to continue suffering the same treatment from other bullies. In other words, I hold no grudges nor ill will toward my former bullies. I wish them well. But I’ll never be able to trust them and, therefore, would rather sever all ties and move on with my life. It’s the safest way and I can ensure that everyone on both sides are happy.
I can say that a couple of my former bullies have apologized and for that, I’m grateful. The vast majority of them have not apologised and that’s okay. Many of them still hold the same resentment of me today as they did thirty plus years ago. Again, that’s okay. They are the ones who must live with themselves and with their anger and hatred. It’s their issue, not mine.
I agree with Michael that bullying does indeed wreck lives and it can stay with the target for the rest of their lives if they don’t educate themselves about the bully mindset, put in the inner work to get their confidence back and create enough positive experiences in their adulthood to balance out the negative experiences they had with bullies as a child or teen.
Bullying is traumatic for the target and the aftereffects of it can last for decades. However, I want targets to be assured that, life gets better…much better! There is life after bullying and you can begin to flourish and move on to a life filled with love, success, peace, and happiness. I’m living proof of this. And if I can do it, anyone can.
If you’re a target or survivor of bullying, always believe in yourself no matter what! Love and accept your flaws and imperfections, for we all have them. And love yourself for all that you are. Know that you have value and that you matter! You are enough!
LKHART, Ind. (WNDU) – Hundreds of North Side Middle School students walked out in protest of the district’s handle on bullying Tuesday.
This comes after 12-year-old Rio Allred, a former NSMS student, committed suicide last week following heartbreaking claims that she was bullied by several of her classmates.
Many students saying the bullying behavior often going unchecked by their own school.
“This should have never happened to Rio in the first place. The school system failed Rio. They failed us,” 7th grade student Corgan Hammond says. “This could have been prevented so many times over but it wasn’t and that is unforgivable! They knew what was going on. Elkhart Community Schools knew what was happening to Rio Allred and they did nothing. That will never be forgotten!
Joining students were dozens of parents holding their own posters in support of Rio just eight days after she took her own life.
Rio reportedly suffered from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that made her hair fall out.
After starting off the school year wearing a wig, Rio’s mother, Nicole Ball, told 16 News Now last week that students began ripping it off Rio’s head. Ball also claims her daughter was smacked upside the head in front of the entire class for not having any hair.
“Rio has brought together an army and that army stands for you!” Rio’s grandfather told students who participated in the walkout.
Other students like Rio’s best friend, Lilly Dolph, says despite how heartbroken she is, she is happy to see the support for Rio.
“I feel proud there are so many people here sticking up for my best friend and proud that everybody is celebrating the fact that we will win this war,” Dolph says.
Tim Miller, a teacher at North Side Middle School, says he taught Rio in his College & Career class last semester. When asked about losing Rio, Miller took a deep breathe.
“I think we all failed Rio in some way. We need kids to say to tell us to tell teachers and administration we’re not doing enough to protect these people from getting bullied,” Miller says.
In case it was not already clear, the message from many students and parents was found on dozens of posters denouncing the danger behind bullying, and demanding justice for Rio Allred.
School officials are holding an Elkhart School Board meeting at Elkhart High School Tuesday evening that is expected to address some of the concerns from parents and students.
In effort to continue the fight against bullying, family members have created a nonprofit organization in honor of Rio called Rio’s Rainbows.
Disclaimer: I didn’t write this article, it came to my attention through my Google- Alert on bullying. Just imagine though, students walking out in protest every time bullying wasn’t addressed by those who are supposed to know better. Bullying would be eradicated from our schools in a few weeks!
Before everyone starts trying to cancel me or brand me some sort of un-American beast, I just like to say that I’m not. I am writing this post today because I do care about the country I was born in. However, from my experience of bullying and what I am seeing on the news and even television shows, I get the distinct impression that the US is being bullied and then bullying others.
I was hoping I could find it but many months ago, I found this one man show on Facebook where I British comedian plays the part of Saudi Arabia, the US, Iraq and Afghanistan. The video starts with Saudi Arabia giving the US a bloody nose. This was signifying the fact that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. The US is obviously upset by getting a bloody nose but instead of striking back at Saudi Arabia, he attacks Iraq and Afghanistan instead because he thinks it’s their fault. My conclusion from that was that the US is afraid to stand up to the bullying Saudi Arabia but will go after easier targets, thus resulting in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like the post I wrote six months ago, bullies will always go after who they perceive to have the least power.
A common excuse for this is that Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing country in the world. If the US stood up to the bully, they would stop selling them cheap oil and we would all have to pay more at the pumps. That’s another way bullies work. Let me bully you and I will give you something you want. The US and other Western countries are all allowing themselves to be bullied in exchange for getting oil. Imagine if other countries treated women as less than second class citizens, the West would be shouting to the rafters but as long as they get cheap oil, they can turn a blind eye.
Now I know it’s only television but I wonder if there is some truth to it. There was an old episode of “Law and Order” and one from the last season of “The Blacklist” where operatives from Saudi Arabia come to the US to kill a female dissident who spoke out against their country’s treatment of women. Being American programmes, law enforcement is able to stop and arrest the operatives before they accomplish their mission. However, in both cases, the arresting personnel (NYPD in Law and Order and FBI in The Blacklist), are ordered to let the operatives go under diplomatic immunity laws. It seems that the American government is afraid to prosecute attempted murderers out of fear of pissing off their Saudi bullies. I know this was most likely fiction but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some truth to it either.
It’s not just Saudi Arabia who has been bullying the US. Okay, maybe not the American government but definitely corporations such as Google and even the NBA are allowing themselves to be bullied by China. Whether or not you like or agree with political TV pundit Bill Maher, I ask that you watch this Youtube piece and you will see what I mean.
Now, unlike Bill, I have no problem with any American sports person who wants to represent a country where they have ancestral roots. It has been done all throughout Olympic history and most of the US men’s soccer team play for teams abroad. However, China is bullying US corporations into keeping quiet about their human rights abuses by not letting operate in China if they do. So, out of fear of losing the lucrative Chinese market, they comply. This is bullying.
On the other hand, there has a 339% increase of hate crimes against people of Asian background in the US in the last year. Bullying someone from a certain country because you don’t like what that country is doing, even if it started a war, is the worst form of bullying. Sure, China may have been responsible for Covid but that doesn’t give anyone the right to attack an American of Chinese descent because of it! I am an American living in another country but I have never been attacked for anything America has done, even the wars in the Middle East. The worst thing I had said to me was when George W Bush was re-elected in 2004. The deputy head at the school I was teaching at told me half of my country were twats. While part of me might have agreed with him and I could have taken it as a personal insult, I was never bullied on account of it.
In conclusion, based on the news and my experiences with bullies, present day America is an example of how a target allows themselves to be bullied because the bully can give the target something it wants while then bullying easier targets. Maybe if all nations cut out this practice, it might go a good way in eradicating bullying all together.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?crid=36I8I1G32U0R4&keywords=he+was+weird&qid=1647886932&s=books&sprefix=he+was+%2Cstripbooks%2C148&sr=1-1
Or you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, I had a review of my book, “He Was Weird” on the blog Chateau Cherie. I would personally like to thank Cherie White for all of her comments.
Michael D. LeFevre, better know to the blog community as “80smetalman” has a book out entitled, “He Was Weird.” It took me a while, but I finally purchased it and, let me tell you, I’m so glad I ordered and read this book! The novel was engaging, engrossing, and very difficult to put down. It is an emotional roller coaster and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
“He Was Weird” is a fictional account of the bullying Michael suffered at the hands of his classmates during his time in school during the 70’s, only the story is set in the present day with fictional characters.
The protagonist is a boy named Marvin Leversee (later Mark Leversee, after his mother has his first name legally changed) who is found later to have Asperger’s Syndrome and DAMP (Deficits in Attention, Motor control and Perception), neurological disorders that, sadly, mark him as ripe for psychological torment at the hands of his classmates.
It seems that this poor kid can’t catch a break. The bullying he suffers quickly becomes a vicious pattern that escalates so much so that he can’t so much as blink without being ridiculed, name-called, and physically beaten. The poor young man also endures bullying from teachers and school staff as well.
Day by day, Mark endures this horrific abuse and his cries go ignored as most of the adults, school, and local police look the other way until the worst and unexpected happens.
The pressure and rage inside Mark builds to a horrific climax that shakes the entire town of Ramsgate, NJ and Mark finally gets their attention. This culmination of events also pits adults and kids who were once close friends against each other- turning once lifelong friendships into bitter enmity.
My heart goes out to Michael for all he endured during school and I support him one hundred percent! The character of Mark represents Michael and the emotions he felt during the years he was bullied, though Michael’s real-life outcome was much better than that of Mark.
This is a book I highly recommend for not only targets of bullying and their families, but everyone. You will get a targets-eye account of what it’s like to be the object of vicious bullies with no reprieve in sight. You will also get a front row seat to what can happen when a target is pushed too far and finally snaps.
“He Was Weird” is available on Amazon and other online bookstores. Order your copy today!
As I promised a few weeks earlier, I am writing my review on Cherie White’s book, “From Victim to Victor.” It’s an account of how the author endured years of horrific bullying and eventually overcame it and has gone on to lead a full and glorious life. As I read the book, Cherie’s experiences had me reflecting back to my own bullying experiences and comparing and contrasting them. Her well written, no holds bared account was very eye opening and very honest. While she was the target of such awful bullying, she doesn’t try to play the victim card and expect you just to give her sympathy but she does earn it!
Like Cherie, the bullies came out for me on the first day I started school in my new town. It seems neither of our towns were tolerant of new arrivals. I was immediately branded weird while without even getting to know her, Cherie was thought of as thinking she was better than everyone else. It was clear in the book that it wasn’t the case. Another similarity is that the bullying didn’t always end when we left school. Cherie’s happened on the school bus while in my case, I was targeted while walking home from school. Another similarity is that we eventually found someone lower down to unload our frustrations on. We sometimes were the bullies and fair play to the author here, she doesn’t try to justify it or sugar coat it in any way. This has given me thoughts for a future post but this isn’t about that.
Our schools showed little or no interest in our plights. However, while teachers at my school showed feigned some interest in what I was going through, although they were quick to believe the bully’s version of events over mine, teachers and the principal at her school blamed her for the bullying she was suffering. While I had some instances of victim blaming, she had it all the time. This includes parents. My mother thought my bullying was my fault because I didn’t fight back but Cherie was afraid to even speak to her parents about it as she felt it would have been worse for her. It eventually became that way for me.
Not that they weren’t there already but my sympathies were totally with Cherie at the end when she moved out of the town where she was so badly bullied. When I moved out of the town, I had no more connection with anyone living there. I think they were just as glad to see me go as I was to leave. And for both of us, our lives drastically improved when we got to our new towns. Our grades improved and Cherie was able to use her singing talents while I made the basketball and baseball teams. Unfortunately for her, the bullies caught up with her. First, she was accused by residents of her former town of destroying the high school. Then she was called up by some of those bullies and threatened with violence and even death. Thank God, I didn’t have that and that is why Cherie is a true victor!
In conclusion, I will go out on a limb and declare Cherie White’s book, “From Victim to Victor,” the Bible for anyone who has been involved in bullying in any way. Whether you have been a target of bullying, a parent of the target, a teacher or other school official or even a bully, then this is a must read for you. I know that the experiences of the author with stop and make you think, it did me. However, the best message this book can send is that even if you are being bullied, it’s not forever and you can overcome and go onto lead a full life. You can overcome!
After reading this book, I feel unworthy to post a link to He Was Weird in this post.
The other night, I watched my all time favourite movie, “The Warriors” for what I think is the 26th time. I couldn’t explain why I love it so much but I do. Maybe it’s down to me being a middle class white teen in the 1970s who, like many of my contemporaries, had a fixation on gang fights. Anyhow, because I’ve watched the film so many times, I can practically act every scene. However, when I watched it this time, some lines were omitted.
Twice in the film, when the Ajax character is teased for being obsessed with women, his response is, “Maybe you’ve all gone faggot.” The line was cut out both times. In another scene, when three members of The Warriors hook up with a group of girls, one of the Warriors asks the girls where the guys are. One girl’s response is, “They took the night off, went up to the Bronx. Don’t worry, they’re lame, a bunch of real cripples.” This time, the “bunch of real cripples” was cut out. My question is why?
Is this another case of political correctness or woke gone mad? Was the TV station who showed the movie afraid of being labelled homophobic or insensitive to people with disabilities? In spite of what I’ve just written, I’m not going to make a big thing about it. Those lines were from a different time when different attitudes prevailed and I was never offended by those lines. At the time, they were responses and while not appropriate these days, was it necessary to cut them out of the film? I’m only asking.
My other insane point comes from current events. During the Vietnam war, Canada, along with many other European countries, gave asylum to American draft dodgers and military deserters. Sweden was particularly open about granting asylum. Now, I suspect that there are many young Russian adults who find the war in the Ukraine total bullsh*t and don’t want to fight. Will these same European nations be granting asylum to Russian draft dodgers and deserters? I hope they do.
I had allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. Looking back through my archives, I discovered that my last “Victory for the Bullies” post was way back in 2017. That’s nearly four and a half years ago! Therefore, I hoped that schools, police and others in authority had woken up and realized that they shouldn’t use semantics in the law to punish victims of bullying when all they were trying to do is to stop their torment. Unfortunately, there was an incident in Arkansas late last week which has dashed my hopes.
A cell phone video shows a black boy who was obviously being bullied by a larger white male who was goading the black boy into fighting him. When the goading goes no where, the bully increases his bullying, eventually escalating to throwing a shoe at the victim’s head before finally attacking him. Unlike in instances in the past, we don’t know who took the video so at least the victim wasn’t punished for that and the bully was suspended for his actions. However, the target was given the exact same suspension! That was the victory for the bully. Even though you can see from the video, he was the total aggressor, his target, who was trying to avoid confrontation, was doled out the same punishment. FFI, see below:
Caution: the video in the article may be disturbing to some viewers.
Schools’ normal justification for such things is that it takes two to have a fight and therefore both parties are at fault. Who started it is of no importance. To me, this just stinks of school officials being too lazy to properly investigate what happened and find it easier to punish both parties. However, in this particular case, we have overwhelming evidence that the one boy was a direct target of bullying who did all he could to try to get out of the situation. Upon seeing this video, there is no way that the target should have received any punishment.
What is also mentioned in the article was the fact that no teachers, coaches or other staff were anywhere around to see what happened. If they were, then the entire affair could have been avoided or at least, the bully could have been seen for what he was and dealt with accordingly.
I am happy to say that there has been a backlash from parents who are demanding that the target’s punishment be revoked. While some will cry, “playing the race card,” the article hints that things would have gone differently had the races of victim and bully been reversed or if they had both been African American. I agree with those who say that the school needs to feel some heat over this and that the bully’s victory be reversed.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Was-Weird-Publisher-Generation-Publishing/dp/B00SLVHRFG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=36I8I1G32U0R4&keywords=he+was+weird&qid=1646679655&s=books&sprefix=he+was+%2Cstripbooks%2C148&sr=1-1
Or you can email me at: email@example.com