I hate to start a freakin' Monday like this, but life happens when you're not looking and you have to take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, the ups and the downs and be prepared for something to happen that is going to piss you off royally. It happened this morning when I read an email from my sister.
My sister sent me copies of two emails last night which I did not read until this morning. It's actually a good thing that I didn't read them last night because I would have been awake, stewing, all night long.
So, now I am unbelievably angry. And so is Tom. He said it was the first time he has ever wanted to get on Facebook and make a comment if he actually knew how to do it.
I am going to write this sort of "incognito" to protect the innocent (my sister) and the bully (my nephew). But...they know who they are.
As I said, my sister sent me two emails sometime last night. Both were copies of emails sent to her from our nephew. My sister has since canceled her Facebook account because of the accusations, hateful name calling and harassment she has received at the hand of said nephew. Yes, harassment, and this is a guy who CLAIMS to be a Christian, but his behavior and verbal abuse of my sister calls his claim into serious question.
As a matter of privacy, I cannot share the content of those emails, but suffice it to say they are as I described them above and more. They are arrogant, sanctimonious, self-righteous, unjust and malicious.
This is bullying at its best. What is a bully?
"Adult bullies target people with differences from themselves."
My sister is an Athiest. My nephew professes to be a Christian and is, in fact, studying to become a pastor. She accepts his right to practice his faith. He does not accept her right not to.
"Adult bullies usually have problems coping with their own problems and are desperately trying to find ways to make themselves look better by targeting other adults who they perceive will not fight back."
My sister was raised in the same family I was and was subject to the same ugly, constant physical and verbal abuse as the rest of us. Although my response was to stand up for myself and fight back when necessary, her response was to shut down, walk away and doing everything possible to get out from underneath it. That is not to imply that anyone person is weaker than the other. It's just that everyone's method of coping with adversity is different.
Adult bullies seek out these people because they are less likely to retaliate against them.
My sister does not retaliate. She doesn't believe in it. I don't retaliate either, but I do not hesitate to confront someone who has stepped out of line and let them know it is not acceptable and why.
Adult bullies target people with vulnerabilities.
Of course, everyone is vulnerable to some extent, but there are those whose physical or emotional illnesses or stressors deem them more sensitive and susceptible than others would be in the same situation. For me, this is the trait that makes bullying behavior unconscionable.
I think you could call me a conspicuous sort of person. I speak my mind, with some filters, but generally you know how I feel or think about things. I don't make excuses for myself or anyone else, except innocent children. I don't mind being called on my own shit. Well, okay, I mind (just like everyone else) and I may cry, but I will own it. I think that's the price of being "conspicuous." I accept that others have different views and I respect that, even from Republicans ~ except for Glenn Beck and that fat, bald guy on the radio...Oh, yeah, Rush Limbaugh.
So why am I writing about this instead of my sister? Because that is my role. That has always been my role since I was a kid. And, now as an adult, I have to say I'm fine with my role, even if it means that I may have some unresolved control issues and although sometimes it has caused me to alienate a person or two from my life. That's okay. Someone has to be the one to stand up and say, "Enough!" Stop picking on people. Stop belittling people. Stop intimidating people. Stop harassing people and F***KING GROW UP! I don't care if you are 30 years old. You are acting like a four-year-old spoiled brat who is not getting his own way and has decided to throw a monumental, perpetual temper tantrum and will make darn sure everyone around him miserable!
In the Christian community, the phrase "What would Jesus do?" has become a personal motto to many. It is used as a reminder that Jesus is the example to be followed in daily life, and to act in a manner of which Jesus would approve. Even if you don't believe Jesus is holy, his personal example is a good one and encompasses traits like loving, kind, helpful, comforting, caring, understanding, sharing, compassionate and forgiving. I would hope that at some point in his spiritual journey, my nephew could begin to familiarize himself with these traits, internalize them and begin to live them as a testament of his beliefs.