Welcome to The Bully Pulpit, my blog on bullying.

Yes, the pun is very much intended. The dictionary defines bully pulpit as “a public office or position of authority that provides its occupant with an outstanding opportunity to speak out on any issue.” I offer this blog as a venue for you to share your story with others who are going through similar experiences with bullying.

Maybe you’ve been bullied in the past, and the pain still lingers.

Maybe you’re being bullied right now, and you wish it would stop.

Maybe someone you know is being bullied, and you don’t know what you can do to help.

Maybe you just want to talk.

First, an important disclaimer. I am not a professional in the mental-health field; I have no special training in this area; and I am not qualified to offer professional counsel.

What I am is a writer by profession who, like you, has experienced the shame, humiliation, terror, anguish and futile rage of being relentlessly, viciously, violently bullied over the course of many years.

In my case, my bullies were my two older siblings. But as anyone who has ever been bullied knows, bullying hurts — no matter who’s doing it. The more we share our stories together, the likelier it becomes that we will discover that we have many more commonalities in our stories than we have differences.

The bullying I experienced at the hands of my siblings ended many years ago, but the effects go very deep into my soul, and their impact on the rest of my life has been far-reaching.

Sound familiar?

Still, I didn’t start this blog so that we could engage in a mutual weep-fest over things that, having been done, cannot be undone. Victimization begets more victimization, and that is something we all want to avoid. Rather, I want to offer a place for all of us to stake our rightful claim to victory. We can rise above the trauma. We can be victors.

As a writer and avid reader, I have long known that words have tremendous power. Hurtful words — those hurled by someone who intends to cause harm — can inflict great suffering. But healing words, offered by fellow travelers on this very difficult path toward wholeness, can bind up even the deepest wounds. I know. I’ve seen it happen in my own life.

If you were to meet me now, you would never guess that I carry such a dark secret. I am a successful, productive member of my community with an active family and social life. But it was not always thus. There were many years when I felt that there was no hope that things would ever get better. The healing process itself took many years and — I won’t lie — considerable effort on my part.

But it would not have happened at all without the love and support of a caring community of people … people with similar experiences who had come together to share our strength and courage with one another.

And I want to share that strength and courage with you.

This, then, is your bully pulpit, too. This is your opportunity to speak out about bullying. More importantly, it’s your opportunity to be heard. When did the bullying start, and what form has it taken? How many people are involved? How have your teachers, parents, friends and others responded? What has been most hurtful about your experience? What has been most helpful? What do you wish other people knew? What do you wish they understood?

Along the way, I will be weighing in regularly with ideas, insights, prompts, etc., to keep the conversation going.

I have no real ground rules, because I want you to speak freely. I ask only that everyone remember that we are all friends here. Let us treat one another gently, with respect and compassion.

To get started, just go to the section titled “Scroll here for more posts” and scroll through the existing posts until you find a topic that interests you. You can comment directly within that post. I will respond to every comment from readers. Be patient if it takes me a while. I am busy living the life that my healing has empowered me to live, so I may not see your comment right away.

But I will respond. I promise.

Well, there we are then.

God bless. You are not alone. There is hope. Someone does care.

So welcome. And pass the word.

© 2012 by Ann Graham Price. All rights reserved.

Advertisements