Bully for You!!!

There’s been a lot of fuss and feather, lately, about bullying.  Especially cyber-bullying.  It’s a relatively new phenomenon, but there seems to have been an explosion of it.

This is probably because it’s so easy to do — and much safer, for the bully, than showing up in person to pick on anybody face-to-face.

The problem with bullying is that many bullies were themselves the victims of bullies earlier in life.  This means that they never really see themselves as the aggressors — in their minds, they are always the victims.  They actually tend to see the people they pick on as the ones who are picking on them.

I have just concluded (I can only hope) a very nasty flame-war, on Gay Patriot, with a person who goes by the name of North Dallas Thirty.  This has caused great consternation among the close-knit community of commenters there, for understandable reasons.  I’m pretty sure it caused consternation in North Dallas Thirty.  And I know it has to me.

Some history here:  a few years ago, when my mother died, and I happened to mention in the commentary thread of a blog (I don’t remember which) that this had just occurred, the very first person to contact me, via email, to express his condolences was North Dallas Thirty.  In private, person-to-person contact, he is a very nice man — warm and caring.  I will always appreciate that he was there for me at a very difficult time.

From time to time since then, he has come to my defense when others attacked me on blog commentary threads.  And there were times when I returned the favor.  I considered him a friend.

At the beginning of this weekend, however, I experienced my own version of Pearl Harbor.  He suddenly and deliberately attacked me — without any provocation, beyond the fact that I’d said something with which he disagreed — on this particular Gay Patriot thread.

The conflict turned nasty very quickly, and escalated out of control.  I’m sort of funny about being attacked, no matter who’s doing the attacking.  I tend to fight back.  And once I’ve started fighting, I don’t back down.  Nor do I apologize for this in the slightest.

When I was a kid, I was everybody’s punching bag.  My dad was often very abusive, and my mom would stand by, with a distressed look on her face, and do absolutely nothing.  At school, because I had been socialized almost from infancy to take abuse (and somehow suspect I must deserve it), I became a favorite target for bullies as well.  I couldn’t go home and seek protection from my parents, because my dad seemed to think I had to be at fault in every conflict.  I would only be punished for having somehow “brought it on.”

When I got into the middle grades, this began to change.  I guess the other kids decided I was all right.  I was smart, and funny, and learned how to talk and joke my way out of trouble.  I learned to be charming, and by the time I was in junior high, I had plenty of friends.  I never had much of a problem with bullies from then on.  At least, nowhere except at home.

Eventually I even stood up to my dad.  I found out that if I stood up to bullies, they backed down.  That they only picked on people who wouldn’t — or couldn’t — fight back.

And I remembered.  You never really forget what it feels like to be targeted by somebody who is vicious, sadistic and hell-bent on making your life miserable.  So when you find yourself in that position again, it’s like a long-held muscle-memory.  You spring back into action.

I don’t know if North Dallas Thirty was bullied as a child.  He grew up to be a big brute, and perhaps he pumped all that iron so that nobody would ever bully him again.  But if you were bullied as a child, you have two choices.  You can become a bully yourself, or you can resolve never to start a fight — only to finish it.

I did the latter; he obviously did the former.  He kept calling me a bully during our big fight.  That’s not surprising, given the psychology of bullies.  But there’s one crucial difference between a bully and the bullied party, and it is easy to make the distinction.  The bully always — always — starts the fight.

I did not start the fight on Gay Patriot.  I did my damnedest to finish it.  In the end, I’m not sure who really finished it.  I only hope that it is finished now.

One clue as to who customarily bullies and who does not:  I have never, ever been banned from any blog.  North Dallas Thirty gets tossed off of blogs all the time.  Sherlock Holmes, meet clue.

The blogger contacted me by email to tell me someone had complained to him about my “tone.”  I asked him to read the thread — the whole thread, right from the beginning.  I’m confident that will give him an accurate picture of what happened.  He and I have met in person, and he knows I’m ordinarily not the bullying type.

We’ll just have to see what happens.  Maybe nothing will.  I told him I don’t want to see North Dallas banned.  Perhaps he only had a bad weekend.  I have enough residual goodwill in me to put the whole incident in the past — as long as it doesn’t happen again.

But if it does, I will be ready.  I remember how it feels.  You never really forget.

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About heine911

I'm an Episcopalian, Classical Liberal Ladies' Woman, helping to save Western civilization, searching for the perfect wife and enjoying every minute of it all.
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7 Responses to Bully for You!!!

  1. Cinesnatch says:

    I got the same email. Coincidence? For someone who accused others of complaining to the moderator, me thinks he doth protested too much … Apparently.

    I think your assessment about him being bullied as a kid is spot-on. It’s apparent that he’s full of Hurt, among other things. I wish he’d get help. I thought it may have been a deliberate act as his idea of screwing with people. While it still may be, there are larger issues that need to be addressed. At least he’s civil and probably sane when he’s not behind a computer.

  2. Houndentenor says:

    I haven’t read or posted on GayPatriot for quite some time. Thanks for reminding me why. I’ve been posting online for a long time. Very little surprises me. There’s a reason I use an alias and this is it. If people attack me, I know they don’t actually know me and it helps not take it so personally. It doesn’t always work, of course. Some people really know how to land a low blow.

    All I can offer (since I can’t give hugs over the internet) is to remind you to “consider the source” and to suggest a retort that I have often found useful: “I’ve been called worse by better people.”

  3. Karen says:

    Hi, can you please tell Mel that I sent her an email in response to her most recent post? Email is titled “Importance of History,” and tell her to check her spambox.

    I want to reply to your post as well, but time runs short. So sorry…

  4. Pingback: The Use of Force | eitheory.com

  5. Cas says:

    Hi Lori,
    I am sorry that you had that experience. I appreciate your efforts to put your flame war with NDT into perspective. It is good to be reminded of the goodness of people, even those involved in flame-wars…NDT’s compassion speaks well of him, even if his arguments with you do not…

  6. Tim Mc says:

    sigh I really should have kept up with all this, I could have told you the same thing, years and years ago, ND30 did the same thing to me. I didn’t toe the exact line that he ascribed to and viciously attacked me. I’ve been a constant thorn in his side ever since especially when I found out how duplicitous he was when posting on different blogs. I eventually realized that none of his arguments really matter to him. He breaks every one of the rules he tries to make gays live up to and is incredibly callous and self serving when he knows he is talking to gays. I see him on lots of other blogs, and was able to piece together his tortured history and identify the fact that he’d been incredibly hurt by his own family and that he turned that into hatred towards others that he thought caused the problem. Thus his incredible animosity towards anything he felt was sexually provocative or anti religious. Personally I think he is the single greatest poster boy for the term ‘self hater” and it really makes me sad. He starts with simple ideas that make sense then weaves them into grand conspiracies. He needs help but I no longer have the energy or desire to try and help him out of his cell.

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