In the blast furnace of confrontation.
You roil the beast and bleed out in the muck of a life that was simpler once but you can’t remember exactly when.
You change. Snap. Bit of both.
It’s an outer-body experience when forced to fight something bigger than you. The initial chill of a bully’s threat grabs your spine and tightens; ostensibly, the fear it thrives on whips around your core until it finds a place to settle in.
And you don’t breathe.
The absorption of my bully (a corporate-type with a rotted, cancerous core) stole 15 pounds from me in 10 days. I stopped eating. Little water intake. I became dangerously dehydrated. I permanently lost 50% kidney function.
No doubt it’s injurious when bully teeth find your weak spot. Organs cower.
Your brain shuts down.
Permanent injury is always a risk when bullies are involved.
Your will to survive jump starts; eventually you thrive with the bully tight inside.
You worry what will happen when the bully retreats.
The cold is an ally; you understand it’s insidious nature like you were born with it.
Once a threat. Now a teacher.
And the lessons keep coming.
The knowledge is such a part of you now.
A hunger is fed to know more.
What once was ice is now heat.
It’s at that point the fear dissolves.
You pull in. Sharpen your weapons.
After all, there’s not much left to lose.
Because so much has been drained already.
Several are yet to show.
You wonder how the damage will shape itself into arsenal.
In a decade.
Every day you’re sharper. The will to fight returns.
Will you be the same?
It’s not bad, really.
You can taste the salt in the blood even when blood isn’t drawn.
You’ve crossed over, jumped a fence, busted up who you were before. Rebuilt.
There’s a bit more dirt and grind in your thoughts, your decisions. You move slow.
Each step means more now.
Because in the heat of battle, it could be your last foot forward.
Step back and you may die.
As you push forward you may die too.
It feels like a no-win.
But you must fight your bullies sometimes.
No matter how small you are, there’s a way to shake up your giants.
Inside and out.
In the trenches of your mind, there’s a way to fight the bullies and survive.
1). Bullies target your core & create fantasy. My corporate bullies deem me a “mole” for another organization (on public record) and are working diligently to destroy my 24-year career. When bullies start to punch, observe where the blows land. Notice the swings. Take them in.
Formulate strategy. You’ll need to be laser-targeted and long-term in approach. Expose bullies for what they are. The greater they are the more vulnerable they are, too. Maintain a cool head. Anger is part of their arsenal. Not yours.
Bullies despise negative exposure: They abhor the truth. Truth will can cause formidable injury to a bully. However, remember what I wrote: You’ll need to take the punches, see where they land and wait to strike. And always use the truth. That’s sufficient. Never slander.
2). Seek blood. Just decide carefully where and when the puncture wounds should enter. Seek to retaliate with surgical blades as bullies come running at you waving machetes. They won’t expect you to fight. They expect you to succumb. Hold them accountable. Use public forums. Bullies abhor their hypocrisy exposed.
3). Don’t back down. Temporarily dazed, permanently scarred; the wounds will soon scab over. Treat them as badges of courage. Bullies will seek to wear you down, apply mental weight. They want you to die.
Eat healthy. Create an aerobic exercise program and stick with it no matter how tired you are from their kicking.
4). Level the playing field. You can’t win fighting a bully head on. However, a well-galvanized army can help you detect vulnerabilities and create a flanking strategy. Out your bullies utilizing social media, contact radio and television media.
Gather the opinions of powerful people. Understand who’s ready to fight with you. You may be surprised by the size of your army. You may be shocked by who’s willing to help. Win the war one mind at a time. Chip away at a bully’s false sense of superiority; you can’t do it alone. As you settle to fight, you’ll gain indispensable knowledge of your own internal hard drive and wiring. Consider yourself a warrior. The war over a bully’s mind begins with harnessing the power of your own.
If your enemy is within, expose it. Others will hold you accountable for defeating it. People love a good comeback story.
5). Ego is a money thug. Bullies force you to maintain appearances. You’ll overspend, abuse credit, drain your wallet to keep up an image. Short-term satisfaction is your ego’s intention to weaken you, especially your finances.
I have been the target of bullies since childhood. I was overweight, held on to some respectable man boobs at age 11. Nurtured a crazy mother.
I was socially awkward.
I never knew what it was like to be the star jock, date a cheerleader.
I couldn’t play sports for shit (still can’t).
I’ve been bully food for 44 years.
And it was all for this time.
And appreciate the damaged road.
Because there’s victory.
In the crossing.