Consistent Uncertainties

Never underestimate your power to heal with a kind smile or hurt with a simple word.

The Silence Deafens


 Bullies really are cowards, preying on the weak,

Making life a misery, for the mild and meek.

Harassing and distressing, thinking it is fun,

No remorse about the pain, that is being done.

Such abuse continues on, especially in the schools,

Bullies reigning terror, ignoring all the rules.

Victims suffer in silence, with threats being incurred,

Fear of retaliation, keeps many cases unheard.

Emotional scarring from torment, they carry through their life,

Painful memories still remain, from bullies running rife.

                          – Bill Hoeneveld

Hold a paper in your hand and crumple it into a ball. The paper represents the victim. Now open up the paper and flatten it. Keep trying to flatten it to its original state. You will find that no amount of smoothing and pressing will make the paper appear in its previously pristine condition. It remains crinkled and crumpled. Thus are the scars that remain after abuse; they are permanent.

All of Canada and many in the United States have been following the story of Amanda Todd, the 15 year old from B.C. Canada who ended a cycle of bullying by taking her own life to silence her pain on October 10, 2012. A month preceding her death, she posted a video on YouTube describing her pain through a number of handwritten cards.

When Amanda was in Grade 7, she was lured  by an unknown man to expose her breasts during an online chat session. Roughly a year later, she received a message from this man via Facebook threatening that if she didn’t give him a show, he would send the webcam picture to her friends and family.

Feeling that she had no where to turn or confide in, she went on to explain, “He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family names.”

It took a turn for the worse when during Christmas break, the police knocked on her door at home. The police explained that her photo had been sent to everyone. It was then that Amanda started to suffer from anxiety, major depression and panic disorder.

In her video, she outlined more recent bullying over her relationship with a boy that led to an assault and consequently she had been left lying in a ditch. She said she tried to kill herself twice.

She closes the video with the following words, “I have nobody. I need someone.”

As is often the case with abuse victims, they are hesitant to speak out or make public their pain and their tormentors; often fearing retaliation and yet more abuse. In short, even though family members and friends are there to help, there help is not sought out. Thus, they are often alone in their struggle. Take action wherever and whenever you can; let’s stop bullying dead in its tracks.

Remember the paper…..


8 thoughts on “The Silence Deafens

  1. Right now I am sitting here scared witless. I was downstairs putting wood in the fire when I heard something move in the screened porch. I am waiting for the cops to serve my harasser with an order in the wake of her most recent threats last night. I live in the woods. It was probably an animal, but I am still scared. I don’t want to call the cops for something stupid…and I am not like this. I wasn’t one to jump at every sound, but now? Adult bullies and stalkers take a toll, too. We adults just have better coping skills. It is an epidemic now. My cop told me that. Much of his work now revolves around dealing with online stalking, bullying, and harassment. When a sociopath meets up with a like minded woman, all bets are off when it comes to proper behavior. I feel better now. LOL. Nothing funny about it, really. Not one thing…ever. Bullies stink but with adults behaving as they are these days, it is just going to get worse, I fear.

    • it most certainly does appear to be rampant. is it the media portrayal and coverage or is it the social networking etal…or is the combination of all of the above plus the unaccountability and anonymity that people enjoy! it’s equally difficult for an adult; i agree. But there’s a proviso; many adults, if they choose will seek out help. some don’t; but many do. I’m sure you’re right about the better coping skills. So, while we’re discussing coping skills, grab that dusty old Louisville slugger out of your closet and don’t let those noises give you the heebie-jeebies!!

  2. rest easy…your hammer, your fire place poker and your wonderful sense of humour will protect you 🙂

  3. When I walked away from my abuser many years ago I swore never again. Never would I walk in fear, never would I jump and sounds in the dark, never would I search corners and closets, never would I stay with lights on in every room for fear of the what could lurk in the dark.

    I was a tad optimistic. But I try.

    I think sometimes it has gotten worse. The cyber world has released the sleeping dragon, but it is more than that, more than just our ability to hide behind avatars. Something else has gone terribly wrong.

    I still wake every morning though and say never again, even if I do sleep with the light on.

    • We’re very likely more aware of it too. Media coverage and internet. The news comes to us from different sources and we’re bombarded with it now. I think the problem always existed however now it’s amplified and more commonplace. We’re also in an age of instant gratification in many ways. I wonder if that doesn’t set a tone for our young generation as I know it’s affected the growth and wisdom of the people born since the baby boomers. The age of convenience means no planning, no waiting and makes us a very intolerant society to anything that puts us off our chosen plans. There is also the fact that many families are divided now; when before there was one and now there are two or more. Kids are getting more in some regard but sometimes less too when everything is weighed in. Less direction, less time with parents (usually both parents work outside of the home). There are more options for kids to seek both good outlets for their spare time AND bad outlets. We’d be hard-pressed to determine one factor in all of that; my opinion is that it’s a bad mix of a few different factors. It’s worse, I’m sure of it. There doesn’t seem to be the accountability for actions OR any moral compass in place.

      As far as the abuse goes, the time heals, especially when you make a conscious effort like you are. The lights however may be a different story until you actually take charge of your light issue. For a while the bedside lamp was on…a lot. My rationalize of it was that the longer I left the light on, the more control I relinquished, time to stop being a victim to the threats,etc. I later found solace in knowing that I could walk in and around my house at night with no lights on and not bump into a single thing. (for the time being we’ll not mention the night that, bare foot, I stepped on the wet, chewed up stuffy toy that the cat played with before bed – I’m sure the whole district heard my shriek!) Someone who is not as familiar as you with where you might have put the laundry basket when you finished folding laundry that night or your new pair of boots when you took them off. It always made me feel better to know that these booby-traps would give me lots of advance warning. But I did sleep with my baseball bat handy…lol.

  4. I just want to say, I honestly loved reading the posts in this blog. Impressive and thought-provoking posts. Bullying has got to stop! I loved the paper analogy. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Cheat, if I may call you Cheat, yes, the media has played a huge role. I grew up in the 60’s. Was I bullied? Yes, to some extent, but back then it was kids being brats. It really left no lasting marks, but it was silly stuff. That same stuff is no zero tolerance in most schools and I agree with that, but also, there are just plain mean people in the world, and we need to learn to cope with them, too. I got scared that night, but I was raw and tired. I am over that time even as the beat goes on. People who bully and harass and stalk, especially serial bullies….adults who engage in that behavior, are almost always personality disordered. The internet gives them a perfect venue for all of their hijinks. In the cold light of day, face to face, they are cowards. They run, just like my stalker ran right passed me when we crossed paths unexpectedly in a public place….yes, she was walking so fast that it was a run. It puts things into perspective. I am sorry that she is so unhappy that this is what she needs to do to shore herself up, but she needs to have the common sense not to do it in front of my son, too.

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