The Bully

As a kid I spent so much of my time running from bullies. Now, as an adult, I can’t run anymore. My bully is everywhere!

This blog post has been a long time coming. Not because I had a hard time writing it. Not because I was afraid or ashamed. This post is a long time coming because I didn’t want to give in to a bully. I didn’t want to feed a narcissist. I didn’t want to acknowledge their power over me. I simply didn’t want to think about them. I learned long ago that the moment you allow your bully to get into your head, you have allowed them to affect you. When I was a kid, I had bullies torture me. I would take the super long route to the corner store just so I could avoid other boys who would tease or intimidate me. I would walk the other side of the school, take different floors, just so I could avoid them. My entire childhood was spent avoiding bullies. Allowing them to affect my life and alter my path.

In order to write this post, I had to settle a lot of internal dilemmas. One, I didn’t want to give a bully any more attention than they already get. Second, I didn’t want to spend any more thought on this person, yet this person is always in my view and frankly I can’t avoid their influence. Third, I couldn’t base my opinion of the bully as I didn’t directly know them and they have no directly affected me. All of my information about this bully has been given to me by others who wish to sway me into believing one thing or another. One of my golden rules is that I never base my opinion of another human unless I meet them first hand. I avoid forming any opinion of another person based on the opinion or judgement of another. I have never met this bully and likely never will. How can I form an authentic opinion of this person based on regurgitated facts? Especially those from the media. But in this case, I have no choice. His words are his words. His actions are his actions; he is a bully.

Just like when I was a kid, I avoided bullies at all costs. I hoped that they would just go away if I avoided them enough. But now, this current bully in my life got a promotion and is now all over the place. I cut the cable so I would see less of this bully but now my social media feeds are now covered with his face. A lot of my friends are sharing his news and funny things they see of him. At times, I feel that I can’t escape this bully anymore. Most people are seemingly enthralled by his power, captivated by his bravado. Just like my days in school, my classmates and I caved to the bully so as to not be victimized, but in reality we always were.

As an adult, life with a bully is different. I can’t take another hallway or bike around my town to avoid his path. The bully is always in my face, never far from every top headline on the news and is constantly on social media feeds. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear of him. The difference between me as a kid and me as an adult is that now I know that I am only person that I can control in this situation. Only I can change the way I react to this bully. While I can’t avoid his face at every turn, I can only see him for what he is and not allow his influence to change the way I behave, feel or think. I won’t allow him to exert anxiety over my life. I won’t allow him to change the way I feel about others. I won’t allow his influence to make me angry and turn into a bully myself. I won’t allow his words to turn my back towards others, regardless of race, religion, nationality or social status. This bully, Donald Trump, will not alter my path. I am too strong for that now.