By Jes Bouchard
Let’s not beat around the bush. Bullying is alive and thriving here at Newman, though it’s not always the kind of bullying you think.
Merriam-Webster has several definitions in regards to bullying, but one of the simplest definitions says, “To affect by means of force or coercion.”
This is the reason why there wasn’t a MickBie & Me in last week’s Vantage; I planned on being away – far away. Where? Not sure, just not here. (Thank you, by the way, to those of you who have called, e-mailed, or asked why MickBie & Me was missing. I’m humbled by the response.)
This whole experience of being bullied – bullied to the point of wanting to leave – has made me realize there are two kinds of bullies: bad bullies and good bullies.
Bad bullies, who for lack of better words are, well, meanies.
I see them all over. Maybe it’s a professor who plays favorites or a teammate who singles you out just because you’re different. There are administrators who stand behind the institution, rather than behind the students who need help the most. I could list more, not just because I’ve seen it, but as I said, I’ve been victim to it.
So there I was, with my new truck and MickBie, and trying to decide what I was going to do. I was so tired.
I had no more strength and my heart was torn between fight or flight. I even packed a bag. Bullies all over were hitting me: faculty who were forcing their opinions on me, and peers who were supposed to defend me were forcing me to be alone.
There were even professors who were supposed to work within my disabilities and well, didn’t. But, then I thought of my wonderful professors, who forced me, but this time towards excellence. And there were my friends who fought for me both in life and in prayer, forcing me to be better, forcing me to try, forcing me to have hope.
I realized my decision would result in a win of some sort. If I left, I would be letting the Bad Bullies win. If I stayed, I was not only letting the Good Bullies win, but letting myself win, as well. That’s when it hit me, the decision was mine. Forcing myself out, or forcing me to embrace the chaos, I was my own worst bully; bad or good