Bullying and abuse

Naisla sam na internetu, trazeci zapravo emoticons za download, na zanimljiv tekst. Preporucam svim roditeljima, pedagozima i stalkerima. Ovim zadnjima kako bi na vrijeme uvidjeli svoje osobne psihicke probleme koje u neznanju boljeg hendlanja prenose na druge.


Prenosim dio teksta:

15 year old Jeffrey Scott Johnston killed himself after a three year Internet campaign orchestrated and carried out by a classmate called Robert Roemmick who to this day shows no remorse for what he drove a young boy to do.
Jeff’s mother has posed the question, which I paraphrase here, “Knowing that he was only going to find pain and injury, why did Jeff keep logging on to the Internet?”

You could ask the same question of any person who is bullied via a dozen Internet technologies. You could even ask “Why do you keep looking at texts or answering the phone to people who you know will hurt you?”

Anyone who’s ever been bullied will be able to answer that question in an instant. There are several reasons:

As soon as you allow the bullies to chase you out of your own world, then you’re truly defeated. If you’ve ever seen a bully hold down a kid, and torment them in some way to make the victim say what the bully wants, you’ll know that most victims will endure an inordinate amount of pain before finally surrendering. In fact, in that situation, many will take genuine injury, rather than surrender. Stubborn resistance is often the only dignity left to the chronically bullied. The last vestige of control over their own desitiny.


So sometimes, although it’s painful to see and hear the hateful lies people might be saying about you, at least if you know what people are saying, you can try to fight it. A whispering campaign behind your back can destroy your life just as surely, with a million knives in the back. I respect Jeff Johnston for his approach. He had the courage to face his tormentors – to know his enemies. What he lacked, was the aggressive nature that would have allowed him to take the fight to them. It’s a characteristic of many sensitive kids.

I think that for some kids, the belief that the situation may be resolvable is what helps them to endure. So they continue to go where they are tormented, to listen to the words of those that hurt them, because they cling to the hope that if they could just find allies; if they could explain their point of view; if they could just detect a softening in the hate, then they could turn things around and finally end their torment. It’s a wonderful characteristic – the childlike innocence and belief that every situation is saveable. It’s also not true.

It’s particularly ironic that Jeffrey’s tormentor, Robert Roemmick now complains about verbal harassment from strangers on his Myspace and Facebook accounts. He declares, “I am done with this section of my life…

I wonder if he put it behind him before or after allegedly sending instant messages entitled “Boo hoo your son’s dead”? Or after allegedly starting websites to attack Jeffrey’s mother following the boy’s suicide? He further complains, “People who DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ME were harassing me through MySpace and Facebook”. Welcome to Jeffrey’s world. Maybe your comments and your actions before and after Jeffrey’s death say all that anyone needs to know about you Robert. Looks like your birds have come home to roost.
I did invite Robert to put his side of the story, because it seemedthat there might be more to this than met the eye, but he has politely declined.
It’s also especially telling that having allegedly attacked Jeffrey’s sexuality, Robert now acknowledges that he himself is gay. Was Robert trying to redirect attention, or was it, as he asserts, preposterous that he would attack Jeffrey for a trait he himself shared (if he was out at that time). Of course, the epithet “faggot”, is often used without literal reference to a person’s sexuality, so who knows? Jeffrey may have felt his masculinity being attacked, whilst Robert was simply being generically offensive.
To be honest, I had planned to write an extremely offensive concluding comment aimed at Robert here, but having briefly spoken to him, I didn’t find him to be the beast he has been portrayed to be. He is polite, patient and respectful. He complains that every interview he and his friends have ever granted, has been cut and edited to fit the picture of them as tormentors.

I have sympathy for him on that. I know what a manipulative bunch of ammoral scum some journalists can be. On the other hand, again, I wonder if that was how Jeffrey felt, as his actions were portrayed by Robert and his friends, to fit this negative image they’d built of him. To hack away at someone for almost three years seems to me to betray a particularly vindictive and unpleasant personality. But what do I know? I wasn’t there. Robert probably had a perfectly good reason to drive Jeffrey to his death. Like the fact that Jeff looked a bit different, wore black, or had long hair…

I very much wish that for the sake of balance, Robert would explain his side of the story, because no matter how pleasant he is now, I can’t get it out of my head that he appears to feel absolutely no sadness or remorse that his words and actions, no matter how justified he may have felt them to be at the time, drove a boy to suicide. And if Robert really cares nothing about that, then he truly is psychopathic scum, and really shouldn’t be free to walk around with decent people.

Te neki od komentara

– Roemmick undoubtedly can act polite, simply because, as most bullies are aware, it gets him nowhere showcasing his true self on every occasion. Abusive kids, abusive partners, abusive coworkers know how to portray themselves as harmless ‘teasers’ or suggest that they are the victims themselves (as Roemmick is now suggesting he is). Many bullies get along well with teachers, with supervisors, as they are able to compartmentalize their mental health issues and create an illusion of normalcy, while the victim of their abuse, after months of stalking, often seems to outsiders to be mentally unstable. The more we see bullying as stalking, and see bullies as people with obvious mental health issues, the more attitudes towards this type of behavior will change and be less tolerant.