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Bullying in Adult Life

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Some people may think that because I am now an adult and in the military that bullying in my life is gone, that it doesn’t exist at all for me. Just to be clear, it hasn’t completely ended. Granted, it isn’t as harsh as it was in high school, but I still do get messed with at times. Just understand that it’s still not over for me; I’m still dealing with it, too. I hate it just as much as I did in high school. Like I’ve said before, I understand what you’re going through. Please talk to me, you don’t need to keep it to yourself like I did. It doesn’t help.

Although my life in high school has ended, I still feel like the environment hasn’t changed when it comes to having a job. People hang out in their own groups and if you don’t fit in with them, you feel left out. I have co-workers that don’t like me, laugh at me for stupid reasons, and tend to talk crap about me behind my back. I don’t know why they do it. I know I’ve never done anything to deserve that from them. I guess that’s just the way people get along with one another. They target someone who is different from themselves and use that as a shared interest. I just wish that “shared interest” wasn’t me.

After arriving to work one night, one of my shift’s supervisors drove to my location to use the phone. After hanging up, this person walked toward me and blatantly said, “I haven’t even been here five minutes and I already don’t like you.” I replied, “Okay?” He began taking slow steps back towards his vehicle. As he did this, he said, “You better watch yourself; you’re not in Mexico anymore.” Walking away snickering to himself, this supervisor, this person who was supposed to be a mentor to us, who was supposed to be an example and a leader, got in his vehicle and drove away.

I still don’t understand why people treat others this way. Especially people in leadership positions who are supposed be good examples to others and represent our military. People like that should be making our country proud and working alongside others in uniform without treating them with such harsh disrespect. I hadn’t even spoken two words to this person and he judged me right away by the color of my skin. I’d always wanted to be in the military. It made me feel like I was a part of something great. Like I was a part of a special group of people and I would be accepted because I earned it. I guess not everyone thinks that way.

A couple of years ago after arriving at work, my co-workers and I were gathered in a room for a briefing before we started our shift. Our supervisors were just letting us know which appointments we needed to get to and about a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” questionnaire we needed to complete online. This was during the time that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the military had ended. I hadn’t had the chance to go online and complete mine yet. One of the supervisors let me and one other airman know that we needed to complete it. I just nodded my head and thought that was the end of that topic; unfortunately, I was wrong. A different supervisor decided to make a joke out of the entire thing and harshly said, “So is that why you haven’t done it?” I couldn’t believe he said that. I was annoyed and embarrassed, but most of all, I was angry. To make things worse, everyone started laughing at me. I didn’t want to look at anyone. I just kept quiet and kept looking forward. There were a couple of people who tried talking to me, but I ignored them. One co-worker, who I considered a friend, got to me and told me that I should just walk out of there and not care what they think. I didn’t do it. My mind wanted to leave, but my body was frozen in place. I didn’t want everyone to know how much that had affected me.

After the briefing, my boss took me aside and into a small room and had a talk with me. He was concerned about me because of what had happened. He asked me if I was okay and let me know that he knew what that supervisor had done was completely out of line. He even asked me if I would be alright to continue working. I guess he thought I was going to “seek revenge” or something of that manner. During this time, the supervisor who had humiliated me tried interrupting my boss to apologize to me. My boss didn’t allow it and slammed the door in his face. I was secretly glad that he did that. It gave me a small amount of satisfaction knowing that he was probably going to get yelled at later by my boss.

No one at work knew about all the humiliation I had undergone during my school years. Everyday at school I would get made fun of and called gay, fag or homo, to name a few. What that supervisor said brought back all those memories. It affected me more than it would have any other person who hadn’t already endured that for so long. I didn’t want to relive those painful feelings, but I didn’t have a choice.

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Being in the military has changed my life in many ways. Even though there are instances in military life that make me feel like I’m still the outcast like I was in school, I have never regretted joining. I don’t want these kinds of people to discourage any of you. I don’t want anyone to think that bullying is never ending and that you should give up hope. Yes, every once in a while, I still have to deal with it, but I know how to get through it now. I don’t let them keep me down even when I feel like falling apart. When these things happen, I don’t keep them to myself. Even if I feel ashamed, I tell my wife or my family. If I kept these things to myself, I would probably lose all self-confidence. I don’t want to lose faith; I want to be reminded that things won’t always be that way. Talking to my family ensures that I never forget.

The thing to remember is to be brave enough to keep your head up. If something happens and you don’t want to go to your parents about it, go to a friend. Call someone; talk to anyone who is willing to listen. So I ask, will you stand up for those who can’t? Will you speak for the silent? Will you give a hug to the individuals who need it? I want to remind everyone that there are ways to stop bullying. You just need to be able to stand up for those who are being bullied. It’s not too late to do the right thing. Lend a hand to those who need it.

Until next time everyone…

Meaningless Rumors

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Did you ever get that feeling in high school that you’re meant for something greater in life? Though when you get that feeling, you come back to reality and see that you’re just a nobody. I’ve thought and had that feeling before, you’re not the only one. The reason you have that feeling is because you are meant for something greater. Don’t underestimate the things that you can do. Don’t give up on yourself.

Your senior year is supposed to be the best year in high school; mine was the most annoying. People would constantly insult me for no reason. I just looked down and tried my best to ignore them. Everyone my senior year was applying for colleges, starting family businesses, or joining the military. As for me, I was trying to stay under the radar for as long as I could until I graduated. My physics teacher asked me what I was planning on doing after high school. The first thing that came to my mind was: “Joining the military.” Instead, I told him I didn’t know. At the time, I didn’t think I could make it in the military. I thought they’d send me home for being fat and lazy, so I tried putting my mind towards a different path.

As I walked to the end of the hall, I spotted the four guys who’d always pick on me, just standing there, waiting. They asked me why I was spreading rumors about one of the friends in their group. I was confused and said I didn’t know what they were talking about. They said I was lying, that they knew I was spreading rumors. The guy I supposedly started a rumor about, stepped closer to me and said, “Do you have something to say to me, faggot?” I looked down and shook my head. He smacked my face, walked away and told the group to beat me up. They sounded excited, like they had been waiting forever for that opportunity. As I stood there up against the wall, I slowly slid down until I was sitting on the floor. One of them grabbed my backpack in an attempt to get me up. In my head, I was yelling for help and help arrived. A security guard approached us and told me to, “Go away.” I got out of there as fast as I could. As I left, I could hear him yelling at the group of guys.

I waited in the restroom for the bell to ring, so I could just head to my first class. I tried to act indifferent about everything that had happened that day. I tried to convince myself that it was just a normal day. That is until the guy I “started a rumor about” walked up next to me. He whispered, “If you think you’re going to get away with this, think again. You’ll be seeing us soon,” and he walked off, sneering at me. I hated getting threats, it made me feel like I couldn’t be happy for, at least, one day. That’s all I could think about for the next couple of weeks. I walked from class to class, noticing how everyone was enjoying their senior year. I envied them so much; they didn’t have to deal with what I was going through. The other seniors would walk happily to their classes enjoying their last few weeks of school. I wish school was that easy for me.

It was the day of the seniors’ final exams. As I arrived at school, I felt nervous. I didn’t feel safe there anymore. To make things worse, I couldn’t focus and it was almost time to sit down and take our end of year exams. I tried my best to take my time and do my best, but all I could think about was when the next hit from those guys was going to come. When I finished, I left the room where the exams were being held. I sighed and took off to my following class, taking my time as I walked. As I was got closer, I noticed three guys were standing next to my classroom waiting for me. One of them was the guy I had supposedly started a rumor about. They walked up to me, shoved me against the wall, and walked away, throwing trash at me. Once they were out of sight, I tried to pull myself together and get into class before I got in trouble.

It seems like bullies think their job is never over until they push their victims past their limits. I always felt like my bullies would mess with me to see if I would dare stand up to them. Even though I hated every second of it, wanted to quit school, and tried to end my life once before, I was strong enough to push through. Remember, no matter how hard it gets, push through it. You have people around you that support you. There are people out there that want to help you. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Until next time everyone…

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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Popular kids in high school don’t get that it’s a lot harder to go through shool being a target. What questions me, is why make us bully victims lower than we already feel? Are you afraid to lose your fame if you became friends with us? I never got a chance to speak to one of the individuals that bullied me but I always wondered what would happen. Then I come back to reality and think that they’ll never change.

Being a junior in high school, is like the comfort spot for high school students. Juniors don’t really get messed with a lot but you don’t really rule the school yet either. I tried enjoying my junior year by buying the junior shirts, going to the junior assemblies, even joining in on the junior fundraisers. All I got out of that was humiliation. They would say things like “I didn’t know they let special ed students join in on assemblies” or “Who told the fag about the fundraiser?”. I used to try and ignore them by pretending I wasn’t listening, but that doesn’t really help. They would say “What’s the matter josh, you have too much gay-wax in your ear?” It’s not easy trying to have a good day at school when others are making it their mission to make your life horrible.

The beginning of that year, I was able to get a Jansport net backpack. I liked it; it’s what everyone else would use for a backpack. What everyone didn’t know was that it belonged to my sister Tannia. I never got a chance to thank her for that; she saved me from being from being bullied for the backpack I wore for school. Even though she helped me with that, no one could stop them from making fun of me for the clothes I wore.

My JROTC instructor Mr.Rodriguez gave me a sweater my sophomore year a few months before he left our program. I never had a chance to wear it until my junior year. At that time, I figured if I was going to be made fun of because I wore the junior class shirts, then I decided to wear my JROTC sweater instead. A couple of weeks went by and no one really made of me wearing for my sweater. The following week, I decided to wear it again with a little bit of confidence. Remind you, confidence is something I never really developed growing up so I was extremely nervous.

That monday, I went to school and headed to my first class when out of nowhere one of the jerks kicked yogurt at my face. It felt like they put rocks in the yogurt; I stood there as he and his little group passed by while each of them called me a bitch and a faggot. I tried not to tear from the pain and just headed to the nearest restroom. On my way there, one of our assistant principles was standing in the middle of a hallway just looking at me. After 30 seconds of staring, he asked “Do you need anything?” I wiped some yogurt off my left eye and looked at him in distraught. What kind of assistant principal is that clueless? I wasn’t even coming from the cafeteria with yogurt in my face. I replied “Assistance maybe?” He didn’t do anything but point me to the restroom.

When I was able to get the yogurt off my face I was angry to find out that my favorite sweater had splattered yogurt all over it. I tried to get as much of the yogurt off my sweater but it didn’t help. I sat in a restroom stall and wished I was out of that four year prison. That whole day at school, I couldn’t help but hit myself and call myself an idiot for thinking being confident was going to stop the bullying. I never made that mistake again after that day.

Parents take my word for it, if you know your child is having a hard time in school, do something. You just need to give them a little nudge to let them know you’re there for them. Yes, they’ll be embarrassed about it, but you’ll be fixing their future. In the long run they’ll thank you.

Until next time everyone…

Write a Letter

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When I was in school, I would write a variety of letters to all the people who picked on me at the time, but I’d never send them. I would write out my pain in hopes that I’d feel better. Doing this helped me more than I ever realized. I would cry just from replaying how my day had gone.

The first time I did this was in 5th grade; that was the time I started wearing glasses. I had mixed feelings about wearing them. I kind of felt smarter, but at the same time I didn’t want to wear them because I knew that someone would try to break them. I even tried taking them off during the day, so that maybe they would forget I had them sometimes. Every time I would wear them at lunch, the guys that bullied me would either flick macaroni onto them, smash them into my food, and even throw them across the cafeteria. I was sick and tired of it. After weeks of my glasses being abused, I wanted to start leaving them in my desk. It was bad enough that I had bruises on my head from being smacked so many times; I wasn’t going to let them break something my parents worked hard to pay for.

After the weekend, I reminded myself to leave my glasses in my desk cubbyhole so nothing would happen to them. When our class left for lunch, I hovered around my food so no one would put anything in it or spit in it this time. I looked from left to right and realized that no one was around. I was actually going to be able to enjoy my food. I was glad nothing happened to me during lunch that is, of course, until we lined up to go back to class. Since we always lined up alphabetically, I was near the back of the line. The two kids behind me decided to put napkins and chocolate milk cartons down my pants. They whispered in my ear saying, “Trash for the little bitch,” and laughed as everyone walked into class and back to their assigned seats. I automatically asked my teacher if I could go to the restroom. I left the classroom completely annoyed as I felt the chocolate milk slowly run down my leg.

As I cleaned myself up and left the restroom, I tried not to cry about it and go on with my day. I got to my seat only to have those jerks sneak in two hard smacks across my head before our teacher finished talking to another teacher across the hall. When she got back to class, she ordered the us to get a piece of paper and pencil so we could start our assignment. When I went to reach for my pencil I noticed it was broken and so were my glasses. I picked up the pieces of my glasses and the jerks behind me start laughing. I just sat in my seat thinking that my parents were going to me mad at me. My teacher noticed my glasses were broken and asked “Joshua, how did you break your glasses?” I didn’t want to tell the truth so I told her I had accidentally sat on them. The guys behind me started calling me a fatass just as soon as our teacher turned around to write our assignment on the chalkboard. On the bus ride home, I thought about my parents reaction and I dreaded the moment I was going to have to show them my glasses.

When I got off the bus, I went inside and showed my parents my glasses. They weren’t really mad, just upset and told me to start wearing them with tape on the middle and sides. I accepted it even though it wasn’t my fault. After that day, I wrote my first letter. At first I just wanted to write out how I felt; I didn’t expect to write out two and a half pages, front and back. After I finished writing my thoughts, I threw away the letter. As a kid, I pretended that the trash was the mailbox and the workers that came to pick up our trash, would mail my letter to the jerks that picked on me. From what I can remember, the first page of my letter had no kind of organization. I just wrote words that expressed what I was feeling, such as:

Sad

Depressed

Pathetic

Angry

Alone

Misunderstood

Then I wrote out a letter to my bullies in three categories:

Reasons Why I Don’t Like You

What You Can Do to Change

Why I Think You Should Leave the School

I told them in my letter that I didnt like them because they would constantly remind me how “poor” I was and how “rich” they were. I told them that they could change by living in my neighborhood and putting themselves in my shoes for a day so that they could understand my life better. I also told them that I wanted them to leave the school so that my life could be better. I was so tired of being afraid of them. Writing these letters was the only way I felt that I could say what I wanted without having someone suppress my thoughts and feelings.

With that being said, I have another request. If you’re being bullied either at school or work, don’t be ashamed to write it out. Send it to me. I’m interested to read what you have to say to those people who have ever made you feel bad about who you are just for the fun of it. Again, I promise I will never show anyone anything you send me. It isn’t fair for people to say such hurtful things to you without giving you the chance to stand up for yourself and let them know how you’re feeling. Even though some of us will never really have the chance to confront our school bullies, writing this letter just might help you in a way you don’t realize, so let it out. It just might be worth it.

I also just want to say that if you’re thinking about doing anything drastic because of bullying, please don’t. Not only will your family and friends miss you, I’ll miss you as well. Like I’ve said before, if you need a friend then talk to me. Let me know what’s going on. If you’re going through a hard time and want to vent, let me know. I really want to help. So go for it, email me you’re letters and I will reply. My personal email is: Joshua_angel_193@yahoo.com. I look forward to your emails 🙂

Until next time everyone…

To My Friends

Hey everybody,

So this blog isn’t like the other blogs. This blog, I want to hear from you. If there are any questions, comments, or any concerns please let me know. This message is for everyone and anyone; nobody is left behind. I want to do something that no one had done for me when I was growing up; I want to listen. I want to read your stories; this goes for kids, teenagers and adults. Tell me your story and how you’re dealing with it or how you dealt with it. If you want, tell me what no one knows and I promise I won’t say a word. If you have any questions about things like this let me know. If you were a bully and want to make amends, talk to me. Now is the time to make things right, it’s not too late. Be the better person and make things right. If you just need to get something off your chest let me know and I will be there for you. You can message me on Facebook under Joshua Ramos or find/follow me on Twitter @bullied2airman. If you don’t have either accounts, you can easily comment this post and I will send you my personal email. I am willing to listen if you’re willing to open up to me. I don’t want another individual to take the ultimate sacrifice when there was something I could’ve done. Lets do this everyone; tell me your story.

A Teenagers Routine

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I know people say you have to work hard to get what you want. I just didn’t know you had to work that hard to have a normal life. Nobody’s perfect, so just because you see someone that doesn’t fit in with you doesn’t give you the right to call out their flaws. Growing up, I learned to never make fun of someone, ever. If I did, I would apologize and be their friend, which is something I would’ve wanted to happen to me. Unfortunately, there were no such people like that in my high school.

As I walked the hallways during my sophomore year, I noticed everyone had a routine in high school.  For instance, a football player gets to school, eats a fast breakfast, goes to hang out with the other players, and they take off to morning practice for a game that day. Whereas for me, my routine was to get dropped off, fast pace to the cafeteria, be called a fag at least 7 times through peoples coughs, get a small amount of food that I could carry with both hands so no one can take it from me, be around people that I didn’t really hang out with, eat my little amount of food and head to my first class. Some days I would get food and others I wouldnt, depending on how the day was.

It’s sad knowing I didn’t try to defend myself. I mean, I had friends at the time, I didnt want to tell them I was being bullied, in the fear that, they would probably stop talking to me. I just wanted the bullying to stop already, I felt I reached my max of being bullied. I was 15 years old, and so were they. You’d think they would’ve matured enough by then.

The summer before 10th grade, I was able to buy name brand converse. I told my mom I wouldn’t ask for any money if she would buy them for me. She was a little upset, but thankfully she bought them anyway. I was heading to my biology class with my new shoes and it was dumb thinking it, but I felt as if buying those shoes might finally get people to stop bullying me; again….that was just a false hope. Sadly, they thought I bought them at a secondhand store. For a second, I was willing to accept it and say I did buy them there but it didn’t feel right to spread that lie. I raised my voice and told them I bought them brand new, that didn’t go well. One of the jerks got right in my face and told me “did you buy those high-tops so you can finally wear your gay rainbow sock?” I looked down; so much was going through my head.

I wanted to uppercut his face so bad because one, I was tired of his crap and his lies and two, his breath smelled like rotten meat. As he walked away he gave me a quick backhand smack across my face. Filled with rage, I didn’t say anything to him, he just walked away with his friends telling students down the hall that I was wearing rainbow socks in my secondhand converse. I shook my head and prayed in that this will all be over soon and I will never have to see them again. After that happened, I walked straight to the restroom. I hit my thighs as I much and as hard as I could so I wouldn’t feel hurt about him hitting me and those jerks spreading more lies about me. I thought to myself I was done trying to impress them; never again was I going to do it. I was going to wear what I felt like wearing because I wanted to. If people made fun of me for it, I’d feel ashamed but I’d try my best to brush it off and go on with my day.

Regardless of what people said, I tried to be myself in any way possible. I figured it would be the best revenge against them. After a while, it didn’t seem like I was getting revenge, it seemed like I was asking them to bully me just by being myself. I didn’t know what to do anymore; It’s as if I made a bigger target for myself. There was no point in trying to rebel because they weren’t going to stop. Every time someone made fun of me in front of people, I couldn’t help but hit myself. My parents always asked why I wanted shorts that passed my knees. I woud lied to them and say I didn’t like seeing the scar I had on my knee from a bike accident or I would say I didnt like that I had really dry knees.

The truth is I had so many bruises from on my arms and thighs, I could’ve done some serious damage to myself. I couldn’t run as much or squat, the pain was a lot to take. Although my thighs hurt, they didn’t hurt as much as getting bullied in front of almost everyone at school. At the time it made sense, for every bruise I made on myself, that bruise was meant for every word they used to bully me.

Teenagers, if you don’t have anyone to talk to and you’re getting bullied, talk to me about it. You can message me on Facebook if you want. If you need a friend, I can be one. I don’t want another person to go through what I went through, it’s unnecessary and it can be prevented. I understand how hard things can be, it doesn’t mean you have to go through them alone. I’m here…let me help.

Until next time everyone….