Monday, December 24, 2018

On Bullies and Silence


Part of a series. Start here.

As a de facto only child for nine years, I was quiet and secretive. Even those few times when I did speak up, I’d say what I had to say only once, and let it go if no one listened.

My secretiveness served me well when I held a security clearance decades ago. The Non-Disclosure Agreement we signed had a length of ten years, but many years passed after its expiration before I told my parents what my job had been. And I mentioned it only incidentally and after reminding myself that I wouldn't go to jail if I did it.

As I get older, I get mouthier, but my natural tendency remains, especially with things which are meaningful, painful, and emotional.

I’ve been bullied often – as a child, a teenager, a young adult, in middle age, and as an adult approaching senior citizen status. I don’t hate the perpetrators – several of them are on my personal prayer list – nor do I feel sorry for myself because of it. In fact, I’ve come to view it as a symptom of a greater factor in my life: God’s protection of my physical and mental/emotional selves – a pattern I’ve noticed only in recent years. He has even protected me from the more catastrophic personal consequences of my own sins. Here's the evidence.

The bullies have had one thing in common: an inexplicable aversion to me.

Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t had people who dislike me for explainable reasons. I’ve mentioned that I’ve done some bad things. Also, I can be a pain in the backside, sometimes intentionally.

But, I’m not talking about those cases.

There have been people who have disliked me on sight and would have nothing to do with me. Others have turned their faces away from me after claiming to love me and this is about more than romantic relationships. Of these, I can look back and see that the aversion may have been spiritually-driven: that their faces were turned away from me for my protection and by that, I mean all facets of protection mentioned.

But it was only during my homelessness stint that I was able to truly see the spiritual aspect of it. And He gave me a taste of what we are all up against by allowing the insertion of a servant of the Adversary into my living space.

I was bullied by that servant. Oh, she never laid a hand on me; that would have been easy to solve, since I believe in using blunt instruments. This was worse.

And I have been silent about it – except to a few – for four years. But, I think it’s time to talk about it. Bullies rely on silence.

It won’t be what you expect.

I felt that it was necessary to give some sense of what it’s like to look back on these things. God gave me a love of identifying patterns and I hope that this post assists you in seeing that pattern also.

Call it the glue that links to posts together. Now I think I'm ready.

PREVIOUSLY IN THE SERIES:

Banishing the Voice of the Enemy

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