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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dealing with Cancer Bullies

We have all been affected by bullies, in one way or another. Unfortunately it’s part of the growing up process, a problem we all face. Sadly bullying has become an increasingly wide spread problem even amongst adults especially with advances in technology. As a child I dealt with bullies, those who didn’t like me personally for one reason or another, but mostly by those who felt threatened by my inner joy in the face of trying circumstances. I hate to say this but bullying, at least the kind I grew up with before the age of texting, emails and facebook was one of those terrible ways we learned to deal with confrontation, to develop a thicker skin so to speak. But in today’s world the problem is we have no refuge from bullies, they are everywhere, and they have access to every part of our lives, not just an opportune meeting behind the school dumpster anymore but far greater and damaging means. Bullies terrorize the lives of those they see as weak; they are merciless, pitiless, stone-hearted, harsh, heartless, unsparing, callous, beastly, cold-blooded, ruthless, unkind and calculating. Come to think about it in many ways bullies and cancer are cut from the same clothe.

Let’s face it many of us have been bullied all our lives while for others we might in our adult lives be dealing with a bully situation for the very first time. However or by whatever means you have found yourself the target of a bully with a bright red and white target on your back, it’s disheartening. No one likes to feel cornered or bruised emotionally especially not so someone else can feel superior; it’s just not a fun situation to find yourself in. Yet as grown adults we still wake up feeling we are hiding, praying not to find ourselves shoved into those old Jr. High school lockers yet again.

Why do adults decide to bully other adults? Well it’s as simple as feeling inadequate to having a God complex. Either way, bullies must express their distain for anyone they fear can dethrone them. I like to think of it as a power struggle. On one side you have an arrogant king, who has everything worldly a man could desire sitting so far above his people he has lost touch with reality, just a difference of opinion and it’s off with your head. On the other end of the spectrum you have a lowly servant, with no real worldly treasure, yet he has everything, understanding the reality of his own situation choosing to embrace the hardships he bares with love, joy and goodness in his heart. Some how, these bullies we encounter have become callus, indifferent to anyone but themselves and seeing our lives filled with hopeful perspective, they become enraged.

Reality check: as adults, living with any form of cancer, you will at one time or another deal with what I call the dreaded Cancer Bullies. Now, you have your typical bullies, your creepy cyber bullies and then you have the cancer bully. These particular bullies well they are the type who gain a sense of accomplishment by attacking not just the weak, but the sick. Cancer bullies are not your standard, everyday bully. Nope, these kinds of bullies carry a special crude kind of meanness, a vial, cruelty only a few possess or would dare to display for the world to see. Cancer bullies strike not only at opportune moment when you are weak, but when they feel they can robe your spirit of whatever hope you have left!

I know this because I have dealt with my fair share of them since my breast cancer diagnosis. I’ve been told everything from how my illness is an unpleasant thing to have to hear about, to being reminded how they are praying for my bias, cold and unchristian, heart and soul. Yep it has even gone as far as to make it crystal clear I need to let God work through and change my horrible perspective on life.  The truth is I am not perfect, I struggle and yes I fail miserably many times but why is it folks like this feel compelled to squash you like an ant? The real kicker is most of the time they are acting out everything they are accusing you of, giving themselves hall passes while they write you up for their own infringements. Certainly you would think these types would at least stay in the shadows, having enough sense not to be caught in the act right? Nope, sadly it’s the complete opposite! Cancer bullies believe so fervently in their mission that they in fact thrive on the pain and drama they themselves create while blaming you for the root of it. What is most shocking though is how they enjoy not only your pain but also the pain your family feels helplessly watching each one of their harsh blows to your head. If they could carry around a trophy, proclaiming to the world one minute they are a victim and next take credit for being the victimizer you can bet your bottom dollar they would without a second thought. Let’s face it they are villains circling the wagons from the outside while staging an attack from the inside. Many times, bullies come from your inner circle, triumphantly handing you one final blow as they gleefully dance around your mangled spirit left as a spectacle for everyone to see. Honestly it’s all very sad, and no one ever wins. In fact even the bullies don’t win because they have to keep up their game of thrones, reinvent scare tactics, reinforce malicious fear mongering, perfecting the finger wave all while planning new and greater ways of launching their diabolical plans of wrath upon you. In short and they must throw anyone but themselves under the out of control train they have left barreling down the tracks unmanned.

I sometime get the feeling bullies are trying to save their own souls while sucking the life out of mine to be completely honest. In many ways they are vampires, soulless, cold, very real and even deadlier than any storybook character you can bring to mind. Calling those of us out on the carpet who have been dealt the Big C is not enough, no these bullies have to troll, looking for small infractions, moments of weakness ,belittling those who are physically ill. And why, well your guess is honestly as good as mine but in my opinion I believe they are simply compelled to do so, they must save you from yourself. After all it’s for your own good, a spiritual right they have mastered, completely tearing apart anything good, brave, seemly and wholesome about you. And why, truthfully it’s all in the mind set. Many times it’s because these bullies feel they are entitled, as if they are honestly saving your soul by beating you into submission. For many cancer bullies it’s along the lines of feeding a bad habit, needing to fuel their addiction to power simply by shoving those meeker, inferior folks into lockers.

If you have ever faced a cancer bully, then I do not really have to tell you they are apathetic, blind to joy, deaf to hope, indifferent to love, and soulless fiends. Bullies absorb strife in much the same way we express joy. But my challenge to you my friends today is this: if you are staring down a bully, if this very situation has wrapped you up inside tight DO NOT stand for it any longer! Break free from cancer and her consorts, their chains of brutal, numb bitterness are no more than an indulgent exaggerated reaction to their own fear of mortality. Think of cancer bullies and their schemes in the terms of a fixation, a fixed idea, hang-up, mania, a neurosis, completely irrational obsession and a preoccupation with overhauling your life while trying to stabilize their own!

My advice is this: It’s way past time to stop drinking the Kool-Aid! Do not allow cancer bullies, or for that matter any kind of bully a place in your life. You can try to ignore these bullies’ unsubtle attempts at debugging your life, blaming you for their own secrets and troubles or you can take a stand, say enough is enough and begin healing your own wounded spirit. Maybe it’s time to divert the Bully Plan and begin building up, mending, recovering, repairing and reinstating the get-up-and-go, go, the lifeblood, liveliness, sparkle , vitality, energy, enthusiasm and excitement you once subscribed to before signing the Bully Pact. Forcing you into their misguided, surely not for your good kind of agreement through belligerent means is not healthy for either party. The audacity of a Cancer Bully is incredulous, the way they intimidate, break, damage, destroy, and cause hurt is intrusive, detrimental, damaging and toxic to your recovery. Go ahead hand back, return, send back to sender the insanity of a Cancer Bullies quarrelsome undesirable endowment of trouble with a capital T! It’s just not worth the drama of finding your hope hacked to pieces every morning!

Go ahead; buckle up, because cancer is a bumpy ride. No matter what spin you take on the beast’s ship of insanity, it’s going to go through rough, choppy waters, it’s just a matter of whether you are going to sail aboard a sinking ship or find a way to make it across, alive and well. The bottom line my friends, you don’t have to go through this passage alone, the heading does not have to wreck your life upon the rocks and by all means you no longer have to endure fear of those who can not let go of the steering wheel. Go on reinforce your walls, reintroduce yourself to the water, strengthen your heart for the journey and begin recalling the reasons you have hidden HOPE deep within your soul to begin with! Breaking free from Cancer Bullies is like taking a breath of fresh air. Think of it as capsizing at first, the fear is almost enough to take you down into the dark, deep depths of despair or like needing a breathing apparatus just to navigate through the shallow end of a pool. But what happens after you have come up for air, you see land, and you know you yourself have the strength inside to make it to shore. Instead of being over come, suffocating and thrashing around in the Bully’s end of the ocean embrace the hope you have inside your spirit, latch onto your inner faith , the strength of your joy and the resounding love of your heart and you will find peace again.


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