You Can’t Bully A Memory
At one time or another, I’m sure everyone has been bullied. Whether it’s been physical or emotional, in jest, or with malice, most of us have been there. But what do you do when the bully is a member of your own family? How do you respond when it’s a sibling and that forces your hand with their “convictions” and it goes beyond rivalry? When does imposing your beliefs upon someone else become bullying?
There is something to be said for having strong convictions, but where do you draw the line between that and arrogance? Furthermore, what is the difference between being arrogant and being a know-it-all? From personal experience, I don’t feel like there is much difference between these traits at all. However, as I’m sure everyone has learned at some point, there are two sides to every story. So, for some, I may be blurring the lines of these definitions. But for me, they are one in the same.
You see, this happened to me.
I wrote about my perception of what childhood was like for me with an addicted parent, and my sibling denied my recollection. The imposition of his convictions came pounding down my virtual door like a battering ram. He held his opinion of what I wrote so highly that his strong convictions about “what really happened,” quickly turned confrontational.
That confrontation ultimately, and swiftly, crossed over to bullying when I refused to edit my story as he requested. The bullying included, but was not limited to, vulgarity, harassment, and threats of legal action, against the publisher and me.
My own strong convictions told me to stand my ground. What I wrote was the truth – MY TRUTH. Names and dates were not specified, I didn’t provide documented proof of my recollection, and the situations referenced were in regards to my own experience. It was never meant to be scientific. They were my memories that only I could have written about.
You can’t bully a memory.
But, I caved. I fell victim to a bully.
I didn’t give in because I was afraid. I didn’t give in because he was right and I was wrong. I gave in because my strong morals and family values far surpass any strong convictions I will ever stand behind. When our daily routine, my children’s sense of normalcy, our family dynamic and the publisher was threatened, I felt it was much more important to rescind the publication causing the upheaval than to fight for my words. It was all for the greater good, I convinced myself.
HuffPost Parents recently shared an article entitled Sibling Bullying As Detrimental As Peer Bullying, Study Claims. After the experience I had, I completely agree. Just because the bully is your family, doesn’t make it okay or any less harmful. If anything, it hurts even more!
My job as a mom is to protect my children, and I can’t properly do that if I don’t protect myself. So do you forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones, chalk it up to a bad day and move on?
Maybe, but I can’t do that.
Correction—I won’t do that anymore.
This post was submitted to SoberMommies Anonymously.
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.