Friday, 31 December 2010

Some Never Left The Playground.

Ah, the playground, times recalled of the joy in a young child's heart.  The fun, the laughter, the innocent games of childhood.  Yet, not all children had games of fun to keep them amused.   For they were the playground bullies and the only games they wished to play, involved toying with the minds of the vulnerable little ones.
Some of the bullies never left the playground.  They brought their evil into their adult working lives.  The games, the mind games, took on a more sinister and complex nature.
I never really fit in at work.  I was different, a foreigner, an outsider.  I tried to ignore the abuse.  Maybe if I pretended the writing on the wall that stated, 'You foreign bastard!  Fuck off back to Canada!  Stop taking jobs away from us English!',  wasn't really there, that all would be okay.  Oh, how wrong I was.
The torrent of abuse, went on, unabated, for more than eight years, physically, financially, and worst of all, psychologically.  Here I was, a man trying to support his wife and son, falling apart and descending into a world or relentless insanity.  Racked with guilt, I felt I'd let my family down.  Once, a strong and happy man, now barely a man at all.
My mind and my body, could take no more.  I collapsed at home, a quivering wreck.  My doctor put me on sick leave.  This would be the start of a breakdown that scared and humbled me.
I returned to work a month later.  With trepidation, I attempted to do my daily routines.  'Hey nutter?!  What's wrong with you?  Poor baby not very well?!' taunted the bullies. Well, no I wasn't and I left the job, for good.
The ripple effect of leaving my job, was to take its toll on my family.  I turned to drink to numb the escalating reality that I was becoming mentally ill.  This only compounded the problem and my wife left with our son, to start a new life.  My breakdown was now in complete control of my life.  I turned into an incoherent, pathetic, shadow of a man.  Get drunk, pass out, wake up, get drunk, pass out.  This was my world.
You may have realised, that through sheer resilience and determination, that my life has turned around.  I challenged the negative environment within and without.  Yes, I am mentally ill.  This, however, has bestowed upon me a gift.  The gift of profound understanding and empathy for the innocent, the scared, the desperate. Fragile humans, tormented and abused, by those so insecure, that they need a victim to deflect away their inadequate feelings. Yes, I am mentally ill.  I thought it only happened to others.  Now I know that it can happen to anybody.
A bully needs an audience.  I walk the streets of town and sometimes see the bullies that came so close to destroying me.  I look at them , I smile and see the fear in their eyes.   For they fear the man who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.  'What if the nutter is having a bad day?'  If only they could see the man and not their distorted perceptions of my illness.
The goal of my blog is to reduce the unfair stigma, the labelling, that so many of us with mental health issues, have to endure. We are all in this together.  No man shall be alone.  It's time to celebrate rather than fear our differences.  Let us truly create a positive environment where all mankind can rejoice in the wonderment of diversity.
I think back to the happy times of a little boy in a playground.  Some brought the darker side of the playground world into their adults lives.  Their ugly acts of inhumanity have caused intolerable grief to countless, defenceless victims.  It's time to stop, to think, and embrace the possibilities of a caring, kinder, more thoughtful world.
Here's wishing you a peaceful and positive New Year.


  1. Thank you for sharing such an intimate time of suffering in your life. It's hard to get past all the negativity that bullies shovel upon what they think of as "lesser" individuals, but when you do, boy oh boy! Those bullies better watch out because those supposed "weaker" ones come out much stronger than before. Have a blessed and Happy New Year!

    Mary Mary

  2. Warm greetings Mary Mary,
    Absolutely. No one has the right to devalue our valid thoughts and feelings.
    The bullies will never again have their pathetic 'power', control my life. Bullies are just insecure and need an easy target to make them feel better about themselves.
    Thank you for such a thoughtful comment.
    Wishing you most peaceful and pleasant 2011.
    With respect and goodwill, Gary.

  3. Hi Gary,

    I wish you a very sweet new year, and can't wait to play on the blog playground next year bully free! You really are my inspiration for resilience, bravery, and inner strength. You're also a ton of pun to be around. I'm glad that you write this blog. You're a dash of light on a dark day. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  4. Hi Rebecca,
    Awe thanks and here's wishing you a sweet new year.
    And soon, the bully-free playground will swing into action and slide into the New Year and have a right merry-go-round in a see saw exchange of positive interaction, with kind and caring bloggers, such as you.
    Thank you for such warm and encouraging words, Rebecca. May you continue to delight with your clever, zany and witty blog.
    Peaceful wishes to you and your loved ones. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    With respect and goodwill, your way, Gary :-)

  5. I so admire you, Gary. I wish I had your kind of courage. Bravo to you for standing up to the bullies and making a tough and painful decision. Walking away. You did the right thing. Thanks so much for sharing this incredible journey.

  6. I say old boy, does that mean you can't take the odd nip of whisky now and then or are you totally dry?
    I raise my glass to you sir and you may respond in whichever way to care to.
    Here's to a better year for my Canuckie pal and all in the blogoshere - cheers!

  7. I just realised how painful it is to see someone you dearly love go away.

    You have used your gift well Gary, to get yourself out of the rut, and help others who are in it.

    Me, I'm afraid is just about to enter the dark side...

    Best wishes for Peace and Blessings in the New Year my friend

  8. Hi Gary, it is true that all bullies are really cowards, they pick on those that are perhaps smaller and weaker than them and those that are slightly different! When at secondary school I was bullied, not physically, but mentally and I continue to feel that in my later life. With the love of those that are dear to me I try and `carry on`, trying not to let people see, but sometimes it overflows and everyone gets an eyeful! I envy everyone and no-one at the same time, but have to believe that my life will turn a corner, maybe it has, in fact I know it has! I am married to the love of my life and do have a nice life, I just hope those bullies feel good about themselves, they will be judged at some point!
    I hope you and all your loved ones have a happy and peaceful New Year. Me, I am off birdwatching!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  9. A plague on their houses!!! :-(

    I am so sorry you had to endure such ignorance. I'm truly sorry that your workplace did not protect you as they are lawfully obliged to and I am sorry that you were exposed to such blatant prejudice and discrimination. You should not have had to endure these serious breaches of humanity and decency alone. I am so angry! May they all have ugly children!

    Ok, sorry!! I must try and understand these idiots. :-) No I can't. A triple plaque on their houses and may they have smelly feet for life and boils under their armpits forever!

    Have a lovely New Year Gary!! Hugs to Penny!!

    Take care

  10. Gary,
    This is a very lovely posting. You allow kindness even when referring to the bullies.
    I am so glad your world is always growing, becoming a bigger and better place of love and peace.
    A very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  11. As you say, mental illness can happen to anyone and particularly when they're subjected to the kind of abuse that you suffered.

    I'm glad you found a way out of it. I look forward to hearing more from you next year and I wish you lots of happiness in the new year.

  12. Hello Gary. In your post you touched on one important fact about bullies; that they need an audience but they only seek to hide their own inadequacies by pointing to someone else.
    You have retained your dignity and come to a better place in life. Here's hoping this next year brings even better things for you.
    Best wishes from Bazza.
    Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  13. hi mr gary! did i tell you my one brother works with mentally ill people. i go at work with him sometimes and im a hug therapist on those days. for sure that stigma stuff is for real and it just real hard for those ones that got an illness. its real good that you could talk on it and maybe get people knowing more so they could understand. im just real happy you got lots better. im just real glad me and you are friends. im wishing for you the most best and happyest new year ever. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    ...hugs from lenny

  14. Dear Joylene,
    Thank you for your supportive words. I knew I did what needed to be done. Those horrible times still haunt me. However, I have come out of such a traumatic ordeal, a stronger and I like to think, a more decent human being.
    A positive opportunity came out of those dark and frightening times. For the first time since I was a little boy, my love of writing was reignited.
    In peace and respect, Gary.

  15. Dear Sir Tom Eagerly,
    I have had moments where I was tempted to drink. Then I recall the living hell that my dependency on alcohol, created. For I was psychologically and physically addicted. It took a near-death experience in hospital to finally make me realise that I needed to set myself free from the clutches of my dependency. I'm so much better now.
    I gratefully accept your toast. I raise a glass of lemonade in your honour.
    Thank you for your kind wishes. Here's wishing you, your loved ones, and all those within the great blogging community, a most positive New Year.
    With respect and goodwill, Gary.

  16. Dear Grandpa,
    It was the most painful time of my life when my beloved wife took my lovely little boy away, to start a new life. My illness was too much for her to cope with and I understand why she did what she did.
    I do believe that my illness has given me the gift of empathy and genuine compassion. My illness, a bizarre blessing. I do so wish that I can inspire and be of support to others.
    Know that I will try to be of support to you, Grandpa. I wish you peace.
    Thank you for your New Year's wishes. May you and all you hold dear, have a peaceful and thoughtful 2011.
    With respect and goodwill, Gary.

  17. Hi John,
    Thank you for such a heartfelt and candid comment.
    You have clearly demonstrated just what an impact such insecure cowards can have on our lives. It is most positive that you have the encouragement of your loved ones. You embrace a positive future and your now is pretty darned good. It's so heart warming to know you are married to the love of your life.
    Those bullies probably have no idea about the devastating consequences they created within my life and my loved ones. I shall never fully recover from losing the woman I loved. Sadly, if they knew, they probably wouldn't care.
    Anyway, I continue to embrace a positive, optimistic future.
    Thank you for the New Year's thoughts. May you and your dear ones, have a wonderful New Year.
    Kind wishes and happy birdwatching.

  18. Dear Old Kitty,
    Or maybe a profound revelation on their houses that makes them realise how evil they were.
    I went and reported the situation to management. Unbelievably, the management was in cahoots with the bullies and passed on my confidential meeting to the 'gang leader'. This resulted in further and much worse, bullying. If only companies realised, at least from their own financial aspect, just what an impact on their costs it has, having folks going off on the sick. Sadly, workplace bullying is an issue that many companies turn a blind eye too.
    If I had been well enough, I would have taken the company to a tribunal. I just wanted to get the hell out and I think they knew that. Too sick to fight for justice.
    I see these idiots around town. I see them individually. Amazing how different they are on their own. May the fleas of a thousand camels, infest their armpits. What goes around, comes around.
    My dear friend, here's wishing you and Charlie, a most wonderful and fulfilling New Year.
    Hugs your way, from Penny and Gary

  19. As you well know, Gary, to a lesser degree than you, I experienced bullying at work. And, it did screw me up. I’ve been going over and over it all again in my head recently, but trying hard to let it go.

    Here’s to a healing New Year for everyone :)

  20. My Dear Friend!
    Your struggles have been so huge and yet you have a beautiful spirit still. People are afraid of mental illness because of media styma's (eg "going postal") and also because they can't see the wound. At least if you get a cut, they can see if it's healing or not. Mental illness is terrifying to some because it might be contagious. It probably is the most misunderstood condition today. I applaud your efforts to bring light to the issues. Frightened people will always try to snuff the light out. Only education will fix this in any way. Bravo, my Dear and Happy New Year to you.

  21. Dear Dixie,
    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.
    I do so try to be a positive and upbeat guy. I hope that those who would ridicule me, devalue anybody, will learn the lessons of humility.
    Thank you for your very nice New Year's wishes. I wish for you and all those dear to your heart, a most peaceful and contented New Year.
    With respectful and grateful wishes, your way, Gary.

  22. Dear fairyhedgehog,
    It is so very true. When your environment is bombarded with constant negative energy, it eventually can rip at the well being of the strongest of people.
    I felt trapped in a hopeless situation, with no way out, but imminent death.
    My last tender shreds of dignity pulled me through. I just hope that I can do my utmost to support others who have been subjected to a similar plight.
    Thank you for such supportive words. It means so very much. I look forward to further positive interaction between us, in the new year.
    Here's wishing you and your loved ones, a most peaceful and positive 2011.
    Kind wishes, your way, Gary.

  23. Gary, you truly are an inspiration, not to mention a wonderful writer. It has been a pleasure getting to know you this year. I wish you all the best in the coming year. You deserve it!

  24. Hi bazza,
    Quite right. Bullies need a vulnerable, easy target. A distraction to mask their own feelings of being insecure. They seek adulation and approval from those too scared to react in any other way.
    My dignity, having been severely tested, is now stronger than ever.
    And to you, my kind friend, may 2011 bring much comfort and inspiration to all those concerned, in was has been a most challenging and deeply profound time.
    With great respect to you, your family and the little lad.
    In kindness and positivity, Gary.

  25. Hey Lenny:-)
    Yes, my remarkable little buddy, you told me about your brother working with those who have mental health concerns.
    I bet you give those folks some awesome hugs! Lenny, and I'm sure brother would agree, that no man is a 'label'. Stigma and the ugliness attached to it, is a blight on mankind. That's why I have tried to bring further awareness to those people who would pass judgement on their fellow man, based on ignorance and bigotry.
    And I am much better, thank you. I believe that we are all in this together. All different and all equal. Lenny, I am also so very grateful to call you my friend. This world be such a better place with kind and caring folks like you.
    Here's wishing you and all your loved ones, a most super and happy New Year!
    Bless you Lenny and happy writing.
    Hugs and big smiles, your way, Mr. Gary :-)

  26. Dear Masked Friend,
    I know that you, my good friend, have sadly experienced the devastating impact of workplace bullying.
    You have made a determined and inspirational effort to move on from that time and embrace all the wonders of a more positive life.
    The magic of writing has been a most comforting resource for you and for me. I know we are both heartened and sense the beginning of a better reality. Bless those within the blogging community who have been such an encouraging force for good.
    Please know you will have my ongoing support and empathy.
    Here's to a positive and deeply inspirational New Year, to you, to everyone.
    In peace and kindness, Gary :-)

  27. Dear Heather,
    The one reality than will never be taken away from me, from you, from all those know they have the right to be happy, is our true and shining positive inner spirit.
    The media have much to answer for. They use sensationalism to promote an outrageous and distorted view of decent people with mental health problems. A balanced and fair view would be most welcome. Sadly, the good news stories of inspiration where a mentally ill person challenged their concerns and embraced a positive life, does not sell papers. They would rather portray the stereotypes to the Public and thus the irrational fear of me and folks like me, stay planted in the minds of those who do not wish to try and understand.
    And your comment resonates with the real truth. We are not 'contagious'. We are ill. See the person, not the illness. Yes, dear Heather, education, awareness and the willingness to try and understand, are vital keys.
    Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Heather.
    Here's wishing you and all those dear ones in your life, a most peaceful, joyous and inspirational New Year.
    With much respect and warm wishes, your way, Gary.

  28. Dear Cher,
    Thank you so much for your lovely words. I am so grateful to have gotten to know you. Your kindness and support, inspires me. It gives me much hope for a kinder, caring, more compassionate world, for you, for me, for all of us.
    May you and your dear ones, have a truly wonderful New Year.
    With much respect and gratitude, your way, Gary.

  29. I learned that in college.. that bullies really have some fear inside.. that's why they become bullies...

    I now you are now standing away from that past.. I know and I can feel that your regaining again your energy..

    All I'm sincerely hoping now is that you achieve the happiness you wanted to achieve.. though past may leave marks and foot prints... those should not hinder us instead be our guide..

    I am happy that your striving to stand up still.. even if you experience such terrible trials in life...

    I feel that I should be more thankful.. I should not feel my life is wasted.. because other people might have more problems..I mean huge and heavy problems compare to my problems...

    go lift yourself up more Gary!!

    Happy New Year!

  30. Oh my...Gary, I am so humbled and touched by your words because you have the bravery to put them out there, admit your weaknesses and honor your strength.
    I too was a victim of a bully and never fought back. I don't know if I ever had a breakdown because my emotions stayed locked in the closet I slept in for years. It is difficult for me now to look people in the yes.. But like you, I smile each day, tell myself I am worthy and give the love never given to me, I give it to the world.

    This post I am reading as I am at work on New Years Eve. Others are with loved ones and I am alone in a huge office building. I am not sad. I am reading wonderful words written by my blogger friend.

    I too wish you a glorious new year with a million sparkling moments in time.

    Happy New Year!!

  31. I didn't know you went through that at work. That... on top of everything else that was going on in your life? For eight fuckin' years? Wow... First for being a foreigner and then for slipping into mental illness- for which the bullies instilled in you, in effect, in the first place. I can see why you fell apart. That's too much abuse for too long. Then trying to support a family with that shit beating down on top of you every day.

    I can empathize with you. I was always the outsider at work and pretty much in life, in general, as well. Like you, I was bullied. But that's another story that I have planned to tell at my own blog.

    Your story and your continuing on with life shows you have a lot of inner strength. And by the looks of things, regarding your online friends, past and present, a lot of support in the blogging community.

    That's truly great that you can look at those old co-workers/walking turds in the eye and see the fear in their eyes when you look straight at them. Cheers to you, for that and your bravery. Yours is a sad story but, in a sense, a story that is inspirational because you are determined to forge on and help others in need.

    Take care, my friend. I'm proud to know you and call you that.

  32. Hi Klahanie - bullying is terrible at any stage in life .. done by children, work colleagues or family members ..

    We're human and we should all remember that. I sincerely hope and am sure it will - your openness will help many ..

    Here's to a happier New Year year for all bullied peoples .. and an understanding by those who bully.

    and yes - my blog is positive for underlying reasons other than the obvious.

    My thoughts are with you .. and wishing you the best for 2011 - Hilary

  33. That is a very sad story, Gary. I am always distressed when I hear about decent people's lives falling apart, all the more so when it is avoidable and direct human cruelty that is the cause.

    Keep up the positive attitude, and I hope you succeed in keeping the lingering sadness at bay.

  34. Dear Kamila,
    That is most certainly a main factor into why bullies become bullies. It can be a case of low self esteem caused by some deep rooted personal problems.
    For certain, my past is something I move on from and learn from. I just wanted to demonstrate to others that there is a way forward, even through the darkest of times.
    Thank you for such kind thoughts. I am inspired and the past has brought me to a much more comfortable now.
    Kamila, the problems you have experienced in your life have as much validity as anyone else. I can really sense your positivity that your life will be what you make it. Be inspired for your future and make it so:-)
    I'm up with the eagles and I'm loving the view.
    Here's wishing for you and your loved ones, a most peaceful, happy New Year.
    In kindness and good wishes, Gary :-)

  35. Bless you Gary. I hope that you will always have a brighter future. I can empathise with some of your sentiments having been bullied myself and in the workplace. That is why I wrote my Nelma Curd poem to exorcise one of my bullies. See: :O)

  36. Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for your very brave and transparent response to my posting.
    My blog has always wanted to reach and touch others in such a way that they might feel inspiration and encouragement. Indeed, we can all share our thoughts in what is hoped to be some form of cleansing.
    Lynne, you are a remarkable woman. Despite all the torment and the emotional fallout that bullying inflicts, you, my dear friend, give yourself positive affirmations and smile. I'm heartened to know that you are taking care of you and, in turn, you send out your kindness, your love, to the world. What an inspiration you are.
    I am truly touched that you, alone on New Year's Eve, in that big office building, understood the hope that I conveyed within my story. For it really is a story of determination and resilience in the face of evil adversity.
    Bless you, dear lady.
    Here's wishing you and your dear loved ones, a content and fulfilling New Year.
    With great respect and understanding, Gary.

  37. Hi Kelly,
    Yeah, I've had a pretty strange life, to put it mildly. It really became too much for me to handle and I felt so helpless. Actually, to top it off, I left my job on the day of my now ex-wife's birthday.
    Still, I did manage to get through it and I'm very grateful for all the good things in my life. A lot of my positive environment was created by my own sheer determination to make it better for me and my son, who returned to my life. He was the incentive, the catalyst, that kept me going.
    Of course the evil irony in all of this is, like you note, the bullies that mocked my mental illness, were a major contributing factor.
    I appreciate you sharing the fact you, like so many, has been subjected to the ugly evil of bullying. It will be, when you decide to write your own story, a most liberating and cleansing experience.
    I'm truly thankful for the responses and kind support that I have received from this wonderful blogging community. And you, good buddy, have been a vital part of my own continued determination to live a more positive life. You will never be considered an 'outsider' to me.
    I can look them in the eye and I have no fear. I am past the grip they had on my life and for that matter, my family's life. I've seen them change sides of the street to avoid me. Very sad, really. I am, despite my illness, really quite harmless. Amazing how media hype can cloud folk's perceptions.
    This story was sad, yet, like you mention, though this sadness came a realisation. For, I knew that my strength would hopefully be of comfort and inspire others who have been traumatised like I.
    Thank you, my friend. Your kindness and support is of great comfort.
    Cheers and may this be a wonderful and happy New Year, for you, your loved ones and for all of us.
    With much respect and gratitude, your way, Gary.

  38. Dear Hilary,
    Thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful comment.
    Indeed, I do so hope that my transparency and my genuine caring for others, resonates with the hope I wish to achieve.
    Here's to a kinder, more compassionate and understanding world. May those who have been bullied find some peace. May those who would bully, look within and learn to respect themselves and their fellow man.
    And I respect and admire the positivity within your blog. Whatever works to bring inner peace is a most profound and positive result.
    Thank you, Hilary. Here's wishing you and your loved ones, a most peaceful and positive New Year.
    With respect and goodwill, Gary.

  39. Hi Ian,
    Thank you for such kind words of support.
    I am determined to keep moving forward and try not to let what has happened, linger on in my mind.
    I really don't like to experience the panic and anxiety that this brings back. So, for sure, my friend, I shall continue to stay positive and try to be of comfort to others.
    Thank you Ian and may the New Year, this new decade, continue to be a wonderful and exciting adventure for you and your family, over there on Vancouver Island.
    In kindness, Gary.

  40. Dear Madeleine,
    And bless you, Madeleine, for your words of support and understanding.
    I'm saddened to hear that you also have suffered at the hands of workplace bullies.
    Now then, I've had a look over at your poem and I'm sure it was a successful 'exorcism', lemon and all :-)
    Here's wishing you a happy and inspirational New Year. May the magic of the written word continue to be a most cathartic and positive resource.
    With respect and admiration, your way, Gary :-)

  41. Gary continue to fight the good fight and shine your light for all the lost people struggling to find themselves. I am not mentally ill but my husband is and he fights his demons everyday. Now our son, has been diagnosed and we live on. Some days are dark and others are bright. Thank you for sharing and being a voice.

  42. I know how a lot of that feels. great post.

  43. Dear Gary,
    Thanks for having the courage to share such intimate details about yourself with us in order to challenge both bullying and the stigma surrounding mental illness.
    This was very brave of you.
    Wishing you and family a peaceful and happy New Year,

  44. Gary,
    Wishing you a happy new year.... a year of peace... of mind... of body... inner peace... outer peace...

    as i read your honest and giving post it occurred to me there really is no one who ever lives in a body that doesn't have some sort of mental illness... we have no problem acknowledging physical illness, but the stigma of mental illness keeps people from being really honest about what sorts of things they are lost in within their own minds...

    a bully is a good example... is this not being lost inside a mental illness? usually these are the most internally insecure people so filled with self doubt they know no other way than to turn it all outward and dump the violence into others the way it was dumped into them at some point in their life...

    it is the sincerity, compassion, openness, and constant striving of people like you who make all the difference... for every time you make a change in yourself it ripples out for the whole world's benefit...

    thank you for your continued efforts... efforts within yourself and those you courageously turn outward for everyone's benefit...


  45. Wow I feel like I was invading by reading this beautifully honest post... Thank you so much for taking the time to share your message. I look forward to more of your work. PEACE :)

  46. Gary, boy can I relate, school, especially high school, from a few male teachers, to some boys, it was as if I wore a sign, pick on this insecure freak. At 14 so much had taken it's toll, that I tried suicide, it was more of a call for help and some real love, my only friends was the forest we lived next to, it was a solace where I was accepted and a hiding place from home and everything else.
    Those bullies you speak of can even be your part of your family. Man I won't trade places whatsoever! My life is a bit more like heaven now than back in those confused and dark times. I can relate to the pain you were exposed too and which overcame you. But to lose your wife and your son, that is something I fortunately did not suffer,I've never married, and never will. Nevertheless you have gone on and overcame, good for you.
    Now there are others that are in your corner. Keep on keeping on, and thank you for becoming a new friend, friend. Be blessed in the coming new year!

  47. Gary, I think you are absolutely RAD for sharing this. People think so oddly of mental illness - in comparison to other "medical" conditions. That peeves me to no end. MAJOR props and a huge virtal "High Five" to you for this post. Much love from across the pond!

  48. You're really an amazing, beautiful & wonderful person, Gary.

    I can relate so much, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Esp. with the empathy & understanding. Going on 5+ years strong severely taunted on a daily basis by a bully. That which does not kill us, right? It's true what they say.

    You've made it through to the other side & into the light. I live waiting for, but knowing fate will do the same for me.

    And a blessed, peaceful, happy new year to you & yours.

  49. Hi Gary, I know how dreadful that time is for you. I would like to think this world has moved on, however I am aware jingoism is live and well in our green and pleasant land. Not that we are unique, I think it is part of human condition world wide, we are small fearful creatures whose fear of the different is little changed from when we left the trees for the open plains.
    The thing is to remember that the past is a lost world, that can never be changed.
    Recovery is about moving on, not revisiting the pain of the past, doing that only lets the bastards win.
    I hope for you this year becomes one of growth, I know it isn't easy but we could practice turning our backs on history. Any way the future can be so much brighter, if, we decide that is what we really want.
    Have a great new year Gary.
    Philip x x

  50. I have 3 who suffer from a mental illness. One is undiagnosed but I see the signs so clearly. It is a hard life to lead and one that you MUST stay strong or you'll self medicate with anything that will take a way the pain.

    My thoughts stay with you and your continued peace. I hope that my own children will be able to eventually find that strength.

  51. Dear lifeshighway,
    Thank you for your encouragement. I shall continue to be of much support as I can for anybody who needs a bit of comfort. They must know that they need not be alone.
    May your husband and your son challenge the demons and focus on the positive resources that are there on offer. Of course, whether we are experiencing mental health issues, or not, we are all in this together, united in a better environment for all.
    May you all have a blessed and inspirational New Year.
    In kindness, Gary.

  52. Hi Chris,
    My friend, you have my empathy.
    Here's wishing you a most positive New Year.
    With respect, Gary.

  53. Dear David,
    Thank you. As you know, I have alluded to the impact bullying can have, in previous posts.
    We both wish to eliminate the unfair stigma that still surrounds mental health issues. I want to demonstrate that environmental factors, the 'nature, nurture' aspects, can have a profound effect on our mental health well being.
    I hope, just like you hope, that transparency can bring further awareness of mental illness and the fact it can happen to anybody.
    May you and your loved ones have a most positive and fulfilling New Year.
    With respect and kind wishes, Gary.

  54. Dear joanne,
    Thank you, my friend. I strive to maintain a positive inner environment which exudes and outer peace.
    You raise an excellent point, which I agree with, entirely. At some point, during our lives, we all experience some form of mental health concerns. And yes, many people are embarrassed to admit they have mental health issues. They fear the stigma attached and that they shall be judged as weak. We should never be ashamed of having mental health issues. With increased awareness and understanding, this can be a much more positive environment, for all of us.
    Bullies, from my perspective, do have a form of mental illness. You have eloquently confirmed what I stated about the insecurity of the bully, within my posting. It can indeed stem from a traumatic childhood where they had been subjected to abuse which gave them low self esteem. The irony is that you might think they would act the entire opposite to what had occurred in their earlier lives.
    I do my utmost to bring further awareness of the plight of those with mental health issues, and that includes the bullies.
    May the ripple effect of positivity embrace us all.
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful, understanding and wise contribution to my posting. I am very grateful, joanne.
    With much respect and positive wishes your way for a wonderful New Year, Gary

  55. Dear SY,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posting.
    I so wish, through honesty and transparency, that the message of enlightenment and understanding, will grow, ever the stronger.
    I just wanted you to know what a truly remarkable and positive post it was that I read on your excellent site. Very inspiring.
    Have a most peaceful New Year.
    With respect and positives wishes, Gary.

  56. Hi The Manic Chef,
    Thank you for such an honest and heartfelt response to my posting. You most certainly went through some traumatic and very cruel times, especially in high school. Thank goodness, for what it's worth, you had the forest to give you some form of comfort. It does seem that it was an inspirational and positive solace. You are here and you are strong.
    Well, my life is much better and your life is much better. We have both been determined to make it so.
    We have both overcome a lot and that will inspire us to have an even more positive and happy future.
    Yes, the sad and painful fallout from all of it was that I lost the woman I loved. My son was out of my life for six years. At twelve, he came to live with me. This inspired me to prove the trust I was given would be the catalyst to make me the best darned dad possible.
    The interaction and the encouragement is heartening and inspiring. Thank you, my friend, for verbalising your feelings. May we all be of comfort to each other, in the pursuit of a kinder, more caring world. Thanks Cliff. Take good care, my friend.
    In peace and empathy for the New Year, Gary.

  57. Dear Michelle,
    Thanks for such a supportive and understanding comment. I just knew you would know where I was coming from. In fact, the stigma and the crap the media portrays of mental illness, is most detrimental to those of us who wish to break through the ignorance and misconceptions of those who are living with mental health issues.
    Michelle, a big "High Five" and virtual hugs, your way, Gary.
    Have a most awesome New Year.
    With great respect, Gary x

  58. Dear LilPixi,
    Wow, thank you for such lovely compliments. I'm very touched by what you have written.
    Thank you for such honesty and expressing your feelings about the cruel torment you endured from a bully. I sense your strength and determination.
    I have attempted to display that we can see the light beyond what seems to be a hopeless dark. I applaud you, my friend. Please accept my gift of genuine empathy. You deserve the right to a peaceful and happy life. I just know that you can and will make it an inspirational reality in your life.
    May you and your loved ones have a most peaceful and fulfilling New Year.
    Much respect and admiration, your way, Gary.

  59. Hi Philip,
    What you have written regarding the human condition, demonstrates that we have not moved on and we have much to learn, to understand.
    The past is the past and lessons have been learnt. I have moved on, very well and I'm very proud of my ability to focus on creative coping.
    This posting was a honest and raw verbalisation of my feelings to hopefully give comfort, support and inspiration to those who may think they are alone in a what seems to be a hopeless situation. So, if anything, I have proven that the bastards will never win. Oh, they came close, but I found that last shred of dignity that gave me the incentive to move on and reclaim my life.
    I echo your sentiments. My growth will continue and I wish for you continued growth and happiness in your new life's adventure.
    May you and all your dear ones, have a most positive and inspirational New Year. Thank you, my dear friend.
    With respect and warm wishes, Gary xx :-)

  60. Dear MartyrMom,
    I'm saddened to read that you have three who suffer from mental health concerns.
    It can be daunting and frightening having mental health issues. And, it can have a ripple effect on those directly affected. I have found the inner strength to move forward and challenge my illness. The days of numbing the reality of my illness, by self-medicating are long gone. Of course, the irony was that my self-medication, actually made the illness so much worse.
    I have found ongoing strength via writing and the wonderful support of the blogging community. It's testimony that we can all be here for each other.
    I would hope that your support and love for your children will be of tremendous help. May they be inspired and may you stay strong.
    Peaceful wishes to you and your children.
    With respect and Happy New Year wishes, your way, Gary.

  61. Thank you for your blog I feel privlaged to one of your followers
    I have worked with many people with mental illness and it helped me through a bad time I got as much as I gave and probable more.
    As for bulling there is nothing so demolising as bullying I really feel for you experience it like being in a mental quick sand it is hell. I was bullied at work a long time ago it took me ages to get over. I was married for 20 years
    and suffered abuse for most of it the funny thing is I didnt crack up until a few years after I left and was feeling for the first time quite safe. I admire you guts to speak you heart to face you demons and create new life that is so posative for all who read your work.
    thank you

  62. Dear kerrie,
    Bless you, my dear friend. I am truly honoured that you linked into my blog. It's always a pleasure to visit your clever and thought provoking site.
    It's heartening to know that you shared kind and caring interaction with those who were experiencing mental health concerns. It proves that we are all in this together.
    And thank you for sharing your own story of outrageous actions by those who would have the audacity to bully you.
    On top of that, you were ill- treated by your husband for over twenty years. You are to be admired for you resilience and I know you will continue to embrace the life you deserve. A life where you can realise the positive aspects on offer. Stay feeling safe and reassured that you have mine and others, support and encouragement. Keep going and keep smiling:-)
    This is powerful that you verbalised your feelings. My blog has always been about being empathetic and transparent. I so admire you for leaving such a candid and honest comment.
    I thank you for your kind words. I shall continue to speak from the heart and be a true ally to decent folks like you.
    With respect and warm wishes for a better year, for you, for all of us, Gary

  63. Thank you Gary, for sharing this very personal side of you with us. I can understand kid bullies, but bullies who are adults? In the freaking office? Wow. That left me speechless.
    I'm glad you abandoned the crazy place and though it affected you so badly then, now you're a strong person. =) I hope you had a lovely start of 2011 and will continue to be the awesome person you are by sharing positive and witty thoughts on your blog. Smile! :)

  64. Dear Shanaz,
    Very sadly, some bullies became adult bullies. They needed an easy, vulnerable target to mask their own insecurities. However, of course, there is never a justified excuse to be a bully.
    I have become a much stronger and positive person since I moved on from that awful time in my life.
    And thank you for your kind, positive wishes. Our positive interaction is most inspirational and I thank you so much.
    2011 has started with a renewed optimism. Here's wishing you an awesome and happy New Year.
    Smiles and hugs, your way, Gary :-)

  65. Many good points you raised there, Gary. "A bully needs an audience." Bullying is all too common in the workplace too. Really tired of other people's childish nonsense and asinine games myself. If you ask me, most everyone is mentally ill on some level, especially those jerks.

    1. Hi Static,

      Thank you, my friend, for responding to this archived posting. And you raise some profound points. Bullies have their own mental health issues and they are usually insecure and find the vulnerable an easy target to deflect away their own insecurities.

      Cheers dude and may you have a peaceful weekend.


  66. The BULLIES are everywhere Gary!!! Everywhere. I did a post at one point on my blog on how even animals bully each other. I so agree with embracing the positive things in life. Guess what!! The sun is shining today.... first time in a long hard winter.

  67. Hi Terry,

    So kind of you to leave a comment on this old posting. Thank you. There are bullies in all shapes and forms. Not giving them permission to sabotage my life was a positive step in a better direction. The sun? Wow, did you take photos as proof? :) Seriously, glad you finally got a bit of sunshine. Actually, so did we. At least five minutes :)

    Thank you, my friend.

    Gary :)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.