People go through different things in life though most of us, no matter where we grew up or how, have suffered some measure of difficulty at some point dealing with other people. There are exceptions to every rule of course and certain people are different and talented/ blessed with certain gifts, etc. But, for most of us there have been struggles to varying degrees. For some, for whatever reason, their path took an unexpected turn and they found themselves struggling hard and for a sustained period of time.
That difficult period can be manifested in many ways, and one of those is when people experience discrimination based harassment. It is never easy and each circumstance is unique. Sometimes it lasts a short time and others for a very long time. It can do all kinds of things to people and the longer it goes the more it gets to an either make or break experience for people – an unwarranted one of course – but make or break nonetheless.
When it happens long enough and is sustained for a long enough period, it sends people into survival mode. Fight or flight can kick in and once they have gotten to the point when there's nowhere else to go for themselves, then it becomes a matter of always fighting – there's no choice – you either fight or you die.
Now, that “fight” does not mean that it is necessarily physical. I just mean they are metaphorically planting their feet in a stance, putting up their hands and getting ready for it every time. It just becomes a way of life for them. Some even spend time to some degree or another preparing and strategizing regarding the next anticipated event.
That will always mean some effect psychologically, always. If they were one to cower in the corner, it will have its effect. If they were one to swing each time, it will have its effect. If they are like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and duck and cover up without fear it will still have its effect and everything in between. For most average people that have been through it, it was usually some mix of the three, being scared sometimes especially at first, being ready to defend yourself and at others marching forward with the strength of faith, peace and love, even when others were calling you a devil for their fear of it.
I went through harassment myself and as an average person went through all three. Surviving other people's malintentions towards you put into action has no set play book or rule book and we all just do the best we can - especially us average folk.
Others may not agree with how you handle it, but these things are rarely in practice the way people that aren't going through them imagine them in their own minds. They may say things like, “well can't you just do this?” or “can't you just do that?”
For instance, they may say, “well I would just beat everybody up in the room.” But, that may very well be what the harassers are trying to get you to do. If you do you get fired, kicked out, expelled or become the bad guy, and that was their intention all along – to turn you into that for whatever twisted strange reason of their own. So if you do go that 100% ballistic route in that situation – you might lose. They outsmarted you, and they can smile contentedly. They baited you into stepping into the trap. Is that really the smartest or best outcome? Sometimes you may have to defend yourself in the real world, other times not. And defense is the key word in those situations.
They may say, “well can't you just let go and let love?” That too can be just as ignorant, though a much more positive direction granted. But doing that always can get you into worse situations. Each situation is unique and outsiders may not always realize how distinct and different yours is. For example, a person might just be a normal average person that happens to be a Buddhist. Someone that doesn't know much about Buddhism may say, “how come you're not like the Dali Lama?” You may say, “well for one thing I'm not a monk that is the head of a nation, I'm a truck driver that just happens to be a Buddhist.” They may repeat again, “how come you're not like the Dali Lama?” This time you may respond differently, “well actually I'm a Zen Buddhist which is a distinct form of Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is a different form of Buddhism I respect, but don't personally follow.”
Again they may repeat, “how come you're not like the Dali Lama?” This time you may say, “well Tibetan Buddhism comes from the country of Tibet, though it is practiced in other places, and the style of Zen Buddhism I practice comes from Japan, though there are other forms of Zen Buddhism in Japan and other countries like China, Korea, Vietnam and more.” They may again say, “how come you're not like the Dali Lama?” You may say, “well basically that's kind of like asking a Baptist truck driver why he isn't like the Pope just because he's a Christian truck driver.” They may just go on asking never understanding the difference between the Pope and the average person that's a truck driver and happens to be Christian any more than they understand the difference between the Dali Lama and the average person that's a truck driver and happens to be Buddhist. Their mind is stuck in a loop of ignorance. Oh well.
In the same way, they may just be ignorant of your situation. It's different person to person. So they may not understand your unique responses to your situation and how the experience has helped shape you specifically, whether the outcome is something they wish for or not.
That ignorance can also extend to your harassers. I am no expert and there is no real training for harassment or help, outside of general stuff, because each situation is so unique. However, ignorance is at least 90% of why you are being harassed and the info put out about you, if not much, much more. That's one of the things I've learned through my experience, that, though it may be based on a shard, piece or crumb of truth, most of the reasons for the harassment is purely made up in the minds of the people harassing you. It may not feel like it, but it really is not your fault – almost never – even if it starts that way. Most likely in your case, it's their faults – especially when it's sustained.
In fact, there's a lot most harassers don't understand as most are followers that blindly follow orders of people that just know the right things to say or do to get others to follow them. Even the people engaging in sustained harassment are most often ignorant, if they believe prolonged sustained harassment and no logic, reason or practicality will get the results they want from you. If it's gone on long enough and you have survived, you have learned most likely. Most likely whether you realize it or not you have begun to adapt, predict accurately and counter strategize.
In fact once it goes on long enough it becomes a way of life for people. It's illegal, immoral and wrong, just like slavery, but the people in charge of it can't see that, they only see what they want. Like the people that kept slavery going, they will participate in continuing the practice of slavery merely to get the things they want out of it, or because, out of their own ignorance, they were manipulated into believing some passage from the Bible or something else justifies it. A person that is not interested or believes it's wrong may keep responding to those in charge by just saying, “well I can't agree with that, I disagree with that,” until the person trying to manipulate them just spins the argument the right way and before they really take the time to analyze what was said and what was wrong about it, they say, “now that I can agree with, okay I'm on board I support slavery.” I'm not saying they are the same of course, just making a very obvious comparison.
People that harass also don't understand how their actions corrupt everything they touch making things worse for themselves in the end. Like how in life to get people to do what you want we have the metaphorical carrot and the stick. Most harassers know nothing but the stick. At first the stick may have some value for them and work, and as harassers they probably enjoy using it, but as with slavery the more it was used people being enslaved and maybe promised some carrot began to realize, “hey, this is all stick, there really is no carrot I'm going to get from people running things.” In other words, for the slaves it's all the cracking of the whip everyday no matter what the action. The same with people going through sustained harassment. After a while you realize none of this is carrot, it's all stick. Once that happens that “carrot and the stick” take on whole new meanings – they intrinsically begin to change.
The person going through the harassment begins to realize that to actually get any carrots, they will have to do things themselves. Their harassers never will deliver these so-called carrots and the person being harassed will have to force them. Once the person being harassed has been adapting, predicting accurately and counter strategizing, they have laid the foundations for legally and righteously overcoming. At that point, each time the stick lands it is a reminder of your resolve and it deepens it. At that point every time the stick lands it sets the wheels in motions towards your route to freedom that will be done without them at all and in spite of them.
Once it has gone on long enough and has become a way of life to the point people rely on it as part of their daily routine, it will never change, unless the person being harassed becomes proactive. They must continue their adaptations, accurate predictions and counter strategizing, but for additional things. Now they must keep doing those things and add their resolve towards watching their harassers lose. Whatever it is they want, the harassers that is, those harassers don't get. You get what you want through your skills and what you've developed. They must lose.
You must take over control by forcing them to take defensive postures, get them to scramble to get a handle on what's going on and get them to spend more money, more time and/ or more resources trying to get control. Once that has happened the person being harassed has taken control. At that point the stick has merely turned into another carrot. They had the chance to say “you go down this path we give you the carrot, you go down that one we hit you with the stick.” But they were fools. They gave you all hits with the stick and tipped their hand. They had no plans to stop. For whatever reason, they liked it and wanted to continue.
Sure they'll try spinning it and saying things like, “that's just what we wanted you to do.” But you can see. You have eyes. When the hornets are swarming, the hornet's nest has been successfully kicked.
Just like people that were once slaves in many places all over the world, eventually they had to take their destiny into their own hands and legally adapt, predict accurately and counter strategize. The stick had merely become a carrot for they realized there would never be any carrots from these people. They would have to take freedom signed, sealed and delivered through charter, legislation, bill or some other signed letter form. Nothing else could take its place. In almost every circumstance eventually they won. They did overcome and completely ruin and shatter those chains of slavery. First they had to realize there were no carrots and at that point the stick begins to turn into the carrot.
In the same way people suffering harassment over a sustained period eventually realize their harassers will never stop unless they stop them themselves and legal routes and routes allowed by the law are always the most effective. For one thing, it exposes their harassers the longer it continues, for to keep it up the harassers now need to break more and more laws and commit more and more criminal acts and in doing so show the real kinds of people they truly are.
Criminals, ignorant and petty without the capacity for compassion, empathy or humanity for they are the way they are most likely for genetic reasons, like some form of aspergers syndrome, genetically based sociopathy, etc (not that all people with aspergers are bad as most aren't at all) or perhaps they were mistreated as youths and never had the opportunity to see a social worker for it, etc.
Whatever the case, they don't “feel” other people and their struggles. But they like causing pain and in sustained cases of harassment where they are saying, “just do this and we will stop” and yet no matter how much you do they never stop, it's because they can't, they are hard wired to do that – almost like they are sub-human or underdeveloped; primates with suits and technology, but primates nonetheless. Those people without realizing it typically turn the metaphorical stick into a carrot and that can be the best thing for people being harassed to realize. After all, that's what gave the world and history people like Martin Luther King Jr, Cesar Chavez, Lech Walesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi and so many more. That moment the realization struck, and the stick turned into the carrot.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.