bullying

All posts tagged bullying

I Don’t See a Hero

Published November 13, 2019 by Maryanne

vintage-boxing

Tomorrow is Kindness Day, but you’d never know it by the hate that is spewed on the internet. Kindness is something you rarely read about. Bullying is still relevant as we approach 2020.

As someone who was bullied as a child, I’m all for people standing up to bullies. Verbal abuse is horrific and it stays with you for a very long time. However, when someone is bullied verbally and they take the first PHYSICAL shot at the person who is harassing them, that makes that person a bully too–not a hero.

According to this story on the internet, a gay teen was bullied relentlessly and then started a fist fight with the person who was harassing him: https://www.pride.com/news/2019/11/12/bullied-gay-teen-stands-himself-and-becomes-internets-new-hero

He is now seen as a hero. Even teachers from all over the country are chiming in, that he did the right thing.

But he didn’t!

This scenario makes me think of something that would happen between two barflies, not two young men. Is that how you solve your problems–fisticuffs? How would this fly if the teen was not a teen, but 21 or older? It would land him in JAIL! Did these teachers think of that when they posted their comments about how it’s okay that the gay teen started a fist fight with the other teen?

A REAL HERO would be strong enough in who he is to walk away from someone who is obviously homophobic and ignorant. But the gay teen stooped to just as low a level. What he did was WRONG.

Fighting always made me cringe. I could never be in a group of girls if one said she wanted to slap another. Whenever one girl trashed another by bragging about violence, saying something like, “I want to slap her face,” I’d be like—EW! That’s so backwards. And when it comes to men, especially young men, it’s worse because it’s scarier. I couldn’t watch the video in the article, it would creep me out big time. Yet people are cheering this boy on. WTF!?!?!

Is this what we’ve resorted to? Cheering on people for being physically abusive? How sadistic!

Both kids got suspended for fighting–and rightfully so. I don’t see a hero here.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Giving Goals

Published January 19, 2019 by Maryanne

baby and mommyPhoto by Mistretta

People have been busy writing down their goals for 2019, which is great. Then it dawned on me, it would be awesome to have giving goals as well.

There are three ways to give: money, time, and sharing (in other words, being vulnerable). Below are ways to up the ante for all of them!

  1. Money. Even if you’re on a strict budget, money is the easiest way to give. You can put a dollar in a veteran’s can and get a free poppy. For some, it’s the best we can do, but I think in our hearts we always want to do more. In my younger days I know I did. When the basket went around in church and I was only able to spare a few dollars, I secretly longed for the day I could throw in a $20 bill or more. Then that day happened! My next goal was for the Go Fund Me pages. I wanted to give more than $50. And that happened too. As we earn more, we can focus more on giving to others. It’s great to share!
  2. Time. Time is a very precious thing to give someone because life is short. You hear so many stories about children who have had successful parents that were never around. This is a lesson to balance your time so you can be more giving to people you love. While being spontaneous is wonderful, it’s also important to balance your day so you can be able to balance your time. Since I work for myself, at home, I have the luxury of making my own hours. That said, there’s a time I plan to shut down and devote to my husband and cats. Of course I also like to donate my time to good causes, and fun stuff. But always remember, to take time for yourself because if you’re not healthy and happy, you won’t be able to make others happy. Then when you feel optimal, you can give time in so many ways–volunteering, listening, offering your help, surprising someone by doing something nice unexpectedly. The list goes on and on! With little money to spare, you can always be creative with your time. Or even if you have a lot of money, perhaps someone would appreciate your time more? It’s something to think about.
  3. Sharing/Being Vulnerable. Sharing and being vulnerable is the biggest and best way to give, in my humble opinion. Time and money are the easy way out because ego isn’t involved. But when you take the time to pour your heart out to someone who desperately needs to know he or she is not alone, that is GOLD! Many people are afraid to share because of their ego. They want to put on a facade that they are perfect. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the most inspiring people are the ones who are so free and open about sharing. They have truly made the world a better place. By “sharing” I don’t mean venting. I mean digging deep inside, no longer feeling the shame, and going with your heart and gut that by sharing something bad that happened to you, you are going to make another person feel not so alone! How great is that?! It takes a strong person to say, “Screw it, I’m going to try to help someone else. I don’t care if I am judged!” Anyone who has gone that route should be super proud of themselves. Put aside any shame you are feeling, because it’s not your fault that something bad happened to you if some loser took advantage of you. Because it’s a horrible person who should feel the shame–not YOU! So if you want to be a better friend, or a better person in general, make a point to get vulnerable. It’s the greatest way to give! You never know who you may help!

What do you think? What are your giving goals for 2019?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Rooting for a 5th Grader Who is Being Bullied!

Published October 20, 2018 by Maryanne

IMG_1854 (1)

Signing a copy of my latest book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” for a 5th grader who is being bullied in school. It’s tragic what many children go through. No child should have to deal with it. Bullying is not cool and at times barbaric. “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. I share my experiences with being bullied in grade and high schools; and how I became empowered because of it and lived my happier ever after. I say to children being bullied, “Do not give up hope on yourselves. It DOES get better. And YOU can make a difference by continuing to be yourself!”

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is published traditionally by Higher Ground and available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available for speaking engagements throughout the USA and overseas. Email for pricing and dates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

I Don’t Want to Be Like You

Published September 10, 2018 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” 

I’m ecstatic to say my fourth book is now available! (See links below, and it will soon be in Barnes & Noble stores). “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is my memoir about growing up, dealing with bullying in the 1970s.

And with this, I want to add some wise words from my sister, who is a mom:

“Congratulations on the book. I, myself also experienced bullying. Unfortunately, today parents still turn a blind eye. So let me send out compliments to St. Anne and Fair Lawn high school (New Jersey schools). Both excellent in having a no tolerance motto for bullies. I raised my son to have compassion to ALL people. He would never hurt or bully anyone! As a parent, please remember those red flags. Believe me, you will notice if you pay attention. Burning children, shooting drugs, and fire crackers into an innocent pet, does not just happen overnight. I’m begging parent to wake up. Protect your children while you can they will only get worse. No tolerance for bullying! You must know your kids.” — Kim Cagiao

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an anti-bullying motivational speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

 

Supermarket Bullying Should Be Treated as a Crime!

Published November 21, 2016 by Maryanne

supermarket-bullying

Yesterday should have been a nice day. In the afternoon I went to a Buddhist meditation, and at night my husband was taking me out to dinner. In-between I had to pick up a few items at Trader Joe’s. My husband forewarned me, “This is Thanksgiving week and it’s going to be mobbed.”

Crowds never bothered me. I’ve been going to concerts since I was a teenager. As a young punk rocker, I got banged, pushed against the stage, and ended up with battle scars. It was all part of the fun.

But shopping in a grocery store, as a middle-aged woman, should not be punk rock. It should be a pleasant experience. From my 30s onward, I had so many fights with inconsiderate, ignorant people who push their cart into you, without saying, “Excuse me” or even a mere “I’m sorry.”

Listen bitches — for once and for all,  I have every right to shop in a supermarket — even a crowded one. You are no better than me, or anyone else. Just because I’m a nice, smiling person (some say “too nice”) it shouldn’t mean that I am a target for assholes. Put on your big girl pants and learn to have manners — and patience! Wait your fucking turn. Am I too slow for you? I’m sorry, but I READ labels. I want to know my produce is local and/or organic. It’s imperative that I know how much sugar and carbs are in my frozen meals. Diabetes runs in my family and I have to be careful. If that’s not enough to give you an ounce of compassion, you’re a real loser!

I’ve boycotted places like Whole Foods, and now Trader Joe’s, for not having proper security in their stores. And I will continue to do so until I feel SAFE shopping in these places again.

Yesterday I was pushed TWICE at the Trader Joe’s in Millburn, New Jersey. Once by a woman much younger; and once by a woman much older.

Let me ask you, ladies (make that “ladies?” with a question mark because being so damn rude doesn’t give you the title of “lady” — you’re more like a beast! In fact, the Pit bulls next store at the Pet Smart were way better behaved than both of you!) … what makes you so much better than me that gives you the “right” to push me out of your way? HUH?

I’d love an answer, but I’m sure most of the people reading this are polite people because assholes never seek things to read that would make them a better person. Because if they did, the world would be a better place to live in. And it’s not.

Bullying over food? Imagine that.

You’re shopping in a middle to way-upper class area. There is enough food for everyone. Oh, I forget, you’re busy. Let me school you on something, bitch, EVERYONE is busy! That’s the kind of world we live in. A busy, busy, busy world.

So, to the very next person who pushes me in a supermarket, I’m going to call the management — or better yet, the cops — and have your sorry ass escorted out of the store. Putting your hand on another person to move her out of YOUR way is a violation! And I will not try to correct you anymore. Whoever raised you raised a nasty, selfish, ignorant person — and you WILL be stopped. Instead of taking your crap, I’m going as high as I can go, to get this selfish behavior stopped.

Is this what we are teaching our children? That it’s okay to put your hands on people, to push people, and to psychologically upset other people, just so YOU can be first in this unpolite me-me-me world?

Sorry, not on my time. Nasty bitches, beware, you are so over!

Please sign petition to Corey Booker! Women should feel safe shopping for groceries! https://www.change.org/p/corey-booker-supermarket-bullying-should-be-treated-as-a-crime

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and public speaker. Her first book is “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and deals with anti-bullying. Available on Amazon, in paperback only: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Teens Deserve a Voice as Much as Rock Stars

Published September 11, 2015 by Maryanne

Keith-Richards-Jerry-Garcia-630x420Photo by Jason Merritt, Getty Images, Warner Brothers

The big news in rock today is that Keith Richard bashed the Grateful Dead, calling the music of the late Jerry Garcia “boring shit, man.” (http://ultimateclassicrock.com/keith-richards-grateful-dead-comment/).

People are all over Facebook putting in their two cents. Since I follow rock groups, it’s most people that agree with Keith … agreeing that The Grateful Dead suck.

In later years our tastes change. As a woman in my early 50s, I’ve grown to the point where I enjoy some Grateful Dead songs and will listen on a Sirius, but I have no desire to see them live or purchase their music. As a teen, my attitude was not so kind. I agreed with Keith — they were boring shit. (Sorry, Jerry!) However, unlike Mr. Keith Richard, I was bullied, relentlessly, for my opinion.

I suppose Keith Richard will never have three guys attack him in a school hallway and have a teacher turn a blind eye. (Yes, that happened to me — a little girl, skinny, and probably the smallest in the class). Simply because I didn’t like the Grateful Dead, as most of my high school did. No, it was 1979 and I liked PUNK ROCK.

So every day I was punished for my musical tastes. When I shared with my husband that three guys tried to beat me up (again this tiny little thing) he said, “What kind of guys did you go to school with? I was always taught to respect girls.” PIGS! That’s the kind of kids I went to school with. Disrespectful, disgusting, fools who didn’t know how to be kind to others. By now half of them are probably serving time.

In another incident, a German girl who got left back a year in order to learn to speak English properly, was twice my size and always picked on me. I wasn’t sure why. We were once friends but one day she was over my house, playing in the pool. My mother told her not to splash around so much. Since then the German girl harassed me. I think she had a crush on my mom, as she always told me how beautiful she was. So since my mother yelled at her, she took her garbage out on me. She never laid a hand on me, but she threatened and verbally abused from grade school throughout high school. Then one day she actually took a photograph of me while I was changing for gym class. This German girl was now 18-years-old, picking on me — still a minor at 17. Again, twice my size. I was a tiny thing. She was a woman. I was still a kid. Shame on HER. Interesting one time she was in the school bathroom, strung out on acid, crying to me that she was upset I had a boyfriend and she didn’t. I thought that was an ice-breaker and an opportunity to be friends. Feeling bad, I listened. But then she came down from her trip and the bullying resumed.

These are just two incidents, but there were many … every single day and not one teacher did anything to help.

Did I deserve this, just because I chose to listen to punk rock?

What can I say, I thought The Clash had a lot more to say than, “truckin’ like a doo-dah man.” Though the funny thing is The Grateful Dead are about love and community, right? How funny that me, the little punk rocker, was just a shy, but good-hearted kid who was a great friend given the chance. Once I became a senior, in 1980 to 1981, I was happy to defend younger children from bullies. Listening to punk rock eventually gave me confidence — and a voice.

What was really funny though was one Halloween when I decided to go to school dressed like a Dead Head. Instead of wearing my leather jacket and black Nancy Spungeon make-up, I went to school without make-up. All these hypocrites approached me telling me I was “so pretty.” They were nice to me for one day because I fit in.

If not being true to myself meant making fake friends, I wanted no part of it.

SAM_1942“Scumbag” and “Dog” were names I was called every day

So where were you, back in 1979, Keith Richard? Gathering no moss, of course. Now you are an old codger who has paid your dues. Everyone listens to what you have to say and puts in their two cents. God bless you.

But, let me take this opportunity to put in a voice to those who need it: teenagers (and children) who are being bullied and harassed RIGHT THIS MOMENT just like I was once, simply for being themselves. In the words of the late Joe Strummer, “Go easy, step lightly … stay free.”

And in my own words, DEAR TEENAGERS:

Please be strong! Don’t do anything horrible, like killing yourself. I know I wished I was dead, many times, but that is not the answer. Be strong and be YOU-nique. There is life after high school and things do change. Though adults are no better and still bully, but in more passive/aggressive ways, so there is no escape. The good news is, as you grow, you’ll find others who are just like you — and know, in your heart, that your life has a purpose. People need you and someday you’ll be the one who inspires others!

Much love from one who has been there, Maryanne xo

SAM_8410Today = 52 and happy as shit! ❤

Here is my most recent interview on anti-bullying on The Drew Carson show (my segment is about 12 minutes in) http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/maryanne-christiano-mistretta-interview_57952

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.” This book shares her experiences with bullying. Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

She is also an anti-bullying motivational speaker. Email for rates and availability: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

More on Anti-Bullying

Published June 2, 2015 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4Photo design by Darlene Foster

My first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” shares my experiences with being bullied in high school. I want all parents to know, that when a child is bullied, it’s not about your child, it’s about the bully being incompetent. The best advice was given to me by my grandmother, to let them know you are not afraid. That worked, but sadly when there is one, there’s another and defending yourself is a work in progress.

In my later years, I look back in pity on the bullies as I realized most of them were bullied at home, by their parents. It’s up to EVERYONE to work together on this. I truly believe when parents say, “Not my little darling” it could be their cover-up for child abuse. Children do re-act to how they are treated at home by duplicating in the playground and the locker room. A girl from Germany who was a whole year older than me because she got left back to learn better English harassed me (that means she was 18, picking on a MINOR, so my mother could have pressed charges on her!) in the locker room taking a photo of me when I was changing. (God bless my little sister who said, “At least you have great legs!”) I learned this girl’s father abused her by making her walk around the house naked because she walked in on him while he was going to the bathroom.

That girl used her anger towards her father on me and abused me in both grammar school and high school. One day she had a bad acid trip and was crying to me and confessed she was jealous of me. When I brought this up to a guidance counselor, the bully lied and said she never said such a thing and said she didn’t like me because I was a punk rocker. (That’s hilarious and even more of a reason to pity that person who was legally an adult tormenting me).

I share because today I am extremely happy and blessed to have the best husband in the world. Anyone who reads “Guest List” will see that it’s a very positive story with no dark descent into drugs or alcohol. And though it’s not a children’s book, it’s an inspiring story parents can share with their children.

Note: I recommend parental guidance for “Guest List” because of bad language (hey, it’s a punk book!) and some delicate situations where I share about being a young woman navigating NYC during a more dangerous time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available to speak in schools on anti-bullying. Please contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com for pricing and availability. Will travel!