My bias against bullies

I’ve been thinking about one of my biases, and how it undoubtedly influences my view of current events.

My entire school career, from about 3rd grade until I left school, I was the designated safe target for bullies.

My experience of trying to get help was that it leads to teachers telling you that you should not to make up stories, because those boys came from good families and would never do such things. It’s of teachers punishing me if I dared to fight back, and never protecting me or punishing my tormentors.

Nine or ten straight years of being called faggot, nerd, loser. Having my homework stolen and destroyed, having food thrown at me as I got off the bus, of being beaten repeatedly, of hiding during recess, of having drinks poured over me, of being told I was entirely worthless.

I’ve had an absolutely great life since I left school. Amazing adventures, the craziest jobs (and finally finding my niche), great friends. I no longer suspect that I’m worthless, and I don’t hang around with people who don’t value me.

But I still twitch in reaction when I hear people shouting mean things; I assume they’re targeting me, I guess, at some deep level.

When I recently learned the word “gaslighting,” I understood it — and its implications — right away. I was told for years that, essentially, the bullying was my fault. Or that I was just imagining it. Or that I was just weak and should let it roll off my back. It has taken me a long time to stop believing that.

I’m not writing this to get sympathy. That whole thing ended 38 years ago. A guy I knew in the Navy talked me down from the last serious bad reaction I had. Done.

I’m writing because when I see stories of bullying, this is why I’m more primed to believe the victim’s stories and disbelieve you when you say “that was staged” or “this is just people being too sensitive.”

So there’s my bias. I freely admit to being on the side of the underdog, not the side of the bully, the big man on campus, the Good Boy from a Good Family.

Starting a new adventure… learning Spanish

Affiliate link to the program
The Language Hacking Guide

I’ve been having fun for the last few weeks, taking lessons in basic Spanish using the duolingo.com iPhone app. I’ll try to post regular updates here as I move forward. So far, this is the most excited I’ve been about learning something new since I started learning to knit. One reason I’m excited is that I found a very interesting site and program called “Fluent in 3 months,” by a very funny guy who calls himself ‘Benny the Irish Polyglot,’ which focuses on an idea he calls language hacking. I love the very pragmatic approach he advocates; so much so that I bought his Speak from Day 1 training program. I’ll let you know how it works out for me.

The Best Items to Use For Barter

From: ‘The Best Items to Use For Barter in a Post-Collapse World’

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/41-items-to-barter/

There are a lot of different opinions as to what items will be best for barter in a post-collapse world where the underground economy may be the only viable economy for the passing of goods and services.  That said, consider this a starting point as you begin to acquire goods for barter.

In no particular order, consider accumulating some of the following items for barter purposes.  And keep in mind that in a post-collapse world, the items do not necessarily have to be new, but simply serviceable.

  1. Water purification supplies including purification tabs and filters
  2. Hand tools including hatchets, saws, machetes and general fix-it tools
  3. Fire making supplies, including lighters, matches, flint fire steel
  4. Sanitary supplies including toilet paper, feminine products and diapers
  5. Disposable razors and razor blades
  6. Fuel, any and all kinds (gas, diesel, propane, kerosene)
  7. Prescription drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics
  8. First aid remedies such as cough syrup, cortisone cream, boil-ese, calamine lotion and topical pain relievers
  9. Spirits such as bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka
  10. Coffee and tea (instant coffee is okay)
  11. Solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
  12. Standard Batteries
  13. Reading glasses
  14. Paracord
  15. Bags, including large garbage bags as well as smaller zip-close bags
  16. Plastic sheeting
  17. Duct tape
  18. Tie Wraps
  19. Heavy plastic sheets and tarps
  20. Toiletries including toothpaste, dental floss soaps, shampoo (tip: save those small sized toiletries that are provided by hotels and motels)
  21. Condoms
  22. Latex or Nitrile gloves in a variety of sizes
  23. Hard  candy
  24. Fishing supplies
  25. Knives of various types including fixed blades, kitchen knives, and box cutters.
  26. Condiments and Spices
  27. Paperback books on a variety of subjects
  28. Tobacco and cigarette rolling supplies
  29. Amusements such as playing cards, crossword puzzle books, Sudoku
  30. Pencils & paper
  31. Pepper spray
  32. Garden seeds
  33. Flashlights
  34. Vinegar and baking soda to use in DIY cleaning supplies
  35. Empty spray bottles and squirt bottles
  36. Hand pumps for both air and liquids
  37. Mylar blankets and tents
  38. Hand warmers
  39. Sewing and mending supplies
  40. Knitting or crochet needles and Yarn

One thing you will notice that I have not included firearms or ammo and for good reason.  In a post-collapse society, you might not know your barter partners well and may run the risk that they will use these items against you so that they can steal the rest of you stuff.  One person’s opinion, anyway.