Smiley face

Often the egos of the people doing the harassment are so inwardly focused, and built around this idea that they are the center of the world and that that world revolves around them, that they forget who they are. They forget they are the ones that started the whole thing. They forget that through their actions all the troubles began.

If they are feeling stressed out as a result of the person they are attacking defending themselves, guess what? … They created the mess in the first place. They made the bed they are whining about having to lay in. They sowed those seeds at the beginning of the growing season they now are looking at being forced to reap. If they didn't want that kind of outcome they should not have created the problems for themselves in the first place by messing with another. As they say in that old reggae song, “leave people business alone.”

People might say it's karma. True, but what do they mean when they say that. Sure, karma is what comes around goes around in a very simplistic manner. Also, that thing you make, so you hold. Don't want, don't make. A little more specifically, karma means when you open up a door to a room in life to get something you want that is in that room, be prepared to get that thing you wanted. Also be prepared to get any and every other thing also in this room. Don't want, don't open.

Harassers might say “well, I never expected that would happen.” But, whose fault is it that you never spent time considering the ramifications of your own actions before you set out on them? Are we all supposed to endure your constant chicken soup and whining, in addition to your attempts at harassment, because the person you are harassing is finding some success at deflecting your attempts at harassment, and/or is successfully defending themselves?

What exactly are you trying to cover up? What's this tiny thing you don't want us to see? I mean, true, it's not your fault your parents didn't raise you with the common sense enough to know why you should not go around picking fights with innocent people. True, it's not your fault they didn't pass any stories to you about how no matter how big and strong you are, and no matter how many people you have on your side (or think you do), there will come a day you will encounter someone that will make you feel sorry for treading on the rights of so many you felt you just could.

I've seen it. I was the target of harassment while a student at the University of Connecticut's landscape architecture program. The people harassing me were a mix of professors, students and others I won't go into at this time. At a certain point I began to see the patterns of their strategies used to harass me, and I developed counter strategies that began to have an impact. Good for me, bad for them. :D

It didn't make what they were doing any less illegal, but it gave me a legal/ non-violent way to fight back. They tried to get me stop, as I'm sure happens to the many people being harassed that stand up for themselves. They tried using psychology, such as calling me “broken” for trying to stand up and not taking it. Of course, I chuckled at that and even snickered. I mean, was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, qualified as broken for standing up for himself and so many other? Was he that “broken?” Was Rosa Parks “broken” when she didn't give up her seat? Was Cesar Chavez broken for organizing workers rights movements? That's not any definition of “broken” I learned back in kindergarten, or maybe before, but then again, maybe the people harassing me had parents that didn't even teach them what broken meant. Lol! Maybe their parents just didn't like them.

The there was the taking it personal, stuff that came at me from my harassers, like “how dare you stand up to us? You're a big jerk!!” and “that's not fair you stand up to us” or “we can harass you but that really hurts that you would stand up for yourself, really, That's so mean! How could you just do that to us. Please let us hurt you. PPPLLLEEEAAASSE.” Truth was I had begun to break them. Bit by bit, piece by piece, and the wearing and tearing was starting to show. They couldn't even help themselves. They were getting worn raw.

Their egos that they had so invested in this behavior suffered painful blows, and it was starting to show. In fact, the people harassing me, as things progressed, often would bring outside friends of theirs to come around to the design studio, and have loud conversations within earshot of myself about some guy that was going down any day, and that wouldn't last another minute.

But, if that was true why were they going to these greater and greater lengths to attempt to convince me? They never felt they had to before. Weren't they confident? It would be like if they hung up a giant poster out of the blue and for no reason on the wall behind one of their design desks that read, “I'm not nervous.” Okay, but I never thought you were, and wasn't even thinking of you being nervous – until now. Why would you even need to put that up? Lol. Why would you even need to mention it?

And they would say things within earshot loudly like “we're gonna get you” especially when one of their plots failed like some bad, dry and stilted acting effort to intimidate, in some boring dry spy movie that probably could have used other actors and directors. All it showed was how pitifully off course they were, and how blind they were to the facts before them. The very fact their idea was to keep harassing me to solve the problem of getting me to stop defending myself showed they were embarking on a losing proposition. It showed they were far from “getting me.”

See, I had thought I made it very clear from early on in my standing up for myself, that I would not stop defending myself and standing up for myself, until they left me alone. If they wanted me to stop, all they had to do was stop and I made that very clear many times. Nothing they did would stop it. No matter what it wouldn't work. They couldn't even bribe me to stop if they wanted.

If they wanted to buy me a new computer so I would stop standing up for myself, I'd take the computer, sure, I could use one! Want to buy me a new set of ear buds? Absolutely, mine are on the fritz! Want to get me new design software, yeah, mine's a little buggy. Heck, want to get me a new car? I'll take it, my old beat up sports car is terrible in the snow, and I was thinking a 4 wheel drive that my 100 lb dog can fit in the back of would be the perfect thing. Nothin' fancy. (Not that anyone ever actually bought me anything while I was at school, except me from my own earnings, or school loans or help from relatives, etc, of course.)

Now, will I stop defending myself if you buy me those things? I've made my feelings on that perfectly clear many times. The answer is, absolutely not! You want to buy me things so you can keep harassing me? What kind of idiotic thing are you asking? What are you hooked on Oxycontin, sippin' that sizzurp, sniffin that white, poppin mollys, stuck on ice, fiendin for ready or on some kind of twisted have no problems abusing your power to feed your sex addiction high?

That's like someone telling you they are from the streets of Philadelphia, and that on the streets of Philadelphia poor inner city neighborhoods are behind and support the police. One look and you know they're lying and possibly something else is wrong with them. ( They are lying and probably not even from Philly.

Truth is, it is only their immense egos and sense of self centeredness that even allows harassers to believe they are righteous for wanting the innocent people they harass to stop standing up for themselves – that they even have the right to harass others simply for their own pleasure. Thank God for the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks and so many other great Americans that showed us that humbling oneself and going forward to help others in the struggle to help yourself can be so helpful, so right and so liberating.

If you are a person that has or is suffering from uncivil and illegal harassment for whatever reason, remember, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks and others like them did not march for the people doing the harassing. They marched for the people being harassed to help them in their plight to get their harassers to see the wisdom in ceasing their activity and to see and/or remember the humanity and kindness in their own hearts, if it hasn't been totally sold away. Have some compassion for yourself and don't forget to defend yourself!

To read about my inspiration for this article go to