A Piece Full World

Kim's Blog

"Ten Steps to Some Sanity" for Bullied Educators
Bullied By Your Principal? Start Here.
An Abuse Full World: Kim's Personal Story
Kim's Blog
Apologies to Dr. Seuss
A District's Bullying and Harassment Policy.....
A School District's Workplace Violence Policy
Kemp Mill ES
NEA Articles About Bullied Educators
The "Bully" Movie
Services/Contact Kim
Helpful Links


Archive Newer | Older

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Legacies: A tribute to my father mother: Wheezer and Jean Werner

 My father's voice.  As a child, I'd hear it as I fell asleep.  My father's footsteps.  I'd hear them also.  His voice and his footsteps as he and my mother--in each of my youth's evenings' twilight hours--discussed that day's events.  Once, I remember, a cousin won a Punt, Pass and Kick event.  That was a very big deal.  Talked about for weeks.  Highest score ever!  Me winning the local grocery store's trip to New York!  

In the falls and winters of my youth, Mom and Dad discussed Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Christmas Eve at Aunt Deane's house.  Like us, Aunt Deane and her boys lived on Mt. Cory's back street. Their house was to the left out our front door.  Our backyards abutted cornfields. Christmas Day was always at Grandma's house.  We'd walk out the front door of our house in our Christmas sweaters, skirts or trousers and head straight down First Street to Front Street. We'd turn right over the railroad tracks. Uncle Joe, one of my mother's three brothers, and his wife, Aunt Betty's children would have already arrived and placed their magnificently decorated gifts to us cousins under Grandma's Christmas tree. Square packages decorated as snowmen and angels, cut out and glitter glued!

Back to summer: our yearly July fourth family barbecues.  Buckets of ice cold beer for the men. Watermelons submerged in the icy buckets too.  Churned homemade ice cream! Uncles. Three of them my mother's brothers.  The rest married to my mother's sisters. Volleyball in our backyard.  Aunt Mildred--the third of the oldest three of the eleven--with special desserts baked for my diabetic cousin Mark.  

Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bill picking our sour currents for Aunt Mildred's jellies.  

Aunt Mildred would harvest our rhubarb too.  Oh, how I loved her rhubarb crunch!  She'd bake it at her farm house across the corn field from Grandma's house. When the corn was low, or the field was fallow, my cousins and I could walk across the field from Grandma's house to Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bill's house. When the summer corn was at its highest, their house would disappear. Their daughters--two of my older cousins--Karen and Linda, lived there too.  I don't think Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bill's oldest child Billy ever slept a night there.  He was raised at their Mt. Cory house until his death at age nine. 

I like contemplating Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bill now in heaven with their little boy Billy. Billy's probably met his nephew, Joe, in heaven too. 

Aunt Lola and Uncle Clarence.  Actually my great aunt and uncle. Youngest sister to my Grandma Wells. It fascinated me, then, to contemplate a whole other branch to my grandmother's--and my--family tree.  Aunt Lola and Uncle Clarence were connected to me--tethered in a different kind of way.  They had their "own set of people" who didn't really belong to me. They were grandparents to a whole other clan. 

Great Aunt Lettie too. The only things I remember: A different farm house.  A front porch.  Sturdy shoes, stockings and a gray haired bun. Goiter.  That's all.  All I have of this woman--who'd once been a young woman and now grown old; who lived joys and disappointments--is a recollection of the sound of crackling driveway gravel as our car approached the house. Aunt Lettie rising from a front porch swing.  A mumbled front seat conversation about her "goiter."  

Aunt Lettie's--my grandmother's sister--welcoming smile.  Goiter be damned! That's all I have.  It's enough.  

Aunt Margaret and Uncle Cecil, her husband.  Oldest sibling of the eleven. Thanksgivings took place at their farm house.  Gatherings of forty or fifty family members. The women--Aunts Margaret, Mary Ellen, Mildred, Betty, Pat, Deane, Lou and Chris; my mother and my grandmother--in the kitchen, preparing and washing and drying.  Talking and laughing too.  

The men--Uncles Cecil, Kenny, Bill, Joe, Dick, Dick, Bill, and Jim; my dad. They all hunted pheasant or watched football or both.

Hay lofts for the kids!  Horses!  Tractors!

These are the names, then, that drifted up the stairs into my five year old--six, seven, eight--sleepy self's ears. I'd be in my parents' bed reading. I'd have bathed and donned pajamas. My brother, Eric, eight years my junior, was not yet born.  It was for me just the safe cocoon of the three of us. Rarely did I not easily fall asleep.

In my mind, I still see that ceiling's swirls.  As a child, laying in my parents' bed, the swirls were smiling faces and animals; comforting and familiar.  To this day I see faces in tiles; animals and people in paint's twists.  Now, depending upon my emotional state, sometimes the people are not smiling. Sometimes their mouths are open in horror.  They grimace.  There's a cloudy hodge-podge of browns and cream colors in a bathroom tile, for example, that's either a full angel with wings, or, a leering and evil comic book character.  Think The Joker.  Joker or angel.  Angel.  Joker.  My inner peace or turmoil decides.

My parents' bedroom's ceiling swirls were, though, always happy and smiling.  Not a one of them ever leered down at me in any kind of malevolent way.  I'd fall asleep and drowsily awaken when my dad carried me to my bed; my head on his shoulder. 

 Although I've never asked my children what, if anything, they see in our home's ceiling's paint or in our floor tiles, they seem happy.  They certainly sleep well! They, I believe, feel safe.  Loved.  Like I did.  Through me... My parents through me...  A legacy lived.

I hope there are ice cold watermelons and home made ice cream in heaven.  Hay lofts and farm houses.  I hope there are fathers' voices wafting into their daughters' and their sons' ears.  

Maybe the ceilings in heaven are clouds.  Maybe they are swirled with our childhood joys...

Merry Christmas!

7:58 am est          Comments

Sunday, December 11, 2016

His/my/OUR...but mostly his...

My response to a Massachusetts educator follows the line break. She'd asked about spiritual injury. She'd seen children and other educators targeted. She herself was in her bullying principal's line of fire.  In 2008-2010 I witnessed things I could not believe; could not fathom. My principal screamed at children.  Almost every single day I would enter my/his/CHILDREN'S school and find young children standing in corners of the office.  Some would be crying.  Sweating.  This was my principal's way of "disciplining them. I lived fight/flight/freeze EVERY SINGLE DAY at that school.  Every single day....  Here's what I wrote in 2010 the day I witnessed my principal throw a parent out of his/my/OUR school:

A parent.  A man.  Limited English.

This same man.  Assertive.  Deliberate.   

Children going to their classrooms.  

This man’s words to my principal.  “This is not just your school.  This is my school.  This is my son’s school too.”   

Him.  Him.  Calling 911. 

Him.  Hell bent on getting this assertive man out.   

Me....me.  In disbelief.  

 I recently read about how in moments of horror, we sometimes freeze.  I froze that day.  I simply could not get my mind around my school leader throwing out one of our students’ parents.  

I simply could not comprehend children, small children with book bags on their backs—some with damp hair—some clutching parents’ hands-- witnessing that.  I simply could not believe that following my witnessing that egregious act, I was to “go about my business” of counseling children. 

It was as if he rubbed his hands together in acknowledgement of a “job well done.”   

My God.  My God.

How easy to pretend.  Years of pretending had wrapped themselves around this man.  

In that moment I felt raw fear. 
I understand.  For me one of the most profound injuries was the stunning experience of knowing that the "tippy-top" leaders of my district protect my bully.  My trust was injured; my joy and exuberance bruised and battered.  I'd lived my working life in some sort of lovely bubble of innocence. I'd worked as a flight attendant for 26 years before becoming a school counselor.

And that injury is not going away.  I have to accept that.  I have to accept that no matter how often and to whom in my district I tell the truth about his atrocious and abusive behavior (screaming at children, cursing at employees, cheating, falsifying records...) he has the positional power.  He's friends with his/my/OUR school board members and his/my OUR community children's advocates.  They overlook and cover up all reports.  There have been many.  There will be more.

I, however, have a personal inner power. It's that I tell the truth. I've found that A Piece Full World and its platform of allowing me just to tell my story helps.  It helps my healing to just tell my story...

Maybe that's true for you too.

Let's stay in touch.  I was impressed with your interviews!

9:56 am est          Comments

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Almost one thousand....

 Almost one thousand.  That's the number of individuals who took  a look at A Piece Full World in November.  They read two thousand nine hundred and ninety two pages.  Some spent more than an hour perusing A Piece Full World.  

They're looking for help, answers, understanding.  They're looking also for companionship, for to BE a bullied educator is to FEEL alone, isolated, emotionally distraught and scared.

I hope A Piece Full World helps.  I hope it at least gives relief to bullied educators. I hope they now know they are not the only ones suffering from bullying school leaders.

A Piece Full World's search phrases include:

"What to do when a principal lies."

"My principal is out to get me."

"What to do when the principal is a bully."

"I am scared of my principal."

I like this one:

"I stood up to my bully principal."

Altered.  That's a word I'd use to describe me.  Wouldn't say smarter.  Nor wiser,  I'm neither of those things.  Sadly, I'm not much of anything more positively different than I was before becoming a bullied educator. I am warier and more careful.  

I am less of lots of things I'd thought made up the "mee-i-est" of me.  I am a whole lot less trusting--even though trust's laughter bubbles out of me "de temps en temps..." 

I am, though, more drugged.  I take Prozac for anxiety and Metoprolol for anxiety induced high blood pressure. I sometimes resort to Klonopin for sleep.  

I'm better now.  Finding a renewed energy for A Piece Full World. Understanding my responsibility to other bullied educators. I'd turned away for a few years from A Piece Full World's weekly writing. I felt better.  The bursting need to tell my story had dissipated.  Or so I thought.  But I now know that mine is not a story with a clean, "learned my lesson" ending. It's a story that "keeps on giving..." Four years ago three more of my bully's targets contacted me.  Two years ago my friend died in my bully's office.  

Here's you some "more." I'm more educated on the topic of workplace bullying in schools.  More committed to help others through A Piece Full World. 

Here's some "more":

A search phrase.  This one from this month:

"How to sue bully principal boss and win."

12:04 pm est          Comments

Archive Newer | Older

Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....