Bullies exhibit a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others who are smaller in stature, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Bullying  is a deliberate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others with less power. Bullies are made not born and this destructive behavior happens at an early age. Bullies lack empathy and are incapable of understanding the feelings and anxiety  of others . These troubled individuals could not project their aggressive behavior without victims and they target those who lack assertiveness, are generally fearful and exhibit a poor self esteem. Child bullies continue this behavior pattern into adulthood and abuse others such as spouses, off spring and co-workers.

According to research, bullies may have been victims of abuse themselves and exhibit a low self esteem, depression and continue to suffer with mental health problems throughout their adult lives. Seventy-four  percent of bullies are males who suffer the most from emotional problems. Nearly 200,000 children engage in bullying world wide every year.

Children who bully may be victims of physical, emotional  and verbal violence or aggression in the family.  They displace their aggression toward others including adults. They assault or physically abuse peers, have trouble following rules and show little empathy for others. According to research, bullies are at risk for failing academically and becoming involved in drugs and illegal activities. In essence, bullying behavior is a “red flag” that a child has significant difficulty in controlling their aggression and has failed to master this skill.

Bullies beget bullies! It is most likely that a child who is a bully has a parental role model and has sustained abuse and emotional neglect  within the family. This child displaces to peers the aggression exhibited within the family . The absence of empathy for others is also a result of the lack of nurturing of this victim, the bully.

Can you identify someone who demonstrates these patterns of behavior? When the child bully matures conceivably, they may become the spouse and child abusers that we read about in the media. The adult bully may very well be found in your work environment and targeting victims as described above. Knowledge is Power and you must be aware of these perpetrators who can only change through mental health intervention. If this bully resides in your home wether it be a child or an adult, enabling this dangerous and destructive individual is not advised. Do seek outside intervention such as counseling or even reporting any abuse to the authorities which will ultimately help the bully to find the help that is so needed.

Do share “whatsyourfeeling” on this blog post with those that might need to hear your voice.

An Addendum to a FAMILY SECRET

Tonight is my biological sister’s 70th birthday who, on the day she was born, was abandoned by our mother and left at a London hospital, never to be taken home with this despicable and self centered parent. Susan never had a cuddly teddy or a home in which to be loved until she was placed in a foster home sometime later. Susan, as she was called, lived in England where birth files and parent information are open for review, unlike in the United States which seals such information. Susan was able to locate this heartless mother and met with her face to face and learned of her American father and the fact that she had a biological sister who was eighteen months older and as a baby was entrusted to her paternal grandparents to raise in America.

There is so much more to this tragic story and is depicted in the novel, FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL written by Dr. Fran White, Susan’s sister. As noted in this novel, a portion of the title , “FAMILY SECRETS” is never completely disclosed. This family secret revolves around the true racial identity of these sisters and how their very young parents, characters effected by World War II and the London bombing and the quest to latch onto life before they might lose their lives and their future. Questions of racial identity and the cruel racist behaviors that Susan’s mother was met with as a war bride coming home with her American husband, did significantly effect the marriage of this young couple.

Susan and her sister did meet for the first time during her well endowed sister’s college years. As written in the pages of FAMILY SECRETS, this meeting resulted in a less than endearing connection between the sisters. Susan’s sibling was on an unsuccessful mission to search for the answers to her racial identity before her impending marriage and future motherhood. The sisters do reunite once later when Susan visits America and an initial meeting with her paternal grandparents which was traumatic and did not end well.

FAMILY SECRETS does have a final ending to this fictional/autobiography story but the real life addendum to this story continues forty years later when the sisters meet once again. Susan searches for her sister and ultimately locates her in order to reveal that their mother just recently died. Susan was anxious to reunite with her long, lost sister after years of growth and maturity. They spent two wonderful weeks together in America with Susan meeting her half sister and brother facilitated by her sister. Unlike their last meeting, they parted amicably and with much love. However, weeks before Susan’s sister was to visit Susan and her family in London, she, without any rational explanation, abandoned her sister, a replication of the actions of their parents and never communicated again with this heartbroken sibling.

Susan did resume her relationship and visits to America to vacation with her half siblings but never made contact with this traumatized sibling. I am Susan’s sister and I have made numerous attempts to contact this sister and to quiz her half siblings, living in this country, to find out why Susan choose to abandon this family member just as their parents did over seventy years ago. The answer to this family secret has yet to be revealed even by the half siblings who I have since ended any contact or relationship with them due to their betrayal and refusal to help two sisters, who were separated for over forty years and reunited again. They continue to welcome Susan into their lives when she comes to America.

Happy 70th Birthday, Susan ,and may all of our Family Secrets be revealed when we reach our final “Journey of Good and Evil”.

FAMILY SECRETS is, indeed, an intriguing novel, filled with romance, love, family devotion, challenges and enjoyed by many readers. This book can be reviewed and purchased through Amazon.Com

Please do let me know “whatsyourfeeling” and share your review of this family drama and secrets.

What is this Thing Called DYSLEXIA?

What joy we all derive from reading a great book or reading and sharing a children’s story book with our children and grandchildren! However, if we struggle with words and sentences in attempting to enjoy a best seller because those configurations of letter symbols confuse you or it takes an inordinate amount of time to process. If our precious little angels experience similar struggles in differentiating between “bs” and “ds” and cannot sound out the letters to create words, they will be excruciatingly frustrated and believe that they are dumb and cannot read like other children in their class. In response to this childhood dilemma, my children’s book, one in a series, NICKI NICE’S TRICKY LETTERS,was just released and describes the frustrations as well as the accomplishments of Nicki, the main character who struggles with dyslexia.

What is this thing called Dyslexia? This term is defined as a condition that prominently effects the ability to read. More than two million students ages 3 years to 21 years old have such learning disabilities according to the U.S. Department of Education and the vast majority of them have difficulties in reading. It should be noted that this statistic reflects students who are receiving services under the special education law, IDEA. Children who have yet to be identified and not serviced are not accounted for in this statistic.

Dyslexia effects the manner in which the way the brain processes written and spoken language, primarily reading. This disability, besides reading disabilities is demonstrated in the inability to master spelling, writing and oral language. It is a life long neurological condition without a cure but with appropriate instructional intervention, a child will find academic success and go on to college with career success.

Children with Dyslexia will experience much frustration and have a poor self esteem due to the stress of attempting to perform academically. Reading a single word can be a tremendous struggle. Dyslexia makes it most difficult to understand and remember what has been read. Connecting letters to sounds prevents a child in sounding out words (phonics). The skill of decoding words to create a sentence is another area of deficiency. Word recognition or sight word reading is a challenge and it requires countless attempts to visually identify words as a whole. Managing to remember the text or what has been read is almost unattainable and dyslexic children get bogged down sounding out individual words.

If a child is identified and diagnosed before the age of eight, they can be helped and will catch up to their peers. Researchers who study the brain, have identified a concept called “neuroplasticity” which documents the ability of the brain to rewire itself in processing data after these children receive specific tutoring and interventions.

There is no single test to determine the existence of dyslexia in a child. The child must be identified due to reading problems and evaluated by a team of specialists. The following steps hopefully will lead to early intervention: a medical exam, a referral by a specialist, psychological testing, completions of questionnaires by parents and teachers. Ultimately, all of the data is put together and a determination for special learning assistance will be determined.

In my next blog, I will provide additional information about this learning challenge and, in future postings, I will reveal stories of success from celebrities and public figures who are dyslexics. I will also provide much needed information on how parents can help their child in understanding dyslexia and methods of parental intervention for social and academic success.

Please do share “whatsyourfeeling” on this blog site.

The emotional and physical traumas of victims of a Pedophile’s abuse.

As noted in my last Blog, I will be providing crucial information on the emotional and physical damage that a pedophile inflicts upon their victims. Child sex abuse can result in both short term and long term harm to a child including psychopathology in later life. The following emotional disorders are evident either immediately or later on in their development;   Depression , significant anxiety, eating disorders, poor self esteem, sleep disturbances and post traumatic stress syndrome. Some children may regress in their behavior such as thumb sucking and bedwetting. Others may act out their sexual violation by sexually acting out and exhibiting inappropriate sexual knowledge and interest. These violated children may withdrawn from school and school activities and demonstrate learning and behavioral problems, attention deficit disorder and defiant oppositional disorder. Teenage pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors may appear during adolescent. Children who have been sexual abused are four times as likely to engage in self inflicting harm to themselves.

The social stigma of sexual child abuse may compound the psychological harm to children They experience shame and peer abuse and bullying associated  with community knowledge of this sexual assault . Hence, blaming the victim. Adverse outcomes are less likely for sexually abused children who have a supportive and compassionate family system.

The treatment for these abused victims is family therapy, individual therapy and medication. The prognosis for recovery can be successful if the effects of this abuse is acknowledged and addressed and precautions are taken to prevent such a violation to occur again. Victims of sex abuse have lost their trust for others and need to be part of a treatment plan. Victims may not trust themselves and they bare the guilt for their victimization and feel like “damaged goods”. A common behavioral reaction is overly sexualized behavior. Victims may dress and act in a sexual manner even if they are children. Sexualized behavior  effects their life negatively and can attract repeated, unwanted pedophile attention. All of these behavioral dysfunctions can be addressed through regular therapy and possible medication.

What is being done to eradicate this horrific crime? The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that legally obliges states to protect children’s rights. States are required to protect children from all forms of child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation . This treaty protects children all over the world. However, such legislation can only be effective if pedophiles are reported and incarcerated .

Grooming Children: Weapons for Pedophiles


As noted in my last Blog, I did describe and define pedophiles , “sexual predators on the playground” that parents need to be aware of. I also planned on providing the techniques and tools that these predators use to capture their prey utilizing the weapon of GROOMING.

As noted in Gregory Weber’s article, this process of capturing a victim on the playground is entitled Grooming. It increases the pedophile’s access to his victim and decreases the likelihood of discovery. Anna Salter, a respected psychologist and an expert in the field of child sexual assault describes this formula to capture a pedophile’s prey. ” The establishment (and eventual betrayal) of affection and trust occupies a central role in the child predator’s interactions. The grooming process often seems similar from offender to offender, largely because it takes little to discover that emotional seduction is the most effective way to manipulate children.”

Grooming is a process and it begins when the pedophile chooses a target area. He may visit places where children are likely to be found; schools, shopping malls, playgrounds, parks and social functions as a malicious guest.

Victim selection and recruitment are next but there is no prototypical victim of child sex abuse. Any child of any age can be victimized but usually children with needs are targeted. A child who feels unloved and unpopular will soak up adult attention like a sponge. Children with family problems , who spend time alone  and unsupervised and those who lack confidence and self esteem and are isolated from their peers are all likely targets.

Pedophiles engage or recruit their victims in different ways. Many use a combination of forced teaming and charm. They may offer to play games, give rides or buy gifts as tokens of friendship. They may offer drugs or alcohol to older children to lure them further in satisfying their sexual needs. They almost always offer a sympathetic , understanding ear to hear all of their complaints and problems that parents have failed to listen to. They will acknowledge that parents do not understand them, or respect them, but I do. Other kids make fun of you, parents don’t trust you and they don’t want you to grow up. These pedophiles profess to trust them, love them, respect them and care for them more than anybody else. They may profess their love and appeal to their level of guilt not to report them because they could go to jail. Yes, these predators do take the time to seduce their prey and do not attack impulsively.

Pedophiles will introduce secrecy at some point during the grooming process. Initially, secrecy binds the victim to him. He directs the victim not to tell friends because they will be jealous and, most of all, don’t tell your parents. Secrecy then turns into threats, “If you tell your parents, they will hate you, it will kill them or I will kill them or you.”

Emotional bonding and grooming will lead to physical contact. Pedophiles utilize the grooming process to break down a child’s defenses and increase the child’s acceptance of sexual contact. Premature stimulation of sexual feelings may occur since cognitive development of decision making has not yet evolved in a child particularly below the age of thirteen. The pedophile breaks down inhibitions and this leads to more sexual experiences and intercourse, the predator’s ultimate goal.

In conclusion, as noted by Gavin De Becker in his article, the best way to recognize grooming behavior is to pay attention to your child and the people in their life. Children require the protection of adults from adults. Their fear of people and their intuition is not yet fully developed and nor filled with information and experience to keep them from harm. Yes, parents have many demands in their lives but nothing is more important that the safety and welfare of our children. When we blindly surrender responsibility for our loved ones such as incompetent caregivers or even the schools who do not, at times, report the absence of a child at school in due time,  we invite trouble.

Most importantly, please talk to your little angels and teach them to recognize grooming behaviors. Teach them to trust you with their problems and their pain not a predatory stranger. The safest child does have a close bonded relationship with their parents and distrust for strangers.

In my next Blog, I will discuss and share the symptoms of sexually violated children , the healing process and an understanding of the emotional functioning of pedophiles. Do share with us on whatsyourfeeling.wordpress.com








PARENTS: Beware of the Sexual Predator on the Playground!


Yes, your child may be the object of sexual predators who frequent the social gathering sites of children! They are searching for their prey to entice and capture by their skillful methods. These perpetrators are hunters finding innocent children to lure them into their sexual dens of perverted satisfactions of their obsessive needs to violate the bodies of these precious children.

Yes, do take heed because these sexual predators are lurking in locations where your little angels congregate particularly if they are in the age group of 10 to 13 years of age. Let me begin with the startling statistics that have been reported. During the year of 2012, there were 69,939 cases of child sexual abuse reported and in the following four years, the numbers may have risen. It should be noted that the key word in these statistics is “reported cases” and not calculated are the number of cases that are yet to be recognized and treated. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics National Criminal Victimization Survey, in 2012, there were 346,830 reports of rapes of persons 12 years or older.  In essence , at least 20% of  victims are females. Only about 10% of perpetrators are strangers to the child.In my next blog on this subject, I will provide information on who these sex offenders are and how they use the technique of Grooming their victims.

The formal definition of child sex abuser is when an adult uses a child for sexual stimulation and engages in sexual activities by pressuring his victim to comply with his sexual demands. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men and 60% are perceived by the child as an acquaintance .

The word, “pedophile” is commonly applied to anyone who sexually abuses a child for sexual gratification.The American Psychological Association states that “children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults.” ” An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior.”

A recent sexual assault by a pedophile to a child that is close to me did correlate with all of the facts and statistics provided in this blog and he utilized the technique of Grooming his victim which I will describe in my next blog. This pedophile , photographed above, who is twenty years old ,befriend a child of thirteen and, in spite of his age, was accepted within her peer group. He gained her trust and met her needs of companionship, unending compliments and his trust. The use of alcohol was introduced and encouraged in order to uninhibited her impulses. After his seduction , he did caution her against revealing his actions and attempted to sever parent bonding. It should be noted that a child’s cognitive brain development and the development of mature decision making is not fully evolved at that young age and an adult can, indeed, manipulate and provoke inappropriate behavior.

This victim of  statutory rape was also raped of her privacy and reputation by her local newspaper who assigned a staff reporter to attend the trial of this pedophile and used the incomplete contents of the police report to write her article . Unfortunately, this reporter presented this child as a consensual sex partner and did not report on the fact that this pedophile also committed other sex crimes, one with a twelve year old boy. She blamed the victim and this child was depicted as a slut without parental supervision. As a result of public knowledge of the unnamed victim who was identified by community gossip and the news article, was traumatized and chopped off all her gorgeous hair . Her mother was ostracized and berated by other parents in her social environment and labeled an unfit mother who did not supervise her daughter. These accusations were most untrue if one truly knew the social history of this family and child. Yes, the media  also assaulted this victim of sex abuse by not reporting the story in it’s entirety.

Please do read my next blog in which I will provide facts and information on the Grooming techniques of pedophiles, the emotional damage that victims exhibit and how parents can protect their children from this heinous crime.

The Dark Tunnel of Depression

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more severe form of depression also known as major depressive disorder. This is not similar to depression caused by a loss such as the death of a loved one, failure or precipitated by a medical disorder.

Some symptoms of a clinical depression is an inability to experience pleasure, significant weight loss, insomnia , restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.These symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems with relationships and day to day functioning.

This condition can affect people of any age even children. Depression can be treated with counseling and medication. Yes, there is hope in departing from this tunnel of depression and hopelessness.

When you are incarcerated in this dark tunnel of depression, you feel as if you will never see the light. However some do perceive this illumination of hope in the form of a loved one reaching out and offering their love and support. Some of us unwisely perceive this light as the hope of peace and serenity and away from all of the emotional pain of life rather than a loved one. This light at the end of the tunnel is not a rational perception but an hallucination of relief that is yearned for to diminish our pain but it is not reality.

How does one reach the end of this tunnel of depression ? One must rely on internal strength and determination derived from the spirit of hope or prayer. Each step may be a tremendous feat but meditation and methods of relaxation ( yoga, exercise) will stimulate those neurological hormones to heighten our emotional strength and determination. Of course, therapy and psycho-tropic medication will also provide the neuro-chemical stimulation to assist the body to take those steps to escape from this tunnel.

On this journey that we call life and the escape out of the tunnel of depression, we will stumble and fall over jagged rocks of cruelty, rejection, abandonment , failure and abuse. One must focus on the light of love and encouragement to guide us out of this dark place.

The cliche, “physican heal thyself” does apply to me at this time. I am relying on all of my emotional strength and determination to find my way out of this terrible place. One must not despair and follow that light in the form of soul mates who hold on to your broken heart and even one of God’s creatures. My Siamese cat, Siam, intuitively senses my physical (from cancer) discomfort and emotional pain and will creep up to my neck and knead his paws while looking into my eyes with phenomenal compassion. Yes, we can overcome those painful obstacles on the path of life and on our journey out of the dark tunnel of depression. As this blog is called, what’s your feeling? ,please do let me know that you have heard my voice and this message from the heart.





My heart was so touched by the sight today of “God’s Creatures”, eagle parents awaiting the birth of their two babies. Upon their arrival, the mother eagle blanketed the body of her babies with her warm feathers. Father eagle, while mother was nurturing their new babies, went out to search for fish to feed his new family. Their parental love was radiated in the photos depicting this beautiful family scene. Each parent was lovingly feeding the babies their meal.

In contrast to this loving scene, there are dysfunctional families in the human race, not amongst God’s Creatures, that abandon their newborns and starve and physically abuse their off spring. It is instinctual that God’s Creatures strive to care and protect their young. Some humans lack this intuitive ability to love and protect their children and organizations such as Child Protective Services must monitor the absence of the ability to nurture. God’s Creatures have no need for such supervisory services in the parenting of their off spring.

There appears to be little scientific knowledge on the differences in nurturing abilities between God’s Creatures and why some humans with higher cognitive abilities lack the ability to nurture and protect their young. Perhaps sometime in the future we will have a better understanding in replicating the strong nurturing instincts of God’s Creatures.


I am always shocked by the number of news stories and articles that I read verifies all of the statistics and predictions about victims of bullying. An article in a publication entitled, TIDEWATER TIMES, included an article, “Mariah’s Mission”, on a young woman who was subjected to bullying in her middle school years. As stated by her parent, “….going into middle school, some of the bullying started and I could see her struggling with anxiety and depression.” ” In high school, seeking shelter from the perfect storm of bullying , anxiety and depression, Mariah began self medicating with alcohol and prescription drugs.

This true story of the struggles associated with Mariah’s mission to seek a valid diagnosis for her emotional dysfunction, I am certain will sadden all who learn of this young woman’s life. In spite of her abuse at the hands of bullies, incorrect mental diagnosis and her need to numb the emotional pain with the use of alcohol and drugs, she did continue to  function academically and participated in school activities. However, as the years progressed, her emotional pain became too great and ultimately, Mariah did take her life. I do suspect that , as a psychologist, Mariah’s early abuse by school bullies did open her emotional  wounds and she continued to bleed since the pain and destruction of bullies did nothing to heal her wounds and they opened the doors to other destructive behavioral patterns.

As many victims of bullying, Mariah did not displace her pain on others but directed that rage upon herself.  Many victims of bullies, displace their anger and pain at innocent victims. It was documented that the perpetrators of Columbine kept diaries on how they were hurt and rejected by school bullies as did the Sandy Hook murderer who targeted young victims within the very same school building where he attended and was brutally abused by bullies for many years.

Knowledge is power and I would like to provide shocking statistics on bullying, this dysfunctional and lethal behavior;

70% of children suffer bullying at their schools or 38,500,000 victims

One half of suicides among young people are directly related to bullying

Bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims ( Yale University)

30% of students are either victims of bullies or bullies themselves

160,000 children stay home from school everyday for fear of bullying

Bully related suicide can be associated with any form of bullying: physical, emotional, cyberbullying, texting.

Since the 1990’s, there have been 12 to 15 school shootings related to perpetrators having been bullied as students.

Yes, these statistics are quite frightening but they can be altered by social and school interventions. Schools should be a safe place to learn and anti-bullying programs are relevant in the prevention of the loss of another life. Knowledge is power and children, parents and schools need to understand this violent and dysfunctional behavior.

As a psychologist and author, I have focused on my quest in addressing this bullying dilemma. My latest book, NICKI NICE’S BULLY, helps children understand bullies and their behavior and how to deal with these frightening classmates. My website, nicknicesbully.tateauthor.com does provide much information about this book which empowers children to protect themselves from bullies.


If a survey were taken on the existence of a bully in our lives, including adulthood, I believe that we each had to deal with such a bully who provoked much pain and suffering in our lives. What is the definition of a bully? It is defined as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury and discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. The victim of a bully typically has trouble defending themselves and does nothing to provoke the abuse. Bullying occurs in schools, workplaces, homes and playgrounds. As noted in current media reports, the violence that has been reported in our schools have been inflicted by those victims of of earlier abuse themselves and are displacing their anger upon innocent victims, children as well as adults. Over 3.2 million students are effected by bullying each year and 17% of child victims report bullying two to three times a month.

As an author and psychologist , I have focused my quest on addressing and reducing this bullying dilemma in our society. My latest book, NICKI NICE’S BULLY, is one in a children’s series on the topic of bullying in our schools. The main character, Nicki, describes to young readers what a bully does, why and how to change this frightening behavior. To learn more about this book, I do invite you to visit my website, nickinicesbully.tateautor.com Knowledge is power and sharing this book with a child would be a gift of love.

It is hoped that you will share with me, “what’s your feeling” about bullies and if you have been a victim or, perhaps, witnessed this violent behavior as a child or an adult. I will be posting more blogs on this topic on facts and media reports on bullying.