Mary Zilba
Bullying Survivor
Female | Vancouver, BC   Canada
The Real Housewives of Vancouver's Mary Zilba
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: Zilba
5/03/12 10:09 AM
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With the release of the powerful new documentary "BULLY" and the NOH8 Campaign making its way north of the border for the first time to Vancouver, I thought it might be a good time for me to share my thoughts with the new community that is BULLYVILLE.COM on an issue that is rearing its ugly head once again in my life… BULLYING!

Usually when one thinks of the word, it is associated with the school yard, but the hard cold fact is that adults can be bullies too and it’s awfully disconcerting. I have experienced it as a child, as a mother and even now as a grown woman.

Despite my current success, I am no stranger to bullies and can remember as far back as grade school when I was consistently teased about the gap in my two front teeth and my frizzy hair, but it wasn't until I witnessed an overweight girl on the school bus one morning getting harassed, that I finally stood up to a bully. When the bullies were targeting me, I struggled with warding them off, but when they started on her, somehow a mama bear instinct came out of me and I ran to the back of the bus, yelled "Stop!" and intervened. My compassion took over and I didn't care what they did to me, as long as I protected her. I was always taught that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, and was abruptly scolded if I said anything off color. Well, to make a long story short, the kids got suspended and the girl I defended and I became best friends, shared a room at University together and still keep in touch to this day.

Naturally, as with everyone, I still witnessed bullying throughout my life, but it wasn't until about 10 years ago that, once again I found myself going head to head with bullies, but this time it was as a mother. My son, diagnosed with a brain and seizure disorder was being ridiculed and made to feel insecure due to his inability to express himself properly. He would actually hide up in a tree every recess in order to stay away from the children hurting him. My heart sunk and once again I went into protective mode and right or wrong, I pulled him out of school. I couldn't take one more day of him coming home crying and was afraid that ultimately his self-esteem would take such a be*ting that he would never have a chance to feel good about himself. Honestly, at the time, I felt like grabbing every one of those children and teaching them a lesson, but it wasn't my job, it was their parents’. I believe with all my heart that lessons should begin at home and parents are partially responsible for instilling good morals and values into their children and for teaching them what is and isn't acceptable behavior. I realize that we, as parents cannot take full responsibility for the actions of our children, but we need to keep our finger on the pulse and be aware of what is happening in their lives. My son is doing very well now and although he has had to deal with a lot, he is a very kind and considerate young man and has learned to have compassion for even the bully, who more than likely is missing something in their lives in order to cause them to behave in such a cruel manner.

Now, I'd like to move forward to the present. Recently, I signed on to take part in a very popular television series that follows the lives of 5 grown women. Most of us are mothers, sisters, aunts, and partners and one would think that as grown women, it would be easy for us to just get along and accept each other’s diversities and differences, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Perhaps I was naive, or have been lucky that the bulk of the people that I've met over the years and the friends that I have brought into my life were somehow luckily cut from the same cloth as me, but strangely, until now, I had never experienced the 'ADULT BULLY' and I was in for a RUDE AWAKENING! As a recording artist and business woman, I signed on for the show believing that the show would perhaps give me opportunities to showcase my work and raise awareness for my son's affliction and other charities. I truly believed that the producers would be hard pressed to get 5 grown women to argue and fight on TV. Even though I knew the format of the show, I never thought I'd be chosen as the "whipping post". I was obviously very naive. From the very first episode, the claws came out and not because I did anything to offend anyone, but because I chose to live my life differently and with a kind nature and accepting heart. Hence, I became the "victim" of the bully over and over again and it definitely took a serious mental and physical toll on me. Was I stunned?? Absolutely! I was shocked that "mean girls" still exist in their mid-life. Grown women, who instead of celebrating each other’s differences and helping each other out in times of need, they chose to pass judgment, to criticize and to victimize in order to feel better about themselves. In my opinion, bullying is when the ego surpasses one’s intelligence. Their harsh words are like shrapnel exploding from a heartless ignorant vessel. However, rather than engaging in continual confrontational behavior with these bullying women to create heightened drama and spectacle, perpetuating the stereotypical behavior of women in "cat fights", I chose to take the less confrontational role, perhaps appearing to some as weak, or a victim. However, I am not a victim, I merely chose to let their actions speak for themselves. I will defend myself, but only in an arena which will enable a constructive discussion of the issue at hand. I am not judgmental and believe that we all go through a personal journey here and we have no right to judge others. It is funny how a bully will show you exactly where they are in their "journey" here on earth. It’s sad to see grown-ups, living so on the surface, not having absorbed at all what a gift life is and the value of ALL relationships.

Having said this however, I am glad to have done the show for many reasons and I am grateful for the new relationships I have gained and the many lessons I have learned and am still learning. Life is a journey and when someone bullies… if there is no room for intelligent discussion, let them marinate in the vapor of their words, don't breathe it in. I realize now more than ever, that bullies are broken and miserable and have no real idea of self-worth or what it means. I was able to get through bullying with the help of friends and by talking about it with them. True friends are some of the best tools we can use to fight the effects of bullying in our lives.

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Posted By: peanut45 | 5/03/12 10:33 AM
Mary is the greatest on the show and this story just shows how humble and amazing she really is in real life. Thanks Mary!
Posted By: special | 5/04/12 10:30 AM
These wealthy housewives have a lot of anger issues when they all have very nice lifestyles, I just dont understand it. I really do like this Mary though, such a sweetheat.
Posted By: Coppers | 5/07/12 1:42 PM
Mary is an absolute darling!
Posted By: SueJennexUser Verified | 11/01/12 2:13 PM
Mary, I met you once and you are a real and genuine person. If you continue with the show, the horrible behavior won't change. Only you know if it's worth it .
Posted By: ChaiDH | 12/18/14 9:37 AM
Watching RHOV The way they're treating u is so awful. I think ur the nicest girl on the cast u have a really beautiful heart and ur stong to stand how viciously u got attacked again and again. U totally didn't deserve it, they are obsessed with u. U totally rise above it again and again, they don't deceive the public.iv not watched the whole of season 2 I just hope they don't manage to get their claws into Robin she seems like a good friend to u.
Story Details

Name: Mary Zilba
Age: N/A
Country: Canada
Location: Vancouver, BC
Gender: Female
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Tattoos: No

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