Hi there! I I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a very long time but have never been able to find the right words. I should warn you that I talk about some personal things and I know that some people get annoyed by this sort of blog. So if you don’t like reading posts like that, then I suggest you stop reading now. If you don’t mind, then here goes…
Why do bullies bully? Is it because they learned that behaviour from parents, siblings or other family members? Do they have problems at home? Does this make them angry with no way of being able to express this anger? Maybe they’re just bored. In the case of bullying (and some people may accuse me of being too nice here), help should be given to both the one doing the bullying and the victim. There are two sides to every argument. Of course, victims tend to get the most acknowledgement. They’re seen as the vulnerable ones but I think those who do the bullying can be just as vulnerable. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t be disciplined for their behaviour but I even feel bad referring to bullies as bullies because not all of them remain that way throughout life. For instance, children who pick on others will probably change their ways as they grow up and realise how wrong their actions were.
I understand this is not always the case and I am not taking the side of the bully. All I’m trying to say is that they should be helped just as a victim is. Still, victims aren’t always given the help they need. Growing up, I always got the sense that the schools didn’t care what went on. They had the opinion that ‘kids will be kids’ and there was very little they could even do. Sometimes it felt like they couldn’t see the damage that was being done.
For example, I was always the quiet kid, but I was confident enough and had lots of friends. That was until high school. I went to three high schools and was bullied at all of them. It made me feel like it wasn’t just a coincidence. There had to be something the matter with me. Why else would these unrelated groups of kids be singling me out and picking on me? I never got a reason as it was always physical. They never called me names or anything so the ‘sticks and stones’ thing people say didn’t really help.
I was hit in the head almost every day by older boys, had people chasing me home, pulling my hair, kicking my ankles until they bled and scribbling on my face with marker pen. They would shove me over so that I fell into the garden’s of strangers who just watched as if nothing was happening. I was shoved against walls, accused of being a pregnant slut and of being a drug dealer. They would try and get me to fight them. One time, they threatened to kill me. These were not happy times.
I remember, the adults used to say, oh enjoy high school, they’re the best times of your life and when you leave you’ll be wishing to go back. Yeah, right. Teachers used to try and give me advice. The most obvious one was ‘ignore them’. This did nothing. I tried standing up for them once. Well, I was terrified. All I managed to do was slap someone’s arm. This made things worse. If there is something I am proud of though, it is how, I never let them make me cry.
But still, it got quite bad and my friends started being targeted, just for hanging out with me. That’s when I started going round on my own and I’m still wary of people to this day even though I know I have no reason to be. I was just unlucky. But the damage has been done, and no matter what I tell myself, I am still the anxious awkward loner that I am today. Some days are better than others of course but I fear I’ll never be able to be as socially happy as I want to be. (Is socially happy even a term, or did I just make that up?)
On the other hand, everything I’ve been through has made me the person I am today and I don’t think I’m that bad. If anything, I’m stronger than I used to be and I’ve been able to give younger friends going through similar things some quite good advice. And nowadays, I don’t hold any grudges.The people who bullied me might be doing really well for themselves. They might be really nice people now. Who knows? These things did happen quite a number of years ago now and to quote The Lion King – the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.
Apologies. This was quite a personal entry but I haven’t been able to talk about my experiences to anyone and it didn’t feel right keeping it all bottled inside after all these years. And as you may know, I express myself much better through writing than talking about things. If anyone wants to chat about similar experiences, I’m happy to help out. I know how lost these sorts of things can make a person feel but always remember, you’re not alone.
P.S. Debating whether or not to actually post this….oh, who cares. Publish…