Before I proceed I'd like to make a disclaimer: the language on this page will appear somewhat different to that found through out the rest of the site. I will use strong language, 'swear words' if you like to call them that. The reason? Well I feel passionately angry about this subject, it's affected my life considerably, still does, and using weak watered down language doesn't cut it. Bullying is such that feelings of rage, anger and hate are literally generated within the victim, and trying to use non-offensive language just feels like a pathetic cover up, the pain I will express is really painful and hence the language will be a reflection of that. Sorry.
Problems With Describing Bullying
I'd like to note that I hate the term 'bullying' as it conveys none of the raw tortuous hell that this act really is. "Oh your a big bully" sounds immensely pathetic, has no gravitass, and if ever against a bully will result in you being laughed off. I have no alternative for the word, but I really wish is held more strength than is does, so that calling someone a bully would actually have a real-world impact.
Then there is the ultimate problem of describing the actual acts. This particulary prudent when the bullying is psychological as there are no scars to show, no injuries to see, just a self belief construct that hold ones'self in a state of utter disrespectand may not be expressed for years.
If you ever describe your experience to someone who has never been bullyied, who knows not what it's like to face a daily onslaught that progressivly weakens your will to resist believeing what your keep hearing, then you get nowhere.
"They call me names all the time" - gets the responce 'yes, that's not very nice is it dear' and the underground thought 'exactly why is he complaining? everyone gets called names'.
"They tease me in the showers" == 'well, I'm sure it's not that bad'
"Everyone looks at me in a horrible way" == oh yes, I think it's all in your mind'
"People smirk as they walk past me" == what's so bad about that
What is not understood is that even though these actions are all so incredibly small; so unworthy of responce; so insignificant; they are literally continuous throguhout the day and hence destructively cumulative in its power to destroy ones selfwill. The continuous nature of small impact mental bullying allows things to start with no 'definable date' and just build up without notice. After a while the bullying become 'the norm', it's expected, it's not unusual and hence must be what normal life is, and if normal life is tlike this then anything wrong with the world is my fault. What the hell? The equations look like this:
me = bullied
bullied + everyday = normal
normal + something wrong = something wrong + me
And it's this shitty pile of crap that was my life for so long and what has really fucked me up internally so much. I still have the scars, despite my best efforts to cover them up, but I'm only really beggining to see them for what they really are - there not self inflicted and there not my fault, despite the way the world implies that they are.
If you feel like this then you are not alone. Actually you might well be alone, and that is the very problem that needs working out.
I was bullied throuout my school life and to be brutally honnest it quite simply fucked me up. I am still suffering the lasting impact that those words dealt me, seven years since I finished. These wounds are deep, they don't heal easily, and any scabs that do form hold no real cover. I have one word of advice to you
schooldays are not the best of your life
Where did this start and why? It's a difficult quesiton when so many of my memories have been 'sucessfully' eradicated from my mind. (In fact I doubt they have been eradicated, just covered up well, and to such an extent that I have feelings for which I can find no genesis. This is a problem.) But as far as I'm aware it was junior school, and one boy in paricular who was consistently nasty to me. He wasn't nice, simple as that, but he didn't like me and so I was targetted. Now I really can't remember how or in what form the bullying took, but the seads were sewn in me at this time.
The one incident I clearly remember was after school on a wednesday being cournered by this guy who got me into a strangle hold head lock and lifted be from the ground. Thankfully my best frined came out of the classroom at that point and this guy scarpered, my friends saved my life.
Well I'll give you a little run-down of the reasons for picking on me, for they are many:
- I'm short
- I wear glasses
- I'm a nice person
- I got on well with teachers
- I never had a girlfriend
- I had quite a high pitched voice
- I was cleaver
- I never smoked
- I am quite contented on my own (i.e. a loner)
- I was never fassionably dressed (still not)
- I'm a Christian
- I'm pretty emotional (sensitive)
So as you can see there was quite a plethora of niches from which to attack me, and hence I was an easy target and my sensitivity meant there was likly a good bullying:responce ratio. I definitly had friends, but only a small group and we were quite close. I did have a number of female friends twords the end of the school but never a girlfrinds as such (I often contemplated quite what I would do if I ever 'went out' with someone).
Sadly the bullying at Junior school was noting compared with what was to come at my private Catholic Senior school. Now I am hugely greatful for going to this school, I was supported by a great many people, not least my Mum, and the Catholic education was wonderful as I really felt part of a family. I also have to put some of my faith now down to that education.
But there was a small group of boys who didn't like me. Thinking about it there were quite a few of them, but they tended to hang around in small groups and attack in waves.
Now I was never physically bullyed to any great extent. There developed a game of pushing me about in the clokeroom or any available corridor, but no punching or kicking. That meant their line of attack was mental, they went for my brain which was no doubt a better target and a place that would cause more damage. My mind was quite weak, one might say 'innocent' and definitly hightly impressionable so it absorbed this bullying like a rag soaks up blood.
There was definitly a cartel of nasty gits who were all freinds together butacted like shit to everyone else. They were the sort that had 'undercut' hairstyles and smoked because they thorught it was cool. They walked around like the owned the place and would only every move in packs. Definitly a wild pack animal mentality. This meant there seemd a lot of people who hated me, anyone who happened to be in their gang at any time, and other kids would often suck up to them.
Most of the out and out attacking came during games lessons. Now that won't be a surprise to many. 'Games' is that throughily foul period of the week where anyone who is no good at playing sports gets an effective marker target placed right above their head for bullyies to home in on. This is quite freely initiated by the bastard games teachers - many of whom were evidently bullies at school themselves (low acheieving types). I so often found that the games teachers we 'in with' the cartel which gave the members free run of attack during any games lesson.
Taunting was the primary mode of attack, laughing, pointing, whispering lies about me to civilians (thouse who were normal bystanders) and some pushing and shoving. "Oh big deal" I hear you cry. Well if this constant attitude is fed to you week in and week out it wears you down, undermines any of the upbringing you've had, turns your insides into a foul acidic pit of hate and evil intent twords those who are punishing you for just being alive. This rage is so enormouse that is it coninually close to the surface, incredibly easily it seels out, or rather explodes into the faces of civilians who happen to say something, quite innocently, that triggers this feeling.
So not only are you beaten down mentally by these assasins but the anger can't be expressed for fear of persoanl safety. Then when it does erupt it's often quite miss directed, and hence wounds others. This has the knock on effect of generating more, now warrented, hate in your direction and self-hate for having exploded in the first place.
A quite blissfull outcome (for the evil gits that is) from this contiunual grinding down of morale and spirit is that the victim becomes putty in their hands. I took on all this wealth of 'knowledge' - that I was discusting; ugly; unlikeable; pathetic; worthless; gay; empty; too cleaver for my own good; a piece of shit; a nasty boy that no one liked; - all this informations that had been flung my way, whcih was enforced by their continual behavour of hate twords me. With such an overwhelming body of evidence that these people hated me, found me so repulsive and whiched my dead, then naturally it muct have been a commonly held view - everyone hated me.
What is there to do? Why shoudl I like myself? :: I counld find no reason!
This leads to a huge, all encompassing self hatrid. I considered myself a worthless, unlikeable piece of shit, simply becase everyone else did. Sounds rediculous right? Wrong. This is exactly the conclusiopn that arises, I hated myself. Oh and don't forget I also hated evertone else for hating me.
However I had one problem - I did actually like myself, still do in fact. I guess my saving grace was a mix of Jesus and family. I loved my family and they loved me. I was also greatly loved at church, and I felt it (apart from some wrinkly people didn't considder young people to exist).
So I had this background noise that was positive, encouraging and loving, countering the daily onslaught of bloody hate. This plays out like a battle, a full scale war between parties who have never met, who don't even know the other side exists! This war was waged over my body, I was the blooded beaten battleground, and moreover I was the two waring factions! Like two pupets, the good and evil parties remotely fought each other inside of me, I waged war with myself for years and years - an internal seven-years-war.
The Toils of War
The outcome of this war was my wreched body, limp and damaged, internally wrought with pain, pocket marked with the spears of hate, the daggers of pain had sliced away at most of my personal constitution. I was a broken vessle worthless to the rest of society. It's from this state that I suspect brings the thought of suicide, and indeed sends beautiful, amazing young people over that perilous edge of no return. We do not see inside their minds, in their personal, internal lives, their world in which the whole populace hates them, these kids are literally destoryed and so naturally finish off the job that had been taken prctically all the way to compleation by the elgant use of evil hate.
I really was saved by love - love conqures evil (so fuck you evil) - by the love of my wonderful close frinends, by my amazing family, by the people of God in my youthgroup and by Jesus himself. I owe you my life. I'm in tears writing this, because it is so true, you God-blessed people rescused my from the foul pit I was consigned to and valued me.
The Finishing Point
It did finally end, after about seven relentless years. It ended quite miraculously and instantaniously by one amazing teacher, Rob Crack, who was quite highly respected by many students in the school. Now teachers are rarly aware of bullying, they don't see it becasue it's carefully performed out of sight of teachers. Plus I don't believe that like to admit that it happens. So Mr Crack was a holy gift, I explained to him all the bullying I was suffering, who was doing it and some of how it affected me. He was quite shocked by this and took it onbord to sort it out. I seem to remember being cautious and a tad wary that getting teachers involved would just multiply the hell I was living throught, but I trusted him. Now quite how he did it, or what he said I do not know, but it ended, quite literally overnight. I'm trying to get incontact with MR Crack to thank him and find out what he said as if otehrs could learn then lives could be saved.
The only repercussions felt was from some bratty year 9's who, I assume, contained some younger relations of my bullies. They would make stupid remarks against myself and my freinds, but quite frankly we didn't care about them.
How I Feel
What it's Made Me Become
I've only recently matured and grown to a sate where I can more clearly and fully observe myelf through my childhood. I can begin to appreciate the events that happened to me for wht they really were, the people who influenced me from a perspetive outside the senario of myslef. I can trace feling, emotions, personal constructs to their roots and begin to appreciate just who I amm and why I'm like this.
How I Learnt to Cope
What I've Learnt