Well bully me, then… English
I read an article yesterday that brought a lot of memories back for me. From very early in school I was the bullied kid, the one to poke fun at, the one to kick a bit for a laugh, the one that was picked last. Now, stay with me, I’ll try not to whine.
I was the quiet kid in the back with the book when everyone else was outside playing football or something like that. I was never very good with sports. I can’t really remember when it was but at some point during my first or second year in school the other kids found out that if you poke and prod the sleeping bear… It’ll wake up. Angry. I usually did, and when I exploded I exploded for real. Hurling chairs, tables, rocks… people. That became sort of the local sport; tease and poke the fat kid until he explodes, then run away to tease some more. But I wonder… what’s the point? Is it the thrill of danger? The measure of control it gives? Their own sense of insecurity that haunts them to land someone else in the spotlight? Can it be a combination of all of those factors? The thing that scares me most, is the option of bullies doing what they do, just because they can. That thought really freaks me out; small, nasty-minded psychopaths playing with other peoples lives in the same way that they might toy with an ant or a mosquito.
When I grew up a bit, I decided that enough was enough. During one particularly nasty session of poke-fattie, I gave back with all my might. Up until then I had just more or less taken everything they gave me until I couldn’t anymore and then just screamed and flailed as much as possible; this time I was meticulous in my revenge. There were injuries and there were visits to the hospital for several of the kids involved, but as usual the grownups didn’t see, care or act on what was going on. Only one mother actually spoke of it – she showed up at our doorstep with her son, yelling at my parents about what a little bastard I’d been to do that to her son. I never mentioned anything about what had led up to it to my parents… they weren’t big on asking either. I kept it to myself for quite a while, and since that day it became easier – the bullying slipped into a different guise. At least I didn’t get beat up and teased anymore.
I cannot point to what differed between me and those kids in the article; I’m not sure why they went one way and why I went another, but when I read about their hardships I feel unspeakably bad for them… but at the same time I’m relieved that I didn’t do the same as they. A feeling of shame comes with that relief, but I think it’s a very human way of seeing things. Scarily enough this is fairly common. I spoke yesterday with a friend of mine, and she confided that at the high school she had attended, at least one student every autumn succumbed to the same fate. It happens a lot, and I’m not sure why it has to be this way.
What I can be sure of though, is that their fate could have been avoided. Had the adults in their lives known more and stepped in, they might be alive this day. Now, rest easy… I don’t blame them. It’s a very difficult situation to be in – unless bullying is very obvious, it’s also fucking hard to detect, especially by someone not in that situation. It’s also very difficult to speak about it when it’s happening to you, the fear of making things worse can easily overpower any sense of wanting to try to end it… and also you feel at times, deep inside that you might deserve the treatment.
Avoiding things like this happening again will be difficult, but as with so many other problems in society, it helps to talk about it. To shine a light to where the problems are and on what they are so that they cannot grow unchecked in the dark recesses of our community.
This entry was posted on April 22, 2011 at 16:47 and is filed under Angry rants from hell, Musings / Luddiga tankegångar, Parenthood / Föräldraskap with tags bully, bullying, föräldraskap, high school, kids, parenting, parents, suicide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.