The person who wrote this post wanted to remain anonymous; feelings like this are not easy to own. This post is as emotionally raw as you will read in my series this month. It is a testimony of how bullying can have a long-term effect on a person. I should also point out that this child wasn’t only bullied at school but was also a victim of undiscovered abuse at home.
Although I am giving this person an opportunity to voice his anger, I feel I need to say he is a wonderfully kind individual and he is a good friend. Not all children victimized by bullies day in and day out turn out to be so kind. Some never make it out of childhood as evidenced by all the horrendous news headlines. It is hard to say, or spin, this kind of abuse into something positive. In fact, I believe it is impossible.
I do believe in the power of story telling thought. I think this voice needs to be heard. The only positive that can come from a situation like this is if it could be used to fuel change and there is so much work to be done in regards to child abuse and preventing it. I believe a child who is abused is already at a disadvantage with bullies if they haven’t become bullies themselves. They have no SAFE place to turn. We NEED to find ways to protect our kids when the very people that should be protecting them aren’t. What would you suggest?
What does bullying do to a person?
It kills their spirit.
It makes them afraid all the time.
It makes them angry all the time.
It leaves them scarred and conditioned to be afraid and defensive all the time.
Even as an adult, I find myself either avoiding confrontation altogether, in real life and online — or else seeking them out and rushing in headlong because I am just so angry.
It dehumanizes a person.
I could give you all sorts of examples of how I was bullied, and how I fought back, and the awful things I did, eyes streaming with tears of rage, to try to stop myself from being bullied. I could tell you how I tried to get up on stage in grade 9 and perform, and was laughed off the stage by a couple of seniors who thought they were being funny, and how that experience followed me for the next three years, to the point where people whose names I didn’t even know would hurl insults at me in the halls, in the cafeteria, in the classroom.
I could give you thousands of examples of how I was bullied, because bullied kids become targets, and so, I was bullied nearly every single day of my childhood.
When someone is bullied like that, it is essentially a living death sentence. EVERY day they have to get up and go to school or work, or on line and KNOW that they are going to be tormented. It makes you want to die. It makes you want to run away.
I don’t know how many times I fantasized about killing myself — and, in a cliché way, I fantasized about leaving behind that note… you know, the one that tells everyone that it is their fault, and somehow, in my fantasies, I’d be looking down and seeing their reactions.
I’ll be honest. If I had been raised in a gun culture (sorry Americans but it’s true) I might have climbed a bell tower — that’s how angry and lost and dead inside someone who is bullied feels.
Every day of their lives is torture. I know my experience has definitely coloured how I feel about how bullies should be treated. I feel hatred for very few people, but I truly hate bullies with a murderous hatred. If I had my way, bullies would be rounded up in a room and the bullied kids would all be given baseball bats and allowed to beat them within an inch of their lives. To me, bullies are unwitting murderers, because they kill without even realizing it. Every kid who is bullied will grow up a broken and fearful adult.
I know that was incredibly harsh. I’m an adult now, and I know that’s not right. But imagine trying to contain that kind of hatred as a child, and you’ll have an idea of how broken I am. How broken bullied kids are.