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Old 05-25-2016, 08:48 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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School bullying and lasting effects

I skipped my 10 year high school reunion, but the 20 is coming up.

I really just wanted to make this post because of something from school. There was a kid who got bullied really badly in junior high and high school, he was basically the pariah. I remember in junior high school sometimes he'd get bullied so badly that he would run crying to the bus.

While trying to invite everyone to the reunion, it turns out that he became a middle school principal. I really hope he did something about school bullying, since he saw the negative effects of it firsthand.

I never bullied him (while I became a total asshole for a period in my 20s, I was never a school bully), I just wonder what effects the behavior had on him. Did he become a really decent person who stands up against bullying and abuse, or did he become haunted by his demons, or did he not care and it have no effect on him?

How do people on both side of the issue (school bullies, victims of school bullies) feel about it decades after it happened?
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:12 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Let's put it this way. I just received an invitation to my elementary school's 50th reunion. Those were not happy years for me, and I'm sincerely torn between going, to say "Fuck you all, I survived," and not going, to say "Fuck you all, period."
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:26 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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I have trained myself not to think about my school years in general, and grades seven through eight because of the relentless sexual harassment I was subjected to. Remembering specific incidents from that time can still cause seething anger which can ruin my day entirely.

The effects after all these decades? This happened in the mid '70's. Since then, I have never had a relationship with a man. I know that there are other reasons for this fact. But the harassment I endured in school is a large part of my celibacy.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:53 PM
Chihuahua Chihuahua is offline
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It has pretty severely fucked up my life in some not-so-obvious ways. There's obviously the chronic depression for which I take daily medication. I went through periods where I was suicidal or recklessly hostile to everyone around me. I suspect that I might have come within a few inches of being a school shooter, if I didn't have such positive role models in my life. I've never quite understood why it took mass murderers to make people notice that something was a problem. But in addition to those common problems, there are some more interesting ones:

1) I approach the world from the perspective that everyone in it is hostile and malicious. It colors my perception of the world and infects all of my relationships. Whenever something doesn't go my way, I assume it is because someone hates me or is deliberately trying to harm me. This screws up my work relationships, causes unnecessary anger and depression, and I can recall a few occasions where otherwise friendly strangers were offended that I reacted to them with suspicion and hostility.

2) I've encountered something in child abuse forums called the "Grey Rock" strategy. Essentially, the victim adopts a completely neutral demeanor and refuses to show any emotional reaction to their abuser, in the hopes that the abuser will get bored and move on. This has become my default setting. People who meet me variously describe me as being stoic, a loner, antisocial, etc etc. I very often hear people say I "never talk." To say that I am an extreme introvert would be an understatement. Although I was never abused by my parents, when I talk to victims of child abuse I find I have much in common (pathologically speaking) with people who had an abusive parent.

3) Low self-esteem manifests itself in unexpected ways. Obviously, I think I suck at life and don't deserve to have nice things happen to me. But it's curious how this appears in action. For example, I might refuse to ask for assistance in the belief that not only are the people around me hostile and uncaring, but that I don't deserve help. If I go to McDonald's and they give me the wrong burger, I might be so embarrassed that I don't bother to point out the mistake; I assume that I don't deserve to get the things I want and I should just be thankful for what I have. I'd rather eat food I didn't ask for and don't want than risk a confrontation. Even at work, I have run into times that I had a problem and the boss was perfectly willing to help me, but I just didn't believe I was worth helping or that I had a right to ask for what I wanted.

4) My romantic relationships were 5-10 years behind the power curve. I did not seriously begin trying to date until I was 20, and even then I didn't succeed at love until I was 23. I never had the chance to learn the "scripts" or "roles" that go with relationships, so even in my 20's I was making mistakes that most people learn in their early teens. I often feel a great disappointment with my life in the belief that I missed out on the teenage and college years, which I am given to understand involved a great amount of sex for everyone but me. Even at 35, when I'm married with children, I feel a great dissatisfaction that my life didn't turn out "right."

So, yeah, it sucks. I feel like I was poisoned with a misanthropy and dissatisfaction that extended far beyond the actual school years.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:28 PM
spamforbrains spamforbrains is offline
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I wasn't bullied, but I observed it and the idea of going to a high school reunion makes me nauseated. I really don't want to see how those @#%@# types turned out. I wonder if only former bullies go to school reunions?
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:40 AM
scareyfaerie scareyfaerie is offline
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I have recently reconnected with a few girls from my old school via farcebook, they're organising a get-together for just a few of us in a couple of months. I'd like to go because I was fairly good friends with one of them (we were the odd ones out all the time) but I'm not particularly bothered about the rest of them. If they were to invite any of the real bullies, I wouldn't hesitate to cancel on them.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:44 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by spamforbrains View Post
I wonder if only former bullies go to school reunions?
Not for my school, generally the ones who attend are those who happen to live nearby. But in our case, bullying between the students was almost nonexistant, and short-lived when it happened: the ones to watch out for were several of the teachers. A few years ago, two of them were taken aside by the then-principal and told to stop trying to attend any class reunions after being explicitly barred from several of them. One of those two still teaches and apparently has been trying to amend her ways, but that doesn't mean any of her now-grown up students want to see more of her than we strictly need to.

Last edited by Nava; 05-26-2016 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:55 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
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Originally Posted by Chihuahua View Post
stuff
This. All of it, except for the 'succeeding at love' thing. No woman's looked at me twice in more than 10 years.

You couldn't pay me enough to go to a class reunion, grade school or high school.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:30 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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I must be an outlier. We were all kids back then and I really don't hold grudges against them. What actually makes me feel better is going on facebook and looking at the profiles of the people who were assholes and bullies in school. To a T, every profile consisted of photos of the guy who was a bully as a kid taking tons of photos with their families (wives, kids, nieces, nephews, etc) as well as people saying nice things about them, and them saying nice things about others.

Granted, social media is idealized and people put forth an idealized impression of their lives. But for me, looking at the people who were assholes as kids who seem like they ended up as dedicated family men in adulthood is nice. Like I said, I hope we were all just insecure, mean kids and most/none of us are like that now.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:33 AM
JoseB JoseB is offline
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Ah, bullying... I was in the receiving end of quite my share of it, especially in the early years of High School.

The "high point", so to speak, happened when I was 13. Long story short, my classmates got hold of me during recess and hanged me with the rope of the set of curtains of a window. I was lucky enough not to die.

I had a purple mark in my neck for several weeks afterwards. It ended up being quite a scandal; there were direct disciplinary consequences (expulsion for several of those involved, to begin with) and a bunch more things.

As a result I became a completely antisocial being, basically saying "fuck you" to the entire world and its inhabitants. My social behavior began to become normal beginning at the age of 22 or thereabouts, and it was not until I was well into my 30s that I was more or less able to truly cope and be at peace with certain traumas.

Still working at it, and I still have issues, but at least I have been able to build a reasonably successful life for myself with trust in friends and relationships. Only, like, 10 to 15 years later than most "normal" people.

I never knew what became of my tormentors, and honestly I don't particularly care to know. They went out of my life and I am rather OK with that, you know... I have never been to a high school reunion in my life, but that also has to do with my living away from my home town (most of the time abroad) for the last 25+ years.

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Old 06-07-2016, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JoseB View Post
The "high point", so to speak, happened when I was 13. Long story short, my classmates got hold of me during recess and hanged me with the rope of the set of curtains of a window. I was lucky enough not to die.


You win the thread.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:09 AM
Commodore Commodore is offline
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I went to another school in grade 3 and was attacked as soon as I went down to lunch by everyone in the grade and I never even had talked to anyone, but they wanted to bash me real good, I don't know why it was, maybe because I had a school uniform on or because I was white or it was just there way of dealing with who was the best fighter for the pecking order.
So everyday I would have to fight some moron who wanted to have a go, but by grade 5 no one would have a go, but for some white nut who was in grade 7 who kept ranting for the whole year he was going to get me but not at school, so I went with him 2 blocks up the road and smashed him with 3 punches and he went straight down and I never seen him again until grade 10 I was working 400 miles from home on the holidays and seen him in the pub having lunch, I went over to say howdy and he said he did not want to fight and ran off.
I had no hard feelings to wards him or any of the other rat bags today and they would mouth off threats of ganging up and big brothers.
After I left school years I had people come up drunk when I was in the pub saying remember back in grade 3 when you smashed me and then had a swing at me or then just runaway.

My brother and I hated that town and look back on it as just madness a town of morons, the bastards would swing out of the trees and have a go at you.
I have never had anyone pick a fight with me in any other town and on the two towns out side of this town I remember saying to people I met, to come down for a drink some time and they were like stunned and said no way I am not going down there at night, then I would remember oh your right, I forgot it's a good chance some idiot would have a go at them.

I know a bloke just up the road who was going on about 3 blokes he would like to bash up from the schooldays he is 54yo and still holds a grudge he may end up bighting off more then he can chew.

Two of my brothers mates still hold a grudge of some person back in the schooldays I just think how childish to hold a grudge about some crap like that, that was like 40 years ago, how stupid.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:33 AM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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I remember reading in a book about police work about an incident where a man was attacked by some random stranger.

Turned out the attacker was no stranger, but someone that the victim had picked on in school and didn't recognize. The attacker had been stewing about having been bullied for over twenty years. Lasting effects indeed.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:12 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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I'm more or less like Chihuahua, with the addition that I don't hold on to friendships (if I've ever actually had any.) High school taught me that "friend" means "someone who hasn't yet stabbed you in the back."
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:18 AM
Me_Billy Me_Billy is offline
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FYI - There was a bully at my high school who later became a car salesman! At the 10 year reunion, he had not changed a bit - he tried keeping certain people from requesting songs from the band playing there - said do play what those people want! Everybody else (who had grown up by then) just stared at him like he was some sort of jerk - well he was a jerk!
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:40 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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I was bullied horribly from 7th to 11th grade, to the point where I nearly murdered one of the kids that was a pack leader.

It's probably the underlying reason that I got into martial arts and now teach bullying prevention to kids. If I can stop even one kid from going through what I went through, I will have done A Good Thing.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:18 PM
norvalnormal norvalnormal is offline
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I'm 63, and my response to a h.s. reunion some years ago was "Only if the theme is Columbine." All these years later, I would gladly shoot dozens of my former classmates in the head if I could get away with it (I do not possess any firearms, and my aim would doubtless be untrue), and probably 2/3 of these tormentors wouldn't even recollect me. Hell, ditto half of the "educators."
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:53 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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I've not lost anything in high school, my home town, or really anyone I knew then, including family. I don't even get the announcements anymore because I've moved and changed my name. I was only not actively abused in high school because I put strenuous and continual effort into being unobtrusive and unimportant and inoffensive. I saw plenty of awful things happen to people less lucky than me. That 'grey rock' thing sounds awfully familiar.


Reunions would be pointless (I half purposefully and half trauma-forgotten everyone's names) and I imagine needlessly frustrating, infuriating, or boring.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:59 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by norvalnormal View Post
I'm 63, and my response to a h.s. reunion some years ago was "Only if the theme is Columbine." All these years later, I would gladly shoot dozens of my former classmates in the head if I could get away with it (I do not possess any firearms, and my aim would doubtless be untrue), and probably 2/3 of these tormentors wouldn't even recollect me. Hell, ditto half of the "educators."
Since you're willing to say that here, I'm going to tell you about the boy who tried to get me to kill myself. Guess what his dad did a few years after we graduated? I got a card and wrote in it, "Hi, Jeff! Remember when we were in 9th grade and you tried to get my to kill myself? HA! HA! HA!" I didn't mail it because I knew I wouldn't see his reaction when he opened it. Other people's reactions have been pretty much evenly divided between "You are one sick puppy", "You should have mailed that card", and even "Why didn't you just take it over to his house and not leave until he opened it?" He briefly showed up on the "People You May Know" column on Facebook, until I blocked him, and it turns out that despite a college degree, at that time he was working at a call center, and not in management, either.

There was also a girl (that's right, a GIRL) who said she wanted her brothers to gang-rape me and get me pregnant so I would have to leave school. I once told a therapist, "I hope she gets raped someday and gets pregnant from it." I then said, "No, not really. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, and even if a woman did deserve it, the baby didn't do anything wrong." I found out recently that she is divorced with two adult children, which makes me wonder.........

There was another girl who constantly told me I was ugly, until there was a big story in the newspaper about her mother's battle with morbid obesity (this was in the mid 1970s) and I told her, "I may be ugly, but your mom's fat." That shut her up - and several years after we graduated, she basically had her face torn off in a car accident. She's on Facebook and she might seriously be a candidate for a face transplant. However, knowing what I do now, I strongly suspect that she was probably being sexually abused, whether in or out of the home, so I don't gloat in this one quite so much.

Whenever I've seen the Columbine kids who are in wheelchairs (there are several), I have to change the channel because I can think of a few people to whom I would have liked to have done that. I understand that in some gangs, they shoot not to kill, but to leave the victim paralyzed with a colostomy. And whenever I hear about an episode of school violence that is one-on-one, I ALWAYS wonder if the "victim" may have had it coming.

(My parents' attitude about all this? Whatever I did to those kids to make them want to do this to me, it was probably something I did on purpose to embarrass my parents. Really. )
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:11 AM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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In 9th or 10th grade, a group of older kids cornered my brother in the boys room, picked him up, and were going to give him a swirly. They stopped before his head touched the water. However, that changed him, and he will be 50 this year, and has never held a good job, never been in a relationship, and lives alone on disability due to anxiety issues. He says that incident altered the course of his life, even with other factors. He never went to a reunion.

I was bullied in middle school by classmates and a teacher, and glad I don't keep in touch. For high school I stay in touch with selected friends, and went to the 10 and 20 year reunions, and feel no need to go any more.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:08 PM
August West August West is offline
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I was bullied and shunned in middle school (grades 6-8) and often wanted to act out against my oppressors.

Now I'm happy, well-adjusted, and a gregarious extrovert. I'm happily married with 2 kids and many close friends. I've even become facebook "friends" with some of those people I hated back then.

They were kids. Kids are stupid and mean. Bullying doesn't cause everyone to become permanently morose and friendless. If you're a kid reading this and are being bullied, take heart (and go kick your bully in the balls). The kids that are bullying you are the ones that will end up saying "Man, high school was the greatest time of my life". That is one of the bleakest statements I've ever heard and a curse I wish on no one.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:40 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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They were kids. Kids are stupid and mean. Bullying doesn't cause everyone to become permanently morose and friendless. If you're a kid reading this and are being bullied, take heart (and go kick your bully in the balls). The kids that are bullying you are the ones that will end up saying "Man, high school was the greatest time of my life". That is one of the bleakest statements I've ever heard and a curse I wish on no one.
Years ago, I worked with a woman who I eventually found out, to no surprise, that she was a Mean Girl on steroids when she was growing up. I was told, more than once by more than one person, that if someone had taken a gun to school and shot her, people would have stood up and cheered, and her parents got lots of phone calls over the years from the parents of other kids who were on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of the way she treated them.

She married a man who was not a good husband or father (further details might identify them) and a couple years after I left that job, two of their children died in a horrific car accident. In NONE of the condolence messages addressed to her, or him, did I see the word "friend". Co-worker, former classmate, etc. but not friend, ever. Not once; the only friends were those of the kids. Last I heard, they are still together and their remaining child is grown or nearly so.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 06-08-2016 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:49 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I was bullied a lot in West Texas, so much so that I dropped out of school just before my senior year in high school and said to hell with it. I was 17 and didn't need parental permission, but they didn't seem to care anyway. To this day I remain a high-school dropout, but I went on to receive bachelor's and master's degrees from two major universities and married a university associate professor. My high school recently held its 40th anniversary for what would have been my graduating class. I briefly mulled looking into the cost of a truck bomb but then decided I had better things to do.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:02 AM
Wallaby Wallaby is offline
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2) I've encountered something in child abuse forums called the "Grey Rock" strategy. Essentially, the victim adopts a completely neutral demeanor and refuses to show any emotional reaction to their abuser, in the hopes that the abuser will get bored and move on.
I've only had very minor bullying issues compared with some on this thread, but I found this interesting. That is EXACTLY the line I took during the one time I had troubles with bullies. No reaction, never complained, didn't go out of my way to avoid the bullies (but also, obviously, did not approach them).

I think it's because I thought there was no help to be had (back in the '70s I was probably right), and thought that this strategy, in some weird way, gave me some control of the situation. The bullies wanted to me to appear publicly humiliated - I wouldn't let that happen.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:22 AM
Beelzebubba Beelzebubba is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I skipped my 10 year high school reunion, but the 20 is coming up.

I really just wanted to make this post because of something from school. There was a kid who got bullied really badly in junior high and high school, he was basically the pariah. I remember in junior high school sometimes he'd get bullied so badly that he would run crying to the bus.....

How do people on both side of the issue (school bullies, victims of school bullies) feel about it decades after it happened?
I have never thought of myself as a victim, but I was 'bullied' from 5th or 6th grade through high school. I was a skinny kid, but around the age of 12, I started growing taller....and heavier. I was 6'2" and in the 280-300lb range for my high school years. Verbal assaults and occasional physical altercations were the norm throughout those years (from students AND several teachers). I rarely had the the ability to fight back verbally, especially since my self-esteem was non-existent. But I did defend myself physically and kicked ass a few times, which I hoped would lessen the verbal attacks. But instead it just made the kid that I fought an outcast for getting beaten up by me.

When I would tell my mom about the things said or done to me, all hell broke loose! My mom, when defending me, would have made a rapid mother bear look like a lapdog! The only real benefit was that my teachers and principals were terrified of her, but not the students (unless she went off on their parents more than once). I had severe anxiety and panic attacks from the age of 13 until my early 20s. In high school, I skipped more than HALF of the school days each year just to avoid the altercations. Somehow, I still managed to pass with an A- average, but that probably speaks as much to the deficient school system as it does to my intelligence. I didn't even go to my graduation ceremony.

I started therapy in my mid 20s and continued, on and off, for about 10 years. Shortly after my 10-year reunion, which I didn't attend, my therapist suggested that I write letters to the people who hurt me the most. She told me to be brutally honest and, if I was comfortable doing so, let her read them and we would mail them together. She made surprisingly few revisions to what I wrote and I send five letters initially. Two were to former teachers and three to former classmates. I was surprised that two actually responded, both of them former classmates. One told me I was mistaken and that he never said or did any of the things I claimed. The other one was a sincere apology letter, and later a tearful phone call with the guy begging for my forgiveness, which I gave him.

I've sent a few more of those letters over the years, typically when long-buried memories resurfaced and I couldn't 'shake' them. But I also wrote quite a few letters to a few students (all female) and teachers (again, all female) who were kind to me, regardless of how it affected their social standing. One of my teachers, actually the School Librarian in high school, wrote me back saying that she cried for two hours after reading my letter. She had been dealing with her son's bad decisions and their consequences for a few years and finally had to distance herself from him. She felt like she was a failure as a parent (even though her daughter is a highly-respected ADA in our county) and my letter made her realize that she made a difference in someone's life. That was eight years ago and we meet for dinner at least twice per year for dinner, with regular emails and texts in between.

My 20th class reunion was in 2013 and I decided to go! I was successful, healthy (lost almost 80lbs since high school) and I am NOT the same kid they knew back in high school! I had a lot of anxiety, but Valium helped with that, and my friend (the former School Librarian) went for support and to help kick ass (verbally) if needed. But I discovered that almost all of the people who were so horrible 20 years ago have evolved into much kinder and caring individuals. Most of them had kids of their own and a few shared their experience dealing with their children being bullied. I went there "greased to kill" (so to speak) but instead I let go of decades of hurt and anger that night! I hate to admit it, but a few of the worst offenders weren't there....because they were in prison or strung out on drugs. I'm not proud, but I found some sinister satisfaction that karma had taken care of them!

The advent of Facebook has also helped me let go of any residual hatred and anger. Quite a few of the lesser offenders have 'friended' me and I realized that they don't even remember doing or saying the things that hurt me. I had already dealt with the worst ones (and my mom ran into one of the horrible teachers in the grocery store about five years ago and verbally eviscerated her in front of other people to see how she liked it). The bitch, err...I mean, woman, left in tears. I'll probably never know if she was just embarrassed by the public spectacle or felt true remorse for her actions, but it doesn't matter. I have forgiven all of those people (although sometimes forgiveness is something you have to do over and over in your mind) for my sake.
  #26  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:08 AM
adaher adaher is offline
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I must be an outlier. We were all kids back then and I really don't hold grudges against them. What actually makes me feel better is going on facebook and looking at the profiles of the people who were assholes and bullies in school. To a T, every profile consisted of photos of the guy who was a bully as a kid taking tons of photos with their families (wives, kids, nieces, nephews, etc) as well as people saying nice things about them, and them saying nice things about others.

Granted, social media is idealized and people put forth an idealized impression of their lives. But for me, looking at the people who were assholes as kids who seem like they ended up as dedicated family men in adulthood is nice. Like I said, I hope we were all just insecure, mean kids and most/none of us are like that now.
I was bullied a LOT ,but it rarely got physical because I wasn't one of those kids who could be stuffed in a locker. I was athletic and could defend myself well. My problem was that I was the biggest dork in the world so being made fun of was pretty much a constant. Didn't help that I let my grandfather pick my clothes and I didn't care at all that I looked completely out of fashion. I've always been so disinterested in clothes that to this day I don't dress myself. My wife chooses all my clothing. The only thing I'll ever buy is a T-shirt I think is funny or cool. But I didn't have a single girlfriend in school.

I have no hard feelings either. Although most of my worst bullies aren't on social media.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:59 PM
diggerwam diggerwam is offline
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Bullying in those years continue to affect me personally, professionally and sexually. I really dont hold grudges against the kids involved, I turn blame to the adults who saw it and didn't care enough to help. Teachers, parents, older siblings all saw things but I wasn't important enough to help. My lowest point, middle school in the shower. Kid next to me pissed on me. Last time I took shower at school. The kid who did it wasn't even one of my main tormentors, just some guy. If he could do it, then who could I really trust.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:38 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I was singled out for ridicule and bullying from 4th grade through the end of high school, stretching across two vastly separated states (GA and NM) as well as encompassing 5 schools within 3 school systems.

• I learned it wasn't them, those specific guys. Look, when you get uprooted and get to start over in a different context where people don't know you, and the exact same shit starts up, it can't be the bad town you live in, or that particular group of bad kids you have the misfortune of going to school with.

• I learned it wasn't just that the world sucks and people are mean nasty and rotten everywhere you go. Because it wasn't happening to everyone. It wasn't only happening to the intelligent kids, there were some smart popular kids who weren't being bullied. It wasn't only happening to the kids who won't stick up for themselves, either. I wasn't good at fighting but I was outraged about all this ("how fucking dare they?) and I was no dust mop. It certainly wasn't only happening to the kids who DID stick up for themselves, either. Many new kids had the one fight and were then left alone.

• Over time I saw a change in adult attitudes. In 3rd grade the people who did the bullying were definitely regarded as discpline problems and those of us being picked on got sympathy and support, even if that didn't make the problem go away. By 8th grade there I had seen winks and heard in-jokes especially from male adults, and the bullies were treated as rowdy people behaving as they were expected to behave even though they were breaking rules; and those of us being picked on were treated as whiny complainers who were probably lying and were immature if we couldn't handle this kind of crap by ourselves.


I went back to my 10 year high school reunion, actually. Some of the people who picked on me came up to me and apologized. A few others came up to me and congratulated me on apparently getting the stick out of my ass and ceasing to be such a goody goody two shoes kind of person.


I vanquished a few ghosts from my head by going back and being present.

Last edited by AHunter3; 06-09-2016 at 01:39 PM.
  #29  
Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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I was bullied in Elementary School and Junior High, but I never thought that it was all that serious. I avoided the bullies, and didn't give them the satisfaction of seeing me defeated. It pretty much came to an end in JH when one of the bullies started to punch my shoulder during lunch, and I got up and frog-marched him to the wall, pinned him there, and said "Don't ever touch me again!"
He didn't, and that was pretty much the end.

Still, there were some assholes (not really bullies, just jerks) that I still think I owe a sock in the mouth to. I've never been back to a reunion, which is a bit disappointing, since I know I am in way better shape than most of those guys...

Last edited by beowulff; 06-09-2016 at 01:53 PM.
  #30  
Old 06-09-2016, 02:16 PM
peedin peedin is offline
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My oldest brother Steven bullied me all my life til the time he died 3 years ago. Not physically, but mentally. I'm 59 and finally 3 years before he died I stood up to him and told him "fuck you" many times. Finally he stopped speaking to me. The consequences of his actions are that I feel no sadness over his death. I ended up being the one to tell the doctor to take him off life support. Poetic justice. Maybe the consequence is that I blame my mother for refusing to recognize that he was a bully.
  #31  
Old 06-09-2016, 04:44 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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I have no idea what affect bullying had on me.

I don't like socializing. I don't like people (and the misanthropy is only getting worse as I get older). But I really don't think what numbnuts said or did to me as a kid are the reason for this. To be frank, most people just get on my nerves. I don't have trust issues or anything like that. I just have little tolerance for other people's imperfections. I actually think I'm more at risk of being the bully than being bullied at this point in my life.

I have occasional bouts of poor self-esteem and low confidence (though these bouts are growing less frequent as I get older). And sometimes I do hear a little voice telling me that I'm a "retard", which is what the kids used to call me back in the day. But it's not an irrational voice. Sometimes I really do act like I'm tetched. I think being a little hard on myself keeps me from being totally mediocre, though.

Childhood seems so far away. There has been so much I've learned about myself since I was a kid, and I've had plenty of time to let shit go. I think one thing that's helped is moving away from my hometown. I don't associate with anyone from high school or childhood. I don't do Facebook, so I don't have to worry about old foes tracking me down. Maybe that's why it has been so easy for me to get over it.
  #32  
Old 06-09-2016, 05:18 PM
DeepLiquid DeepLiquid is offline
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I wouldn't say I was bullied as much as I was sexually harassed and assaulted routinely from 5th grade to about 11th grade. I hit puberty at age nine and had large breasts before I was eleven. Being groped and poked and having scary awful things whispered/shouted/written in notes/scrawled on my locker... made me dread school. I learned the tall girl with large breasts stance, hunch your shoulders and keep your books over you boobs so they can only poke/prod/punch the sides. By 11th grade I was a very strong athlete with a deeply simmering rage, I stopped letting them get away with it and started fighting back. This got me labeled as a "man hating dyke" for my last two years of HS, but no one laid a hand on me again.

It took some time after high school to work through my rage, and I still don't trust men. Even after many years (high school was in the mid 70's), when I started thinking maybe guys are okay, the internet happened and I quickly learned that nope, same shit, different venue. Intellectually I know there are decent men, I even have a couple of male friends I think the world of, but they will always be viewed as the exception by me.
  #33  
Old 06-09-2016, 05:33 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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In 9th grade, I was the designated target. Even the school administration knew about it, and didn't care, because oh, just one kid getting bullied isn't all that big a deal.

I got kicked out of that school at the end of the year, and good riddance. The school where I spent the next three years was much better by pretty much every metric, and did not tolerate bullying.

As for the bullies, though... The one I worried about the most happened to live right next door to me, so I wasn't completely rid of him even after I transferred. But he became a more decent person as he matured, and by my 18th birthday, we buried the hatchet when he and a group of his friends challenged me and a group of my friends to a pickup football game. They beat us quite soundly, but fairly and cleanly, and I never had any trouble with him again.
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  #34  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:03 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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Originally Posted by diggerwam View Post
Bullying in those years continue to affect me personally, professionally and sexually. I really dont hold grudges against the kids involved, I turn blame to the adults who saw it and didn't care enough to help. Teachers, parents, older siblings all saw things but I wasn't important enough to help. My lowest point, middle school in the shower. Kid next to me pissed on me. Last time I took shower at school. The kid who did it wasn't even one of my main tormentors, just some guy. If he could do it, then who could I really trust.
That's kinda what sticks in my mind, too. I only remember a few really bad incidents of being bullied, and I've forgotten the names of all the bullies, but I do remember no one standing up for me or even giving a damn. When my brother would bully me and I'd tell my mom, her usual reaction was "oh, he's just doing that because he knows it bothers you." To this day, I don't know why that made it okay.

I'm not the same person I was back then, but it hasn't really left me, either. Mostly I just learned to be as small and unnoticeable as possible. I was home a few years ago to look after my mother and some of those same dynamics are still there.
  #35  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:04 PM
adaher adaher is offline
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Yeah, back when most of us were in school bullying was regarded as normal. Administrators really didn't want to deal with it, they figured we should be dealing with it on our own. Sure, and kids should also be avoiding drugs and smoking on their own, yet administrators never minded catching and disciplining kids for that.
  #36  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:04 PM
Chihuahua Chihuahua is offline
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Originally Posted by DeepLiquid View Post
I wouldn't say I was bullied as much as I was sexually harassed and assaulted routinely from 5th grade to about 11th grade. I hit puberty at age nine and had large breasts before I was eleven. Being groped and poked and having scary awful things whispered/shouted/written in notes/scrawled on my locker... made me dread school. I learned the tall girl with large breasts stance, hunch your shoulders and keep your books over you boobs so they can only poke/prod/punch the sides. By 11th grade I was a very strong athlete with a deeply simmering rage, I stopped letting them get away with it and started fighting back. This got me labeled as a "man hating dyke" for my last two years of HS, but no one laid a hand on me again.

It took some time after high school to work through my rage, and I still don't trust men. Even after many years (high school was in the mid 70's), when I started thinking maybe guys are okay, the internet happened and I quickly learned that nope, same shit, different venue. Intellectually I know there are decent men, I even have a couple of male friends I think the world of, but they will always be viewed as the exception by me.
I think this is what pisses me off the most. Most people hear the word "bully" and they imagine someone being teased or called names. What happens IRL is straight up assault, sexual or otherwise, and if an adult did it they would be in jail. And I think part of the problem is that portrayals of bullies on TV are mostly aimed at children and therefore don't show the reality of the problem.
  #37  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:16 PM
adaher adaher is offline
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Another problem I've seen a lot here is that you simply can't win. The social game is complicated and not all of us were cut out for it. Even if you stand up to them and win, you still don't really win. People just go from making fun of you to outright hating you.

I also notice that girls got it a lot worse. It's no wonder girls had such tight cliques. Protection.
  #38  
Old 06-09-2016, 08:56 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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I'm 55 now. Male. I got bullied in Junior High. Say... 1973.

I was one of the big kids in school. The tallest usually. I got bullied by one little guy. He always wanted to start a fight with me. I probably could have kicked the everlivin shit out of him. I had 20 pounds and 5 inches on him.

I don't know why he targeted me. I guess because he knew I would not fight. It hurt bad back then. The names he called my mom and me. I didn't understand at the time.

I would not fight. And really had no idea why this kid had it in for me. I didn't know him from Adam. I was just a target. I guess he thought if he could put me down, he would get some status or something.

He ended up getting kicked out of school. The school found a .45 in his locker. Glad I'm still here to talk about this.

I'm living quite well now. I suspect he isn't.
  #39  
Old 06-09-2016, 11:28 PM
skdo23 skdo23 is offline
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Maybe not quite a bully, but a guy from my high school who was an arrogant jock type straight out of Alpha Beta house on Revenge of the Nerds is now a LCSW and, from what I've heard, is basically Mr. Mackey from South Park.
  #40  
Old 06-10-2016, 12:43 AM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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I was bullied in high school, during freshman year. Thankfully what happened was nowhere near as bad as what others in this thread have gone through. It was verbal bullying only, and only in a couple of classes in freshman year. After that, I was never in the same class with the girl who was doing it again, and frankly after leaving high school I never saw her nor really thought about her.

Then, twenty years later, this happened. And this. And this. That's her. The person who bullied me in ninth grade remains a bully, and eventually made the national news for it.

I get a laugh out of it now.
  #41  
Old 06-10-2016, 12:51 AM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
I'm not the same person I was back then, but it hasn't really left me, either.
One of the most unfair things in life, it seems to me, is that the early parts of our lives get to define how we think of ourselves so much, even if the later parts are better. It defines the default setting for what kind of person we are, in our own minds. Or, maybe it's not like that for everyone, but it is for me. My first 15 years of life pretty much sucked. They were just awful. I had a terrible time in school. Then, things got better. The next 15 years were pretty awesome, much to my surprise. Certainly by comparison. Then it all mostly just got weird, which is where I'm at now. But I won't bore you with the details of any of that.

Anyway, what was I even talking about? Oh, right. The girl and her sister.

I had this odd experience a while ago. I struck up an acquaintance with a person where I worked. She was a few years younger than me. (And, no, this won't be a dating story.) We would talk about this and that, and at some point it transpired that had I gone to school with her sister, up to age 15.

Later, I ran into this person and the sister, together. I wouldn't even have recognized the sister if I'd just seen her on the street, and I'm sure she wouldn't have recognized me, either. And I certainly wouldn't have talked to her. There's no way I'm talking to anyone I went to school with before high school, if I can help it. I just duck and run in the other direction if I ever see them. Which is mostly hypothetical, because I mostly never see them, but that's how I react. But this time I was stuck, we knew who each other was, and I was forced to interact with her. In front of the younger sister, who actually liked me. And it was just the most horrible thing.

What really upset me about the whole business was this: Now the older sister, who knew me as a kid in school, when I was at the bottom of the pecking order and just this boy-shaped bag of neuroses and fear, would get to tell the younger sister who I really was. The younger sister liked me just fine. She knew me as an adult, from work. But now my secret would be out. She would learn about the real me.

But then I'm thinking: Why can't it be the other way around? Why can't the version that the younger sister knows be the real me? The better version? Why can't she be the one informing the older sister of the truth, instead of the other way around? But even if I think that, it doesn't matter. The older sister knows. The younger sister is just misinformed, because I happened to make a good impression. And now they both know. That's how I feel about it, just in terms of the emotions of it all. I can't seem to get away from that.

Anyway, I don't know what the older sister told the younger sister. Probably nothing. She probably didn't even remember me. We had a polite and pointless conversation about nothing in particular. And nothing changed in the dynamic with younger sister. Well, except that I started acting all spooked around her after that. All embarrassed. So, there's that.

Imagine if I could put the later 15 years in front of the early 15 years, instead of the other way around, like it is now. That would be so much better. Because it feels like the first 15 are real, and the later 15 are some kind of fakery. I wish I could swap them. I wonder if there's some trick to do that.

I dunno. Is this even making any sense?
  #42  
Old 06-10-2016, 01:00 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Is this even making any sense?
Yes.
  #43  
Old 06-10-2016, 01:04 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I learned it wasn't them, those specific guys. Look, when you get uprooted and get to start over in a different context where people don't know you, and the exact same shit starts up, it can't be the bad town you live in, or that particular group of bad kids you have the misfortune of going to school with.
Or going out in public in an area where you don't live and having kids you've never seen before in your life making fun of you there too, the first time they've ever seen you, and not even hesitating to do this in front of both sets of parents, theirs and mine. BTDT.
  #44  
Old 06-10-2016, 03:58 AM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Here's another anecdote:

A girlfriend once made a birthday present for me. It was very sweet, in theory. She found a photo of herself as a child. Then, she went to my mother, and got a photo of me as a child. She then proceeded to put those together in a frame, along with some doodles of hearts and stuff. So, very sweet. Very personal. Very cute.

I hated that thing so much. I basically flew into a panic when she sprung it on me. I wanted to throw it out a window. It got instantly disposed of, and it never saw the light of day again. Poor girl, she meant it so well. At least the sex, drugs & alcohol she followed it with up as a second attempt at a present helped. That was more appreciated.

I wonder what it's like not to hate your own childhood. It must be nice.

Actually, I wonder what it's like not to hate yourself. Because, you know, hating bullies is one thing. Screw those assholes. But you end up hating yourself, and that's the trickier part. That's a more problematic kind of hatred to go through life with.
  #45  
Old 06-10-2016, 06:16 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by DeepLiquid View Post
I wouldn't say I was bullied as much as I was sexually harassed and assaulted routinely from 5th grade to about 11th grade. I hit puberty at age nine and had large breasts before I was eleven. Being groped and poked and having scary awful things whispered/shouted/written in notes/scrawled on my locker... made me dread school. I learned the tall girl with large breasts stance, hunch your shoulders and keep your books over you boobs so they can only poke/prod/punch the sides. By 11th grade I was a very strong athlete with a deeply simmering rage, I stopped letting them get away with it and started fighting back. This got me labeled as a "man hating dyke" for my last two years of HS, but no one laid a hand on me again.
my experiences in middle school and high school are largely what have put me off of the idea of ever having kids. I cannot fathom the idea of spending so much time, money, and effort on something which is going to turn into a vicious piece of shit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
At least the sex, drugs & alcohol she followed it with up as a second attempt at a present helped. That was more appreciated.
yeah, well, at least you got that. small comfort for those of us who were basically "untouchable" in school.
  #46  
Old 06-10-2016, 06:21 AM
Chihuahua Chihuahua is offline
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Actually, I wonder what it's like not to hate yourself. Because, you know, hating bullies is one thing. Screw those assholes. But you end up hating yourself, and that's the trickier part. That's a more problematic kind of hatred to go through life with.
Yep. That is kind of my mantra. Whenever I feel ashamed or guilty over some failure (real or imagined) I whisper, "I hate myself," over and over until the feeling passes. I feel as though acknowledging that I am a bad/unworthy person is a sort of self-flagellation that lets me move on with my life.

This is something that haunted me for over a decade: The persistent belief that I was wrong and they were right, that I deserve to be punished for my failures, and that I have no value as a human being. I spent YEARS searching for whatever missing ingredient I needed, in the belief that if I just learned X skill or Y behavior then I could correct the fault and I would "count" as a valuable person that others would respect. Of course, I never found what I was looking for because a universal checklist to person-hood doesn't exist.

Last edited by Chihuahua; 06-10-2016 at 06:22 AM.
  #47  
Old 06-10-2016, 06:46 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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I remember only one guy who consistently bullied me and I got the best revenge of all: I've outlived him.
  #48  
Old 06-10-2016, 07:18 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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I was the neighborhood pariah back in elementary/junior high. I was chubby, a geek, not particularly graceful, and too self-conscious for my own good. Eighth grade was the worst. It was also the year my dad died. Put two together and it's a wonder I actually was promoted to 9th grade, never mind still standing and breathing.

I think it affected me more when I was younger than it does now. I still have scars, but now they're faded. I don't even remember half the kids responsible for them. I'm much less self-conscious nowadays. I'm still a bit of a geek. I'm still not particularly graceful and I'm still a tad chubby. I think time/age has a lot to do with it as well as getting to the point in life where I'm finally comfortable with who I've always been.

Many years ago when I was temping I ran into the sister of one of my tormentors at a particular employer. I remembered her well, as she, her sibling, and I took the same bus to/from school and she never once tried stopping her sibling from doing/saying ~whatever~. My hackles automatically went up upon seeing her. When I confronted her, she had no idea who I was until I described the bus scenario. It took her a minute, and then, "Oh, yeah. Get over it. Kids will be kids." Or something like that.

I wanted to smack her right then and there, stomp on her, scream in her ear loud enough to burst her eardrum. But I didn't. Instead I went to the ladies' and cried. Fast forward a few months later and I realized that those who bullied usually have no idea of how much they affected you. Then I got upset again.

I'm glad those days are over. If anyone's bullying me now, it must be very covert because I have no inkling of it. OTOH I'm not looking for it either.
  #49  
Old 06-10-2016, 01:04 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
I was bullied and shunned in middle school (grades 6-8) and often wanted to act out against my oppressors.

Now I'm happy, well-adjusted, and a gregarious extrovert. I'm happily married with 2 kids and many close friends. I've even become facebook "friends" with some of those people I hated back then.

They were kids. Kids are stupid and mean. Bullying doesn't cause everyone to become permanently morose and friendless. If you're a kid reading this and are being bullied, take heart (and go kick your bully in the balls). The kids that are bullying you are the ones that will end up saying "Man, high school was the greatest time of my life". That is one of the bleakest statements I've ever heard and a curse I wish on no one.
Bolding mine.

But it does cause SOME people to have unhappy lives - most often during the times they are bullied, but quite often there are lasting impacts. Just because it doesn't happen to everyone doesn't mean it's ok, and it doesn't mean that well-meaning advice to "buck up" or "go show 'em who's boss now!" is actually going to be helpful to someone with resulting social anxiety or self-worth issues.
  #50  
Old 06-10-2016, 07:35 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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yeah, well, at least you got that. small comfort for those of us who were basically "untouchable" in school.
The birthday present was when I was... 20? 21? One or the other. But, yeah, I was basically OK from age 16. Or at least in recovery, as it were. I was at a new school, I met new people, and they let me get away with stuff. I was still hopelessly socially inept, but now, for whatever reason, I was persistently forgiven for it. That's something that makes me think that maybe there's a god, and he gave me a break.

And, of course, suddenly there weren't people around giving me a hard time just because I existed. It's hard to get anything done when someone reminds you, every five minutes, how much you suck. Either to your face, or indirectly. As it is, I'm still very defensive, like I'm constantly waiting and watching for people to do that. It's like I'm in a permanent state of flinch. I have a hard time handling criticism, I take it very personally. I beat myself up endlessly for stupid things I do. And then I hide. There's a crowd of people in my mind, pointing and laughing. The other day I faceplanted pretty badly and said something stupid in a thread on this board. I'm still beating myself up for that, even though there are zero actual consequences. I don't have to pay money. I won't be arrested. I didn't even get a warning. Maybe someone on the internet, who doesn't know me, thinks I'm stupid. Big whoop, right? But it'll be a long time before I get over it. Imagine what day-to-day real life is like. There are huge areas of real life that I just stay away from. There are too many things that can go wrong. It's like a minefield of potential mistakes that I have to hate myself for later. It's just not worth it.

And then you might say: "But everyone makes mistakes." I know, that's not the problem. It's not the mistakes, it's the hating myself. If your argument was: "Everyone hates themselves", them maybe we could talk.

Anyway, where was I? Right, my teens. By age 18, I was solidly a cool kid, I think. Mostly because the local factors determining "cool" had changed so much. If I had been in a school full of jocks, it would probably have been different, but I was suddenly surrounded by punk rockers, weed smokers, role playing geeks, and goths. It was intoxicating. I never really knew that any of that existed. And I could work with that. I could squeeze my way in. Even then, I didn't have many friends, but the ones I had were solid. (That has probably more to do with me being an introvert than anything. I've always preferred quality to quantity in the friends department.) And they were cool. I like cool.

Sorry if this sounds like running through the cancer ward gleefully, shouting "I don't have it! I'm cured!" Going through ages 16-19 in the way I went through life before that would probably have killed me, I think. I'm not sure if there would have been any possible recovery after that. Those are critically important years. Anyone who lives to age 20 unloved has to be permanently damaged. Those of you who do recover from that, even somewhat, are pretty amazing. I think you're stronger than me. I feel like I got pulled out of the drain at the last possible moment. And I'm not cured, by any stretch. I'm still a mess.

BTW, about the cool: I'm about to say something horrible. Feel free to throw tomatoes.

When I was at the bottom of the pecking order, I wasn't alone down there. There were other kids there, too. So you might say: "Why weren't you friends with them? You could have had a society of outcasts." Here's the horrible thing: Just because you're grouped in with the Garbage Pail Kids in the special class of life, it doesn't mean that you like the other kids there. There are, you know, reasons why they're there. Some of them aren't very likable. I hung out with those kids some. I sympathized with them, profoundly. But I didn't really like them, necessarily, or get along with them. I didn't aspire to be them. I wanted a cool friend. I think I really wanted this friend. But there weren't any twelve year old vampire girls at my school. I didn't even know that there were twelve year old vampire girls.

Maybe that makes me as bad as the bullies. Maybe in a different world I could have been a bully. Maybe now I am a bully, sometimes, like monstro said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
I actually think I'm more at risk of being the bully than being bullied at this point in my life.
So, that. Me, too.

Something touched one of my irrational berserker buttons in another thread. It was someone advising shy and timid men to just be themselves, and they'll eventually meet a shy and timid girl. In my mind, I heard it as: "You loser kids should just hang out with your own kind. Don't try to mingle with the normal people."

I still hear a lot of things in my mind, from age 12.
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