“Say No to Bullying Week” seems like the best time to relate some of my own experiences as a victim of bullying. To the best of my recollection life was pretty normal until about Year 6, I was never into sports but I liked other things that most other boys back in the 60s liked, innocent games like marbles, chasey, All Over Red Rover, and then it happened, I was bullied for the first time.
It was a girl who started things, she called me a pansy because I said something was sweet. I remember her name and I remember how hurt I was, I was only repeating something my grandmother had said. I do remember that the same kids who thought I was soft used to cringe whenever they walked past my yard and I had been cleaning out my racing pigeon loft , I was smelly and covered in pigeon poop, who was the pansy then?
The next couple of years I pretty much flew underneath the radar of the bullies, I kept to a small circle of friends I felt safe with, then Year 9 at high school. I was called a poofter and a wanker, I did not even know what they were, I had perfume thrown in my eyes, I had my chair knocked out from under me, and I was constantly ridiculed. Again I had no idea why this was happening to me, what had I done to deserve this?
You know what they say, if you can’t beat them , join them, so that is what I did, up to a point. I rebelled, I refused to wear my school uniform, I did not study, I wagged school, and I started to smoke, anything to be accepted. The one thing I did not do was bully anyone else, I just wanted to be accepted and left alone, and I achieved that.
Over the years there was the odd individual that made my life hell but the worst was yet to come when I was an adult, a father, and the victim of a boss that liked to bully anyone he could. I fought back, I reported him to HR, fat lot of good that did, we were made to sit down and discuss our issues, it didn’t work. Finally he resigned and I had peace, along with many others he had bullied over the years.
Isn’t it sad that some people have to belittle others in order to feel better about themselves. I am content in myself now, happy with my life, I hope my bullies are happy to. Thank you for reading.
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