This piece will contain some coarse language.
All World Issues is one particular blogger that I follow. A young, Australian woman, this particular blogger has some many interesting, yet at the same time relatable views on life and other such ideologies and concerns. On Saturday I do believe, the young lady conceived a post on bullying, and her general dislike of such a nefarious issue in society today, the post that she wrote located at the link below:
By the conclusion of her piece, All World Issues asked her readership if they wouldn’t mind developing a post of their own in regards to any experiences they had endured in regards to bullying. So, with that said, this here post is my response in regards to such a question.
Now, I myself have had some experience with bullying in the past. Perhaps I should amend that last statement. I suffered quite a fair bit, no, a shit load, that’s the word, a rather large amount of bullying when I was younger that was active during my high school years.
If there was one thing I could say about high school, it’s that I survived.
All World Issues is not wrong when she says that bullies will often target you for no particular reason. So, why me? I wonder how many people say that when it happens to them?
I was new. Most people at the high school knew each other from primary school. I came from an area that was farther out, whilst a majority of the other students just lived around the corner, so had grown up together.
Amazingly enough, I was lucky – at first. I befriended those who were perceived as the ‘cool’ crowd. They allowed me access to their friends and appeared to treat me like one of their own – to my face. Behind my back it was a whole different story, and eventually I guess they just grew tired of talking behind my back and made sure it was to my face.
I guess I realised I was not wanted when I was simply told that – in one way or another. The guy sitting next to me said I did not belong there at the school. Then he said I should go fuck my mother. I was 12 at the time, and believe it or not this was the first time I had been told this. I had no prior experience and didn’t really know what to do, and so told him to go fuck himself and I wished him best wishes in getting his tiny prick any larger than one centimeter.
That apparently didn’t go down well.
I realised again that I was unwanted that same week when the same guy, along with all his friends said they wished that I would ‘fucking die’; how so – a sword to chop my head off – and then to hack me into a thousand pieces with.
Maybe a little over the top, but still, the message was acquired.
Then the violence started.
I was winded twice during my first year. On both occasions I did not suspect the punch was coming.
Later on in that semester, the guy who had said he wished I was dead became angry with me when he attacked me and I knocked him to the ground. He managed to get the better of me and beat the shit out of me for fun. The class laughed.
In the second semester though, something new happened. Wood work and other such classes are supposed to be fun for the guys. I leant three things during the class. One, I’m good enough with wood work that I would probably always pass with a solid C. Two, I’m probably always going to be a shitty carpenter, and three, a piece of wood hurts when you get clocked over the head by one.
I guess that guy who said he wished I was dead really meant it. I just never assumed he would take the threat to the next level. Perhaps I should have known – surrounded by sharp objects and such that someone who hated me enough might see the potential opportunity to do some damage. When the teacher temporarily left to go into the back room, the guy saw his chance – he grabbed a nice shiny piece of wood whilst my back was turned, and whacked it across the back of my head.
I got a whopping good head ache, nothing else, which I should have been glad for. I tried to tell the teacher what had happened – and apart from ignoring me, when it came time for the truth to come out, the entire class sided with the guy who had hit me – I apparently was a clumsy son of a bitch, had tripped, and had hit my head in the side of the metallic bench I was working at.
I came to the conclusion that I could not win and chose not to tell anyone else. I was the freak in the eyes of a majority of the people.
There were some that were not so bad. In music class I befriended a couple guys, and over the course of high school we founded ourselves a school band with some older students and managed to do a pretty good job at rocking and rolling around, which is probably one of my better moments from high school.
I could have left I guess to escape the times that weren’t so good, but a bunch of rotten apples were not going to scare me.
In the second year it was much of the same thing. There were less physical attacks and more verbal ones.
I must have been called every name available. A couple that stand out would include:
-fucking friendless freak (‘triple f’ for short)
-disgusting fucking creature
-mother fucking fucker
-fucking hideous lanky cunt
Imagine this every single day. It does get a little tiring.
I was also called gay, faggot and pofter a lot. It would seem that people who bully you are scared of sexuality. I however can attest to the fact that I’m a hetero, although I think those posts should not ever see the light of day because of their incredibly graphic content.
However, year nine was the definitive moment in my life.
Physical attacks went from one extreme to the next. I was frequently water bombed. I had my locker broken into on a couple of occasions and had my lock broken, with some of my goods been stolen.
Class also became more violent than ever before. I had a pair of scissors thrown at me on more than one occasion, and they clipped me twice. Once in the head, and once in the ear. I had a calculator thrown at me, but I guess my number wasn’t up cuz it missed. I had several pencil cases thrown at me on a number of occasions. I even on one occasion had a chair thrown in my direction. Now, you might ask, what was the teacher doing? My home room teacher and my English teacher were one and the same – and she joined in on the attacks. Not the physical ones, but on the verbal ones. I overheard her call me a freak on a couple occasions. I only assume she was talking about me because my name, the word ‘freak’, and the pointing in my direction all lead me to believe one thing. On top of that, on two occasions I told her about attacks and she said ‘what exactly do you want me to do? The class is working to the best of their capability, so quit your bitching.’
The only bitch in the room was her in my eyes. She didn’t last though – she left the following year to go make some other schools’ unhappy.
I began to do my best to keep out of the way of students. No one ever sat near me in class, and I was only so glad for that. I became quite sick and tired of doing things for those who hated me; staying out of their way, was more for them than it was for me.
This didn’t really work anyway.
Later on in the year, a substitute teacher took a class. The class, well, excluding me, joined into a circle, drew a picture of me, then set it on fire, and laughed as it burnt.
I guess for some that wasn’t nearly enough, for come lunchtime, it did not take me long to realise that the hissing sound I heard was deodorant – and it was been put onto me. You know that fire warning label on each bottle of spray. I always assumed it was there for a reason, and I suppose the guy who sprayed me was smart enough to figure that out too. I spun around to confront him and knocked the bottle from his hand. I turned back to close my locker, before taking off my jumper and dumping it in there too, shutting it and turning around – to find the guy with an ignited cigarette lighter in his hand.
Everyone around me looked real disappointed. I managed to avoid all of them, but not before they managed to spray me again.
I suppose the class was still lusting for blood come the conclusion for lunch, because when I returned, the class stood around me and the guy who had intended to turn me into the human torch took the lead. He shoved a knife in my face and told me he would kill me if I ever touched him again like I had when I knocked the spray can from his hands.
A teacher suddenly came around the corner, and everyone moved to their lockers.
Out of fear for my own safety, I began to carry a small knife in my bag. It was a simple switch blade piece, where you flipped it out from the side. It had a good enough point to it, but also had a ruler along the side of the metallic blade, for that was its primary job – ruling lines on paper and then cutting along them.
Unfortunately, one afternoon when I was placing books in my bag, a fellow student saw the blade, and told a teacher about it. Instant suspension for me – for one week. I told the vice principal who interrogated me everything that had led to this moment for I concluded that if I was going down, I would take as many people with me. The guy who had been attacking me all these years – the leader – suspended for three days. Justice?
During the course of my week long suspension I had the decency to acquire bronchitis, and so was away for two weeks rather than one, and upon returning to school, it was a very different place indeed.
For starters, the kid who saw my knife – he told the whole school it was plastic – and they believed him.
A foxy young woman who was a year older than I who I obviously in regards to my previous comment had a thing for also believed the stories. Let’s just say if she ever had a thing for me, it officially came to an end when she trusted all those who hated me over my word.
Secondly, a book had been passed around the year level – a blank exercise book, that was no longer blank at all. The pages in and around the middle were filled with the signatures of 126 people. I counted them myself. I assumed there were around 150 people in my year level, which meant that a lot of people had signed this petition, for that it what it was. A petition for what? The sentence in the very central pages said it all; we want Derek Childs to die.
How did I come by this book? My year nine homeroom/English teacher gave it to me. No, she didn’t sign it. I guess she thought she would get in trouble. I took it to the vice principal. His response?
He asked if I had been attacked recently. I said no. He asked if I had any wounds on me. I said no. He came to the conclusion that this was simply students been students and told me to toss the book in the trash and forget about it.
Forgetting about it was a little difficult. It did not take long for me to be attacked in class again, and after I ended up on the ground, in an attempt to redeem myself I really went to town on the guy who had attacked me – and I kicked his arse up and down the classroom. Well, not quite, but I did a good enough job.
There are however always consequences for embarrassing your enemies, and I paid mine the next day. I only wish that when people chose to fight you, they did so on their own. In a fair one on one fight, although I would have rather avoided such an occurrence, I had a considerable chance of winning. One on several though – excuse my language, but I was fucked.
Long story short, I ended up on the ground.
Eventually all of this became too much for me. There is some aspects of what happened I am going to avoid due to the fact that I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough and there are some other occurrences that I do not want to touch because I don’t want to write about those painful moments, so I will just skip to what I inevitably did.
In class one day I found myself in another confrontation when the teacher left to yell at a misbehaving student. I had a number of items thrown at my head, before been told again how the class wished I would die. One such item thrown at me was a pair of scissors – the person who threw them also yelled out how he wished I would kill myself with them.
Now, I don’t know if I really wanted to actually kill myself, or if I simply wanted the attention of the teachers who had been ignoring me all these years; but I took that pair of scissors, opened them up, and with all my might I shoved one of the sharp tips into my left wrist. I then proceeded to do this five times, over and over again. I did not slice – I simply stabbed. I aimed for a beautiful blue vein and went to town.
As for the class – they cheered me on. That was until the blood began to seep out from the wound I had created. For some odd reason as I sat there, the blood flowing across my fingers and onto the carpet, the class actually became frightened and the one who had lead the attacks all these years ran for the teacher and told her what had happened.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you were at the time I guess, the damage I had done was not terrible enough that I found myself on deaths door – no.
I didn’t need stitches, but I did need a few Kleenexes and a good couple large band aids that needed to be changed a few times over the course of the day because the blood kept seeping through. I was fixed up at the nurses office, and the leader of the bullies was expelled.
Well, it only took three years.
As previously mentioned, he was their leader, so after that the physical violence died down. The verbal attacks didn’t though. If anything, the classes seemed more pissed off than ever that I had survived.
There was one teacher at the school who was particularly nice though, and he told me that as students grew older the attacks would die down, and very gradually I guess they did over the next three years. Very slowly, but still, they died down.
Of course, the one change that happened in year nine was that I changed myself. I began to stop caring what people thought, and I instead wore that ‘freak’ title they gave to me like a badge. This was of course after my little incident with the scissors. They thought I was a freak, and so I made sure that they would not forget it.
I survived high school. I made a couple friends here and there that are still friends to this day, and I was loathed by all the rest.
I am certain that lots of people have experienced worse than I. I agree with All World Issues that bullying is pretty horrible, but it ain’t going to stop. I don’t get bullied any more, but I know that some people don’t like me, but you’ll get that wherever you go.
I think you can either attempt to outgrow those who hate you and not care, or let it consume and overwhelm you until it takes control of your life. It is difficult to avoid the unavoidable, so me recommending that option is like me recommending you avoid the killer shark that is one second away from making you yet another trophy between its teeth.
Bullying gradually will become worse. There are numerous news stories about people been stabbed at school and murdered, and I am glad I didn’t become a news story.
Anti-bullying campaigns don’t work, and neither do the videos. You will never stop it; you just have to outlive it. If you can do that, then you have officially conquered it. This is my view, and not that of All World Issues.
That particular young lady wishes to start a campaign to build awareness against bullying and has other great ideologies in regards to such a plan. I’m glad that such a person is committed to such goals. I wish her luck and anyone else who attempts such a plan.
You ain’t gonna stop bullying for it is imbedded inside human culture, and honestly, how are you going to change human culture when there are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet. Now, many of them have not bullied others. Many of them have never been bullied. But the other couple billion people have either bullied or been bullied. I ask those who wish to help, can you really help solve all that pain?
People are capable of the greatest of things. They are capable of love, of happiness, of amazing intellect, of generosity, of selflessness. People can also do unspeakable evil. They are capable of hate, misogyny, and violence. This is human nature. Everyone can do good, just as everyone can do bad. Can you really change a couple thousand years of evolution?