I was bullied all through primary and secondary school until 5th year, when I was eventually forced to stay back a year in order to let a large cohort of bullies go on ahead of me.
I still think about what was done to me and the people involved. Its come to the point where I need to address the matter but I'm not sure how.
The bullying began at age 8 on a basketball court in the school when one boy, now a very successful, high profile individual, slammed the side of my head against the upright of the hoop for no reason other than the fact that I wore glasses.
This individual was one of a group of about 30 who, over the next 11 years, pushed, shoved, weggied ( pulling your underpants upwards outside your trousers), beat up, belittled, ostracized from team sports, threatened, pulled knives on me, followed me home from school, destroyed my property etc.
The school eventually, at year 5, held a disciplinary meeting and, I think, suspended some and told me to stay back a year. You see, the problem I have, is that I can't remember very much of what happened to me over those years. My Dad brushes it under the carpet as he does not like upsetting the apple cart and my Mum is dead. The one or two people that I befriended from that year wont engage with me about it.
I'd dearly love to approach these individuals to explain to them how, after so many years, it still effects me to this day. I tried killing myself twice shortly after leaving school, but eventually became a successful musician, author, leading figure in my field of work, film maker and features writer. However, I'm still haunted to this day.
Once, recently, when I was at the home town visiting Dad I saw one of the guys walking towards me and I turned white with fear and had to cross the road. He didn't recognise me as I look a lot younger for my age and look very different now.
I was thinking of doing the following:
1. Contact the school and ask them to release any references or notes pertaining to my bullying through the years.
2. Contacting each of those involved, by email backed up by the evidence supplied by the school, to ask them why and to explain that their actions back then have had a profound effect on me all through my life. I will be 50 in April.
What would your advice be? Thank you in advance.
I am really sorry that your childhood years were marred by these events. Even more sorry that you are affected so greatly by them. For that is the greater tragedy.
I would advise you to stop looking for the moment where you confront your bullies. the experience wont be what you hope for. In fact i think it would be nothing but a negative experience- for you, cauing more harm than good.
You need to arrange therapy to help you move past your childhood and confront the demons. You need to learn how to now allow the experiences to have such power over you that you need to cross the street if you see the people involved.
I know I relatively recently listened to a podcast where someone deeply bullied spoke at length about this - and like Xterminator above their general message was that confrontation with the bullies ultimately brought them no benefit in most cases and made it worse in other cases.
Unfortunately I simply can not remember what podcast it was now so I can not link you to the episode - which is a shame as I suspect it might have been useful to you. I am sure it was either something on Jokko, Rogan, or Blindboy. Possibly no dumb questions podcast. But if I remember where it was - I will come back and link it.
Rather - again as Xterminator so usefully says above - they ultimately found peace introspectively by finding resolution with how the bullying affected them and their lives and finding positive ways past that. I think their general message was that they felt like the Bullies took power away from them during the bullying. And the idea that conflict with the bully later in life in order to seek resolution - is in fact still a tacit acknowledgement that those bullies still have power and control over your peace and well being.
They ultimately found peace and resolution in recognising the bully no longer has any control over them - and in fact never really did in many ways - hell the bully probably had little to no control over themselves even, let alone their victim - and so making peace with that past and finding well being therefore had nothing to do with those bullies.
So the idea of seeking conflict now today with those bullies fell away. It was no longer a requirement or something that would serve any interest or use.
OP, I echo what Xterminator said.
I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you, and that it was not dealt with properly by the school.
What's important now is you, as should have been the case back then. Please do talk to a counsellor or therapist. It sounds like you have done very well in life. Going back to these horrible events, and trying to get those people to face up to what they caused, would almost inevitably hurt you more than them, in my opinion. I am not sure if the school would even have records all these years later.
Have a look at the attached link, it might help in finding an appropriate professional to discuss this with. Mind yourself.
Regular boards user going anon for obvious reasons. I got bullied at primary school and it didn't stop until I got to 2nd or 3rd yr in secondary. To my shame, I became a bully myself when I joined a gang of classmates who picked on a girl in our year. I still don't know why I did that, other than it made me feel I belonged in a gang or something. I never really fitted in at school but I was able to be in this group of bitches. I feel ashamed of my behaviour now and regret what I said and did to this girl. I don't know where she is now but I hope she is OK. If I met her on the street I think I would apologise to her but I also would accept it if she told me to **** off. I wasn't the person who instigated the bullying but I was in the mob. It all seemed like great craic at the time because she was a girl who was so easy to wind up and would give us a reaction. I would have been shocked if somebody had come along and put a proper label on what we were doing. It was bullying. I didn't have a notion what damage we were doing to her and that we were being very very cruel. Teenagers are often self-centred assholes who haven't fully developed empathy for other people and that was me to a tee. I was quite old, maybe 25 or 26 before I realised what I had done. If my kids behaved like I did I would be ashamed of them. I've tried to make sure they are nicer and more considerate than I was. You haven't met most of your bullies for years but I hope that the majority of them are now nicer kinder people than they were at school. If they are like me they will now feel pretty lousy when they remember what they did at school.
As an adult, I got bullied by a woman at work and HR got involved. That was an experience! If I learned anything from it, it was that a bully doesn't think in the same way as the rest of us. They don't do self-reflection or empathy very well. I think my bully carried out enough mental gymnastics in her mind to make it OK to pick on me. She also tried to twist the things she was accused of and turned them back on me. There was no accepting responsibility at all. Something else I noticed was that she didn't see tragedy in the same way the rest of us did. Just as an example, a few people committed suicide in our locality. Instead of saying the usual things like Jesus that's terrible or Does anybody know what caused it, she'd dismiss it as them being mentally ill. Maybe she had deeper thoughts than that but we never heard them. I am sure that if I was to write this woman a letter or tell her how her behaviour wrecked my self-confidence, I would get no apology. If it was, it wouldn't be a sincere one. I think it's more likely she'd shrug her shoulders and make a hurtful comment. I used to fantasise about getting a proper apology from her but it's not going to happen. I also used to wish something bad would happen to her but that's just me sinking down to her level. I felt so bad at one stage I went for counselling. That was the best thing I ever did and it took away the worst of my anger. It also took away my desire to get some sort of closure from this woman. I know I won't get that but I'm fine.
Bullying is everywhere unfortunately, and in certain cases it can leave really long lasting impacts.
Unfortunately you won't get revenge on the bullies, your best option is to work on yourself and try to come to terms with the past, difficult as that may be.
I really would recommend getting some counselling. Many years of bullying clearly took a major toll.
Revenge is mine, said the Lord
An eye for an eye
He who plans on revenge shd dig 2 graves.
A lot of conflicting advice out there.
An older sib and his retarded son physically assaulted me. They are trying to steal land that rightfully belongs to me.
In my case, Justice, the Law, is about as vague as finding a good therapist.
I can see a place for revenge / self defence after the fact. I recognize their ignorance but it does not assauge my rage
In the Op case above, I cannot see much point in confronting the bullies from yonkers back. It means they are still controlling you. They may well have changed / gotten better / worse. If you did get an apology (most likely - would it be sincere / would you feel any better ?)
In some situations, sadly, digging 2 graves may be the only way forward