Before you read this I want you to know that this story is real. I do not do not approve of violence with the exception that it is only used as a means of self-defence and as a last resort. With this in mind, my story begins like this. I was bullied for 12 years; I suffered daily during my primary and high school years. I gave no reason for this bullying; my existence alone was reason enough for their fervent hatred. My time in primary school was not as bad as high school, the bullying I had faced during high school was much worse.
Most of the time I was verbally abused, name calling and discriminated against in many ways. However there was the odd occasion that I faced physical abuse. I remember a time when I was beaten up outside the school office. But I was someone who refused to give in to the bullying, I did things that I regret having done. I inflicted violence upon others as a means of saving my own sanity. Little did I realise at the time that I was bringing myself down to the same position as my bullies.
When I finished high school in year 12, I rejoiced at the freedom of never seeing my bullies ever again. I thought I was truly free, but I was so wrong! The memories of what happened to me never left. I went through three years of counselling with little result of actual help. As I grew older, I started to hate with so much intensity. I used my Friday and Saturday nights to work out and build myself up. I only had one goal, revenge! I had turned myself into something that was far worse than my bullies. I swore to myself that I would put my mind at ease once and for all. I cared little about going to prison for what I had planned; all I wanted was freedom from the memories in my head and a chance to say out loud “what you did was wrong!”
But in 2009, eight years after my high school graduation, my grandfather had passed away. It was as if a rock had been thrown into the pane of glass that held up my world. I was close to my grandfather, only three weeks after his death my grandmother also passed away. It was at this point I cared nothing for revenge for what my bullies did. I sent an email to a former bully and I told him everything that I planned and then I forgive him for what he did. He had no idea how much he had hurt me, he apologised after all this time.
I’m 29 years old, the things that have happened to me during high school still reoccur as if it were only yesterday. My advice is not for the victims of bullying but for the bullies themselves. If you feel the need to put others down, please get help. There’s something wrong with a person who makes it their desire to abuse others either physically or mentally. To the people who are currently being bullied, please learn from what I have been through. Don’t make the same mistake as I did in letting your past eat you alive. If the statement “forget it, they’re not worth it” applies in present, then I’ll say that it also applies to the memory of your past. It is not worth replaying these memories in your mind the things that have caused you pain and grief. They will only increase problems among your family, friends and it will cause you problems within your workplaces as well. You’re better off forgetting about these things and moving on.
Bullying (in my opinion) has been treated wrongly. We often focus too much on the victim, even campaigns today are set up promoting victimisation of bullying. A right understanding of bullying is needed, one that sees a bully with a need for help (not the other way around). Why is that? Because our society helps the victim too much that it does the offender. If you want to eradicate bullying you have to see it in the perspective that it needs to be eradicated. That a problem exists if a person desires to bully in the first place! With a right perspective on bullying, schools could use resources such as student counselling to help counsel those who feel the need to bully and not the victims themselves. This would then create a right perspective on the matter of bullying allowing high schools to focus less on the victims and more on the reason for bullying as a condition that requires counselling assistance.