I Was Bullied

With all of the attention being placed on anti-bullying campaigns lately, I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts on being bullied as a kid and whether or not they might be part of the background to my current self-loathing issues.

Young CBG - late 70s

I was always a nerdy, dorky kid.  I also moved around a lot before entering high school because my dad worked in a bank and was promoted to larger and larger branches every few years.  It’s similar to my current job, actually…if you’re good and are willing to travel, then there are a lot of possibilities out there for you.

Anyway…

8th grade CBG

Once the family finally settled in at what would eventually be called my hometown, I was just entering seventh grade and the all-too-awkward teen phase.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

My bullying was never in the form of physical violence, but rather emotional abuse.  I was always picked on by a number of different people, but one in particular at one point drove me to the point where I considered killing him.

Seriously.

It’s extremely scary to look back and see how scared and angry I was…feeling helpless to do anything to change my situation.  Every day I’d see this punk…good looking, cocky, getting all the girls…and every day he’d make fun of me in front of my peers…people who were my friends and people who I wanted to be friends with.  He’d verbally abuse me in front of the other kids and laugh about it…not realizing the pain he was truly causing.

It really did get to the point where I found a knife and an empty cardboard box, at which point I took out my anger and frustration and violent thoughts out on it.

Thinking about that time now, I can see how it only added to the issues that seem to be plaguing me as an adult. How can I even think about having positive self-esteem when this period in my life haunts me.  I’m simply not the man that I always wanted to be and I think being bullied at school led into accepting my dad’s form of bullying (whether intentional or not) and, eventually, it led into being bullied by my ex-wife.

DJ-era CBG (late 90's)

So whatever happened to my bully?  Did I ever confront him?  The answers are “I don’t know” and “no”.  We actually ended up working in the same bar back in the early 90’s where I was his back-up DJ (my first gig) before eventually being promoted because he wasn’t good enough.  You’d think that would have helped my self-esteem out a bit, wouldn’t you.

We never became friends, but we became friendly after we left high school and worked together.  I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for the emotional scars he left, but I don’t think I hold any resentment or anger towards him.

I’m sure he’s a different person now anyway…probably has a loving wife and kids and a good job. I’m sure he’s got no idea just what he did to me and would probably be very apologetic for how he treated me.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  I have to in order to not hold any anger inside.

One simply has to let go.  Obviously, it’s easier said than done.

http://www.bullying.org/

http://www.antibullying.net/

http://www.bullyingcanada.ca/

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7 thoughts on “I Was Bullied

  1. Bullies bully because of their own insecurities. His treatment of you really had nothing to do with him…and everything to do with himself. Try being sympathetic to him…goodness knows what his life was like to drive him to the point of mentally and emotionally scarring someone else.

    I was bullied too, in junior high. I’ve been able to make peace with it (mostly) because I remind myself that what those girls did to me wasn’t really about me at all.

    I think it’s the same with your dad’s treatment of you, and your ex wife’s treatment of you. The choices that they made (and continue to make) are about them, and how they feel and process the world around them. You’re just the direction that it gets pointed in.

    xo

  2. I agree with Sunshine. Of course. I too was bullied in junior high (ironically a group of girls calling me a lesbian – pfft!) and you’re right. In those formative years, it is extremely difficult not to let go of that pain.

    Have you ever thought of this: write a letter to your abusers.

    I had a therapist tell me to do this to my dad, years ago way before he died. It is a letter in which you will pull up all of that childhood or teenage angst and pain, write it as long as you have to, until you feel better. Then… keep it, burn it, shred it… whatever you want to do with it. Don’t send it. It won’t do any good to anyone to send it now. But allow that hurt person inside to vent like you’re going to send it.

    I still have the one I wrote to my dad. I’m still pretty proud of what I said in that letter too.

    ((giant hugs))

  3. I like the idea of writing a letter.

    I had a therapist once recommend it to me when I was considering a lawsuit against a doctor who had been negligent. It was a lawsuit that would not have ultimately changed the damage…but one that I would have pursued out of spite. Instead I wrote a letter, detailing all of the ways that doctor had impacted my life. I burned the letter….but it felt somehow healing to put it all out there, on paper, in an organized way. I think it was the ONE thing that helped me move past my anger.

    I liked this post because of another perhaps odd rason. It’s a reminder of how it doesn’t matter how young someone is…bad things can still have an impact on them/you. I am one of those people who would tend to think (as it relates to my son)…he’s too young, he won’t remember. But the reality is that I have no control over what he remembers or over what affects him long-term. I can only control (to a small extent) the people in his environment and how I treat him.

    Thank you for that reminder and I hope that you somehow find a way to continue to heal from this injury that happened so long ago.

    1. You know, Natalie, another thing you can do for your son is help give him the tools and the knowledge to handle difficult situations when they come up in life. I think so many of us were never talked to about bullying and other difficult subjects by our parents, which is why so many people still struggle from the after effects.

  4. Again, Sunshine, damn, right on. I’m sorry you were bullied! I can relate as my supposed middle school best friend bullied me to no end. I still think about some of the things she’d say about me and wonder why I stuck by her for so long. Insecurities on her part, indeed. I look now at her life vs mine and can just be proud of where mine ended up.

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