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.
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.
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.
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.
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.