Brothers and Sisters.... It's been a while for yer ol' buddy Scotty to post a blog..... here's one for ya to ponder....
I have seen several posts and news stories about bullies recently. Rather than repost all that stuff, I wanna tell you a real life "Bully" story.... Mine. Sometimes we all need a different perspective.
Bullying is one of the most difficult experiences of any kid's life. My experience, though, and my perspective, were, and still are, different than most. I can't tell you how many times I was bullied every day...(EVERY MISERABLE DAY!!), by the same kids. I was bigger than they were, but I never fought back. And since Mom taught me to be a good Christian, I literally turned the other cheek...so the bullies hit that one too. I was degraded, insulted, beaten, every single day. Thing is, everybody saw it. Nobody did anything. Teachers saw it. Ignored it. Dozens of students saw it. Most laughed at my humiliation. Days, weeks, went by. Nobody helped me. But, eventually came a day where I had tolerated more than I could hold in. I snapped. Kicked the everlovin' crap out of the bully, and anyone else who was fool enough to try and help him. I was desperately trying to repay every single punch, every insult, all in one giant ass-whoopin'. I wanted to make sure they were never fool enough to come near me again. I had tolerated more than any kid ever should have.
Still, nobody helped me. Several jumped in to help the bullies, though. It took several adults to pull me off of the pile I had created of whooped up bullies.....Guess who got called the "Bully" then? Guess who got dragged into the office? Guess who got all the trouble? Yeah, ME! The poor, defenseless, bloody pulp of a bully and his bruised up buddies, were "innocent victims" in the eyes of the School.... because they all told the same story. Bullies, after all, are the juvenile version of a criminal. They are, by nature, liars. They all swear "we wasn't doin' nuthin', just being good citizens and mindin' our own binness, when all of a sudden, this big bad bully came along and started kicking the crap out of all of us...we swear!"
And the people who knew the truth but would never step in to help me when I was being bullied , also refused to step up and tell the truth after I put a stop to it. So the bullies had several "witnesses' to their side of the story, and I had none. Teachers? Well, I was sure all along they saw what was happening to me, and did nothing. Maybe I was mistaken. But let's say I am right...then what? The Teachers or staff can't admit they knew I was being bullied but did nothing, can they? They'd lose their job, or at least get in trouble. So, they all turn into Sgt. Schultz (from Hogan''s Heroes), and say 'I see nothing"....
Now, I gotta tell ya here, this was not a one time occurrence in my life. It happened to me twice, a few years apart, with different staff and bullies, all with exactly the same outcome. The second time I probably took more abuse before I snapped due to my experience the first time. And, I also have a friend whose daughter experienced a similar situation over 30 years and 30 miles away from where I experienced it. It's true, and it happens.
So, are we all still here? What's my point? Well.... It's not all as simple as you think it is. If you were not bullied, you have no idea how it feels. The Pain, the humiliation, the degradation you endure, especially to a youngster, can scar you emotionally for years. You say "It's all part of growing up"? Yeah, and Its easy for you to say if it wasn't you.
This was the sad point in my life when I learned, as we all do eventually, that sometimes the bad guys win. The criminal gets away with the crime.
So, what lessons do I expect you to come away with after reading all this?
One, talk to your kids. I didn't say "listen". Talk. Initiate a conversation, any conversation. Find out what classes the like, what ones they don't... focus on the classes they don't. Look for emotional responses rather than logical.... You may have to figure out for yourself something is wrong....I didn't come home and tell my parents I was being bullied. I was embarrassed, and assumed they would tell me to be a good Christian and continue to turn the other cheek.
Two, as a parent, or a staff member somewhere, PLEASE pay attention to the information you are getting. As a long time friend of mine pointed out yesterday, we should always try to consider the source. The person who you see as the bully, or who is accused of being a bully, may, in fact, be the victim.
And on a personal note, to the young lady to whom this has also happened in real life, since you are a friend on Facebook, I hope you read this post. I hope you understand that, of all the people in this world, Ol' Scotty understands what you went through. You and me, Kid, understand some things in this ol' world that, no matter how much the people around us want to understand, they just can't.
Sometimes it helps to spill your guts. Sometimes it hurts. This one hurt. I did it, and will discuss it with anyone who wants to discuss it, in the hopes that one of you, or maybe a few, actually read it, and gain a new perspective. Watch out who you call a Bully. You may actually be making life worse for the REAL victim.