I read the news today. Oh boy. There was an article about a visit author talking to middle school students about the long term effect of being a bully.
The author's name is Jodee Blanco. I like the fact that she has a tip page for students and for adult survivors of school bullies. You can listen to an interview at Eye On Books.
I read that article and I teared up on the bus. Every time I hear some teenager whacking a portion of his class I clench up. I don't in any way condone it. But I understand it to the core of my being. School is not necessarily a safe place. And now with the Internet there are a lot more cyber bullies, take a look.
If you are in any way "different" you get targeted. Consistently. Relentlessly. Physically. Emotionally. School is the place where we learn to conform and if the little darlings have a internal measuring gizmo that tells them you are the "other" your school life is toast.
I read the article and I flashed back. How did I survive that? I had a fight almost everyday in elementary school if I didn't manage to out run the bully of the day. It changed to verbal when I got to Junior High. Jodee gives good advice but I did tell adults what was happening to me.
"It's kid stuff, you have to learn to work it out." Sometimes it is kid stuff. And sometimes it is sadistic. Yes, I learned to fight back. I learned to suck it up. And I learned not to trust anyone unless absolutely necessary. My life got better when I went to high school in another part of town.
So if my future self could talk to my younger self I'd tell her to knock a certain SOB to the concrete sooner rather than later. And to open a bank account and pop quarters in it so I could have been a millionaire by now.
Downer huh? Not really. See I needed those PF Flyers. I needed safe places. I found resources that helped me stay sane. And I know a lot more good people than bad.
This is certainly not what I planned to write about but it feels right. Dissolving the old demons one by one.