From the first day that I can recall, Iíve been bullied. It began with my eldest brother who shall remain nameless in this piece of writing but Iíve outed in the recent past. He was five years older than I, bigger, stronger and had the status of being first born. I have to thank him for his countless acts of cruelty because it taught me invaluable lessons which still serve me well. In fact, he actually became one of the bullies I took on. That was seven years ago and I won handily. The target he chose, which galvanized me into action, was my parents but thatís another story. I havenít talked to him since and am unlikely to do so either.
You must login to vote
What his home based bullying did was enable me to weather outside bully influences. That began in Grade 1 when a bully pushed me aside as I was holding the door open for the other children at the request of the teacher. I fell on the steps and, instead of surrendering to the pain and indignities, I jumped up and punched him in the nose. Hard enough for blood to begin spurting all over the place which caused a huge ruckus and I was marched off to the Principleís office and then sent home while he sniveled and wept in the nurseís care. I caught grief from my mother and learned my first lesson.
Donít beat up bullies because it turns them into a sympathy magnet. This is especially true if they bleed a lot and all youíve got is a scraped knee. Thankfully I ignored all of the advice from adults that, as a girl, I should be less assertive.
Around the same time as my Grade One episode, I noticed that while both my parents loathed bullies they didnít recognize that their son was one. They made light of his teasing which wasnít playful nor done in a loving manner. They chastised me for overreacting, by crying, and suggested that he didnít mean any harm. What a crock that was and I learned my second and third lesson.
Donít expect support from anyone when the bully is within your circle.
I should point out, however, that my other brother did punch him in the eye once, when I was being bullied, which was totally out of character for him. It wasnít a successful gesture. [Check lesson one.] However, I was grateful for his support which taught me the other part of this lesson.
Never forget when someone does support you when you are a victim.
Just a bit later I began to realize I was feeding my eldest brotherís unsavory need to be dominant and began to mask my anguish at his frequent targeting of me. He, for the most part, lost interest in me as a target and looked elsewhere. Lesson # 4.
Donít respond to bullies in a manner which satisfies and/or sustains them.
I pretty much managed nicely with my learned lessons until Grade five when I came across a new type of bully. My Science teacher, Mr. Buley, I couldnít understand why he continually picked on his daughter who was one of my class mates. The day I got a detention and forgot about it was when the truth came out. It had never occurred to me that adults could be bullies too! When Mr. Buley caught me in the school playground he didnít appreciate me pointing out that if Iíd ditched the detention on purpose I wouldnít have hung around the school. Instead of accepting my honest response he became enraged and marched me down to a secluded office which had a nasty strap hanging on the wall. I didnít display any signs of the pain and embarrassment I was experiencing and it caused him to continue laying the wide, dimpled, red rubber belt across my hands with greater force. He gave up at ten lashes and then sent me home. I believe I was the only girl in school to get strapped but I never discussed it with anyone so I canít be sure. Lesson #5
Lesson #4 doesnít apply if you are a child and the bully is an adult.
Did you notice the similarity between Buley and bully? I hadnít until I wrote this. Probably because they sound different.
My next interaction with an adult bully happened in high school. A girl with fewer social skills than me and with no friends at all became a teacherís target one day in class. The chair she was sitting on broke and she ungracefully fell to the floor. The teacher, Mr. Hubner, instead of asking if she was hurt, began to mock her unmercifully. The class, including myself, sat in stony silence until Mr. Hubner declared that heíd sat on that chair many times.... I interrupted him and said, ďWell, no wonder it broke!Ē The class erupted into laughter and I was ejected and sent to the Principleís office. When I explained the circumstances to the Principle, he said nothing and suggested I sit in the office until my next class. The next day my mother comes home, from her job as a postal wicket clerk, in a foul mood and tells me Mr. Hubner had approached her, at the counter, and told her I was a very rude girl. When I told my mom what had happened, she fell silent just like the Principle. Mr. Hubner changed his classroom behaviour into something more tolerable. This lesson took a few years to sink in. Lesson #6
Donít expect to be rewarded for taking on an adult bully when you are a child but accept positive things may be happening behind the scenes. Do expect your peers to give you a respectful but wider berth because of who youíve vanquished.
It hadnít occurred to me that I should have expected any congratulations from my class mates or thanks from the victim either. Lesson #7, #8 & #9
Donít expect to be thanked or lauded for taking on a bully.
Do recognize you probably will develop some status within your circle but donít expect it to always be a positive factor.
Do accept that your actions will likely discourage other bullies from targeting you or others in your presence. Canít think of a down side to this.
Thus ended the bully lessons of my childhood. If youíve noticed, none of the bullies Iíve mentioned are women. This isnít because girls/women donít bully but is due to them being more subtle. I didnít realize Iíd been a targeted until much later in my life. Therefore it wasnít a lesson I learned early on because I was oblivious. To this day, Iím usually unaware of female bullies but there have been times itís become an issue. More about that at a later date.
"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo