Sticks and Stones

Ægissíðan

Ægissíðan

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me.

(as the saying goes)
… Yeah, right.

Maybe you are familiar with bullies, and being bullied.
Maybe you are familiar with being told …

“Stop acting like a victim!”

My earliest recollection is from when I was about five years old, in school. It was autumn, and conkers were all the rage, as per usual. I had tried to knock some out of the tree in the schoolyard, using a stick, which I threw vertically upwards to facilitate retrieval of said conkers. Unfortunately, the stick in question had returned to the earth and struck an innocent comrade. I thus was subject to punishment by the schoolyard supervisors. My sentence was to stand with my face to the wall in the corner of the playground. Which I duly did. I’d meant no harm, and I was an obedient sort. However, whilst I was being obedient to my sentencers, someone saw fit to come up to me and rub my face into the wall. I received a rather unpleasant graze to my nose, which I recall to this day. In fact, I remember the name to the perpetrator, a young David Blore, to the best of my recollection. What had I done to deserve this?

“Stop acting like a victim!”

I don’t remember any further bullying until secondary school. Which was where things really kicked in. At one point, when I was about twelve, I think, I received a regular homeward bound bullying from an individual by the name of Guy Spice. At some point it got bad enough that a visit to the headmasters office was warranted, and Guy was confronted with his own actions. Subsequently, we actually became friends, of sorts. The bullying stopped, for certain.

“Stop acting like a victim!”

I was teased regularly because I paid attention in class and tried my best to do the school work. I wasn’t one of the cool kids. I was pushed around, called names, and once threatened with a knife over by the gym building. I had my briefcase stolen, and it was retrieved from the nearby estate with all its contents strewn about the ground. All in all, not the most pleasant of times, and certainly not a period of my life I wished to revisit in later years.

“Stop acting like a victim!”

Whilst I was at college I had the misfortune of coming across a most disagreeable individual who I encountered on the street on the way to class. This person saw fit to haul off and punch me square in the face, with absolutely no provocation. Enlisting the services of the local police department, the individual was apprehended. The officer ascertained that he was most likely under the influence of some sort of adhesive, based on the look in his eyes. No charges were filed.

“Stop acting like a victim!”

There are many different kinds of bullying from which we can suffer: Physical; Psychological; Emotional; … (fill in the rest) … Sometimes we are not the ones that are directly targeted. Sometimes it’s the bullies themselves (that really messes with your head).

“Stop acting like a victim!”

So, evidently, I have had a long-term experience with bullying, pretty much all my life, on and off. Well, almost all, up until fairly recently, that is.

“Stop acting like a victim!”

The worst I have experienced I am not going to share specifically at this time. I am only now just coming to terms with it. With the fact that it has, indeed, occurred. There’s the thing, the person doing the bullying can get you to think you are in some way entirely responsible for it, and the weird thing is, you can fall for it. It’s not until you find yourself outside that toxic environment that you realize … hey, … wait a minute … and then you know … and then … you know … and … then … you … know.

On the fourteenth of May 2011 … I stopped ‘acting like a victim’.

Bless Bless og Sjáumst!

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6 responses to “Sticks and Stones

  1. If we’re blessed, we all grow up eventually. Sometimes it takes a little longer to grow up and out of things, or to realize what you were doing or thinking or not thinking at any particular time in your life. Then you look back on that time and wonder, “what the hell was I thinking?” Don’t feel bad, It happens to all of us, trust me. It’s all a part of growing up.

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