Bullying - 50 Years Later




ESSAY: SCHOOL BULLYING – 50 YEARS LATER
Posted in Uncategorized with tags bullying, effects of bullying late in life, low self-esteem, peer pressure, school bullying, suicide from bullying on April 2, 2010 by ruthyr


ESSAY:  SCHOOL BULLYING – 50 Years Later

The year was 1958 and it was September.  I had graduated from the sixth grade in June and was looking forward to starting junior high school.  I had good reason:  I was accepted into what was called “Special Progress” and was deemed smart enough to skip the 8th grade!  The exhilaration didn’t last long, though.  Right there in 7SP5, in this rarified collection of students, were the boys who would for all purposes, destroy me.  I remember the ringleaders as two funny-looking boys, but they gained popularity because of their treatment of me, and soon all of the boys in this large public school joined in.  The girls ignored me. School was a torture chamber.

It seemed that everything I did was fodder, including breathing.  I was made to feel fat, ugly, smelly, disgusting and subhuman.  My worst nightmare came true when I was seated next to a ringleader in Algebra class.  I asked for a seat change and the teacher refused.  I became truant just to avoid going to that class.  To this day, I have math phobia.  This went on for two of the worst years of my life.  In retrospect, I realize now that the major problem was feeling totally trapped.  Never again in my 63 years have I EVER been so trapped.  Unfortunately, I have run away from things too often, just because I COULD. 

I have suffered immesurably throughout my lifetime and it all goes back to those two boys.  They are probably grandfathers now and likely haven’t changed a bit.  If they learned that they wounded me for life and affected every relationship I’ve ever had, they’d laugh with glee. 

The word “bullying” hadn’t been invented yet.  I had no idea then that schools would eventually frown on this awful behavior and that the perps might suffer consequences.  The one teacher I approached didn’t even want to know WHY I wanted to change my seat.  Back in the day, the way this harrassment was dealt with was either for fathers to teach their sons to physically defend themselves or for girls to just “ignore it.” 

The recent suicide in Massachusetts has made headlines, but I’m not surprised.  The only difference in her case was current technology, making her a victim 24/7.

The path of my life has changed because of these two dimwit boys and I know I’ll never fully recover.  Thankfully, I’ve made a life for myself.  Although I remain emotionally fragile, I found creative outlets for myself and even recognition for my talents.






 





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  • ruthyr ruthyr
    61-65, F
    6 Responses Apr 5, 2010

    I loath bullies, I know about how it feels to be a victim of them, I remember being bullied for a few years by one guy and his creepy followers of would be hard nuts, when I was 18yrs old I joined the army and I was made to fight in the boxing ring, milling they called it, and at that moment I realised that I didn't have to be bullied anymore I felt sorry afterwards cos the guy they paired me up with caught the lot all the pent up fear and emotions, I went home on my first leave and knocked on the door of the bully ring leader from school when he answered the door I just let him have it big time I left him bloodied and brused with a warning that if he ever bullied anyone again and I got to hear about it then I would come back and do the same again, I don't condone violence I am a happy go lucky guy but this was somthing that I needed to do..there is an old saying in this life..What Goes Around Comes Around, and it's true.

    Please ruthyr go and visit this link and talk to finallyfree2beme<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/uw.php?e=917309" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a> <br />
    <br />
    She is now in her 20s and has spoken about her bullying for the first time on EP, She has not spoken to ayone else but people here. I will be going back to this story on a regular basis to make sure that I am there for her if she needs someone to talk to and I feel you would also be a kind and sympathetic friend to her.

    Here is the Fire Watch link as promised.<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/uw.php?e=1285369" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a>

    Yes, this is a little before my own time, but I do recognise a lot of the problems you experienced. <br />
    <br />
    In some ways we are rather more lucky than modern children. At least at home, we got a little peace and comfort, unless we had really bad relationships with family members. Now with the Internet, children can be bullied anywhere. They have either the choice of dropping off the Internet entirely and being isolated from any potential friends or accepting a barrage of abuse through email and online sites. <br />
    <br />
    In other ways, they are a little luckier than us. Now schools are beginning to do something about bullying. (Though perhaps not as much as they should.) There are an awful lot of online sites too that can help bullying victims. <br />
    <br />
    I think you might be an excellent person to join Fire Watch. This is a group I am trying to put together to help young people who are being bullied at this site. I also hope it might help people who are being bullied at other places, online and off line. At present I have not got the link for this comment of mine but will come back here and post it later.<br />
    <br />
    As older people who might be expected to be getting over the bullying we received in our younger years, I think we can be very helpful in helping others who are still going through the traumas.<br />
    <br />
    Good luck to you ruthyr and thank you for this posting. It is nice for young people to remember that bullying is not just a recent phenomenum.

    Yes, this is a little before my own time, but I do recognise a lot of the problems you experienced. <br />
    <br />
    In some ways we are rather more lucky than modern children. At least at home, we got a little peace and comfort, unless we had really bad relationships with family members. Now with the Internet, children can be bullied anywhere. They have either the choice of dropping off the Internet entirely and being isolated from any potential friends or accepting a barrage of abuse through email and online sites. <br />
    <br />
    In other ways, they are a little luckier than us. Now schools are beginning to do something about bullying. (Though perhaps not as much as they should.) There are an awful lot of online sites too that can help bullying victims. <br />
    <br />
    I think you might be an excellent person to join Fire Watch. This is a group I am trying to put together to help young people who are being bullied at this site. I also hope it might help people who are being bullied at other places, online and off line. At present I have not got the link for this comment of mine but will come back here and post it later.<br />
    <br />
    As older people who might be expected to be getting over the bullying we received in our younger years, I think we can be very helpful in helping others who are still going through the traumas.<br />
    <br />
    Good luck to you ruthyr and thank you for this posting. It is nice for young people to remember that bullying is not just a recent phenomenum.

    It is so important that people who have been bullied share their stories, especially since it seems almost epidemic. I know how you feel. My self esteem was crushed by years of bullying. It's hard for people to understand why I get so stressed in social situations even now.