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Adults Don't Listen

My Experience.

Intro
I am now 36yrs old and I am dealing with the extreme bullying I experienced at school. What I suffered at the hands of my peers has done irreparable damage to me.

How it started
When I was 7 yrs old I was pretty care free and if I’m honest I could be a bit of a bully myself. My best friend lived on the same street and we were in the same class at school. We had been friends for about 2 years when one winter break we had a fight.
We were playing in the snow in my backyard and had built snow forts to stage a massive snowball fight. Anyway, we had a disagreement about something and I ground snow into his face. Well I just thought of it as a simple falling out of friends and once school started we would settle our differences and be friends again.
That first day back was the pivoting point of my life and I was only 7 years old and was completely un-prepared for what I was about to experience. I arrived at school that morning to find my friend had gone early and wasted no time in persuading my class mates that I should be their sole focus of attention. I have just one memory of that day. I can still see him walking towards me taunting and insulting me before I had even set foot on school property and my class mates followed behind him and joined in. That day was a complete shock to me. The insults cut me to the core and continued and continued for days and weeks. I was in a class of 30 kids and all the boys would spend every minute of every break following me insulting me constantly. So many times they brought me too tears and saw me sob and sometimes lash out the initiator. This seemed to be very entertaining to them and it quickly became the “The game to play” at every break.
Where I was brought up, every break the boys would play as much soccer as they could before we had to go back to class. Suddenly this was better than soccer and I had to endure my entire class bullying me for the next 5 years at this level of intensity with another 4 years after that where they wouldn’t follow me to shout insults.
The one thing that stands out the most to me now after some counseling is that I had no support from any of the responsible adults around me. I was not legally responsible for myself neither where those doing the bullying but the list of adults that looked the other way while I was being brutalized is staggering.


The parents of the kids involved (60)
My parents (2)
Teachers (approx. 25)
Head Teachers (4)
Police involved in early incident involving the bullying (2)
Living grandparents (3)
Aunts & Uncles (18)

So at least 114 adults failed to do anything to stop this from continuing. I recently watched a CNN news segment about ending school bullying. In one clip from a new documentary I saw footage that showed a young boy being bullied and the teachers ineffective handling of the situation that trivialized the seriousness of the abuse. The bully showed no remorse and the victim knew that he wasted his time talking to an adult. I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought what I had suffered was impossible with what we know now and that blew that theory away completely. I was very upset after this as I knew all too well what that young guy was going through.
I find that the main campagn thrust to stop bullying over the years has been aimed at getting kids to speak up. I believe that we will have bullying with us until we as a society recognize the seriousness and the extent of bullying. This issue will only be real to most adults once we are prepared to make bullying a taboo activity in our own workplaces which are often rife with bullies that go unpunished too. Maybe this is why many adults don’t take school bullying seriously enough?

While I was being bullied I suffered:
Insults of every kind
Humiliation
Violence
Threats of violence
Public (entire school) humiliation
Threatening phone calls that included violence, humiliation and sexual assault
Being disallowed any friends at school (someone befriending me would be beaten)
Clothes missing from changing room
Being set up on a fake date with someones dog
I have 9 years worth of horror stories to tell…………

A childs mind isn’t capable of dealing with hearing only hateful things about themselves and dealing with the stress, fear, helplessness and self hate that developes from this. From the age of 7 I thought monthly about suicide for 9 years and have never been able to go very long without thinking about it since then. The only thing that prevented me following through was thinking what iit would do to my family.
This has also had consequences in my family life since. I have never really trusted my family or thought of them as being interested in my welllbeing. I recently wrote a letter asking why no one in my extended family took anytime to talk to me, find out what I was going through and help me? I have been feeling lately like cutting off all contact with them largely due to feeling like I have never been a full member of the family or shown the love and support that families are supposed to provide. If your kid tells you they are being bullied would you not rather prevent this situation from ever coming up in your family. You MUST do something!

Just some thoughts from me so I hope those reading know that they aren’t the only person to be hurt by bullies.

David
thinkingd thinkingd 36-40, M 9 Responses Dec 1, 2011

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i dont know what to say i cried while im reading all of it, im 20 now and things like that happend to me all the time no one helped me including the adults this one time there was an adult who works there and her son was the biggest bully of them all, she sees everything and when i hit him she came to me and she began to scream , im still depressed and I still need help but i have no time for it( i dont want to get out of the house ) thanks for sharing

This hit close to home. Thanks for sharing this.

I'm just starting to deal with my childhood horrors myself. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is helpful to know others have experienced similar things.

How very awful. I am so sorry that happened to you.
I was bullied too, off and on, however I was lucky in that I had 1 good school chum who never left my side no matter what torment that might attract to him. I was skinny as a kid, not very tough. I lived only with my dad who was both physically and verbally abusive, until the age of 9. When I was placed with my mom both the bullying at home and at school magically stopped, which has always led me to believe home and school bullying are somewhat linked. As you say: you are tempted to cut off contact with your family because they showed no concern for you in spite of so many years of torment from your classmates. The teachers didn't care, all the adults looked the other way, thereby validating the actions of the bullies against you.
My school bullies had a lot of the same traits as my brute father, which is one reason I feared them so much; because I already knew what he was capable of, and I also knew I could not go to him for help - I mean, at all. To admit to him I was being bullied would only result in shamed-faced beatings from him for being "such a wimp". He lacked any form of sympathy and raged over the dumbest things. I realize now he beat me for the same scared reaction that my playground bullies would get from me. All bullies thrive on fear. My father was just an adult bully. And just as I was his victim as his kid, I'll bet he has left many wounded classmates in his wake from his youth, where I know for a fact he was the bully there too.

I always thought I was on the 'outside' looking in...although I've never really experienced bullying in the full sense - where I grew up it was very calm, most students had that respect that you just don't see nowadays, simpler times i guess (I'm not actually that old, if it seems that way, but I lived in a country where people weren't so full of themselves - which I think is part of it, bullies just think a lot of themselves and the reactions they get from their bullying only fuels their egos)

I only really experienced it when I moved, and it was only in college, which I found a little strange. What did I do? My (now) best friend had a best friend at the time who used to 'borrow' money from him and not return it, and not that you expect a best friend to return money, but he used to get quite annoyed, but he wasn't one for conflict (and he told me in confidence). So I (shooting myself in the foot, because I'm not really that strong a person but even I know what's right and wrong - I just thought it could be settled in a more gentle way - with WORDS) told her how he felt, not saying what was right and wrong, not giving an opinion, but if she was his best friend surely she would understand, and she would make up with him? No, instead she went and told another girl - and it may be hypocritical saying this now, but I was at least very close to the guy, the person she told wasn't very close to her they just partied together, so I felt it was a bit unjustified - and that girl made it her mission to let everyone know how I 'messed' with that girls business and forget what her exact words were, but hold on. How retarded is it that I was being bullied by a third party? I would've understood if it was the main girl, but this other girl? My mind was completely blown...

So anyway, I was reduced to tears, and the teachers, when they found out, moved me to another class which helped...kind of...(not bragging, but the teachers loved me, so I almost wished they'd just kick her out since they openly told me she was a right ***** to other people as well...seriously? Isn't that the best way to deal with bullies? Because no one gave her any warnings, or if they did it only served to intensify her hatred - which in the first place was completely unfounded -)

And, when I look back on it now, there was this hilarious moment when I saw her in her workplace - I didn't know that she worked there, I randomly walked in a shop and saw her serve a customer - and the next day she had the nerve to come to me and say 'I'd appreciate if you didn't come to my shop'...=/ Wow, I Did Not Know You Owned That Shop. Not saying I wasn't terrified of her, but really? Did she learn that in Bullying 101? Not terribly original...

For me, I look back and wish I was a much stronger person, because no one should have the right (especially not her) to tell me that I shouldn't stick up for a friend or that I shouldn't shop where I want to (although, some time later, I went to that shop - like a rebel! sarcasm - and found out she'd stopped working there much earlier...I can't help but wish she'd been fired =/)

Bullying does have lasting effects, I agree, but maybe because it only lasted a year (and not even a full year) that I've come out of it thinking, I don't really wish bad things on others (even on her, I may jest and say a few bad things, but I don't generally wish the worst on people, even if they downright suck) and I certainly have recovered (to some degree, I'm not confident, but I was never confident - I don't shy away anymore though, if I feel that someone is toxic, I cut that person out)

...so what I'm trying to say is...I may not have had it as tough, and I'm not pretending to know how hard it was, and if you laughed at this story even a little then I'd join you...but you've come out of this a better person than those people who bullied you.

I really have no idea how these bastards think.

I have a family member that was bullied at work for 4 years and the bully even bullied another staffer to death (literally). Most people ignore this abuse and so did her bosses. The crazy ***** still works in the same company even after causing the death of one subordinate and the attempted suicide of another.

The company is John Lewis, a UK department store that advertises how great they are to their staff and even have an anti bullying policy.

**** you dickheads sue me for liable I would be happy to ride you in court!!

No one bullies me anymore, I turned when I was in my 20's and almost lost all of the friends I had gained after leaving school because of it. I was always spoiling for a fight which in the end got me in to a lot of trouble. I let the bullies rule my life when I was a kid because I would not defend myself. I'm much more settled now and just put it down to a fact of life and it has helped me become who I am today. I think I still have the traits of a victim but I'm better at dealing with it now. I was never very academic at school but that does not matter be cause I got myself through college and have a very good job now.

Many abused people are stuck on the past to even think of moving forward.

However bad it is , we must forget it if we want a better tomorrow.I know that time will heal all wounds if you let it heal you.

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Shame on all of the adults that just stood by and did absolutely nothing while you were being tormented by essentially the entire school and the rest of your family...just shocking that they would do that. I was bullied in elementary school, though not to the extent that you were. Mine was in middle school, but even at age 12 it was hard to deal with sometimes...especially the way most of the teachers (and the principal!) told me to essentially "get over it". This all happened 1982-1984 so I can only hope that schools are more aware of and are doing more as far as bullying is concerned.



And yes, bullying does have consequences...I didn't really have any kind of self-confidence until I was in my late 20's. I also felt that it was my fault when it was going on as well.

Funny I too was in HR for several years :)

Sadly yes, i have seen workplace bullying all over. My insight into this behavior is that it is almost always a tactic to cripple an opponent or rival. Very often talent will make a person the target in the work or school environment.

It has been sad but also reasuring to read your comments. We don't have to feel like we are the guilty ones. What happened to us was an act of violence.

I too had the words "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!" shouted at me whet I tried to get help. I do hope progress is being made but until legally responsibly adults take responsibility for what happens under their supervision we will not make the progress quickly.

David...wow, that was so open..thank you for sharing! I was bullied as a pre-teen for my speedy "deveolpment into a lady." And, I know how bad it hurts on so many levels. And like you, the thing that really seemed to hurt was the fact that no-one other than my mother (who i hardly ever told about it) seemed to care.It was like every time a fellow classmate or teacher looked the other way..they were supporting this hate towards me...that it was ok...that I did not matter..And, I too hate how bulling is not taken seriously..like it is a part of life..but what does it say about us as people..when we have to hurt other as this "right of passage?"

thanks, i too felt like it was my fault because no one seemed to think it was bad enough to get involved. When children are being bullied or abused it is all our responsibility.

Wow, this is exactly the reason that I was bullied from around 3rd grade onward...I bloomed very early and we probably went through the same kind of grief for our early development. Unfortunately, bullying doesn't seem to be taken seriously since it still occurs in schools and even in the workplace (I deal with it as someone in HR). Honestly, it doesn't say much about us if bullying is a rite of passage...

I was bullied as an adult if you see my story and I'm telling you IF I even think or see someone being bullied I will help them and I would lose my job if I had to, I HATE bullying, and the people who do it are to unspeakable to speak about, it's all of us who must do something am I a sheeple and follow others ;just because' nope I'm not...I'd have been one who would have stood up for YOU....