Bullying at school

I enjoyed reading this opinion piece on bullying in the Herald.
I suspect the enjoyment arises from relating to the writers experience. Others who enjoy reading this piece were probably bullied in a similar fashion. At my high school, a bully sometimes threw stones at me and I was once punched in the face by another. I was sometimes excluded and generally made to feel like an outsider. It was more incidental treatment by passing douches than systematic bullying.

Sometimes I fought back. I stamped on one girls foot on a school trip. Generally I just tolerated it, and, like the author of the piece above I dispassionately and powerlessly observed the bullying of others.
The bullying died away as I moved through high school and onto varsity.
I attended a self help group in my twenties and was again bullied by fellow adults¬†when I violated some unwritten rules established over time by elder members of the group. The experience became almost cultish as one person, “set”, the rules and members secretly reported back to her on other members progress in an area of, “weakness”.
 I left the self help group and took the wisdom I discovered here onward into the next phase of my life Рjust as I did at high school.
The sage lesson I learnt from all this is that where there are groups, there are bullies. In an effort to establish a hierarchy, an overbearing hen will sometimes peck the life from others.
After I left the self help group I heard of suicides by people associated with this woman. She had been investigated by the police in her past, but continued to operated informally in a counseling capacity. I was fortunate enough I could see beyond the “salvation” that was promoted by this woman and I see how easily cults can take root and are more common than we might realise.

I have started reaping the rewards of the bullying I experienced at the hands of these sociopathic individuals.
I am experienced at detecting bullying. I don’t tolerate it now. It took me a while to fine-tune my bullshit detector and not to want to ruffle feathers but I have discovered a new freedom. This is helpful in smoothing my path through life, but the quality I am now grateful for, is the strength to stand up for my children in their passage through school. Or, as I once taught my niece”:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but if you come any closer I’ll break your face”.

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