On My Experiences with Bullying
Bullying started in earnest for me in the sixth grade and lasted even into my first college experience.
Before High School, I remember getting slammed into the locker on a few occasions and being stabbed in the back of my head with a pencil. I do not remember much else except gratuitous verbal harassment.
In High School, the bullying dissipated somewhat. It mainly consisted of verbal harassment.
When I was staying in a dorm at the first college I attended (which happened to be a Christian college), I was not beaten except for a head-butting incident. I also received my fill of verbal harassment there.
One night while I was staying up to type a term paper and another smaller paper, I remember someone might have had a book I would find useful as a source. Perhaps I should have chosen to inquire of someone else, because not long after I entered the room there was a brief verbal exchange about who knows what between me and the perpetrator of the aforementioned head-butting incident who did not even live in that room to begin with. Within a moment, he had me pinned to the side of the bed with his legs over my shoulders. He eventually let me up about two hours later, but he would not let me escape. Finally, the RA for that floor opened the door and I was free to leave. After I returned to my room, it took me about half of an hour to get back to work. Thankfully, I still had time enough to finish those papers before they were due.
My bullying experience was not confined to school; I also experienced a particularly unpleasant incident of it at a fast-food establishment in which I once was employed. One particularly disagreeable fellow was reading something on the wall and I either asked him a question or made a statement to him; I do not remember what I said, but I am sure it did not warrant his response, which involved grabbing me by the wrists and slamming me against the wall behind me. He then proceeded to throw me into a wall and other objects. Whenever I rose again, he would immediately grab me and throw me again. Since this area we were in was in the back, it was out of view of others. After a few minutes of this, a female manager and then another employee finally came back to investigate; consequently, this disagreeable fellow stopped throwing me around. When I was in the office, the manager asked me if I was alright; I had a few bruises but nothing more to show for it.
The bullying coupled with the anger it provoked in me eventually led to leaving that college. The school officials thought I "needed help" because they did not think I was sleeping or eating enough and that I played too many computer games, etc. My grades were quite good; I had a 3.82/4.0 GPA and had some great scholarships. Nevertheless, I spent my Spring Break of 2001 in the psychiatric wing of a hospital feeling deeply bitter and betrayed. I did not really find out what my parents were told until after the fact. I ended up being diagnosed with a "delusional disorder" while I was there; I certainly did not imagine what happened to me then or in the past. From my hospital room, I gazed out onto the world and proclaimed I was saner than a great deal of the "normal" people going about their business. This was a crushing blow far worse than any I had sustained from the hands of a bully. I was deceived by my parents and by the school; I was led to believe they wanted me to take a break from school for the rest of the semester. It turns out the school officials thought I was "dangerous" and that they did not know what I would do if I discovered the truth. What poppycock! If I was so bloody dangerous, the bullies certainly did not appear afraid of me. To top it off, I was anorexic for a while. I hardly weighed little more at the time I left the school than the lowest weight I was able to attain. I had always been quite a weakling. On my diet, I lost much of the very little strength I had. I was too weak to be realistically considered "dangerous."
Once my parents discovered more of the truth of what really happened, they regretted the part they played and concluded the school did me wrong. The situation could have been handled differently and a more satisfactory conclusion could have been reached.
Why was I bullied? I can only offer a few hypotheses. Some undoubtedly found my manner of speech to be exceedingly formal and hence peculiar to their ears. Some undoubtedly concluded my interests such as chess (I played over 100 informal games in High School and won every time excepting a couple of games where I made a careless mistake), reading, writing, etc. to be atypical for a school-age lad. Some undoubtedly found me to be an easy target since I was (and still am) so weak; they understandably had no reason to fear attacking or provoking me. Indeed, I have more hypotheses, but these shall suffice for now.
After this business was over, I considered two years of my life to be completely wasted. I started to pursue my current major in Spring of 2002. Since my previous coursework was quite different than the current coursework, it was like I started over again. I came to hate school more than ever before, but I still excelled. I have maintained a perfect GPA since then; I have received my share of academic honours and recognition, but I find it all to be quite empty, insignificant.
I wish those two years of disgrace, failure and pain never happened. Likewise, I wish the related incidents throughout many years of my life never happened. I wish my life proceeded differently. The end result, after 25 years of living, is this pointless, thoroughly displeasing existence.