My Name is Chris, and I was a Victim of High School Bullies

I had a tough childhood.

I’d wager that many of us adults went through something that would be considered “a challenge” at one point in our respective younger days. Tribulations on the home front were largely relegated to the occasional familial disagreement (nothing that would be considered out of the ordinary, I assure you). My consternation stemmed from unwarranted, school-centric battles.

In short? I faced bullies in high school. I’ve talked about it long before now.

For some reason or another, a group of “tough kids” decided that I was persona non grata (a Latin phrase that roughly translates as “someone we don’t like.”). It made no sense to me in any logical capacity, although discussing any emotional shortcomings with this loosely-knit cabal would seem an exercise in futility. I can laugh about it now, though.

No, I can’t – it’s still not funny.

I remember being wracked with stresses of threats. Intimidation was a powerful mechanism, but falling victim to it would only make me… a victim. Instead, I chose to largely ignore it on the surface – while, in secret, crapping my Green Lantern Underoos during Study Hall. Nah, I had outgrown them years ago. At least, physically.

Those troglodytes made my earlier high school years a living hell. Who knows where they are now? Maybe they’re belittling their own kids (oh, god – I pray they haven’t reproduced). As much as it pains me to say it, I’m grateful we didn’t have the Internet back then. My problems would’ve been 100x worse:

Cyberbullying is no less of a crime in my mind. And, yes, I consider adolescent bullying a crime – and were I the one drawing up laws, the wildly immature would be taken to task beyond simple school suspensions or detentions. The anguish one undergoes when they’re square in the crosshairs of a bully’s sights is tantamount to torture. I’m referring to the systematic, calculated, constant physical and mental onslaught that certain individuals impose on wholly-innocent parties.

I cringe when I read the drivel that spills out of certain keyboards out there – largely on YouTube (or any other bastion of namelessness). There’s a time for anonymity, but targeting and diminishing the value of a life that has brought no harm to others is absolutely not the place.

Why do I often respond with an equal amount of vitriol to those who would “hate?” Because I remained silent years ago when I felt I didn’t have a voice. You can hear me now, though. Loud and clear.

If you bully, you’ll get what’s coming to you – eventually.

15 thoughts on “My Name is Chris, and I was a Victim of High School Bullies”

  1. To say I have zero tolerance for bullying is an understatement.

    I was horribly bullied in early high school and beat up several times. Once I was hit so hard in the face my tooth sliced through by my lip – I still have a scar. Girls threatened me and beat me up, boys harassed and teased me and shoved me in lockers. Older kids would pretend to be nice just to laugh at me when their friends were around to be an audience. Every single day of my life was like walking through hell with a gallon of gasoline in my hair.

    Twice I went to an adult (both teachers), was refused help, and told that “it’s just part of adolescence.” Sometimes I hear people (who I assume have not been bullied) say that kids that are bullied feel invisible. No, we don’t, that would be a blessing. Kids that are bullied feel like a burning hot target every minute of their lives. If the internet was around the way it is now when I was a kid, I have no doubt I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I might very well be dead.

    I feel empathetic to younger kids that haven’t exactly set their moral compass yet, there’s still time to set themselves right. In my opinion bullies – teenage and older – damn well know what they are doing is wrong and illegal. Speaking up to the bullies and to other adults in order to find an ally was one of the most important things I had done for myself. Maybe, like you Chris, it’s why I find myself with such a strong voice today.

  2. To say I have zero tolerance for bullying is an understatement.

    I was horribly bullied in early high school and beat up several times. Once I was hit so hard in the face my tooth sliced through by my lip – I still have a scar. Girls threatened me and beat me up, boys harassed and teased me and shoved me in lockers. Older kids would pretend to be nice just to laugh at me when their friends were around to be an audience. Every single day of my life was like walking through hell with a gallon of gasoline in my hair.

    Twice I went to an adult (both teachers), was refused help, and told that “it’s just part of adolescence.” Sometimes I hear people (who I assume have not been bullied) say that kids that are bullied feel invisible. No, we don’t, that would be a blessing. Kids that are bullied feel like a burning hot target every minute of their lives. If the internet was around the way it is now when I was a kid, I have no doubt I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I might very well be dead.

    I feel empathetic to younger kids that haven’t exactly set their moral compass yet, there’s still time to set themselves right. In my opinion bullies – teenage and older – damn well know what they are doing is wrong and illegal. Speaking up to the bullies and to other adults in order to find an ally was one of the most important things I had done for myself. Maybe, like you Chris, it’s why I find myself with such a strong voice today.

  3. This is exactly why I’ve hunted down and killed all of the people who bullied me in the past.  Now I feel GREAT! 🙂  

    BTW, I’ve found that Wustof Trident knives are excellent for carving up the bodies.  Everything you need to know you can learn fron Dexter.

  4. This is exactly why I’ve hunted down and killed all of the people who bullied me in the past.  Now I feel GREAT! 🙂  

    BTW, I’ve found that Wustof Trident knives are excellent for carving up the bodies.  Everything you need to know you can learn fron Dexter.

  5. I had the audacity of being smarter than most in my class (quite frankly – a shiny brass doorknob was smarter than many of that group). Couple that with sadistic brainless jocks, and there was bullying. FWIW – far from all jocks were sadistic, but there were far too many, and far too tolerated.

    So I too had to deal with bullies. Fortunately, bullies at college were rare, so I was able to escape.

    To those who are subject to bullying now, please just keep doing what tyou are doing – YOU are not the one doing anything wrong. You may get lucky and read of one of the fiends going to jail for life*, or another losing in a game of DUI*, or pleasantly surprised to find a third has turned into a really decent human being.

    * both of these events happened 30 years after graduation… I did not wish either guy harm, nor did I celebrate their conviction and death, but I’m also not mourning their situations.

  6. Great article, Chris.  I also witnessed a lot of bullying in my early school days.  I’m thankful not to have been a direct target more times than I was, but there was this one girl who was absolutely obnoxious in elementary school and I was sure she had been sent to Earth by her alien clan from a distant planet to make my life miserable.  But as they say, the best revenge is living well, right?  

  7. I was bullied from about grade 5 to grade 9, sustained many injuries, nearly broke my cheekbone and nose a few times, i finished high school 5 years ago and im still recovering from my social awkwardness and i almost never smile. People who havent been bullied dont know what its like, i for one was bullied because i have red hair, no other reason.

    These days, if i ever see someone getting bullied i will intervene and drive the bully off because i know what its like and i dont want to see it happen to others.

  8. Not sure kids really have to deal with it these days, but guys always accused me of being gay. Back in the day, that was a terrible stigma to walk around with… especially if you’re NOT gay… I assume, I’m not gay so I don’t know what having to hide it felt like either. Growing up where I did, if you didn’t hunt, like working on cars, or play football, you were the “F” word… and relentlessly hounded about it. Even the CLEARLY gay guys made fun of me. It really made it hard to get girls to take me seriously too. Damn that was a rough 6 years or so.

    Some of it was my own lack of ability to deal with the typical “guy bullshit ecosystem.” I can look back now and realize that SOME of the things that hurt back then were really just guys trying to “be guys” and bs each other the way they saw their dads bs each other. I didn’t get it; my dad didn’t bs, so I thought they were serious. It hurt. I still don’t like some of those people (and I don’t friend them on Facbook when they request.)

    If there was anything in my life that helped me cope with it, it came too late in the form of an Early Childhood Development elective I took in college. (I considered becoming a teacher for a while.) The things I learned in that class; that we are all pretty much going through the same crap and very few people at that age feel like other kids really like them, etc., would have helped me GREATLY… had I learned them in Jr High.

    I know it’s tough. And physical bullying should not be tolerated. With all the things we had wrong where I grew up, physical bullying wasn’t prevalent. It was there, just not common. Dealing with social bullying and jerkwads in school helps you learn to deal with them later in life. You WILL have a boss that’s a jerk. You WILL have a co-worker that’s a total spaz and never leaves you alone. You WILL deal with a company that refuses to do the right thing. You have to learn how to deal with them at some point. If we remove all the realities of society from schools, then we will raise a bunch of kids who turn into adults with no coping mechanisms.

  9. Well said, Chris. Although very short and small and good in school, I partly survived by also being adequate in some sports and thus befriending some fellow jocks. But a lot of my really good friends weren’t so lucky. Bullying is not a “normal” part of growing up; it is a form of assault. Plain and simple. 

  10. Great post Chris, I agree fully with what your saying. I think anyone caught bullying should have criminal charges brought against them. I have one of my sons who I am sure will never get over the bullying he experienced in high school. One thing I’ve noticed is it always seems that the schools stick up for the bullies or say they can’t do anything about it.

  11. I was bullied almost daily from second grade through high school. The three years I spent in parochial school (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades) were the worst of it (and it had _nothing_ to do with priests; it was from other kids. I had the wind knocked out of me about three times a week).

  12. I am 15 years old. I was bullied from the age or 4 or 5 by numerous boys at two different schools (I moved to try and escape the peril and only found myself in a worse situation) until I was about 12 or 13. 
    Over the years I was being bullied, it was always getting worse, but I was also developing both mentally and physically – which later on would help me.One of my biggest mistakes throughout this never ending time of ‘torture’ was the fact that I never told anyone such as my parents and I also made it clear to the bullies that it was hurting me. It was not until the age of 9 that I told my parents that I was being harshly bullied at school, and my parents took immediate action – they alerted the school, one of the boys was excluded permanently and the others were detained (A rarity at my school) Gradually, with help from my parents and the school staff, I got better at ignoring the bullies and nowadays people saying rude things doesn’t effect me at all.The main point of my ramblings is that, if you are reading this and you are being bullied, just ignore them – the bully will normally either be jealous of you, or have insecurities that they do not want others to know about. More importantly though, tell you parent or carer! They are the only people that will help you no matter what, if you haven’t yet – stop reading this comment right now and go tell your parents of your problems, GO! It will be the best thing you will have done in a long, long time. One final tip I have, don’t fight back – if your bullies tease you into a fight, stop yourself from lashing out, then turn and walk away. Not only will this save you from a few bruises but it will irritate those bullying you enormously. Just as a side note, my bullying consisted of being called names, mainly gay (This was ironic because when I was so young I didn’t know what it meant and also, one of the worst bullies recently came out about being gay – which, by the way, I have no problem with – people can be whoever they want)

    Thanks for reading, Sam.

  13. I am 15 years old. I was bullied from the age or 4 or 5 by numerous boys at two different schools (I moved to try and escape the peril and only found myself in a worse situation) until I was about 12 or 13. 
    Over the years I was being bullied, it was always getting worse, but I was also developing both mentally and physically – which later on would help me.One of my biggest mistakes throughout this never ending time of ‘torture’ was the fact that I never told anyone such as my parents and I also made it clear to the bullies that it was hurting me. It was not until the age of 9 that I told my parents that I was being harshly bullied at school, and my parents took immediate action – they alerted the school, one of the boys was excluded permanently and the others were detained (A rarity at my school) Gradually, with help from my parents and the school staff, I got better at ignoring the bullies and nowadays people saying rude things doesn’t effect me at all.

    The main point of my ramblings is that, if you are reading this and you are being bullied, just ignore them – the bully will normally either be jealous of you, or have insecurities that they do not want others to know about. More importantly though, tell you parent or carer! They are the only people that will help you no matter what, if you haven’t yet – stop reading this comment right now and go tell your parents of your problems, GO! It will be the best thing you will have done in a long, long time. One final tip I have, don’t fight back – if your bullies tease you into a fight, stop yourself from lashing out, then turn and walk away. Not only will this save you from a few bruises but it will irritate those bullying you enormously. 

    Just as a side note, my bullying consisted of being called names, mainly gay (This was ironic because when I was so young I didn’t know what it meant and also, one of the worst bullies recently came out about being gay – which, by the way, I have no problem with – people can be whoever they want)

    Thanks for reading, Sam.

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