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.