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Childhood Remembering bullies at high school


So, during pre-school and primary school, those places were "safe places" for me to be... I relished the "time away from home".

That shifted when kids started getting into pre-puberty and puberty and suddenly previously normal kids started acting mean.

I had skipped a grade, so was a year younger than everyone else, so this development took me by surprise.

And cos of the trauma I was going through at home, my stress cup was already at breaking point and I just had no capacity to deal with anymore meaness.

I remember standing up to bullies, ignoring them, making a point of befriending everyone they targeted, so that no one was on their own during breaks, etc, but not having the strength to fight back.

I can't say that I was actually targeted by bullies, or subjected to true bullying, but the high school I went to was a rough and shitty place - lots of violence, bullying, peer pressure, meanness - and like everyone else at that school, I "copped my share".

I remember being devastated that school was no longer a "safe place" for me. And this happening just at the same time as the trauma and abuse ramped up and were at their worst, at home. I felt like I was being treated like shit 24/7, with no escape. I started dissociating more and more and my grades went from being an A student to failing some classes.

When I look back on those high school bullies now, decades later, through the eyes of an adult, I see teenagers from poor, rough families, whos parents were addicts, violent and mean to their kids. Those kids brought that way of treating others to school and re-enacted their traumatic home lives there by treating other students like shit.

At the time, it felt like a nightmare to me tho. Teenage years are the time when you're meant to start "letting go" of your family and start orienting towards your "peer group".

Being stuck in an unsafe, traumatic family and trying to orient towards a peer group that was also unsafe and unkind, was a no-win situation for me.

While I wasn't singled out for bullying, the overall mean school atmosphere where everyone was mocked for being genuine/ vulnerable/ imperfect was a life lesson that left a lot of scars for many decades to come.

I was fortunate to eventually switch to another high school, which was totally different - a place of acceptance, fun, humour, mutual growth - and university was like that too - so luckily I had subsequent experiences to counterbalance those bad high school years... tho they didn't actually undo those scars. The bad high school years were a nightmare that I carried inside me for a long time.